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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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100 votes
18 answers
125k 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 ...
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
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
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
78 votes
11 answers
46k 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 its own profession. But I think it would be interesting to have a go myself, for fun. But is this ...
Lennart Regebro'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
56 votes
11 answers
45k views

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

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 ...
Hajin's user avatar
  • 715
56 votes
7 answers
14k 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 ...
radiantshaw's user avatar
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
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
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
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
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
49 votes
8 answers
193k 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 ...
mrstein2's user avatar
  • 593
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
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
43 votes
6 answers
7k 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 ...
Nereid Regulus's user avatar
42 votes
8 answers
23k 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 ...
Kyudos's user avatar
  • 561
42 votes
11 answers
31k 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, ...
Ali's user avatar
  • 1,143
41 votes
11 answers
11k 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 ...
Christina's user avatar
  • 521
39 votes
12 answers
5k 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 ...
gigahari's user avatar
  • 1,122
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
38 votes
5 answers
7k views

Why do pianos not need to be tuned every time you play?

I usually tune my guitar and violin whenever I play them. I assume most people do too. But what makes piano strings different? I know it is a lot of work to tune a piano, but I'm under the assumption ...
user5826's user avatar
  • 659
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
38 votes
9 answers
201k 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?
Kriem's user avatar
  • 483
38 votes
9 answers
41k 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 ...
Lee White's user avatar
  • 5,941
38 votes
9 answers
11k 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. ...
iddober's user avatar
  • 6,642
38 votes
11 answers
190k 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, ...
Mr. Boy's user avatar
  • 9,960
38 votes
8 answers
89k 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?
iddober's user avatar
  • 6,642
37 votes
10 answers
9k 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 ...
zaz's user avatar
  • 693
37 votes
7 answers
13k 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 ...
user46792's user avatar
  • 1,477
37 votes
12 answers
35k 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 ...
SysDragon's user avatar
  • 1,216
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
37 votes
11 answers
130k 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 ...
James Tauber's user avatar
  • 3,147
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
35 votes
12 answers
43k 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 ...
Robot Dreamer's user avatar
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
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
34 votes
1 answer
7k 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 ...
Jamie Banks's user avatar
33 votes
7 answers
10k 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 ...
drewdles's user avatar
  • 433
33 votes
9 answers
20k 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 ...
W4uoe9A's user avatar
  • 431
33 votes
4 answers
14k 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 ...
Blank's user avatar
  • 699
32 votes
6 answers
14k views

How do experienced pianists sight-read chords? [duplicate]

I enjoy sight reading, since it lets me "play" the piano without having to spend hours going over the same passage to get it right. However, I'm still progressing and have difficulty ...
Michael Stachowsky'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
30 votes
9 answers
27k views

What are the ergonomic / playing 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 ...
netvope's user avatar
  • 945
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
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
29 votes
7 answers
13k 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 ...
Ivan Kapitonov's user avatar
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

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