Mastering how to play an instrument takes time, patience, and dedication. You need to practice regularly and intensively to get the intricacies of your instrument of choice. That is why most learners look for sheet music online to practice.
Sheet music is one of the best ways to learn new songs and practice to improve your skills. It is a piece of music notation that shows how to play a particular song in detail. It can be handwritten or printed.
Sheet music follows a common music notation style so that it can be read and understood by everyone. Music notation is the way composers lay out how their song should be played. In other words, music notation is to performing music what text is to giving a speech.
Throughout the history, musicians used different music notation systems but in time, the modern music notation system came into existence. It is known and accepted by the musicians, composers, singers and alike all around the world. This way, you can play a song composed by a musician in the opposite corner of the world or by a composer who lived hundreds of years ago.
You can use sheet music to learn music notation better, improve your skills as an instrument player, and add new songs to your repertoire. Another benefit of being able to read sheet music is versatility. If you want to be a professional performer, you will need to develop an immediate ability to perform a new composition. Imagine playing at a concert and the singer decided to sing a song that wasn’t in the setlist. What are you going to do? If you know how to read sheet music, you don’t need to worry! All you need to do is to read the sheet and play accordingly!
After being proficient in reading sheet music, you can take performance jobs as a piano player. Moreover, you can work with professional studio musicians and touring bands. Such gigs require to be good ad sight reading which is the mesmerizing ability to perform music that you are seeing for the first time. Sight reading is considered as an industry standard in Hollywood film studios, professional recording studios and alike.
The reason behind this requirement is that employing musicians with the ability of sight reading helps projects to remain within their budget. A majority of professional music performers such as piano players belong to a union. Since unions demand high hourly wages for their members in order to ensure that they are compensated fairly, keeping professional musicians in studio for days is very expensive for film producers, composers and recording studios. As a result, they prefer hiring musicians that can read sheet music and perform the song skilfully even in their first or second attempt.
If you want to be a professional piano player or just improve your skills, you need to practice on sheet music. Before taking a closer look at various sheet music resources, let’s discuss the tricks and tips on how to read sheet music.
To read sheet music, you need to know the basic symbols of musical notation: The staff, treble clef, bass clef, note and rest values, dots and ties, and finally, beaming.
Staff: It is made of five parallel lines and four spaces between them. Each of these lines and spaces correspond to a different letter, or note.
Treble clef: One of the two main clefs, treble clef looks like a very ornamental G letter. It notates the higher music registers so music written in treble clef suits higher pitched instruments like violin or flute. Higher notes on the piano are also in treble clef so you can see it in sheet music for piano often.
E, G, B, D, F notes are on the lines and F, A, C, E notes are in the spaces of a treble clef.
Bass clef: Also known as the F clef, bass clef looks like the mirror image of C letter and has a colon on the right.
In opposition to treble clef, bass clef indicates lower registers of music so it is better suited for instruments with lower pitch such as cello or tuba. Lower notes on the piano are also denotated using bass clef.
G, B, D, F, A are the notes on the lines and A, C, E, G are the notes in spaces of bass clef.
Dots: A dot after the note head indicates that another half of that note’s duration must be added.
Ties: Ties are used to extend the duration of a note.
Beaming: Flags and beams are used to denote shorter, faster notes. Beams are often preferred to make the sheet music appear less cluttered.
After you get familiar with the music symbols, your next step is to learn about the beat. In order to keep a beat, you can use a metronome or free apps and tools. These tools help you to play the song in accordance with its time signature.
Once you learned these preliminaries, you are ready to play some sheet music! You can find sheet music in almost any genre and style on the internet. Below we have shortlisted some of the great sheet music resources for you to discover. If you just want to find some high quality music tracks, you can also browse our archive of royalty free music by moods!