Piano Practice and Revision


Well done on reaching the final lesson in this series!

In order to learn the piano as quickly as possible, I strongly recommend that you play the piano as much as you possibly can. Try going to the library and getting out books of sheet music or do an Internet search for pieces that you love. There are lots of sites online that now offer sheet music free, or at a fairly reasonable price. Sheet music is available for popular songs of all eras, in a variety of levels of difficulty from beginner to advanced. For example, if you enjoy love songs of the 1980s and 1990s, you should be able to find easily find arrangements for these online or at the library. I always found I was much more enthusiastic about playing popular songs that I knew really well rather than pieces I had never heard of! Songs from musicals are also good to play to as they have catchy melodies and are fairly easy to play.

Here are some good online sheet music sites to try:

http://www.free-scores.com

http://www.sheetmusicarchive.net

www.composermusic.com

http://musicaviva.com

www.virtualsheetmusic.com

www.freesheetmusicguide.com

www.music-scores.com

www.pianostreet.com

Also, try listening a recording of your favorite song and then picking out the melody on the piano. One tip though: you will generally find that ballads are much more rewarding to play on the piano than rock songs, as rock is usually written for the guitar and doesn’t translate well to the piano.

This final lesson contains two exercises and a piece that focus on helping you revise components of music that we have learned over the last twenty lessons.

The first exercise is a series of chords – rather difficult to handle, but once you learn them you will be rewarded by the wonderful, rich and resonant tones they produce.

The key of this exercise is E flat, so remember to flatten the notes B, E and A. Also, watch out for the naturals that appear!

The second exercise contains something a bit different from what we have covered so far: the melody is played in the left hand. This is hard to negotiate at first: as the weaker hand (for the majority of people), the left hand can be harder to coordinate. The key of this piece is B flat major.

And the final piece for these lessons is probably the most difficult! It is quite syncopated, so make sure you spend a lot of time listening to the audio and tapping out the rhythm. The steady beat of the left hand only serves to accentuate the unexpected nature of the right hand melody. But then that is what syncopation is all about, surprising you by emphasizing the off beats!

You should definitely practice this one with separate hands before putting them together. Take note of the fingering in Bars 5 to 6, where your index finger has to cross over your thumb onto D.