Why Pop Piano Sheet Music Sounds Wrong

If you come from a classical piano background, you may know very well the frustration of downloading the sheet music to your favorite song only to be disappointed when you actually start to play it. Hey, wait a minute! This doesn’t sound right! You have discovered the great divide between the classical notation world and modern piano playing.

Depending on what version of sheet music you found, a few things probably happened.
1: The music was dumbed down to accommodate less skilled players. You look at measure after measure of whole notes and half notes and know this can’t be right. The song doesn’t have these long notes in it. Too simple sounding.
2: The music was transposed to an “easy” key so more people can play it, even if it isn’t marked as an easy version. Sometimes you have a few options of what key to download, but if you don’t have the music in the original key, it won’t sound at all like the recording. Worse, if you or...

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Why Your Piano Lessons Didn't Stick

I hear it far too often from people. “I hated piano lessons, but I really wish I had stuck with it.” This tells me two things: one, that more people want to play piano than can currently play, and two, that piano training, for the most part, has failed to help people achieve their goals.

Diving further into this, I discovered that the common thread through most of these folks was traditional, classical based piano lessons (with more than a few strict teachers who liked to yell a lot). Think “Twinkle, Twinkle” or something from Bach or Mozart. For those interested in playing more modern music, and I would argue this is the vast majority of people, that style of lesson was tedious, difficult to practice, slow to learn and didn’t really help them play the kinds of music they wanted to play. Every single one of them eventually quit lessons and proceeded to forget everything they learned, simply because it didn’t apply to the music they were interested...

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