Por tanto, el espacio que hay entre esa linea y la superior contendra la nota La, la tercera linea sera el Si y el siguiente espacio por encima el Do, etc. Y en realidad seria asi a no ser por un detalle importante: hay muchas mas notas de las que caben en un pentagrama. En la imagen superior se muestra el teclado de un piano con las notas que abarca el pentagrama.
En algunos casos se utilizan las llamadas lineas adicionales que no son mas que lineas imaginarias que se colocan a continuacion de las cinco lineas, ya sea por encima o por debajo.
Con ello se incrementa el numero de notas que se pueden anotar en la partitura, pero aun asi siguen habiendo notas que se quedan fuera. Si las notas siempre se escribieran en la misma posicion en la partitura es evidente que no cabrian las de ambos en un pentagrama. La solucion es usar diferentes claves al principio de la partitura que de alguna manera ajusta la partitura al rango de notas que se quieren representar.
Siguiendo con el ejemplo para el violin se usaria la clave de Sol, que abarca un rango de notas mas bien agudas.
El contrabajo por su parte usaria la clave de Fa, que se mueve por un rango de notas mas graves. La clave de Fa quizas no es tan famosa y conocida como la de Sol, pero tambien es muy importante. Como ya habreis imaginado la clave de Fa recibe este nombre porque indica la posicion de la nota Fa en el pentagrama. Por tanto una clave no solo indica una nota de referencia sino tambien una altura, cosa aun mas importante. Por decirlo de un modo sencillo, cada clave abarca una franja de notas diferentes de modo que cada instrumento utilizara la clave que se ajuste mejor al rango de notas que utiliza.
En el caso del piano se utilizan dos pentagramas: uno con la clave de Fa para las notas mas graves que habitualmente toca la mano izquierda y otro con la clave de Sol para las notas mas agudas que normalmente toca la mano derecha. El origen de las claves esta muy ligada a la del pentagrama, que como ya sabeis nacio de los cantos religiosos de la Edad Media.
Pero incluso asi habian temas que eran mas graves o mas agudos de lo habitual y en estos casos habia que usar muchas lineas adicionales, lo cual era engorroso y confuso. El problema se soluciono cuando alguien tuvo la idea de hacer que las notas en la partitura no siempre estuvieran en la misma posicion sino que fueran todas relativas a un punto de referencia.
Here is an overview of the music theory you will need for this class.  See your notes from our January 14th class for additional information. 2) It’s also important for you to know what key your song is in.  We’ll talk about that more later.
A sharp (#) indicates that the note is raised to the next highest piano key.  This can be a white key moving to a black key or a white key moving to a white key. A flat (b) indicates that the note is lowered to the next lowest piano key.  This can be a white key moving to a black key or a white key moving to a white key. Now we’re ready to look at information to help us reach the second goal (list way up at the top of this page).  It’s time to figure out what key our piece of music is in. Sharps and flats occur in a sequence, which makes this all much easier because it is an unbreakable rule. However, the good news is that there are a few simple guidelines which will help you massively when writing your own chord progressions. Learn these and you will be able to play lots of different songs and easily use them in your composing. Circle Chord Progressions are progressions where the chords seem to naturally follow on from one another. Have a listen to the audio examples for each (again, each recording contains an example in a major key followed by an example in a minor key). I have put together this cheat sheet to give you the basic chord progressions in every key! Search over 300,000 sheet music arrangements available instantly to print or play in our free apps.
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We will do our best to help you find what you want Because we wish to become the top seller for you. You don’t need to know all the following stuff, but maybe it helps you to understand your guitar and the music a bit better. All other things I discuss here (harmonics etc.) are the same for acoustic and electric guitar.
There are several methods to tune your guitar, divided in two basic principles: tuning with equal and tuning with just intonation. Get an E from a tuning device to tune the E-string and then tune the A string while pressing the (low) E-string down at the 5th fret.
I you have a tuning fork (a very stable tuning device!) it is most likely producing an A with 440 HZ. Equal tuning is the common tuning in western (not only country *grin*) music and is also used for piano and keyboards.
To be true, you can not play guitar in just intonation, because the frets are adjusted to give equal intonation (except you play slide or remove the frets).
This is also the sequence of notes on the A string of our guitar from the open string to the 12th fret. More important than the note itself is the interval, the difference in pitch between the notes. The sharp and flat signs are also often used to describe scales or chords using intervals: a 7b (also written b7) simply means the seventh note is lowered a semitone to a minor seventh, the correct shortcut would be m7. If you want to hear what we are talking about, use one string of your guitar to play a scale.
If you play classic Blues only all you need is the Blues scale, which is derived from the simple minor pentatonic scale.
The name of the notes is much older (ancient Greek) than the system of the scales and modes.
Another way to understand it is to divide the scale into two parts, each containing 4 notes. The melodic minor scale (2-1-2-2-2-2-1) fixes the 3 semitone gap problem of the scale before.
The principle of using modes gives us an easy way to understand which chords can be used within a scale.
The ancient Greeks (the guys who build the Acropolis and invented coined money) were among the first who introduced musical scales. The G mixolydian scale (also written myxolydian) as a mode of the C major scale contains only notes from the C major scale, these are G-A-B-C-D-E-F-G. That means: move the minor scale down three semitones and you’re in the parallel major scale of the same key!
You can use the scale generator to view all positions of these scales and modes on the fretboard.
If you change from minor to a major scale in the same key, you get the parallel scale by moving down three semitones (or frets). I found that some books and websites mixed up the definition of relative and parallel keys! Example: you play a solo in E minor pentatonic at the 12th fret (first fingering pattern), and you change to the major pentatonic by using the same fingering pattern starting at the 9th fret.
The dominant chord scale is achieved by moving up a perfect fifth, the subdominant scale by moving up a perfect fourth as well as (!) moving down a perfect fifth (this is also called the cycle of fifth – if you step from fifth to fifth and repeat it over and over, you will go through all notes and end back at the root note!).


Now we can drop a smile to the keyboard player: these steps are pretty easy on guitar, because our guitar is mostly tuned this way!
The difference in pitch between two notes it is called an interval (see above), no matter if you play them together or one after the other. Important for the Blues (and other music styles) are the tonic (as the root), the dominant and the subdominant.
When you play these chords you hear that the A chord drifts away from the root and the B wants to come back to it, it sounds like it’s waiting to be resolved back to the E chord. Note that some triad result in major chords, written in upper case, while other result in minor chords, written in lower case.
As you may have noticed already, the Blues chords are not just the major chords but mostly seventh chords (7th). These chords can also be used for the A minor scale, because it’s the relative minor to the C major scale and has therefore the same set of notes.
Once again, the naming is not consistent (The notes for example 5b or m5 are identical, it’s just called 5 flat or minor fifth). The lines are not the strings, they just determine the tone pitch, and the different dots tell you the length of a note (which is the big drawback of tablature!).
If you have a notation without any # or b at the beginning, it’s written in the key of C. Going to the next note, F, we can see the principle of this notation: every step from a note on a line into the next note between two lines (or from the position between the lines to the next line) is the step from one note to the next of the scale. If we have a song which is not in the key of C major (or A minor, see above), it’s time consuming to put an # or b to every note. Finally, a guitar is tuned one octave lower than a piano for the same note on standard notation. Don’t worry too much about scales, chords, progressions and all the stupid namings that were given to them. Every guitar player should be able to play it, with this scale you cover about 50 % of all folk, country, christmas and other non-Blues music styles.
Also called the cycle of fifth, it’s a very common graphic that illustrates the key signatures. For Blues guitar based on the I-IV-V progression this circle makes it simple to find the right chords. Cuando queremos referirnos a la musica de un modo grafico lo mas habitual es encontrarnos con este signo tan curioso lleno de elegantes curvas. El centro de la espiral siempre rodea una linea del pentagrama y sobre esa linea se ubica la nota Sol. Haciendo un simple calculo se obtienen un total de 9 notas: cinco notas encima de cada linea y cuatro en los espacios entre ellos. Si metemos las del violin las del contrabajo quedarian muy por debajo y habria que poner una infinidad de lineas adicionales. Se utiliza para la musica de instrumentos mas bien graves como el citado contrabajo, el violonchelo, instrumentos de viento graves como el trombon, etc. Antano fue muy popular pero ha ido cayendo en desuso y actualmente se utiliza para musica de viola, trombon tenor y fagot. De modo que inicialmente las partituras se usaban para melodias cantadas que no usaban un rango muy grande de notas con lo que habitualmente todas cabian perfectamente dentro del pentagrama. La clave de Sol durante el siglo XVII y XVIII solia ponerse encima de la primera linea del pentagrama y recibia el nombre de clave de violin francesa. With the electric guitar (and amplified acoustic) you just get some more (electrical) methods to change your sound, like distortion, wah-wah and feedback.
The tension of the string also affects the tone pitch: the more you stretch, the higher the tone.
If all strings would have the same diameter, your guitar would be unplayable – the tension of the strings would differ from totally loose to over-tight. To get the second harmonic of a string, press down the string slightly at the 12 fret (or use a slide). This A on our guitar is on the 5th fret of the high E-string or the harmonic produced at the 5th fret of the A-string. Looking at the fretboard we see 12 frets for an octave, that means 12 different notes we can use. Instead of this (we love it complicated), the notes are named by the notes of the C major scale: C-D-E-F-G-A-B. Including the octave a heptatonic scale (like the major diatonic scale) has 8 notes, the pentatonic scale 6 notes. Each of these scales has a certain tonality or sound, determined only by the intervals – the number of steps, their order and size. You know already that a fret is equivalent to a semitone, so you can simply start playing all this stuff without learning scale patterns. If you want to extend your playing and to understand why some chords can be played and others not, you should take a look at the other scales. The 2 semitone step from from the 7th to the octave of the natural minor scale is shortened to one semitone. Now we raise the 6th note by a semi tone and get – yes, almost the major scale except the beginning 2-1 interval. They named their main 8-notes-within-an-octave scales after their biggest tribes: Dorian, Phrygrian, Lydian and Mixolydian. If we start on each note of this scale and go up using only notes of this scale we get different modes with different intervals. Compared to the G major scale you see that the seventh note is flattened (F instead of F#).
Although there are still some artificial scales, imagine the number of variations to select 8 notes out of 12, we’ll stop here.
You’ll get these by strictly building up triad chords with only notes from the scale.
As long as you play with this chord, you can use the D scale (both minor Blues and major pentatonic). Playing two (strictly: three, two notes are a double-stop) or more notes together is also called a chord. Instead of this, the sign is written at the beginning and on the line of the notes which should be concerned. In other words, to enable useful working with standard notation for a guitar, the guitar is played one octave higher on the treble scale than tuned.
The outer circle is moving clockwise in the dominant direction, that means each note is followed by it’s fifth note. Si lo hicieramos al reves entonces serian las del violin que quedarian muy por encima del pentagrama. Tambien la guitarra, la mayoria de los cantantes y los instrumentos de viento mas agudos como la trompeta, etc. Then move on to using secondary chords (II, III, VI) to develop your chord progressions further. This is directly comparable to our guitar string, which also looks like a sine function: open strings have always a lower tone than pressed strings.
This frequency is a headstone of music, it’s defined as an A and has a fixed position on standard notation.
This physical property is very useful for Blues guitar: it is used for string bending and vibrato. Among the overtones of the open A string, vibrating at 110 HZ, is also the 440 HZ overtone.


When you play with a pick, you get another sound than with fingerstyle: a pick generates more of the higher harmonics, a fingertip more of the lower harmonics.
This is also the reason why a bridge pickup gives another sound than a neck pickup: the neck pickup (the one EC preferred during Cream) sounds fat (more lower harmonics) while the bridge pickup sounds more twangy due to the higher harmonics.
If you flatten perfect intervals (unison, fourth, fifth and octave) by one semitone, the result isn’t called minor but diminished. This gives a slightly different sound – not only when playing melody lines but also when building up the chords using the scale notes.
Example: the A minor scale is the same scale (and fingering pattern on the fretboard) as the C major scale.
Most chords have at least three different notes, and the chords that have intervals that are a 3rd apart are called triad chords. It does not fit into the G major scale, but it’s OK for the mixolydian scale, which already contains the m7. Standard notation is like many other things in music theory developed from the C major scale. 2 and 4 on the E string) that are not described in this notation, because they don’t belong to the scale. If you play this note with a guitar, it’s one octave lower than the same note (not pitch!) on a piano (anybody still reading this? There are much more signs you have to know if you write in standard notation, but this is enough to get some licks or chords. A half note is just played half the time of a full note (looks like in this case mathematics still work). That means that standard notation for a guitar is different to standard notation for a piano.
A guitar has a range from 82.4 HZ to 880 HZ (from the open lower E string to the 17th fret of the higher E string, with harmonics you can get even higher).
Instead of this the vibration of the guitar strings (must be metal, nylon doesn’t work) generates an electric current in the coil(s) of the pickup. You can use this to change your sound, use your fingers for a deep Delta Blues and a pick for a cool Chicago sound. If you have a dim7 chord (we’ll need it later), the last note is a 7bb, which is a 6.
Perfect intervals got their names because they sound perfect due to their frequency relation, an octave also can always be divided into a fourth and a fifth. We build up a scale by using some notes of the chromatic scale, usually 5 for pentatonic or 7 for heptatonic (the most common) scales.
This is important because we don’t need to learn new fretboard fingering patterns – we just have to shift them 3 frets! Later the musicians of the Christian Church adopted the system to their needs – and changed nearly everything reversing the order, changing the starting note and now calling it mode instead of scale. That means, not only the 3rd note is lowered a semitone, but also the 5th note, so that all notes have the same interval. Two things come to mind: the scale must be great to play over dominant seventh chords (because it already includes the flatened 7th!) and it contains the complete major pentatonic scale as well as the minor pentatonic, except the 3b.
When you do the same for the dominant chord of this scale (like B for the E scale or E for the A scale) you get the (tataa!) dominant seventh (7th). If you really want to know how a Blues in G# may sound, take C#(IV) and D#(V) – easy! These vibrations can be generated very nice for example (what a coincidence) by a guitar string, which compresses and expands the air around it when picked. This current also has a wave form, is amplified by your Fender Twin Amp or Marshall 4×100 Combo and converted back to acoustic waves by the speaker.
In this case there’s not much difference to the normal tone, because both have the same wavelength. So the musicians decided to use a mathematical 12 tone scale, based upon the 440 HZ A and spreading the error over the scale. Instead of using all notes we only use a part of them, this set of notes is called a scale.
And, to complete the confusion, in some European countries the B is named H and Bb is named B.
But the problem is that this step can consist of a different number of semitones: from A to B is a second, called major (=big) second, from A to Bb is also a second, called minor (=small) second. If you have a piano or keyboard by hand, take a look at the keys: playing only the white keys means playing the diatonic C major scale starting with a C, playing only the black keys means playing the pentatonic scale. Pentatonic scales do not contain semitone intervals, so they are not diatonic scales (but they can be derived from diatonic scales by omitting some notes).
Out of names they also introduced some new, so that for example the good (=Greek) old Lydian scale became the brand new Ionian mode. BTW – combining major and minor pentatonic results in the mixolydian scale plus the 3b! In other words, combining major and minor pentatonic results in the mixolydian scale plus the 3b. You can go through the whole circle and end after 12 steps (the 12 notes) again at the starting note. De modo que en las partituras mas antiguas podemos ver una letra G al principio en vez del simbolo que conocemos.
Every note gets a little bit out of tune, not much at all, and all instruments tuned this way can play together, regardless of the key. There are two common types of scales, those containing 7 notes per octave (called heptatonic) and those containing 5 notes per octave (called pentatonic). The octave ratio are the smallest whole numbers that are proportional to the scale ratio and frequency (multiplied i.e. So the modern modal system uses some names of the old Greek system, but with a new meaning, and also added some new modes (ionian, aeolian or locrian, also Greek tribes) to get a mode for each degree of the scale.
Con el tiempo la letra G fue deformandose y transformandose finalmente en el signo que todos conocemos hoy en dia.
On the other hand, a minor interval is any interval that inverts into a major interval and a major interval is any one that inverts into a minor interval.
Note the enharmonic notes, which have the same pitch but different names like G – Abb. That’s again confusing, especially because the same number of semitones can get different names. Finally, an augmented interval inverts into a diminished interval, and a diminished interval inverts into an augmented interval. The important thing is the sound of the fifth chord of each scale – played as 7th it will always resolve back to the root (tonic) chord. This tone interval (12 frets on our guitar, frequency ratio 1:2 physically) is called an octave.
This series continues to infinity, but only a few of these notes have a correlation to the 12 tones we commonly use.



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