How to Read Piano Notes

How to Read Piano Notes

Reading piano notes efficiently is a difficult task, and it is equally difficult to read and play at the same time. This article gives you a brief idea about how to master the art of reading music notes and playing a piano simultaneously.
Playing the piano is an extremely pleasurable activity, and I say that out of experience. Piano notes are sometimes also known as 'sheet music'. Musical notes or sheet music is nothing but a different symbolic language that is used to write down music or musical compositions and this style is accepted universally. A genuine advantage that musicians experience is that the cultural and language barriers did not become a hurdle when it came to depicting music. Reading piano notes is simple, and if you follow the rules meticulously and practice religiously, then few months' time is enough to make you an expert at it.
The first thing you need is a good dictionary of musical notes. You are bound to come across countless symbols and their variations that would be beyond your understanding at first. Keeping a dictionary handy is definitely advantageous as musical notations are a language in itself with a vocabulary of their own. The dictionary will help you understand sheet music and the various musical notations as well. Other books that you might refer and which may help you get started are the ones with nursery rhymes and one with scales and chords for simple tunes and songs.
Staffs, Stave, and Timing
The first thing that you notice about sheet music is that it is written upon staff and stave. Staffs are horizontal lines that indicate the pitch (scale and notes), and bar lines are the vertical lines that indicate the timings (basic rhythm) of the composition. The bar lines are divided according to the rhythm of the song. The rhythm or timing is depicted in numbers at the start of the staffs, such as 3/4 or 4/4. Next, we move on to the notations and clef.
Notations, Rests, and Octaves
The notations are written in the form of a 'note' (dot or hollowed dot) or a 'rest' (small rectangle). The notes G-B-D are the ones which are written over the lines. The note E is written on the bottom line. Consequentially, the notes F-A-C-E are the ones that do not overlap the lines, but are written between the lines. Now these notes, are modified according to time signatures such as a hollow dot, which means a note played for 2 measures.
Playing as You Read
The next step is the most difficult one, as it involves playing the music as you read the notes. My piano teacher told me a simple trick which made things a lot easier. He said, "imagine the notes and rests to be dots on a scalar graph". Well it does help a lot in the initial stages till one masters the technique. This will take some time, hence you need to be very patient and dedicated.
Practice, dedication, and patience are the keys here. You need to feel the notes as you read them. Play as you read and feel what you play. While your brain registers the notes, let your heart feel their melody.
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