YouTube

My absolute favourite resource, by a hundred miles.

You can find ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING here. If in doubt about anything (musical or otherwise) this is the FIRST place I look.

As a newbie piano player, check this out …

You Can Play It


You see those boxes “Left Hand” “Both Hands” etc? Watch what happens when you click on them!

Go on, just do it!

Awesome or what?

Click the “Watch On YouTube” button on the video, then click the “Subscribe” button just below it. This will add their channel to your “favourites” list so you can find all their stuff.

Also visit their website “youcanplayit.com” for more of their exciting stuff.

Music Room

MusicroomMusicRoom supplies “Everything For The Musician”. I get all my sheet music from here, and the service is flawless.

One neat feature of the site is the facility to view the sheet music you are thinking of buying, and switch it to any (musical) key you fancy. When I was in my early days of playing I would switch everything to key of “C” – all white (physical) keys.

You can then listen to it being played, to make sure you have the right tune and the right arrangement. Then you just pay for it and print it.

I can be playing it within a few seconds of finding it.

The sheet music comes in various levels of difficulty, and you can choose just plain piano, or piano plus vocal, or any of a dozen different arrangements. I opt for piano and guitar, because it includes the guitar chords. Chords are chords, whatever instrument they are played on, but I like the visual presentation that guitarists use.

The search facility is superb. Search by title, by composer, by artist, etc. Get it in single sheet, or in a song book. If you can’t find what you’re looking for just ask (by phone or email or contact form) and the response is immediate. Lovely people to talk to. Very enthusiastic.

The website is well worth a visit. It is musicroom.com


Education

Music Theory

An excellent reference source musictheory.net


Tools

Virtual Instruments

Virtual PianoVirtual Piano
Virtual Piano is an on-line piano, and I love it. It’s brilliant. Great fun. Lots of value while learning. Oh! And it’s free. Oh! And it’s a great source of sheet music, at all levels, also free. What’s not to love?

Notation Software

This works just like Word or Notepad, except that you write music. And you get to hear it played back.

These are superb tools for speeding up your learning. I have learned way more about reading music, from these writing tools, than I have from any other single source. And there are loads of free ones around.

You can simply experiment with writing the tunes that you already know, then edit them, add bits, remove bits, play them back extra slow so you really get to know how they work.

Massively informative.

Finale Notepad

My personal favourite. For speed and simplicity.

Don’t confuse Finale Notepad with Finale. Finale is a full-blown program, at a price, but the “Notepad” version is a cut-down freebie.

I couldn’t find a decent video demo of Finale Notepad, so I might have to create my own at some point. But this will get you by for now. 
And here it is demonstrated along with some of its competitors. Well worth a watch, if only because it shows what is “out there” and what is possible.

As you can see, ScoreCloud outguns everything, and has been described as the musical equivalent of “Google Translate. But it comes at a price.

Yes, I know ScoreCloud says it’s free, and that’s not un-true, but the free version is restricted to 10 tunes, and the score is watermarked. Finale Notepad has no such restrictions.

There some excellent alternatives to Finale Notepad.

By way of comparison, take a look at Notion for iPad. I might have to get this (when I can afford an iPad). It looks great.

And here is StaffPad

Others to consider are

  • At a Price: MagicScore, Forte Home, QuickScore Elite, MusicTime Deluxe, Noteworthy Composer, MusicMasterWorks
  • Free: MuseScore, LiliyPond, Musink Lite, Musette, EasyABC

MuseScore

I have recently decided to move from Finale Notepad to MuseScore but only because it’s available across all my devices – PC, iPad, Android Tablet, Mac – and Finale Notepad isn’t (yet?).

It’s not half as easy to use, initially, as Finale Notepad, but I’ll get used to it in time.

Here it is. Be warned, it is a fearsome tool. But you don’t have to know all of it. Just find the Finale Notepad equivalent bits and stick with these.


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