How to Keep the Beat in Music

The beat is what you tap your foot to; it’s the steady pulse that keeps your piano playing on track. In fact, to understand musical beats and how they’re measured, look at a clock and tap your foot once [more…]

Common Music Time Signatures

In music, a time signature tells you the meter of the piece you’re playing. Composers decide the number of beats per measure early on and convey this information with a time signature. [more…]

Playing the Piano: How to Read a Key Signature

The key signature of a piece of piano music tells you which notes to play and not to play. Placed just after the clef on every music staff, the key signature lets you know which notes are sharp and flat [more…]

The Grand Staff and Ledger Lines of Piano Music

The grand staff of piano music is simply the treble clef and bass clef joined together with a brace at the far left side. This grand staff (and, yes, it’s really called that) makes it possible for you [more…]

The Treble and Bass Clefs in Piano Music

When using printed music to play piano, the treble and bass clefs identify the notes. A clef’s sole purpose in life is to tell you the names of the lines and spaces on the staff so that you can play piano [more…]

Musical Punctuation: Bar Lines and Measures

In addition to horizontal staff lines, music — including piano music — employs some vertical lines to help you keep track of where you are in the music, sort of like punctuation in a written sentence. [more…]

Musical Note Values

When you listen to piano music, or music from any other instrument, you hear notes of different lengths. The melody of a song is defined as much by its rhythm — its combination of long-, short-, and medium-length [more…]

Playing the Piano: Adding Time to Musical Notes with Ties and Dots

In music, ties and dots are symbols that add more time or length to the notes you play on the piano. If a quarter or half note doesn’t quite cut it, the composer throws in some of these value-adding notations [more…]

How to Read the Rests in Music

Knowing when not to play notes during a song is as important as knowing the notes you do play. Understanding how to read rests will help you keep up with the beat and pacing of the music. Sometimes the [more…]