Piano instrumentals still play a key role in almost any song. Even electric dance music (if your into that kind of music) can be started off from a keyboard.

Let's just dive straight into the topic of this article, which is how to read the music sheet (I've included examples and a quick video demonstration further down).

The perception of most people regarding reading the music sheet is that it is a hard thing to achieve. The fact is, if you know your way around it, there are simple but useful tips and tricks that will make your learning process easier and faster. 

In this article, we will take you through a detailed step-by-step guide on simple but effective tricks and tips that can make you read the music sheet easier and faster. 

Simple but Effective Tips to Consider

Before we delve fully into the tips that will aid your learning process, let’s quickly go through some fantastic tricks that will help you in discerning written notes faster and without stressing yourself. 

  • The first tip is to commit more time to master your scales. This will not only help you in having an improved hand placement but also improve your muscle memory which will, in turn, enhance your reading skills and allow you to read the music without having to place much priority on your hand. 

This is certainly not what you can achieve in just a twinkle of an eye. Thus, you’ll need to commit a lot of time and effort if you want to accomplish this. 

Also, examining the piece before playing it is another way to aid your learning process. Getting yourself familiar with the piece will help in boosting your confidence and make you relax since you’d have mastered the difficult parts of the piece. 

In addition, to aid your learning, you can mark the essential part of the paper. 

Furthermore, you should always try to identify the annotations, tempo and time signatures. These are the key factors that will aid you in playing the piece correctly. 

However, all these can’t be achieved without your dedication and constant practice. Hence, you need to stay focus, relax and maintain a cool breathe throughout the process. 

Beginners Step-by-Step Guide To Reading Music

There are simple but effective tips on how to read piano music sheets in a step-by-step process. These steps are pretty straight forward, once you get used to it, and if you can adhere to it, it will surely pay off. Let’s examine some of the steps. 

The first step is learning the notation symbols, which comprises of the clef, notes, and staff.

The Staff

The staff is known to be the base of any piano sheet. It consists of five lines and four spaces and each of these is represented alphabetically (A-G). 

sheet music
  • RIGHT-HAND LINES: Every Good Boy Deserves Football
  • LEFT-HAND LINES: Good Boys Don’t Frighten Animals

The Clef

Left (bottom is bass clef) and Right hand (top is treble clef)

The clef, on the other hand, is further subdivided into two— the bass and the treble clef. The treble clef is usually for an instrument like the piano, violin and other high-pitched instruments. It usually reminds most pianists of a swooped encircled ‘G. While the bass clef, on the other hand, is generally used for an instrument with a lower-pitch and registers like the tuba. 

The Notes

piano notes

The last on the notation of the symbol is the notes. It comprises of the head, stem, and the flag. The head is either black or left plain-white in color depending it sits above or below the staff line. While the stem is represented by a thin line that could be pointed downwards or upwards, and it doesn’t have any impact in any way you choose to play the note. 

The flag, on the other hand, can be located in the right part of the stem. It denotes how long a note should be held. For example a note with one flag is called an eighth note and get’s half a beat. A note with 2 flags is called a sixteenth and get half the time of the eighth.

It’s important to remember the note values will only make sense when related to each other.

Another tip you have to consider is to know whether the note is opened or not. This depends on the beat of the note. For example, an ideal fully-opened note-head that doesn’t have a stem will have four beats, while a closed note-head with a stem will have a single beat. 

The notation is represented in several ways, even though it specified an extension in the duration of a specific note. For example, adding a dot after the note, or tying it together indicates that you have to hold the notation a little longer, while beams between notes mean a notation with a shorter duration and a faster tempo. 

Furthermore, if you are analyzing the time signatures, there are two things you must consider and that is the top number which represents the number of beats per bar, and the bottom number which indicates the value per a single note.

A Little Example Of Musical Notation

Imagine The Left Hand Single Notes Are Represented By Single Dots
The Right-Hand Notes Are Represented By Three Vertical Dots

This is very similar to how musical notation works. Can you see the similarities below?

Watch The Video Demonstration Now

The moment you master the art of discerning notations, then playing melodious songs will be a walk in the park. During the learning process, you’ll surely make mistakes but don’t be discouraged because that’s part of what makes you a human. 

You should also make maximum use of technology by downloading some free note apps. They will come in handy during your learning process. 


If you have passion or dream to be a great pianist, then nothing can stop you from achieving your aim if you are ready to commit your time and energy to it. 

Reading music sheet may seem to be an arduous task in the beginning; however, with time, you’ll get used to it and master it sooner than you can imagine. Don’t you ever give up!

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