A keyboard instrument which uses felt-tipped hammers to strike at strings.

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10answers
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How to know what notes/chords go together while improvising?

This is 3 questions in one, so it might take a slightly involved answer, or some good links. I'm a very good classical pianist, but I skipped theory entirely in my early days and learned to play well ...
38
votes
8answers
101k views

How do I make piano chords sound interesting when playing along with popular songs?

I'm wanting to start playing along with popular songs and the easiest way to find lyrics and music only has guitar chords. I can play those chords on the piano but it just sounds boring. How should I ...
24
votes
5answers
21k views

How to turn any (pop) song into a jazz song?

Quite often there are pop songs wich get covered in a jazz style. These covers are seen from youtube to tv. Now I tried doing something like this, with for example Bad Day by Daniel Powter. It's ...
30
votes
12answers
7k views

Why does the scale have seven (or five) notes? Why not six?

I'm a programmer by trade, and I have always felt that music was arbitrarily difficult. Please forgive my inexperience with musical notation. I had a little thought experiment with my wife today, and ...
24
votes
8answers
5k views

Do musicians count the meter all the time?

When I started as a beginner on the piano I just timed the notes by feeling. That is, until my teacher played back a recording of me to show me just how messed up my timings were. Since then I've ...
28
votes
12answers
2k views

Appreciating the music of J. S. Bach

I have been learning piano for many years and am able to really enjoy the music of Beethoven and Chopin. However, when it comes to Bach, I must shamefully admit, I can't see why he is held in such ...
22
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I begin finally making music on the piano?

It's been almost 4 years since I had too much time on my hands while living in student dorms so I decided to learn to play the piano. I always loved listening to classical and suddenly listening wasn'...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you remember your music and how do I improve in this regard?

Okay, let me start with my own story. I jumped straight into playing classical pieces on the piano without much in the way of formal musical education. By now I know how chords are built (but it takes ...
21
votes
10answers
14k views

Can people really sight-read advanced pieces?

I find it hard to read a staff and play it on the keyboard fluently. The most common scene for me is that I read one note on the paper and then lower my head and find out the location of that note ...
15
votes
4answers
5k views

Are Hanon exercises mindless unmusical repetiton or a great way to develop finger strength and dexterity?

There are a lot of different opinions about Charles-Louis Hanon's "The Virtuoso Pianist in 60 Exercises". Some say it is unmusical and can even lead to wrist damage, while others think they are the ...
15
votes
9answers
6k views

Playing one hand loudly and the other quietly

I'm currently learning to play Comptine d'un autre été from Yann Tiersen (Sheet music(pdf) - youtube video) and when I play starting from the 13th bar I barely hear the notes my right hand plays. ...
15
votes
6answers
3k views

How can I improve my piano accompaniments?

When I play piano or keyboards, I've noticed that I keep slipping into playing the same chords (and variations thereof, such as very simple bass lines) with my left hand while I use my right hand to ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the proper way to play A-Flat scales on piano?

Consider four cases: A-flat major A-flat (natural) minor A-flat melodic minor A-flat harmonic minor I start them with the third finger on the A-flat key (both hands), but I have no idea how a ...
10
votes
5answers
872 views

How to go learn through a book

This is not your average "which book to learn from" question. I'll post my research and background in as much detail as possible (since this could potentially help others with similar question). I've ...
9
votes
4answers
485 views

What contributes to good piano posture?

I have to admit I can slouch when I'm not paying attention at the piano. So what makes for good piano posture? Extra: Are there any guides that are often used as standard? I've heard that the ...
8
votes
7answers
9k views

How can I improve my playing of faster finger runs?

I am just preparing for my grade 8 piano exam. I'm struggling with quick runs in the 3rd movement of Beethoven's Sonate Pathetique. It really doesn't sound right. When I play I can't do it smothly and ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

How common is the complete circle of fifths progression?

A complete circle of fifths progression would go (I)-IV-VII-III-VI-II-V-I, and it's taught that way in textbooks, but it seems to be rare in actual music. Could you give me any examples of songs that ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Origin of the asymmetrical keyboard layout of a piano

The piano keyboard has white keys based on the C Diatonic scale plus black keys, which add the remaining notes used in western music. The asymmetrical way in which the black and white keys are placed ...
5
votes
4answers
6k views

How Can I Replicate The Sound Of An Instrument?

I have experience of basic music theory, guitar and piano. My current project involves creating a computer program that can replicate the sounds of any given instrument (starting with piano). I can ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How to improvise over a C#, B, A chord progression?

I'm looking to improvise a piano solo in over a C# verse that has a C#, B, A chorus. I'm unsure of what scale to use for this, or unsure on how to determine why musically some notes work better than ...
3
votes
6answers
7k views

Detect piano notes and chords

What is a reasonably good way to detect chords in solo piano music? Not the MIDI ones, but music generated by real piano/electronic keyboard. I am trying to play a piano piece and check out its ...
3
votes
7answers
278 views

is my sight reading approach correct

I practice sight reading for an hour everyday from the Paul Harris Piano series and I currently am at Level 1 of sight reading. I find it hard to recognize notes, so I pause till I get the note right ...
17
votes
3answers
6k views

Rest above a note in a piano piece

I am playing a piece and wondering, what the heck is the rest making there above the note? The piece is in 3/4 so I see no purpose of the 1/4 rest. I've been googling around but did not find any ...
13
votes
14answers
3k views

Why is the piano such a commonly used instrument?

Instruments are commonly compared to the piano. What is the reason for this? Does a piano allow a broader set of music to be played than is possible with other instruments? Are there types of music ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Well-known composers or piano pieces generally suitable for someone with small hands?

One of my struggles with playing the piano is that I have small hands. I can reach an octave - mostly. I can reach it, I just can't maneuver between octaves quickly. Often times a piece will have a ...
13
votes
5answers
5k views

Where can I go to play an acoustic piano regularly?

I love my digital piano. She's got weighted keys and can be quiet when she needs to, but for practice there are few things which compare to a real nice acoustic piano. I live in London so there ...
8
votes
7answers
4k views

Should I lift my finger before I hit a key when playing a piano?

I've noticed, that many people are hitting keys, instead of just pressing them. It kinda looks like that before they press the note, they lift the finger a little bit, same as if you tried to hit a ...
7
votes
3answers
291 views

How to Practice the Hanon Exercises

I've played piano for many years but I'd like to do some work on my technique and am going to attack the Hanon exercises. I have a very simple question on the instructions though. You are instructed ...
7
votes
5answers
965 views

Should I take piano class?

I had been playing keyboard for years. But I'm kind of interested to learn and practice in more proper way. As I had been self learning since the beginning. I know the basic of music theory and also ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Are tools to help improve finger dexterity, strength and speed really useful?

I don't have access to a piano every day of the week, but want to keep my flexibility. Searching on the Internet, I found many kinds of contraptions and devices that claim that they help keep and ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

What are some good, intermediate-level pieces for piano left hand?

One of my piano students broke two fingers of his right hand, so we will be working with his left hand only for a few weeks while he recovers. He is an intermediate player, and I am looking for some ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

Is there a specific finger for playing a specific key on piano?

I'm new to piano, I can play some stuff following the sheet music, but i'm always wondering if my fingers are on the right position, so, I'd like to know if there's like a map or a way to determine ...
4
votes
2answers
929 views

Why don't pianos use multiples of 12 for the number of keys?

In one of the answers of this question, some pianos with 44, 61, 76, and 88 keys are introduced. I just don't get it. Why notes are not following any formula? I mean, a piano with 63 keys means that ...
4
votes
3answers
166 views

Learn music with odd rhythms

I've always had problems with tuplets (3/2, 4/3, etc), until I was taught this nifty trick: subdivide the total duration (4 quartuplets, 3 triplets, etc) by the least common multiple (12, for 4/3) ...
3
votes
5answers
286 views

Self-learning how to play the piano

I'd like to start learning to play the piano from scratch, and I would like to know how many hours of practice will it take me to: master the basics like scales, technique, fingering, theory, and ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Transcribing Piano Chords for Guitar

I've recently started playing rhythm guitar in my church's worship service. The more contemporary songs I don't really have a problem with. It's the traditional songs that are giving me some pain ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Fingering for black keys scale

I have noticed that everything I play on the black keys only sounds oriental. I wanted to know what is the standard fingering to go through this pentatonic scale?
1
vote
1answer
133 views

Tricks to unlearn chords learned by shape on the piano

As a child, I took organ lessons during which my teacher taught most of the chords by their inversions to minimize the amount of travelling on the keyboard required by the left hand. For example, A ...
1
vote
3answers
210 views

#iv dim leading to I (tonic)

i would expect a #iv dim chord (or vii dim/V) to resolve either to IV or V. But i have noticed a few instances where it leads to I major.(i could mention the song title if it is allowed). Is this ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it bad for a piano player to work out?

I'm not sure if this is a myth, but is it bad for a pianist to work out (e.g. lift weights)? I've heard that building strength this way will reduce fine muscle control.
11
votes
2answers
5k views

Pinky is raised uncontrollably when doing finger exercise

When I do finger exercises (e.g. Hanon's), my pinky finger is being raised after I play (press and release) a key with my fourth finger, and then is raised even more and is striated after the third ...
11
votes
4answers
500 views

Dissonance across different octaves

When I play to keys that form a dissonant interval (for example a major second using C and D) in the lower octave, I perceive the dissonance to be very strong. But, when I move up to higher C's and D'...
9
votes
3answers
397 views

Piano fingering

I can't seem to find a comfortable fingering for the bass part of this. Everything I try feels weird. How can I transfer from the F# on the fourth line to the rest? I'm trying this: F# C# F#...
9
votes
2answers
513 views

What does this split stem notation mean?

Here's sheet music for chopin's 2nd ballade. On page 6, in the 2nd measure in the 4th line of music, there's a D# and a D natural, with two lines coming out of them and connecting to the double bar (...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Teaching young kids (7-9) basic piano and music fundemetals.

I've been teaching a 9 year old kid piano for about 10 months and it has been going pretty well, but recently I was asked to teach a few more kids (one as young as 6) to play piano. Teaching the 9 ...
8
votes
3answers
438 views

Adding accidentals that are already expressed by the key signature

I have been learning piano for almost two years now, making good progress. I have good knowledge of the different scales and their corresponding key signatures. When I learn a new piece, I usually ...
7
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4answers
8k views

What does an arc mean above the notes in a piano sheet music? How do I play it?

See the picture above. Is there a website where these (perhaps not so basic) notations are collected? UPDATE: I see Wikipedia has a nice collection of musical notations. How do I play the slur on ...
7
votes
3answers
560 views

How accurate are the pedal indications of Bach - Busoni, solo piano works?

On the massive edition of Bach's solo piano works by Ferruccio Busoni with the complete name of Busoni-Ausgabe (Klavierwerke) in 25 volumes (Joh. Seb. Bach. Klavierwerke unter Mitwirkung von Egon ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Same note in two staves [duplicate]

I have only just started to learn (on my own) to read music and play the piano at the grand old age of 64! Please can someone tell me how to play the same note on two staves? I keep being asked to ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Help with interpreting notation in Chopin's nocturne op. 9 no. 2

What are the following notations in Chopin's nocturne op. 9 no. 2: Tilde sign with accidentals: tr~~~ Striked note's flag: Small notes. (I know what mean single small notes right ...