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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…]

Using a MIDI System with Your Digital Keyboard

An acoustic piano does one thing — produces piano notes as you press the keys. But, with a MIDI system attached to a digital or hybrid keyboard, you can connect to and communicate with other keyboards, [more…]

Note Names in the U.S. and U.K.

In the world of music, you may encounter different names for the many notes used. The U.S. and U.K. standard terms differ, but the U.S. names — which were originally translated from the German names for [more…]

Extending Notes with Dots and Ties

All notes have a certain value, indicated by the size and shape of the note, that determines how long a pitch should be held by the voice or an instrument. Sometimes, however, you want to add to the value [more…]

Understanding Simple and Compound Time Signatures

Written music always contains a time signature, which looks like a fraction and is found at the beginning of a piece of music. In the time signature, the upper number represents the number of beats per [more…]

Measuring the Distance between Pitches with Intervals

The distance between two musical pitches is called an interval. Intervals are important to music because they build scales and chords. In other words, music gets its richness from intervals. Composers [more…]

Creating Music with Chord Progressions

A chord progression is a group of chords that you use to create music. Some chord progressions just sound better than others, so it pays to experiment. The following table, which shows commonly used major-key [more…]

How to Breathe Fluidly during Piano Exercises

Breathing is an integral part of piano exercises — after all, it's the model for fluid motion where the end of an inhalation is the beginning of an exhalation. When you play the piano think of the music [more…]

How to Warm Up Your Wrists for Piano Exercises

Before you begin piano exercises, warm up your wrists, shoulders, and other body parts. Doing so helps the physical component of playing the piano by heightening awareness of your body and the way you [more…]

Piano Exercise: Practicing Chord Relaxation with a Two-Chord Progression

Aspire to play chords with a relaxed approach — that is, don't hold tension in your hands, arms, and body. You do need a certain amount of muscle tone and firmness in the finger joints to play nice, solid [more…]

Two Piano Exercises for One Hand on Top

Try these two piano exercises, which give you some practice with top/bottom hand positions. The exercises are fun to do on the piano and provide a visual treat, yet they can be tricky and challenge your [more…]

Piano Exercises For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Piano exercises can improve the way you play and heighten awareness of your mental and physical approach to the piano. Warm up before piano exercises by stretching and contracting your wrists; and then [more…]

Common Keyboard Terms and Abbreviations

Keyboard manuals use all sorts of abbreviations and terms you may not be familiar with. Understanding this common keyboard terminology can help you make the most of your electronic keyboard. Here are some [more…]

Considering Great Keyboard Accessories

When you unpack your new keyboard, you'll have the basic accessories you need to operate and play it. But adding other cool accessories can improve and enhance your keyboard playing experience; some accessories [more…]

Being Aware of Major Keyboard Companies while Shopping

Knowing a bit about the keyboard manufacturing landscape while keyboard shopping gives you an idea of all the instruments available. The following list of keyboard companies is a helpful introduction to [more…]

Keyboard For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Playing keyboards takes you on a journey that goes far beyond just playing the music. You have to keep up on a lot of tech talk and sift through a wide variety of gear and manufacturers. [more…]

Taking Chords to the Next Level

Put a few keyboard notes together and you have a chord.Basic chords (called triads) are built on three notes: the root (the name of the chord), the third, and the fifth. These names refer to the note's [more…]

The General MIDI, or GM, Sound Set

MIDI is a digital language developed in 1983 that allows instruments and devices to talk to each other by sending various messages back and forth. These messages include performance gestures, such as what [more…]

Having Some Fun with Keyboard Learning Features

Many brands offer entertaining ways to allow the novice player to have fun with music. Learning to play doesn’t allow for shortcuts; that’s why a good teacher can make all the difference in whether students [more…]

10 Great Recordings for Each Type of Keyboard

If you're looking for inspiration from great songs but don't know what pieces highlight your particular type of keyboard, the following lists will set you on the right path. Each list presents ten songs [more…]

How to Make the Most of Your Keyboard’s Basic Features

Your keyboard is brimming with features and cool capabilities, like any self-respecting tech product these days is. You can just turn on your keyboard and start playing, and you’ll have a great time. But [more…]

Advanced Digital Features of Keyboards

Many of the keyboards have pretty advanced features — some that you would’ve thought you needed a computer to do. Keyboards now commonly include some form of recording so that you can play and then listen [more…]

Key Feel and Response of Keyboards

The design, feel, and touch of the key mechanism (commonly called the key action) used on modern keyboards can vary a great deal. Understanding how key actions work and what each offers can help you differentiate [more…]

When to Use a Real Acoustic Piano Instead of a Keyboard

The acoustic piano is a highly evolved, complex mechanical thing that is beloved in every culture. As good as digital keyboard equivalents have become, a few aspects of the originals remain out of reach [more…]

How to Choose a Keyboard for the Beginner

Being a beginner isn’t easy. Maybe you never took a lesson or even touched a keyboard except for using the one on your computer to send a few e-mails and post pictures of your cat. Now you want to start [more…]


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