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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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38 votes
4 answers
41k views

Rest above a note in a piano piece

I am playing a piece and wondering, what the heck is this rest doing here above this note? The piece is in 3/4, so I see no purpose in the 1/4 rest. I've been googling around but did not find any ...
Samuel's user avatar
  • 789
26 votes
2 answers
15k views

Why does this note have a stem pointing up and another pointing down?

What does the first note below mean? Does it need to be pressed down while playing the second notes? If not, why are there two stems, one pointing up, and one pointing down?
laurent's user avatar
  • 993
19 votes
3 answers
4k views

What is the best way to play a chord larger than your hand?

I've seen and attempted to play multiple songs on the piano that include chords that are tenths or sometimes even elevenths or twelfths (rarely), and these chords have four or five notes. If I were to ...
violetorigin's user avatar
18 votes
6 answers
9k views

The same note on two staves

On rare occasions, I encounter the same note on two staves with overlapping durations. Attached is an example from an arragement of "The Long and Winding Road" by The Beatles (The note in ...
iddober's user avatar
  • 6,642
17 votes
3 answers
39k views

What exactly does a 3 mean over a quarter note and an 8th note?

There is an eighth note followed by a quarter note, and above them is a little overarching bracket with a little 3 in it. I know this has something to do with the timing, but I have no idea what. ...
temporary_user_name's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
4k views

What does the L-shaped symbol attached to C5 and G4 on the top staff mean?

I am trying to learn "Kiss The Rain" by Yiruma, and I am learning from a score published on musescore. Source: https://musescore.com/user/27057308/scores/4838600 I was confused by the L-...
kekulayyy's user avatar
  • 303
92 votes
14 answers
168k 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 ...
daltonf's user avatar
  • 1,023
30 votes
3 answers
27k 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.
user85798's user avatar
35 votes
2 answers
90k 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 ...
Tanaki's user avatar
  • 515
29 votes
4 answers
6k 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 ...
neuviemeporte's user avatar
13 votes
7 answers
10k views

Same note to be played with both hands? [duplicate]

Why some notes in the piano are written the same for the left and right hand ? What is the purpose of this ? And how do we play them ? Do we just choose one hand to play them or do we play them ...
Waseem Francis's user avatar
50 votes
5 answers
69k 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 ...
Simon P Stevens's user avatar
26 votes
10 answers
5k 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 ...
Piotr Sobczyk's user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
7k views

Left and right hand playing same note on piano?

Occasionally I run across sheet music that has the left and right hand playing the same note at the same time. Is this on purpose? If so... Why? And how do I play it? For example, see the first ...
B flat's user avatar
  • 158
36 votes
4 answers
81k 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 ...
ccb's user avatar
  • 471
7 votes
2 answers
10k views

What fingerings are used for the minor and major blues scales?

It's my understanding that for the diatonic scales, there's a consensus of which fingerings are optimal for most people. They are not a hard rule, some pianists use other fingerings, but they are ...
TaylorSwiftFan5932's user avatar
79 votes
19 answers
60k 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. ...
Sufendy's user avatar
  • 1,954
49 votes
14 answers
28k 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 ...
Caleb's user avatar
  • 617
29 votes
12 answers
42k 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 ...
DaaaahWhoosh's user avatar
27 votes
9 answers
29k 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) ...
Dasaru's user avatar
  • 1,153
26 votes
4 answers
29k 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 ...
Secret's user avatar
  • 369
52 votes
3 answers
211k 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 ...
Patrick Da Silva's user avatar
43 votes
8 answers
8k 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 ...
neuviemeporte's user avatar
32 votes
8 answers
146k 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 ...
Warren van Rooyen's user avatar
28 votes
16 answers
6k views

What modern innovations have been/are being made for the piano?

The piano underwent major changes between its invention ca. 1700 through the late 1800s: the double escapement, the iron frame, cross-stringing, among others. But the piano reached a mature state by ...
18 votes
3 answers
973 views

How does one maintain voice integrity when longer and shorter notes of the same pitch occur in two voices

Here is an excerpt from Bach's BWV 796, measures 8–9. (Unfortunately, ABCjs renders the ties in exactly the wrong direction!) X:1 T:Sinfonia No. 10 in G Major, BWV 796 M:3/4 C:J.S. Bach %%staves [(1 ...
200_success's user avatar
  • 1,641
17 votes
5 answers
76k views

Piano music with two treble clefs, and notes between staves

I do not understand why there are two treble cleff staves and why there are music notes in the middle of the two staves. Which hand should I play those notes with and why are there two treble cleff ...
Sheela's user avatar
  • 171
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to identify all sharp notes in sheet

I am trying to learn the piano and I am a bit confused when it comes how sharp notes are represented in the sheet. I am working my way through Prelude I in C Major (BWV 846), and in the sixth bar/...
bornander's user avatar
  • 153
52 votes
5 answers
46k 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 ...
Michael Slade's user avatar
51 votes
16 answers
163k 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 ...
temporary_user_name's user avatar
38 votes
13 answers
43k 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? Sonata quasi una Fantasia, First ...
laurent's user avatar
  • 993
27 votes
4 answers
5k views

Piano with two treble clefs 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?
Zynoakib's user avatar
  • 271
21 votes
4 answers
13k views

Why does the pedal sign look like “Leo”?

I play piano. I took Trinity College London grade 6 practical and finished my theory course. I still don't understand why the Pedal sign looks like the word “Leo”. Could someone tell me why "Leo&...
MyMor12's user avatar
  • 235
11 votes
3 answers
3k views

How is this piano finger stretch remotely possible for anyone?

How is it remotely possible to reach A5 (under lyric "share") whilst at the same time playing F4 and A4 (under lyric "one")? I can just about (unreliably) stretch ten notes but there surely isn't the ...
niemiro's user avatar
  • 263
6 votes
2 answers
3k views

What's this L symbol in piano notation called?

There's a symbol used in piano manuscript notation that means "play this in the other hand, even though it's written in this one". It looks like a capital L shape: As you can (maybe) see in ...
wizzwizz4's user avatar
  • 367
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

overlapping note on same staff

In this piano sheet excerpted from Erik Satie's "Gymnopédie No.1": (in 3/4), the right-hand's F# is supposed to be hold for several measures (a 3/4 note), meanwhile being pressed in the 2/4 chord. ...
Starnuto di topo's user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
12k views

What is this double-note and how do you play it?

What is this and how do you play this?
user30190's user avatar
46 votes
16 answers
21k 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 ...
iddober's user avatar
  • 6,642
26 votes
5 answers
10k 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 = ...
iddober's user avatar
  • 6,642
16 votes
13 answers
75k views

Is a digital or acoustic piano a better option for a beginner (sound and feel)?

I just started learning piano, and I want to buy a piano for recreational purposes and practicing. I am torn between digital and acoustic. I love the feel and sound of an acoustic, but I cannot afford ...
Mai's user avatar
  • 161
15 votes
3 answers
3k 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 (...
Edward Jiang's user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
39k views

Small notes on the staff

What are these and how do I play them on the piano?
supreme_tg's user avatar
8 votes
5 answers
2k views

Recognizing intervals without interval songs?

I would love to know all my intervals by ear but where ever I search for help it says to learn interval songs e.g. Jaws theme for minor 2nd. I find this to be pretty ineffective honestly. I don't hear ...
Raymond Visconti's user avatar
6 votes
6 answers
930 views

(Piano) How should I play this harmonic unison

I stumbled with harmonic unisons for the first time trying to play this arrangement I found this question where some techniques to deal with harmonic unison are discussed, and it helped me with the ...
xvan's user avatar
  • 647
78 votes
17 answers
40k 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 / ...
Rebecca Chernoff's user avatar
68 votes
9 answers
63k 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 ...
mfamous's user avatar
  • 1,063
59 votes
6 answers
72k 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?
Bob Broadley's user avatar
  • 21.4k
37 votes
9 answers
35k 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?
iddober's user avatar
  • 6,642
35 votes
9 answers
131k 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 ...
Diego's user avatar
  • 453
22 votes
3 answers
8k 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?
xpda's user avatar
  • 1,082

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