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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100
votes
18answers
107k views

What is good software for learning how to sight-read?

I'd like to learn how to sight-read on my own, but practicing the same song over and over again just causes me to memorize it, and filling out worksheets is boring. Is there any good software for ...
76
votes
12answers
128k views

How can I significantly improve my hand independence on piano?

I started taking piano lessons about 7 years ago, and stopped about 2 years ago when my teacher (the one and only piano teacher I've had) quit. In all honesty, my piano has been severely neglected ...
72
votes
19answers
45k views

How to play a song without making mistakes?

I have played keyboard quite a while and now I'm starting to practice some classical music like Fur Elise. When I see a live performance of any musical instrument, there seem to be no errors at all. ...
66
votes
17answers
27k views

Quickly flip a page of sheet music while playing

This seems like such a silly question, but! When playing the piano, I sometimes struggle to turn the pages of my music without noticeably sacrificing the sound of the piece or making the book / ...
64
votes
7answers
34k views

How long would it take to learn to tune a piano?

I have a piano that is out of tune, and I know tuning pianos properly is complicated enough to have it's own profession. But I think it would be interesting to have a go myself, for fun. But is this ...
62
votes
9answers
48k views

How can a classical pianist learn jazz piano?

I'm a classically trained pianist. Took lessons all through my childhood. I've continued to play and read classical literature all my life. But I never learned anything about jazz piano. I also know a ...
54
votes
7answers
11k views

Why do Guitar chords work the way they do compared to a Piano?

I'm a Tabla (North Indian percussion instrument) player and I know just the basics of western music because I'm learning it bit by bit. I borrowed a Piano to learn music theory and it's going pretty ...
53
votes
11answers
24k views

Why isn't there a classical composer like Beethoven, Chopin or Mozart today?

Why there aren't composers writing in a classical style today? Why don't we hear of classical composers today like we do of Beethoven, Chopin or Mozart? My question may be strange, but I am really ...
47
votes
16answers
124k views

How to know what notes will go together while improvising?

This is 3 questions in one, so it might take a slightly involved answer, or some good links. Edit--- tl;dr: How can you learn which keys to hit to make the notes you hear in your head? I know what I ...
45
votes
5answers
30k views

Why are pianos traditionally tuned “out of tune” at the extremes?

My understanding is that the vast majority of western music uses equal temperament, i.e. all semitones have a frequency ratio of the 12th root of 2. However I can hear in my piano that the notes at ...
45
votes
8answers
170k 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 ...
45
votes
4answers
66k views

What to look for when buying a digital piano for a beginner?

My wife has recently started learning to play the piano and needs something at home on which to practise. I'm inclined towards a digital piano as it is more practical (Mainly space but also no tuning ...
44
votes
16answers
19k views

How can I improve my piano sight reading?

I am 25 years old, and I started learning piano about 6 months ago. I really want to play the piano well, but it takes me so long to be able to play any piece of music. In the meantime, I'm using a ...
41
votes
17answers
10k views

Will playing without mistakes at all become easy for me in the future?

I've been playing the piano for around an year, practicing at least an hour on a daily basis I want to upload piano covers just like the ones I see in YouTube which I admire and they got me into ...
41
votes
9answers
5k views

How to start playing by ear/improvising?

Up till now I've been playing music from the sheet, and eventually I've grown frustrated how after 3 years of playing I can't even play Jingle Bells if I'm asked to without figuring it out from a ...
41
votes
6answers
5k views

Why doesn't my synthesized note sound natural?

I'm currently developping a game, and I'm trying to synthesize a music note from various instruments in C++. For now, I'm only trying to replicate an A4 440Hz with the help of an existing audio file ...
40
votes
6answers
45k views

Is there a standard width for piano keys?

Is there a standard width for piano keys? If not, how much variation is there? Do other keyboard instruments have significantly different widths of keys?
39
votes
14answers
16k 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 ...
39
votes
11answers
7k views

Forgetting the musical notes while performing in concert

Yesterday I performed my favorite piano piece "Liebestraum no.3" by Franz Liszt in an audition. I forgot a lot of its musical notes although that I prepared it very well and I even played it a lot in ...
37
votes
8answers
13k views

Hands-separate piano practice doesn't seem to help with hands-together playing

I'm a late starter with 'official' piano lessons and wondered if my learning experience is typical. As I'm sure many do, my piano teacher tells my to practice left and right hands separately. I can ...
37
votes
10answers
7k views

It is ok to correct wrong notes when playing piano?

I am learning to play the piano on my own. When I play and I hear a mistake, I go back and play the correct note. Hearing the right note helps me find the next one. But I heard that you should ignore ...
37
votes
2answers
111k views

What does a small x-like symbol before a note mean?

I've been playing piano by ear for a long time and now I am trying to learn the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata. I am a little confused about the meaning of a little cross placed right before a ...
37
votes
11answers
21k views

Why are the white and black keys on the piano placed the way they are?

I am pretty convinced it is not just for historical reasons. I have found a mathematically-sound explanation of the twelve-tone musical scale, thanks to this question. Does anyone know a similar, ...
36
votes
12answers
4k 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 ...
36
votes
9answers
9k views

How do I use a metronome?

I am currently a beginner at the piano. I know using the metronome is important, but I I'm feeling reluctant to use it often, as it is difficult for me to get the music coordinated with the clicks. ...
35
votes
5answers
43k 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 ...
34
votes
12answers
25k views

Can I play pipe organ as a pianist?

I've never played pipe organ. I'm a pianist and a friend of mine ask me to play on the church on his wedding on a pipe organ. Are there enough difficulties playing a piano song on the pipe organ to ...
34
votes
7answers
31k views

Why is a grand piano better than an upright piano?

A Grand piano is considered better than an upright piano. Aesthetically I could understand why, but why does the orientation of the strings matter so much sound-wise?
33
votes
7answers
9k views

Is it recommended to learn a piece you really like, but is way above your level?

For example, I really love chopin etude op 10 no 11, but it's way above my level. So is it recommended to play a piece you really like, but is way above your level? (I have been playing for three ...
33
votes
11answers
144k views

How does your brain learn to play the piano two-handed?

As a new piano player I find the entire concept of doing two separate things at once massively challenging. Even when both parts are incredibly simple and I can sight-read both lines mentally easily, ...
33
votes
7answers
71k views

Finger Exercises for Piano when not playing

Are there any finger exercises I can perform even when I am not near a piano to improve my dexterity and strength of my fingers?
32
votes
9answers
99k views

Will a 61-key keyboard severely restrict my piano repertoire?

I'm planning on trading my 88-key digital piano for a 61-key portable music workstation as I'm more inclined into rock keyboards as of late than classical music. However, I do enjoy playing classical ...
31
votes
7answers
5k views

Why is it that I can sometimes guess the next note?

For some songs and musical pieces that I am listening to for the first time, why is it that I can occasionally guess what the next note will be? I imagine the next note in my head and sometimes it is ...
31
votes
12answers
24k views

What does this note - B# - mean?

I'm confused as to how I should play the second note below, B#. Does it mean it's C? It is possible? In which case, why is it written like this, and not just C?
31
votes
12answers
31k 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 ...
31
votes
4answers
72k views

Using keyboard/MIDI controller to learn piano

I'm an adult just starting to learn music from scratch. The piano I have been using is sometimes not available for me to use, so I would like to buy a keyboard/MIDI controller so I can practice ...
30
votes
10answers
11k views

Why do we use such complicated notation?

I have just started learning about music from the internet. I have learned how to play the piano, but I don't have a real piano so I am playing a virtual piano. In my opinion, the notation which is ...
30
votes
6answers
9k views

How do experienced pianists sight-read chords?

I enjoy sight reading, since it lets me "play" the piano. However, I'm still progressing and have difficulty reading pieces with chords that have 3 or more notes, especially if that piece has a ...
30
votes
1answer
6k views

Beginning “adult” piano for musicians

My piano skills are the weakest part of my conducting/rehearsal technique, so I'd like to work on them essentially starting from scratch. I don't have the option of a piano teacher, so I'm looking for ...
29
votes
9answers
105k 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?
29
votes
8answers
111k views

How to identify the root note of a chord

I struggle with chords on the staff because I'm not sure which note is the root note. Is it the top note with the rest of the notes falling below it? E.g., if the top note is C, and bundled below it ...
29
votes
9answers
12k 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 ...
29
votes
11answers
99k views

How many hours of practice total are typical for different piano grades?

Malcolm Gladwell's book, "Outliers", stated a hypothesis: becoming good at something takes about 10,000 hours of practice. I've recently been wondering how long a typical piano student has practiced ...
29
votes
4answers
10k views

Is it easier to play “softly” on a grand piano?

As I live in an apartment complex, I'm limited to playing on digital pianos; something I can plug headphones into so I don't disturb my neighbors. I recently purchased a Yamaha P95 and have been blown ...
28
votes
8answers
22k views

Why is the lowest note on the piano an A?

I've always wondered why almost every piano's lowest note is an A. In fact, I've never seen a piano whose lowest note is not an A, and I have also noticed that this pattern only occurs in pianos; most ...
28
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
27
votes
15answers
6k views

Which instrument can a person play with 2 malformed fingers on each hand?

Due to a birth defect, I have 2 malformed fingers on both hands (fingers 1,2). (The picture is from the web just to illustrate the fingers i'm talking about.) I've seen GuiGui Zheng videos, it is ...
27
votes
12answers
6k views

Is it really mandatory to practise sight reading at the piano?

I have seen many questions & answers regarding practising sight reading the right way etc. But I couldn't find the answer to my question whether it is even that important to practise sight reading....
27
votes
12answers
26k 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 ...
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?