How To Read Music

1. Be sure to focus on the music book when you play piano or keyboard. If you're constantly watching your fingers when you play, you won't read the notes effectively. Develop a habit of "eye off" your fingers when you start working on the sight reading skills.

2. Once you start playing piano from any sheet music, you need to start counting the tempo and rhythm. This habit is very important in the beginning. Rhythm is the pulse of music. If the music piece only has quarter notes, you will count 1, 2, 3, 4 (4/4 rhythm) or 1, 2, 3 (3/4 rhythm). If the music piece has both quarter notes and eighth notes, you need to count 1 & 2 & 3 & 4, etc. Two eighth notes equal one quarter note. When you count 1 & 2 &, you're breaking up the rhythm into smaller segments of eighth notes (half beat) so that you can count it out as you play.

3. Whenever you're working on a new piece, clap the rhythm while you count it out loud. It's helpful to write down the rhythm on the music sheet. In the beginning always count the rhythm to establish a good habit. This habit is essential in the long run.

4. Whenever possible, always practice each hand separately. Focus on one hand at a time. Once both hands are efficient at their parts you may then play with both hands.

5. Always practice a small portion at a time. Never go beyond 4 measures when first starting. Remember the joke: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Covering too much will cause frustration.

6. Relax and be cheerful! It's extremely frustrating when you can't play what your head tells your hand to do. Remember, practice make perfect.

You can try the read music techniques with our easy piano sheet music.

We highly recommends the piano lessons on Sight Reading exercises and Piano Rhythm exercises to help you read music notes faster and better.

sight reading piano