This page provides my unique piano tips:
First, know the musical alphabet A-G only. Do exercises to help you memorize the note names better. One way to do this is to do "the skip." Every part of a basic chord consists of skips. If you are having trouble reading lines or spaces, this technique will help you.
For example, the A versus C dilemma via places below the staff called ledger lines. C is just below the first line of the staff.Skip two notes (a space and a line and go to A. The A will show a line between the top of the stem and the notehead. Skip another two notes, you'll see two lines between the stem and the notehead.
An essential piano fact is that the grand staff is made of 5 lines and 4 spaces.
Another tip is to know common acronyms for the two clefs of the grand staff. For example, in the treble staff, the common acronym for the lines is: Every Good Boy Does Fine.
The bass clef acronym for the lines is: Good Boys Deserve Fudge Always.
For the spaces, the acronym in the right hand is Face. F- A- C- E. The spaces for the bass clef are All Cows Eat Grass. From these essential theory tips you can go up or down the grand staff trying to memorize all note names in the continuous alphabetic pattern. Think of these acronyms as bench marks to read from!
This and other facts and tips are in my forthcoming E-book Mini Facts and Tips On Piano. This page will be updated as soon as the book is out. If you want more piano tips, the Music Notation Page has some of the basic theory behind reading the piano.
Another piano tip that you will want to try is playing with your eyes closed. Or you could play with the lights off. Then, pick one random note on the piano with your eyes closed and play all the notes from that note up to the next note that sounds the same eight steps higher.
After a few lessons doing this, gradually add note names. See the music theory basis page for detailed drawings with all the note names completed. Get the note names down and try closing your eyes and playing each note from a starting pitch up to a pitch that sounds the same while saying the names of the notes you're playing. Repetitions of this exercise will help beginning pianists solidify note names, familiarizing those names with their pitches.
SMP Primer Level: This is like the kindergarten level of piano playing. This is where you start out learning pitch, learning how to read music and so forth.
SMP Level 1: 1st grade of piano music. You've already learned the basic piano tips and skills. Now you are graduating to playing simple melodies sometimes putting two hands together.
SMP Level 2: 2nd grade of piano. You have learned basic melodies but now, you're putting basic right hand, left hand technique to good use. Also, you will start using dynamics, expressions, subtle finger gestures, and so forth. You also learn phrasing. You should be in late elementary school (if you are a kid of course) by the time you've reached this level, though it is not the same course for all people.
SMP Level 3: Early intermediate level for piano where hands will trade off doing chords in one hand while the other does moving patterns. In depth phrasing and form are presented in this level.
SMP Level 4: Fourth Grade for piano. In this level, beginning pedal technique with the feet and advanced dynamic markings, as well as crescendos, decrescendos, diminuendos and the like are all added in. More trading off between melody lines is present in both hands.
SMP Level 5: In this level, you start having what's called layered piano parts where one hand holds a note on one finger and the other fingers of that hand play the notes in the second layer. Phrasing and dynamics are continually reinforced.
SMP Level 6: This is an advanced intermediate level of piano music. In this level, layering in both hands is introduced along with all the other technique in previous levels.
SMP Level 7: In this level, you have smaller note values (i.e. eighth notes and sixteenth notes in many passages). Advanced terms such as mordents, turns and other unique ornaments embellish the landscape.
SMP Level 8: In this level, you'll encounter microphrasing, more frequent trading off between the right and left hands, as well as increased embellishments along the way.
SMP Level 9: At this level, bigger chords like 7ths, 9ths, 11ths and 13ths dot the landscape as well as accents and more advanced phrasing and dynamics come into play (i.e. accents, louder dynamics).
SMP Level 10: Advanced level for piano. Adult stage of piano. In this level, you will conquer advanced technique such as layers in both hands, cross hand technique, increasing agility or speed in note value, multiple patterns for both hands, etc. Dynamics and touch are clearly worked out.
I have a piece of information that I would like to share with students and teachers of beginning piano. Here is my list of repertoire for piano basics.
If I may also refer you to my music page where I am scheduled to publish some great beginning piano pieces for students of all levels.
If you are still in need of some piano tips, the next page has some arrangements of famous piano pieces that could help you in your quest as a piano player.
If you are in need of some basic knowledge of the language of piano music, such as "What do certain markings and symbols mean in piano," then treat yourself to this free piano starter book.
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