In today’s lesson, we will practice music reading a little. I strongly recommend you to read the previous article to get familiar with the concept.
Before starting, let me share one of the most efficient ways of learning how to read music. Following these steps might not make you read music notation overnight – but will help you to build a strong music background.
1) Start playing melodies with a small range of notes (2 or 3 notes), and keep adding one more note every day.
2) Identify a note simultaneously in the sheet music and the keyboard. It will help you to memorize notes easily. For example, middle C is not any C – it’s a specific note. Middle C is also called C4 in some books because it’s the fourth C from the left on a standard 88-key piano. If you have middle C as a reference note, it will be easy to know for sure the keyboard location of every other note.
3) Practice with the correct fingering. The numbers above the notes are corresponding to the fingering. The correct fingering will make easier to play and also will help to improve the playing speed.
4) Add the note duration. After playing for a while just the notes, it’s time to add their durations. I recommend you to start with a small number of notes (quarter notes, half notes, whole notes) and when you’re comfortable with that, start adding 8th notes.
5) After playing slowly for a while, try to play using a metronome. You might not believe me, but the metronome is your best friend. It will improve your rhythm and timing; also, it helps you to check your progress over time.
With that said, let’s start the practice:
Each exercise has a music notation and an audio file. Try to read and play the exercise and then listen to the corresponding audio file to check your reading.
a) Play this exercise with your right hand:
Play middle C with finger 1, D with finger 2 and so on.
Now practice the same exercise, but with the left hand:
Here’s how it sounds (80 bpm):
b) Play the second exercise with the right hand:
And now with the left hand:
Here’s how it sounds:
c) Play the following exercise with the right hand:
Now with the left hand:
And here’s how it sounds:
Don’t worry if it seems too tricky. Just keep practicing and soon you will start to feel comfortable with these exercises.
That’s it! Learning how to read and play from a sheet music is not difficult. It might be challenging at the beginning, but it worth the effort.
If you have any questions about it, just write in the comments.