Music Theory Quiz Challenge: Think Can You Get All 20 Correct?

Calling all musical brainiacs! We’ve consulted with our fellow music theory geeks to bring you one of the most difficult music theory quizzes around. From notation’s most trying nuances to ultra-tricky time and key signatures, only the most deft music theory students will get an A+ on this quiz. So buckle in and prepare to test your music theory expertise!   Be sure to share your score and challenge your fellow musical friends on Facebook/Twitter. Want to put some of your knowledge into practice? Find particularly challenging sheet music in these former Musicnotes Blog  posts Three Piano Songs that are Nearly Impossible to Play Test Your Technique with Challenging Guitar Tab Selections The
Continue reading…

Learn how to read leadsheets

Learn How to Read Lead Sheets: The Theory Behind Music’s Most Versatile Pages

If you’ve searched through the Musicnotes.com catalog, you may have noticed pieces scored as “leadsheets.” If you’ve looked at a lead sheet, you may have asked yourself “Where are all the notes!?”  A lead sheet is a type of sheet music arrangement used by many instrumentalists, bands, and even vocalists. They may only be a page or two, but their uses are many! In this blog, we’ll go over some of the advantages of using lead sheets versus traditional piano/vocal/guitar arrangements, discuss what other useful information a lead sheet provides and find out how using a bit of music theory can open up new doors for our playing.  So, what’s
Continue reading…

Improvisation tips

Begin Putting the ‘Pro’ in Musical Improvisation

Perhaps the ultimate display of personal musicianship and expression, improvisation is a fantastic component to any developing musician’s study. Learning to play spontaneously isn’t easy, and it’s certainly a skill built on trial and error. However, there are a few things beginners can do to aid in their mastery of musical improvisation. First, you might be thinking, “I’m not a jazz guy, what do I need to practice improvisation for?”From Bach to Beethoven, improvisation has a storied history in classical music, allowing composers to show off their skills and attract attention and admirers. A recent study has even suggested that musicians who train in improvisation are able to unlock their
Continue reading…

How to transpose sheet music

Music Theory Lesson: Learn How To Transpose Music

Digital sheet music aficionados like yourselves already know how easy it is to transpose your digital files into any key you want with a simple click of your mouse. However, if you’re playing from a non-digital file (gasp!) , it’s great to know the basics of music transposition. Additionally, just as a budding mathematician studies algebraic laws, it’s important for us musicians to have a firm grasp on the theory behind what creates all those emotive, provoking sounds, and learning how to transpose music will help with just that! Transposition is simply the process of changing the key of a piece of music. Any major key can be transposed into any other major key, and
Continue reading…

Did you Ask Musicnotes? Read about the Melodic Minor

While many of your questions were related to transpositions, music notation and symbols, and learning how to play piano or guitar, there were a few that were quite technical like this question about the melodic minor. We’d like to address this question here today for our advanced music lovers out there. I have been teaching piano for over 15 years and have taught the 3 kinds of minor scales, but I have never understood the origin or the purpose of the melodic minor. I have continued to teach it along with the natural and harmonic minor scales so that if my students continue on with their music education they will
Continue reading…