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How to See the Music reading music

Question: Hi Mr. Frantz,

I thoroughly enjoy reading your website. I have played single-clef instruments most of my life with very little formal piano training. Approximately seven years ago, I began practicing sight reading on the piano, which is substantially more challenging given the two...

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Finger Numbers reading music

Question: I can read notes but I don’t know which finger I’m going to use with that note. I just wish to have sheet music with finger number on every note or notes/number/finger chart.

– Josh Jardinel (Philippines)

Albert’s reply: There are several things in your...

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Bottom Number of Time Signature reading music

Question: What does the bottom number of the time signature tell you about?

– Upneet (Chandigarh, India)

Albert’s reply: In simple meter, the top number of a time signature tells us the number of beats in a measure, the bottom number tells us the note value, or the length of each...

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Beethoven's Fifth reading music

Question: I really hate to bother you with something so trivial, but I am trying to play a game and I’m stuck since I don’t know anything about music. I need to know what keys to press. It’s the first page to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. I have 10 white keys and 7 black...

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Wrist and Forearm Tension piano technique

Question: I’ve been having some tightness and tension in my wrists and forearms lately. I’m aware that you struggled through similar problems with discomfort. Do you have any exercises, stretches, or warmups you could recommend?

Thank you.

– Kevin

Albert’s reply: First...

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"Thinking Fingers" Piano Exercises piano technique

Question: Do you know of Guy Maier? If so do you know the piano exercises he and Bradshaw co-authored, “Thinking Fingers?” The authors advocate practicing these patterns in “impulses” instead of a constant stream of playing. Maier was appalled at the thought of students...

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The Role of Piano Exercises piano technique

Question: I am in my early 50’s, an amateur pianist of intermediate skill level (e.g. I can play Grieg’s Holberg suite; I doubt if I could play Beethoven’s Waldstein sonata).

Some argue that rather than do exercises, one should choose pieces with technical problems and learn to...

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The Most Important Rule of Piano Technique piano technique

There is a rule of piano technique that is sure to do more to advance your piano playing than any other. All amateur pianists I have ever witnessed break this rule every time they play, and doing so costs them their progress and creates frustration and self-doubt.

How many times have we all heard...

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Practicing Technique vs. Music piano technique

Question: Can give us an idea how to go about the mastery of technique? Is practicing technique more important that practicing songs?

– Tejas

Albert’s reply: Practicing actual music should always be preferred to practicing technique. There’s a problem inherent in the very...

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Playing Without Looking at One's Hands piano technique

Question: How does a pianist learn to play the piano without always having to look at his hands as he plays as well as make those octave leaps on the piano without having to look at where his fingers are going?

I would appreciate any tips or suggestions.

– Antwane (Amherst, New York, USA)

...
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Playing Chords Together piano technique

Question: I wonder how I can practice playing chords with both hands so the notes sound together. I’m talking about complex chords which need to be played with almost all the fingers of both hands. Thank you.

– Marina Kolykhalova (Olot, Spain)

Albert’s reply: Playing chords...

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Piano "Wall" (Fallboard) piano technique

Question: Hello Albert,

First of all, thank you so much for this website I appreciate the work you put into all this just to help us!

Here is my question: I play piano on a keyboard at home. But I’ve noticed that when I play on a real piano somewhere else (for example at school) it is kind...

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