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Beginners Guide to Learning Piano

When you play a key, a hammer inside your piano strikes a string to make a tone. When you drop into the key with a LITTLE weight, you make a SOFT tone.

When you use MORE weight, you make a LOUDER tone.

Curve your fingers when you play! (Pretend you have a bubble in your hand Hold it gently so it doesnt break!)

Before you play any key, you should always decide how soft or loud you want it to sound. Always LISTEN CAREFULLY to the music you are making!

Fingers have numbers. When you play piano, it is important to know which finger to use when playing a note. It makes playing piano easier!

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The keyboard is made up of white and black keys. Black keys are in groups of 2s and 3s:

Piano keys are named after the first seven letters of the alphabet, beginning with A. To find A on the keyboard: find any 3 black key groups and play the white key between the 2nd and 3rd black keys.

By knowing where A is, you can work out the rest of the white keys by spelling out the alphabet to G. The key names A B C D E F G are used over and over!

Music is written on a STAVE of 5 lines and 4 spaces.

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Some notes are written on LINES

Some notes are written in SPACES

The BASS Clef



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The BASS STAVE and TREBLE STAVE together make the GRAND STAVE. The TREBLE and BASS staves are joined together with a BRACE.

An easier way to identify notes on the staff is though a mnemonic: A sentence used to help identify the notes that lie on the lines of the Treble Clef staff is: Every Good Boy Deserves Food To help identify the notes that lie in the spaces of the Treble Clef, the word FACE can be used.

A sentence used to help identify the notes that lie on the lines of the Bass Clef staff is: Good Boys Do Fine Always The spaces of the Bass Clef can be identified by using this sentence: All Cows Eat Grass

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There are certain symbols in music that indicates a note on a staff is to be played a key above or below. These symbols are usually referred to as accidentals.

A SHARP sign before a note means play the next key to the LEFT, whether it is a white or black key. The FLAT sign before a note means play the next key to the RIGHT, whether it is a white or black key. The NATURAL sign restores a raised or lowered note to its original pitch. In other words a natural is used to cancel a previous sharp or flat sign. When an accidental appears before a note, the shift in pitch applies to the rest of the bar. Music is made up of short tones and long tones. These tones are written in notes, and we measure their lengths by counting. The longest note is a SEMIBREVE the whole note. It is worth four counts.

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Another long note is a MINIM the half note. It is worth two counts.

A CROTCHET is regarded as a short note the quarter note. It is worth one count.

Another short note is a QUAVER an eighth note. It is worth half a count. If there are two quaver notes, it is written with a beam:

Dots can appear next to any note to increase its length. Putting a dot behind a note changes the duration of the note by increasing it by half of its original value.

Look at the following table it reflects the length of each note:

RESTS are signs of SILENCE.

Rests are the same as note values. They represent silence for the duration of the rest. A SEMIBREVE REST is worth
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four counts of silence. A MINIM REST is worth two counts of silence. A CROTCHET REST is worth one count of silence. A QUAVER REST is worth half a count of silence. Music is divided into MEASURES (or BARS) by using BAR LINES in between them. A DOUBLE BAR LINE is used when any movement of the music is complete.

The TIME SIGNATURE is two stacked numbers at the beginning of a piece of music. 2 The upper number indicates the number of beats in the measure. 4 The lower number indicates the value of the note that gets one beat.

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