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Reading Intervals vs. Notes

Question: My daughter is currently learning (almost a year now) and I am learning with her. My challenge is music notes. When I play, I am kind of simply comparing the position of the note to the...

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Playing by Ear and Sight Reading

Question: When I was 8, in 1974, my mother sent my to the Cleveland Music School Settlement, in hopes I would learn to read notes to play the piano. I never could catch on. However, I can play be...

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Piano Tablature

Piano tablature (or “piano tab” for short) is an abbreviated method of music notation. While used for modern pop music, the idea is nothing new: Tablature for keyboard instruments has...

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Learn to Sight Read Music

Question: I learned piano through the Suzuki method, and when it came to piano theory, I was aurally-dominant enough to fake it, too lazy to want to learn, and not smart enough to know what I was...

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How to Write Music Notation

Question: How do you write music notation of songs or hymns? How do you concentrate on musical beats?

– Rozario (India)

Albert’s reply: If you’re new to writing music, you...

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How to See the 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...

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Finger Numbers

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....

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Bottom Number of Time Signature

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...

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Beethoven's Fifth

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...

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Wrist and Forearm Tension

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...

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"Thinking Fingers" Piano Exercises

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...

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The Role of Piano Exercises

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).

...

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The Most Important Rule of 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...

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Practicing Technique vs. Music

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...

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Playing Without Looking at One's Hands

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...

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Playing Chords Together

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...

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Piano "Wall" (Fallboard)

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...

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Piano Scales

10 Expert Tips

New: Major Scales for Piano for free download

A thorough study of piano scales is vital to playing musically and with confidence. Nonetheless, while virtually all piano music has...

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Piano Pedal Problem

Question: How would you stop a pupil lifting their heel when using the pedal?

Albert’s reply: To resolve this pedal problem you’ll need to show your student that good piano pedal...

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Piano Hand Positions

Question: Where do your hands go when you are beginning to play a song?

– Bob (New York, New York, USA)

Albert’s reply: You’re referring primarily to hand position here, and...

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Piano Hand Position

Question: How should you place your hand while you’re playing the piano?

– Oliver

Albert’s reply: The hand should be curved in a smooth arc, roughly forming a half-circle.

If...

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Piano Exercises

There is no more necessary evil in piano playing than piano exercises. I would love to be a musical idealist and deem all such exercises superfluous, as what piano students should really be doing...

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Piano Exercises for the Left Hand

Question: I would like to know what exercises I can do to strengthen and train my left hand. I have been searching the internet and have only found a few, but there are thousands out there. Any...

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Piano Exercises for Finger Independence

Question: Hello Albert,

Firstly, many thanks for the positive feedback you have given me to my questions which is a tremendous help.

My question today relates to technique, working the fingers in...

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Piano Chord Voicings

Question: Hello Albert,

Often bringing out or emphasizing particular notes within a chord is required, as in e.g. Schubert’s Moment Musical, Op. 94 (D.780), No. 2, where the higher notes of...

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