The treble clef tells you that the notes are to be played on the right side of the piano.
The F clef indicates that the notes are to be played on the left side of the piano.
These letters are used to indicate the various different parts of your sheet music. They allow you to follow the audio and video recordings more easily.
These arrows show you when to play with the left hand. This helps you to synchronize your left hand in relation to your right hand.
When you see notes written in a vertical formation (as above), it means they must be played simultaneously. Notes placed in brackets are included as suggestions to enrich the sound. You can choose whether or not you wish to play them.
Scores are divided up into several fragments determined by vertical lines. These sections are called « bars » ; they all contain the same number of beats, which means they all have the same duration (even if they do not always look the same size).
An octave is the interval between one note (a C, for example) and the first identical note found either to the right or the left, on the keyboard (the next C along).
The lines on which we write the notes are like the rungs of a ladder: the notes climb up or down these lines.
In order to recognize the notes quickly and easily, it is best not to have C as your unique reference point as it means that you always have to count in relation to C in order to find the other notes. Practice dividing “C D E F G A B” into 2 groups of notes:
Practice saying “C D E” (rising) and backwards “E D C” (descending).
Practice saying “F G A B” (rising) and backwards “B A G F” (descending).
This way, whenever you read the name of a note, you’ll naturally look for it in the first or second group of notes, using C and F as your main references.
This equation indicates that the song runs at a speed of 80 crotchets (type of note) per minute (in other words, 80 beats per minute (bpm). By setting a metronome to the figure indicated, you can practice playing at the correct speed.
The 2 figures indicated at the beginning of the stave (set of lines on which the notes are placed) tell you up to how many beats each bar is allowed to contain: the lower figure indicates the type of note chosen as a reference for the writing of the score (2 = breve, 4 = crotchet, 8 = quaver, etc.); the upper figure indicates the maximum number of reference notes each bar may contain. For example, 4/4 tells you that each bar may contain 4 crotchets at the most - or the equivalent of; 6/8 means 6 quavers at the most (or the equivalent of) per bar.
This is a “sharp” sign. It means the note is to be played half a tone higher.
This is a “flat” sign. It means the note is to be played half a tone lower.
“Permanent” sharps and flats for that particular piece of music are indicated at the beginning of the stave to avoid having to write them each time the notes in question appear. If, however, another sharp or flat note needs to be played, this is indicated in the appropriate part of the score (the sharp or flat sign is placed in front of the note in question). When such a sign is encountered, it is then applicable for that note until the end of the bar in which it appears: beyond that bar, the initial rule applies again.
This is called a “natural sign”. It cancels out sharp and flat signs.
These Repeat Signs indicate portions of the score to be played again.
When you reach a you must backtrack in the score, playing forward from the first reversed repeat sign you see: (if you do not find a reversed repeat sign beforehand, you must play again from the beginning).
These repeat signs are often combined with “boxes” indicating what to play, depending on whether it’s the first time around (enter box 1) or the second time (enter box 2):
This sign is that of a sustained note or pause. It shows that the musician may linger on the note or pause above or below which it is placed. It’s as though the piece of music was suddenly relieved of its rhythmic constraints, lingering a little before starting off again. The duration of this “stop” is left to the musician’s discretion.
C, Gm, Asus4, B6… :
These letters and figures are internationally-recognized chord names: A, B, C, D, E, F, G. The “m” indicates that the chord in question is minor. The figures indicate embellishments and suspensions.
This means The End.