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Questions tagged [piano]

For questions about music written for piano, playing the piano, maintenance of a piano, or other general questions about pianos.

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27
votes
2answers
41k views

Unknown notation - thick horizontal bars between notes

I haven't the faintest idea of what these bars could mean. They're thick and mostly horizontal with a slight tilt. Some sort of run perhaps? How do you effect the dynamics/notes these bars are ...
26
votes
4answers
4k views

Piano with two treble clefs and 8va on grand staff

How do you play the notes in the red square? On the upper staff, the lower chord is G but the note in the lower section is also G. Do you just ignore it?
26
votes
11answers
4k views

When practicing on my instrument - which is more important - quantity or quality?

I mainly play guitar but sometimes play piano. Occasionally I aspire to improve my skills by practicing - which for me - usually consists of trying to learn to play a more complex passage in a ...
26
votes
7answers
10k views

Which fingering to use when playing the same piano key twice in a row?

I just started to learn piano, and I notice that practice sheet music for beginners sometimes specifies for all or some keys which fingers should hit them. It seems that some authors consistently ...
25
votes
10answers
3k 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
19k 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 ...
25
votes
9answers
21k views

Fast Chord Identification

How would someone go about identifying chords quickly and efficiently? While sight reading, I would often come up to some strange chord and try to decipher it. It normally takes me (what feels like) ...
25
votes
5answers
29k views

What is the importance of practicing scales on piano, and the proper fingering of them?

First of all I want to point out that I practice scales a lot and even enjoy it. I just don't know why they are so important, as this site says for example: "Proper fingering of the scales on the ...
25
votes
4answers
8k views

Why does a piano have only one or two strings per note in the bass register, but three for other registers?

Does it have something to do with keeping it in tune, since the smaller strings might be more prone to be stretched? (And therefore they spread out the impact to more than one string). Or maybe just ...
25
votes
8answers
73k 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
18k 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 took it upon myself to learn the piano. However, I am not sure where to start, especially with ...
24
votes
3answers
6k views

How does a piano go out of tune?

I haven't tuned my upright acoustic piano for one, maybe two, years. I'm inept, so I can't tell if it's out of tune, but a friend recommended me to get a tune-up at least once a year. My question is:...
24
votes
8answers
23k 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 ...
24
votes
7answers
11k views

Why are grand pianos usually black?

Upright pianos are often covered with transparent lacquer, revealing their natural brown wood colour. This is similar to violins, guitars and other classical instruments, where wood structure is ...
24
votes
7answers
46k 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 (...
24
votes
3answers
11k 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.
23
votes
4answers
4k views

How is it that 12 eighth notes fit in a measure labeled as common time?

I am looking at Franz Liszt's Consolation S.172 No.3. I have checked out two different music scores of the same composition and they both have the same time signature (standard), however the base line ...
23
votes
3answers
4k views

What was the motivation for the invention of electric pianos?

Around the 1970s there were a lot of manufacturers creating electric pianos like the Rhodes piano and the Wurlitzer Electronic Piano. These electric pianos don't sound very close to a real piano, but ...
23
votes
3answers
4k views

How to prevent one mistake from derailing an entire piece?

When practicing a piece, I find that making one mistake sometimes messes up my muscle memory and throws me completely off. This is especially true of memorized pieces. This most often happens if, ...
23
votes
3answers
5k views

What do the pedals on grand pianos do?

I have been playing the piano for some time now, and have recently switched from the electric piano to the grand piano. My grand piano has three pedals. What does each of the three pedals do?
23
votes
13answers
43k views

The difference between self-taught and professional pianists

As an amateur pianist, I've noticed that I can pick up on the difference between someone who has taught themselves piano, and someone who has had a high-quality piano instructor. It's hard to detail ...
23
votes
5answers
8k 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 = ...
23
votes
2answers
2k 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'...
22
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
21
votes
6answers
8k views

Does piano soundproofing require floating walls? Getting conflicting answers from professionals

I have just placed a new hybrid piano in a small 9x13 room in my apartment. I want to use the room for playing and for singing. Costly steps have already been taken, and, much to our dismay, we ...
21
votes
9answers
3k 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 first ...
21
votes
8answers
3k views

Problems With Learning a Second Instrument

I’m trying learn jazz piano. For about ten years I played the violin; solo and in orchestras and quartets. I’ve also absolutely no trouble enjoying for instance Keith Jarrett’s more complex solo ...
21
votes
6answers
3k views

How to formulate a chord on the piano?

I play guitar, and am attempting to teach myself the piano. Which notes from a scale form the chord on the keyboard? Is there a common rule for this?
21
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
21
votes
6answers
4k views

How to use Piano pedals without using the foot?

I have a piano, I am disabled, wheelchair kinda disabled, I can move my feet but not use the pedals, that task is kinda complicated. Considered buying some kind of a car hand control, like this, not ...
21
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
20
votes
8answers
21k views

What are the practical advantages of keyboards with non-weighted keys vs. weighted hammer action?

This is not a question about what type toy keyboard a beginning piano student should learn on if a real piano is not an option. I am talking about professional quality keyboards in the above (to well ...
20
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
20
votes
6answers
21k views

Is it good practice to use Synthesia to figure out songs?

Just wondering what pianists think about synthesia. You can type Synthesia followed by just about any song name you can think of on Youtube. ex "Synthesia bach minuet in g" and you'll get a Synthesia ...
20
votes
6answers
11k 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
4k views

Moving a grand piano 2 meters

I currently have a grand piano on a stage and was wanting to move it 2 (or so) meters back to make more room on the stage for an upcoming concert where it will not be used. I was wondering if I will ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the manner in which you release a tone on the piano affect its sound?

Watch how, for instance, Valentina Lisitsa releases her final chord of Chopin's Op. 9, no. 2 by pulling her hands up from the keyboard. Such a lift isn't reserved for slower music; this even happens ...
20
votes
2answers
4k views

How cold is too cold to move a piano?

I'm having a piano moved by professionals to my house tomorrow morning when its supposed to be between 40-45 degrees F and 65% humidity. I've asked them to cover it during the move. It should take ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

How to learn to play 'out of phase' with yourself?

There's a Piano piece by Steve Reich called piano phase, in which the same notes are played on 2 pianos (usually by different people), but over time, they shift out of phase with each other. Here's ...
19
votes
6answers
4k views

To get to jazz do I just add a seventh?

I've been up until now just practicing triads on all major/minor keys. If I wanted to play jazz do I just add sevenths (ie dominant7, major7, minor7) to chords in my chord progressions or is it alot ...
19
votes
17answers
5k views

What can I do to stop getting nervous before and during a performance?

Normally when I have a piano performance/recital I tend to get nervous. I have done a couple of exams, and all I do is stare at the wall. But then I start sweating and then my hands are all sweaty ...
19
votes
6answers
11k views

Do bass traps actually reduce noise for neighbors?

I've been having some issues with neighbors and I am looking for ways to reduce noise from my accoustic piano. One of the things I understand is that low frequency notes propagate a lot more than ...
19
votes
7answers
4k 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, ...
19
votes
5answers
13k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
37k 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 ...
19
votes
6answers
3k 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 concert ...
19
votes
7answers
4k views

What should I take into consideration when buying my first digital piano

I am 33 years old and new to the piano world, planning to learn piano. And I am planning to have my daughter (3 years old) learn piano as well next year. Due to my budget, the piano store is ...
19
votes
3answers
4k 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?
19
votes
1answer
1k views

In Diabelli's “Duet in D” for piano, what are these brackets on chords that look like vertical slurs?

While working through 'Duet in D' for piano, by A. Diabelli, I came across this unfamiliar notation that looks like a slur between two notes of the same chord or some kind of bracket (see below). ...
19
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...