Musical theory is not really complicated but it may intimidate many of the beginner piano learners. But as you begin to develop understanding of musical theory, you will find out that it is not only easy but learning it would make learning piano a whole lot easier especially for beginners. Musical theory proves as a great resource and a right key to learning to play piano. You will find many pianists who may have learnt piano without paying much attention on its musical study. But when you want to become an expert pianist, two components are essential; one is to have one of the best pianos for beginners and the other one is learning of basic musical concepts.
Learning Musical Theory for Beginners:
Many a times, you will find beginners struggling with basic learning of musical concepts although if learnt step by step; it is pretty simple! So here we are sharing some simple steps that would serve as a guideline to beginners for learning theory of music in relation with a specific instrument which is piano.
Musical theory tells you how music operates and it will give you understanding of what are the essential components of music on piano.
Learn Identification of Keys: First and foremost significant learning aspect is to look for identification of keys on piano. Before you begin practicing and learning musical theory with piano, you should know keys on your piano.
Learn Notes and Scales: When we talk about western music, you will find 12 basic notes that are sometimes also termed as Chromatic Scale. These can be notified with letters starting from A to G. There will be full steps and half steps. Half steps are called flats or sharps and they will be notified with b and #. For example: AA#/BbBCC#/DbD and so on.
A combination of eight tones is termed as an octave. Most of the basic musical tones are an octave. A combination of three or more notes is termed as a chord. If you gain good hands on some of the simple chords, you will be able to play different songs. Most commonly used chord notes are C-E-G, G-B-D and C-F-A.
On the other hand, a range of ordered musical notes is termed as a scale. You would need to gain familiarity with the common Major and Minor scales in most common keys like C, G and F.
Learn Staff and Clefs: Staff is actually the base over which notes are drawn. Usually the modern version includes 4-5 lines where each of the line represents keyboard’s white key.
Clefs whereas works for assignment of notes to lines and spaces. Treble and Bass clefs are the most commonly used clefs.
Learn about Ledger Lines: Ledger lines works well when you are out of space for placing any note. These are small lines that are drawn so that you can place your notes well above the space.
Learn Notes Duration: Talking about basic types of notes durations, there are five of them including whole note, half note, quarter note, eighth note and sixteenth note. The longest one (hollow circle representation) is of whole note that has a standard 4/4 time with 4 complete beats. Half note as the name says is half to a whole note and it has a line added to hollow circle representation of whole note. Quarter similarly is 1/4th of whole note, eighth is 1/8th and sixteenth is 1/16th. Representation of these notes would be quarter having a block circle with a line over top, eighth having a block circle with flag over top and sixteenth having a flag with two leaves.
Learn Time Signatures: Time signatures are actually elements defining what kind and what number of notes is included in each measure? (Measures hereby are division of staff by vertical bar lines).
Tips for Learning Musical Theory:
Learning musical theory may seem to be a little boring in the beginning but as you learn these basic foundations, you will be progressing much faster and will actually begin to have fun learning. Learning musical theory gives you a wider spectrum and thus makes you a versatile musician. The ones we have listed here are the basics of theory but there is much more to it.
Here are some tips that would help you in gaining a good grasp on musical theory:
- Go slow with learning and practice whatever you learn on piano.
- Test yourself on a regular basis to see if you can really make out difference between different basic terms and elements of theory for example a major and minor chord, a whole note or half note etc.
- Take help of some beginner’s theory learning books that work as a self-guidance and are really easy to follow for beginners.
- You may also take some private lessons for learning musical theory and practicing piano.
- Try to remember notes with acronyms and group them together. This will ease up the job of learning for you.
You will be able to gain technical perfection, will gain more confidence and will improve faster when you have a strong foundation laid for learning in the form of knowledge of musical theory. Understanding of theory would enhance your musical skills and will motivate you to learn more while having fun with your instrument. You will actually love playing music by manipulating different aspects of musical theory. There are endless possibilities for you to be as much creative as you want once you have hands on musical theory. It takes time and efforts but it truly would be all worth of it.