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How to learn to read sheet music

It is clear that learning to solfeggio is something fundamental to improve. Students have to learn to decipher sheet music, the beat and play the corresponding notes on the piano. In fact, for many newbies, this can end up becoming torturous. However, it doesn’t just happen to them, because it can also be complicated for self-taught pianists as well.

Although this last group uses tablature more often, it is easier to find the sheet music for a song than the tablature.

Many newcomers to the world of music are completely unaware of what these terms mean or refer to. That is why we are going to go from the basics:

A score is a text written in musical language; in this text the sounds, rhythms, instruments, and other aspects of it are written so that it can be interpreted. On the other hand, a tablature, unlike the previous ones, presents only aspects of a musical piece in relation to a certain instrument, such as the positions and placements in it, and not the heights or the duration of the tones.

  • But how do we recognize an easy or beginner score?
  • What details do we need to pay attention to?

You should be able to find beginners piano sheet music pdf to download from various websites online.

Some of the details are discussed below:

The sleight of hand

To begin with, it is important to observe the sleight of the hand. On the piano, the right hand plays the melody, while the left hand handles the chords. The truth is that it is difficult to coordinate the hands at the same time, but it is something that you will learn with time and practice (even if it is difficult at first). However, many sheet music gives you multiple chords that go to the same beat as the melody.

To know if a score is suitable for beginners, pay attention to the lower staff, which is the one that corresponds to the left hand. To start, it is best to choose sheet music with few chords and opt for those with a simple melody.

A slow pace

The rhythm of a song greatly influences its difficulty. The faster the rhythm, the greater the difficulty of the song, since the pianist will have a hard time respecting it and following it properly. That is why you should not lose heart if you find yourself with a difficult fragment: to practice and practice.

For example, make sure your sheet music doesn’t have symbols like dotted notes or triplets. The latter indicates a rhythm that is too complicated for the first apprenticeships.

What the dot does is add duration to the note, adding half of the value it already has (for example, if a white note has a time of two beats (two quarter notes), a dotted white note will have a duration of three beats (three black)). The triplet acts in a very similar way although with even greater complexity. That’s why we recommend that beginners start with easy-rhythm sheet music.

The movement of both hands

Not only do you have to pay attention to the left hand playing and the rhythm, but you also have to pay attention to the position of the notes. If your hands have to make a very long jump to go from one note to another, you may be making life a bit complicated for yourself with that fragment. To make sure that this does not happen, we recommend that you watch the videos of other pianists that you can find on YouTube or on other video platforms on different internet pages. In them, you will be able to observe how to place your hands correctly and if you see that they move a lot, it means that the fragment is still difficult for your level.

Therefore, it is important that you be aware of the notes are very far from each other. In other words, if a note is in the lower part of the staff and the next one is in the upper part, there will be a very large space to cover between them and that will cause you great difficulty. In that case, it is best that you leave that score or postpone it for later. It is important that motivation is sustained in any learning, therefore, avoiding constant frustrations and carrying out the exercise of advancing little by little, is a fundamental aspect so that you can sustain your practice on the keyboard.

The sharps and the flats

They are known as solfeggio “feints” and represent the black keys on your keyboard. Again, these types of techniques will complicate your life a bit. When starting out on the piano, it’s best to focus on playing white well first and leave black for a little later.

To avoid them, you’ll want to start by choosing scores that don’t have symbols like ‘b’ or ‘#’ on their staves. And forget about any sheet music that has any of those symbols at the beginning of the staff, because it means that all notes have to be played like this. I mean, an incredible ordeal for a newbie.

You should start with scores without feints, so as not to complicate yourself too much. And if your favorite repertoire is full of them, try to limit the number of feints in the score. This will save you time and motivation, but then, what repertoire should I look for my scores from?

Piano sheet music for beginners: English pop-rock

In the Anglo-Saxon part, there are also some songs that can help beginners. As with many other styles, English or American pop-rock songs can sometimes be very slow. This is sometimes tiring, but for pianists who have just started, it is wonderful to gradually get used to the movements of the fingers and the positions of the hands.

In these songs, smooth and slow rhythms are often great allies for piano learners. Also, since they are well-known songs, it is always a pleasure for the artist to learn them and play them at gatherings with friends or for family. On the other hand, it does not matter what piano you play: it can be a digital keyboard, a grand piano, or an upright piano, but the important thing is how much fun you will have with them.

Here is a shortlist of potential songs to play as you learn to play the piano:

  • You’re Beautiful by James Blunt.
  • I’m Yours by Jason Mraz.
  • Sorry seems to be the hardest work by Elton John,
  • Imagine John Lennon.
  • The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel.
  • How to save a life by The Fray.
  • Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself.
  • Chasing Cars from Snow Patrol.
  • Hello from Adele.

However, there are many other sheet music that you can turn to, both on the Internet and in specialized stores. Don’t forget to ask the vendors for advice, because they will also be able to offer you songs to play as you advance in the exercise of the keyboard and in your knowledge. Don’t stop working on the piano chords and the solfeggio method to go faster and play more and more songs.


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