For many people, key signatures can be a somewhat daunting prospect. You look at a piece of music with 5 flats on a page and you have no idea what to say. Maybe you have been playing this song by yourself and now you are playing it with a group. They ask you what key it is in, and you can’t answer, you don’t know. Well I am here to […]

Perhaps you are reading this and not even knowing what I am reffering to. Or maybe you are, but just don’t know how it’s used. Whatever it is, I hope this post will help you learn it. As you will find out, it really isn’t that difficult. Scientific pitch notation is a way of writing out not just what note is being referred to, but the octave as well. Although […]

Sometimes musicians can be confusing. We tend to talk in “code” so to speak. We say things like “arpeggio” and “sostenuto” In fact, it can even seem like we are speaking in a different language. Sheet music is particularly hard to understand. What is being said? In this post I would like to give you a few musical terms that you should know if you want to be (or, at […]

Suppose you want to learn to play an instrument. But the problem is you don’t know which one! The choices are seemingly unlimited. How do you narrow it down? You can’t play them all, in fact, to start, you probably can’t play more then one. So which one to choose? Here are a series of questions that can help you decide which one is right for you. 1. What kind […]

Here, as promised yesterday, is the guide to learning an instrument without a teacher. The steps are remarkably similar to that of learning by using a teacher, but there are some distinct differences. 1. Decide which instrument you want to play This is still number one on the list. You must know the instrument you want to play before you can get started. Look for a post soon on how […]

Where did music come from? This is perhaps one of the most intriguing questions in the whole field of music study. It had to start somewhere, but where? Perhaps you have never thought about it. In this post I will present a couple of theories, but I leave the decision to you. The theories on the origins of music depend greatly on what worldview you are coming from. For example, […]

We all think we know what we mean when we say “music.” But do we really? Most of the time we can listen to something and say whetheror not it is music. No one would argue that Lady Gaga makes music (I don’t care if you like it or not, don’t be a hater). But what about when we get to the boundaries of music? When is it that something […]

In going back and reading my previous posts in these series, I realized there are a few things I left out. In this post I want to go back and cover those things. Dynamics One very important thing in music is dynamics. We have to know when to play to play loud and when to play soft. To the right you can see the most common dynamic markings. The “p” […]

This is part 3 of my series on reading sheet music. If you are unfamiliar with how to read notes, rests, and rhythms, please go read part one and/or part two. Although simple notes can be used to make some nice melodies, we need more. Notes need modifiers to make them sound the way we want them. Although there are literally dozens of different modifiers that you can find. There […]

This is part two of my series on sheet music reading. If you have not read Part 1, and are unfamiliar with how to read notes, I suggest you read it here. In sheet music, notes are only part of the story. Although they are incredibly important, there are many other things that occur in sheet music that you need to know about. Rests are a good example. Although music […]