Reading Sheet Music To Play Instruments

If you look all over the internet you will find that many sites offer free sheet music for just about every instrument. When looking for sheet music especially piano sheet music there are many different genres to choose from and this makes finding the music much easier. As the turn of the century arrived piano sheet music became very popular among young adults, many people were playing the piano and parlor music became the new trend to sweep the country, this made sheet music very popular. So much so, that every home had a piano and more often than not at least one member of the family could play it.

Sometimes it is hard to read sheet music, this is not because it is hard in general it just takes practice, the more you practice reading the sheet music the better you will becomes at it. When learning any instrument and you want to learn like a pro you need to learn the sheet music, understand it and process it.

Music directors and other musicians use sheet music for different songs and it covers many different vocal ranges and instruments. It will only teach you how to play songs and compositions by rote. Nonetheless, not everyone is blessed with the ability to play songs by ear. Musicians back then publish their songs in these unbound sheets of paper. Going back to the 19th century most of the songs in the USA became popular by sheet music. In the past not all songs were written down so most of the popular might have been lost.

If you are looking to improve your musical talents a create resource is the internet, you can download free sheet music and this will benefit you in many ways because it allows you to play other pieces of music. Musicians that are struggling musicians find it much easier to find sheet music, most of the time they can download it from the internet for free. Today, sheet music is found on many music sites on the Internet with some giving an option of free downloads.

The Internet has brought forth many resources for musicians, from one-click access to research of songs, pieces and bands, to easy access to catalogues full of thousands of instruments and other products that can be ordered and shipped directly to them with a few simple clicks. As pieces of music get complicated for the person playing it the notation of the music becomes more complicated and the difficulty to the compose the music becomes harder, because of all this you will learn how to write the music as you go along. There are literally thousands, if not millions of musical pieces for violinists to play.

To have a good grasp of the notes for a guitar a good suggestion is that you learn them slowly and with concentration. Most violin music is written in the middle C so when producing notes they are written on the treble clef. When you learn a piece of music with traditional sheet music you are not just learning the notes you are also learning another language.

How Can I Learn to Understand Music & Piano Playing?

The graceful flourishes of a well-played piano masterpiece are sounds that many people would love to create. From trained professionals to child prodigies, a brilliantly played piano can steal the show. But great lessons are costly and involve scheduling time away from your busy life. So how do you learn how to play the piano or deepen your knowledge of the instrument?

Piano workbooks can provide a solid foundation in theory, an effective practice routine, and piano classics in one package. If you don’t have the time or money for lessons, consider buying a few piano workbooks.

The obvious advantages of piano workbooks are the ability to set your own pace and practice at your convenience. Just sit down at the bench after dinner, crack open the book, and hear your playing improve.

The only downside is that you must develop self-motivation to flourish when studying from piano workbooks. Like any great discipline, you must develop some kind of regimen to progress. With a teacher, you’ll always have someone keeping track of how well you’re doing. By studying from a workbook, you’ll have to keep an eye on your own progress.

Piano workbooks range from those that focus on the basics to those that provide a comprehensive explanation of musical theory. The best offer a good amount of theory, exercise and musical notation. Whatever type of study you are seeking, there are certainly several piano workbooks available that suit your needs.

Some piano workbooks may be a look and listen experience. They may come with CDs that let you hear the examples listed in the book. This is great for the unsure learner who may need more than just text to explain a concept. It’s also wonderful for hearing how an exercise is supposed to be played or how a particular piece is intended to sound.

Many books give examples of practice methods. Be sure to follow their instructions so that you don’t overexert your hand muscles, especially if you are a beginner or trying advanced techniques. Warm-up your hands with simple and light playing for a little while before going into an extended run across the keyboard.

Workbooks also contain essential piano pieces that combine theory and technique into music. The pieces provided range from simple pop songs to classical standards that will put your skills to the test. Piano workbooks often include biographical information on the composers of each piece so that you can learn the history of the instrument.

Besides simply playing, a deep understanding of the piano and pieces composed for it provides an appreciation for musical history.

Piano workbooks can offer an extensive training course to anyone willing to invest the time. Since they’re often compiled by a company, they contain more information than any one person can offer. Though a book can’t make you practice, they can be a benefit to dedicated students. So when you decide to fancy yourself a pianist and set out to master the works of Franz Liszt, consider the tutelage that piano workbooks can offer.

Slow Down Music And Reproduce Any Guitar Solo Note For Note

The number one reason why a musician would want to slow down music is to be able to listen to the notes in a song, especially when learning a new song, that make up a very fast riff, for example a very fast guitar solo, which when played at normal speed just sound like a blizzard of notes

The most common methods used when learning new songs is to either find the sheet music for a chosen song and read how to play it, or listen to the song and learn to play it by ear.

Both methods have their good and bad points.

Taking the reading method first, this is great for those who have studied long and hard to learn to read music, especially if you are good enough to be able to read the music to a new song and play it as you read it, just like reading a book.

However this can have its drawbacks as you are relying on the person who wrote the sheet music to have written it exactly as the song you want to play, which when you take into account how many different versions there are of the same songs, and how many different suppliers of sheet music there are, you can easily find yourself disappointed with the copy that you have purchased.

I found this out many years ago when learning to play the guitar. I would hear a song and then look on the internet to try to find a written version of it either in standard sheet music, or, if you are familiar with the guitar, the tab version, which is basically like sheet music but written for just the guitar.

I soon discovered that there are many interpretations on the internet of how people think a piece of music is played, some very accurate, but the majority are not so accurate and just written as a general example of how they think it should be played, and when it comes to very fast intricate sections of songs like guitar solo’s for example they can, and very often are either left out, or the interpretation is miles off.

This is where playing by ear comes into its own, as you are literally playing it as it sounds, and with practice you can become extremely accurate using this method.

No matter what version of a song you are learning there can be no misinterpretations by others, or the music was written for a different version of the song that you want to learn as you play what you hear.

The major downside to playing by ear, is when you come across a section of a song that is played so fast you just can’t hear what is going on.

Luckily, today you can slow down music to a snails pace and identify every note that you want to play, and without losing the pitch of the song.

Years ago if you wanted to use software to slow down music, apart from being very expensive, it would alter the pitch of the song as you slowed it down, making it a nightmare to play along too, now thankfully with the advancements in software technology this is no longer the case, and is easily affordable.

As a guitarist I think that it is best to employ a bit of both from above and use sheet music, or guitar tab, to identify the chords that make up a song, and then slow music down when you want to learn guitar solo’s or fast fills in the song.

By combining a bit of both you will soon find that you are not only learning songs at a much faster pace, but more accurately too, and by using software to slow music down you will find that you will quickly train your ear to copy even the most challenging solo’s note for note.

Playing in a Music Band

1. Being a team player:

Is about playing together, getting along and having fun. Being a great musician is good, but unless you are a Jimmy Page and in constant demand, then it’s really more important, when playing in a music band, to know how to work with a group of people and get along, be able to trade idea’s and have some fun.

Some musicians are the, my way is the only way type, making your life miserable and a little more difficult. Working with a good team can be real good and very rewarding. When you pull off that near perfect gig together and then reflect after the show, it’s a feeling that always gets to me. The team effort from everyone is what makes playing in a music band rewarding.

2. The people and place

Associating with people outside your band is very important. Get to know your bartenders because if they like you, they can be a big promoter of yours, and also the owners (the ones with the cash) and your patrons and followers (the ones that are there to watch you). Always try to find out what kind of bar or establishment it is, so you know what king of genre it is before your get there so you are prepared. At your breaks, talk to the people, and treat them as friends. Your audience will notice not only your music but also your demeanor and the way you socialize with them. It is great to get that reward of your audience liking your music but when you hear that they also think you are also just a nice bunch of guys, then you can say that playing in a music band is really worth it. When playing in a band, there is a few things to consider:

1. Your stage presence (begins at the start of the gig whether you look like a bunch of amateurs

or whether you look like you know what you are doing).

2. Playing with feeling (you know when you have it and know when you don’t). Even an easy song

played with feeling will sound awesome when you’re all together.

3. Association with the crowd (do not snub your audience, talk to them, they are the ones that will

come back to see you the next time).

4. The music itself (how it sounds, your song selection, how you play together (that team thing).

5. Stay in your comfort zone (if a song is not ready to play out, don’t play it and risk the band’s

reputation) and if someone requests a song that you do not know, then be honest and tell them.

Playing in a music band is about giving. I think the guideline above is a great start for any band that is looking to enhance their performance. If you really enjoy the music you play, you will find getting the feeling of playing together gets easier all the time, and when the feeling is there your stage presence will follow. Stay in your comfort zone.

3. Practice

Practice is time, but very rewarding. If you want to get that feeling, practice!! With the internet and all the magazines today, there are a number ways to learn new things. Online programs are one of the best learning tools, because you can learn and watch on your own time whenever you want. Magazines have all kinds of great articles and also the cheap guitars today are very playable and an excellent value. It does not cost a lot of money to get started playing in a music band. “So belly up to the bar”, as they say, and get that first guitar and an online lesson program and get started today. So practice, practice, practice, if you aren’t making mistakes you’re not learning.

4. Knowing the material

When playing in a band, there’s more to learning a song than working out the chords, solos and lyrics. It is all about the feeling, whether a song is easy or hard Know what the songs are about, and tell the story.

You have everything you need at your disposal to create the feeling, and make each song unique. Effects are OK for short periods; subtle effects are good for long periods. I am partial on this as I play in an acoustic band and like the clean sound. Using a little reverb and chorus on the vocals is fine.

5. Don’t Blame Anyone

Always Remember that playing in a music band is a team effort and nobody is to blame. Don’t be upset or put blame if your audience does not dance or if they do not applaud. Do not blame if you do not get asked back, because it could be list of different things. Do not blame other band members if something goes wrong or a mistake is made, because it does happen from time to time and ends up just creating tension which you do not need at a gig. Do not blame anyone for equipment problems or the way it sounds in the monitors or mains, because everyone is trying to do their best. All of these things will happen and putting the blame on anyone will just make everything worse. All of these things can be solved in a positive manner that also can be a learning experience for the next show or even learning a new song.

6. Have Fun

It is all about the fun and enjoyment, the chances are good that you are having fun or you would not be doing it. One of the biggest things in showing your audience you’re having fun, is looking at them and making eye contact and maybe even give them a little smile, its ok. If you’re have fun, so will the people around you and you will feed off of their energy and they will feed off yours and that makes for a successful show. The practices should be fun because you’re getting together with the band and friends for some socialization, to talk about songs, learning new ones or just thinking about how playing in a music band is what you always wanted to do. Having fun just pushing yourself to be better at what you love to do.

7. The Song List

When playing in a music band your song selection is very important. For instance, if you are a dance band playing covers then your song list should be:

1. well known songs that the audience can relate to

2. have a danceable beat

3. songs that you, yourself, like to play, because the feeling is a lot easier to capture when you enjoy the song.

Deciding what songs to play is, again, a team effort and if anyone in the band has a problem with a song then you should come up with a different song. It should be a band decision. The front man or lead singer will know if he or she can sing it or if it should be changed to a different key to be sung or if it is a song that he/she do not think they can sing, then the band should take a look at the song because it will show to the audience. If any player has a rational strong objection to a song, then find another song, it is not worth trying to sell it to him because it will just end up being a song that will not capture the feeling.

8. Mix While You Play

When the band is playing and singing all together, listen to what you’re doing and see if it fits into the total band sound. If you think that you can do whatever you want and have the sound man fix it, then you are not playing as a team, you are playing solo. Nothing can fix an over played guitar or an over played keyboard. You have to listen to the band sound and make adjustments as you go. Some things to think about: am I leaving enough room for the other musicians to do their thing, am I turned up too loud making it hard for the rest of the band to hear themselves, is what I am doing fitting in with the band sound. There is a lot on this subject, but you really have to listen to the band sound as a whole and do a little mixing as you go. Playing in a band is not easy when you have to try to listen to everybody and just not yourself and the sooner you can do this, the sooner you will be playing in a music band together. When you achieve that, who knows where it will go. Remember it is all about the feeling and the music as a band.

9. Be Positive

You only have to prove this to yourself. Just like being physically fit, this is also about being mentally fit. Just like you run your life, you try to be as positive as you can, and work toward your goals and I know it is not as easy as me writing this article. You have to trust yourself to do what you have to. When playing in a music band you also need to keep positive, this is what will keep you moving forward. Don’t get discouraged when you cannot get the gigs you want or when you want. The positive way of thinking is that we now have more time to practice and learn more songs before the next gig. Life in general is too short to not be positive. Everything tends to work out in its own way. If you try this approach, I hope it helps you as it has helped me. Think about the old saying, the glass is half full, and don’t think of it as half empty.

10. State of Mind

If you are serious about your music and playing in a band, know your own state of mind and what is good for you. Some people have to have a drink before they start because they say it relaxes them, others may need a smoke, but the point is know your limitations your gig depends on it. Playing is more physical that many people think. They always say why are you so tired all you did was play music, but the fact is playing in a music band is very physical and you need to be able to be in the right state of mind and physically fit enough to get through the gig. Speaking for myself, I am in good shape but at the end of a gig I am exhausted, and sometimes sore, from the banging on the floor with my foot or just kind of dancing around and getting into the feeling. The more you give the more sore you get, but it is a good and satisfying sore.

“KEEP THE SHINY SIDE OUT”