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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

17
votes
10answers
2k views

Why is there a key signature if I never play those notes?

I'm just getting back to playing on keyboard. I'm trying to play "Ode to Joy" from the piano sheet but I have a basic question. At the beginning of some staffs, on the right of the treble clef I can ...
17
votes
11answers
4k views

Learn piano one hand at a time or simultaneously?

I've started to teach myself how to play the piano, and one of the difficulties I've found is trying to get both hands to do things at once. I either forget one hand entirely, or have one hand trying ...
17
votes
7answers
12k views

What are the objective differences between the guitar and the piano?

The guitar and the piano are two of the most popular instruments which allow multiple notes to be played simultaneously. The acoustic quality of the two instruments are, of course, different, but ...
17
votes
8answers
2k views

When learning a piece, concentrate on playing the beginning really well or the whole piece the same?

I'm currently learning to play piano for 6 months and every time I learn a new piece I learn it like this: learn the first line, play it until its pretty good learn the next line and play the ...
17
votes
7answers
3k views

How to escape the C Major trap when improvising on the piano

I play/practice the piano for some decades and when improvising (Jazz, Romantic, and sometimes even Baroque), I observe a certain magnetism of the C Major key. I'm able to play scales, arpeggios, ...
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 ...
17
votes
8answers
48k views

How high from the ground should the keyboard from a piano be?

When installing a digital piano, I have the freedom of vertically placing the entire piano at any height I want. But, I want to know what the ideal (preferred) height is. Is there a standard height?
17
votes
6answers
6k views

How to relax my wrists?

I began learning the piano recently. When I begin playing, my hands form nice 70-80 degree curves with the wrists relaxed. I can maintain this for trivial pieces with no significant hand motion. But ...
17
votes
8answers
1k views

Why would a teacher ban the metronome altogether?

So when I was a kid I had this piano teacher who was completely against even owning a metronome. He was adamant that using a metronome to practice was a bad habit and insisted that pupils always ...
17
votes
5answers
5k views

Why do standard modern pianos have 88 keys?

I know that the piano contains 7 octaves plus a 4th. I also know that it accommodates the full circle of fifths (from C and back to C). But since a fifth contains 7 semitones, it only "needs" 7X12 = ...
17
votes
7answers
31k views

Is there any midi software that can display in real-time the notes I play next to the “real” score?

I'm pretty new to the Piano, and pretty bad at sight-reading (but getting better:)) Still, sight-reading a new score takes me an awfull lot of time, especially when I don't "hear" the thing I'm ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Fast octaves on the piano

I'm working on the piano accompaniment to Schubert's "Trockne Blumen" variations for flute and piano. Variation 2 is all sixteenth-note octaves in the left hand. I began by practicing very slowly ...
16
votes
11answers
4k views

How useful is a metronome for playing the piano?

I've been learning to play the piano for over a year and a half now, and have never used a metronome to date. My rythm and tempo are usually decent, at least after playing the piece properly a few ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Tips for background piano playing

I am playing background piano music at a dinner tonight. It is the first time I have done this and I wonder if there are guidelines on the order of pieces or if I can just wildly mix fast and slow, ...
16
votes
6answers
18k views

How to record a piano with high quality?

I want to record myself playing the piano. I am a complete beginner when it comes to this, so I just want to ask the basic questions, so I can and make an informed decision, once I buy the equipment (...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Synth sounds that make good solo instruments but don't mimic pianos, organs etc?

I have played a lot of piano, some organ and a fair few synths in my time, and have yet to ever find a synth patch that makes a good solo instrument (i.e. like a piano, you can play an entire ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there any classical precursor to boogie woogie?

It is often been said (rather too simplistically in many cases) that jazz is a combination of European and African practices. I am interested particularly in classical piano techniques that have been ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

On the piano, how should you play staccato with the pedal?

In some pieces, there is a pedal designation along with staccato. How should this be played?
16
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 ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Learning Piano without a teacher

How can I effectively learn how to play the piano if it is simply impossible for me to get a teacher? I'm 17 years old, and I took it upon myself to learn the piano. However, I am not sure where to ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Why crescendo or decrescendo over one long note in piano music?

That C-chord on measure 6 of the system, from Grieg Piano Sonata, Op. 7, IV. Finale - Molto Allegro: Why couldn't they just mark that D7 chord with a p? That G chord is marked pp. Once you press a ...
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
4answers
4k views

What are the most common ways to “decorate” a melody?

Yes, I know, there are way too many possibilities and it depends on the style of the music... I would be happy with an incomplete list for beginners (like me). Here is what I have so far: ...
15
votes
5answers
5k views

How do you play loud notes on the piano without slapping the keys?

How do you play loud notes on the piano without generating a harsh, slapping, or percussive sound? I read about pressing down from the surface of the keys rather than from above. And my piano teacher ...
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 ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

What does a straight line connecting notes on different clefs mean?

What is the meaning of the straight lines between notes in opposite staves, as shown in the picture? I keep seeing it, but Google and Wikipedia are not helping me.
14
votes
2answers
659 views

Glissando that ends on a flat

I have a piece that is in two flats and has a glissando that starts on G and ends on a B quarter note two octaves higher. Am I supposed to glissando on the white keys through A and then hit and hold ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

What is an X symbol appearing in a piano part?

And it's not a double sharp. I saw it in Miley Cyrus Fugue in measure 88 between the 3rd and 4th beat for the right hand. It's being reached at 2:42-2:43 in the video and I don't hear anything ...
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.
14
votes
3answers
914 views

What is this music symbol and how to play it?

I've attached a picture of the music sheet I am learning that has a music notation that I do not know and would like to get some help to understand what it means. The music notation is on the first ...
14
votes
3answers
398 views

Did baroque composers expect you to “bring out” the voices in their pieces, the way today's critics seem to enjoy in players?

So, I recently had a, sadly, way too short conversation with a pianist on the train. According to the guy, in the 17th and 18th century polyphonic keyboard works were not played in such a way that ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

What do I do when my long fingernails for classical guitar interfere with playing piano?

I'm learning classical/flamenco guitar techniques about 5 months ago, and now just started learning piano: I get some problems when i play on keyboard(noise and nails hurts, especially the thumb).. I ...
14
votes
2answers
627 views

Important to know which note you are playing?

When I'm learning a new piece of music (for piano), I tend to read the notes each time until I know the movement for my hands by memory. At that point I don't know what note I'm playing anymore only ...
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
5answers
1k views

Do I have to be a virtuoso pianist to compose faster music?

I was about to compose my third movement of my first sonata, but the other movements are notated Andante and Adagio. I would want my final movement to be notated Allegro or something even faster than ...
13
votes
2answers
731 views

Why does this note sound like it is not played?

I've been learning the second movement of Mozart's Piano Sonata 16 for a while. While I get most of the stuff memorized, some part of it just doesn't sound right comparing to recordings on YouTube ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

What is this electrical thing in my piano?

What is the bar with the red freehand circle? You can see it has a cord coming out to the right. I'm unable to try plugging it in and seeing what it does because it's an incompatible cord with my ...
13
votes
2answers
8k views

Unknown Notation - Thick Horizontal Bars Between Notes

I haven't the faintest idea of what these could mean. Some sort of run perhaps? How do you effect the dynamics/notes these bars are referring to? EDIT: For reference, this specific example is ...
13
votes
3answers
12k views

With regards to piano sheet music, when are you supposed to press the pedal(s)?

I've been playing piano for about 8 months. I have a digital weighted 88-key piano with only one pedal. My friend, who used to play piano, taught me to hold the pedal down when there is an arc in ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

How deep should the fingers sit when pressing piano keys?

When pressing piano keys, how deep should the fingertips sit? Well between the black keys (if I'm playing the white ones), or closer to edge of the key? I have seen both practices on videos, ...
13
votes
8answers
669 views

From beginner's perspective, should I polish an easy piece or move quicker to advanced ones?

I have started playing piano just recently. Although I have some understanding in music theory and played various instruments before (a bit), I am a total beginner in piano. My ultimate goal is to ...
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 ...
13
votes
4answers
789 views

How important is to reach the bottom limit of the key when pressed?

When practicing, I noticed that in forte scale runs I always reach the bottom limit of every key I press, but when playing the same run piano or pianissimo I don't always reach the bottom limit. So, ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

How can I improve piano proprioception?

What exercises are effective at improving proprioception while playing piano? My immediate goal is to be able to play piano pieces without taking my eyes of the sheet music. (ie. avoid looking at my ...
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
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between Kurzweil Mark Pro 1, 2, and 3 Pianos

I'm only interested in the piano tone and feel as compared to a good acoustic piano. Are there reasons to pay twice the money for Kurzweil Mark 3 vs Mark 1? Both seem to have the same hammer action ...
12
votes
17answers
20k views

How to learn piano without owning a piano?

I'm getting married in a year and the venue has a piano that we can't move but we can play. I'd like to learn a song for my wedding day but I want to surprise my future wife. We don't already own a ...
12
votes
10answers
2k views

Piano vs Guitar Strings? Tension vs length?

Why do pianos have different length strings, while guitars have the same length strings? According to the guitar, it would seem that the pitch of a string is determined based solely off of tension, ...
12
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it possible that some people can play one instrument but not another?

I took piano lessons for six-seven years, and became rather advanced despite having poor practice etiquette, even learning some of Bach's two-part inventions, but when I tried to learn guitar, I never ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

C in Treble or Bass Clef

I see a 'C' like sign in the beginning of the staff. What does it mean?