Music Is Easy, Page 2
These free music
lessons go over some
material that I've already
covered but the big
advantage is that they
have video.
Learning Music
This is a totally new approach to learning music. The focus is on "How Music Works".
We have just seen how something that would look like three different things, if you didn't
understand it, became basically one thing.  Whatever way you choose to learn music, the
information here will help you to be a better student. I'm going to be giving you the  basic
inside info that will help you figure out the best way for you to learn. Should you learn to
read music? Is playing by ear the best way? What about music theory? Why do some
take lessons for years and get nowhere, while others that never took a lesson become
stars? What is the key to making music easy? All these questions will be answered. The
next free music lesson  
Schools Of Music will get into more detail on  the different ways to
learn music.
©2008
fingers of the left and right hand numbered for keyboard playing
We are going to play our the melody for "Some folks Do" on the keys of our keyboard, in
three different musical keys,  by finger numbers without music.  This song is a do, re, me, fa,
so song. When you learn what notes of the scale a song uses, it is very easy to play it in any
musical key. First we will learn to play do, re, me, fa, so in the three musical keys and then
we will learn to play the melody of the song in three musical keys. The picture below, to the
left, gives you the numbers for the fingers of each hand. As you can see, you start with the
thumb as finger number 1 and then you continue consecutively from there until you get to
the pinkie as finger number 5. We are just playing the melody so we will only need the right
hand. Position your thumb over any c on your keyboard. Play up and down c, d, e, f, g, f, e,
d, c using the finger numbers as shown on the keyboard below. Now position your thumb
over any g and play the notes from g to d in the same way. Finally position your thumb over
any f and play the notes from f to c in the same way, except notice that your fourth finger
plays the black key below b instead of the white b key. It's very easy to find your starting
note. Notice the pattern of two and three black keys. C is to the left of two black keys.  G is
in between the first two of three black keys. F is to the left of three black keys. This is shown
on the keyboard picture below. If you start in the middle of the keyboard so that the c that
you start on is middle c, it will sound like the sound sample below. The letter name of the key
board key that your thumb plays is the letter name of the musical key that you are playing in.
The sound sample below plays this pattern, first from middle c, then from the g above middle
c, then from the f above middle c and finally from middle c again.
Playing By The Numbers
 keyboard note locations for playing Some Folks Do in three keys
In this section, we are going to learn a lot about music but won't have to read music as
we learn to play the melody to "Some Folks Do" in three keys. Some one who can
already play may find this a bit simplistic but don't skip it.
Some of the secrets that
make music easy will be revealed. Look for the bold text.
 When we play the
melody of a song we are concerned with two things. What note do we play and how long
do we hold it. First the timing.
The timing is the same no matter what key you play
or sing the song in.  
As you can see and hear from the examples above, we have two
four bar phrases for a total of eight bars. The 4/4 tells us that there are four beats to a
bar with the quarter note getting one beat. We can see how the words cry, sigh and you
are held for four beats. The word do is held for two beats. All the other words are just
one beat. Listen to the sound sample above, again, as you follow along with the words. I
keep the rhythm simple by playing a backup chord on every quarter beat. I keep one
beat silent at the end of the verse to help you keep track of where you are in the song.
All this helps you follow the count. It plays once with the melody, twice without the melody
and finally once more with the melody. Count along with the beat 1, 2, 3, 4 over and
over. Then sing along with the song karaoke style.
Timing The Melody
What are The Melody Notes
How do we figure out what note to play. Look at the hand and keyboard pictures, that I
have repeated below. You can see that if we went by the letter names of the notes, we
would be looking at three different sets of letters for our song. There are at least ten
different keys in common use. That would mean ten different sets of notes with different
letter names. On a music staff, they would be in ten different places. That is what makes
music seem so hard.
What if we could get it down to one thing. What is the
common factor. The common factor is the major scale sound. No matter what
musical key it's in, "Some Folks Do" is always the same in terms of do, re me, fa
so.
Singing a song in terms of the universal scale tones is called solfeggio.  Do will
always be the note that is the name of the key. Below we have the song using that
instead of the words. Try singing the song using the solfeggio names for the notes
instead of the words. The other thing that is common for many keys but not all is the
finger numbers. Scales that start on black keys sometimes require a difference in
fingering. But below the do re, me fa, so example  let's look at the most common
fingering.
This means that all you have to do is position your thumb over the
note that is the name of the musical key and use the same fingering to play the
melody for every key.
Don't forget that in the key of F you use a black key instead of a
white key on finger four. Now try playing the melody of the song in all three musical keys
on a keyboard. For now just play the melodies by themselves. In a few lessons, I will
show you how to play your own backup chords. Below there is a midi sound sample for
each key, with just the melody.
Fingers of the left and right hand numbered for keyboard playing
keyboard note locations for playing Some Folks Do in three keys
Keyboard Design
Why is a key board like it is with full length white keys and shorter smaller black keys. As
you can see, if the black keys were the same length and size as the white keys, it would
be impossible to spread our fingers far enough apart to cover all the notes. This
becomes critical when we play chords later on. For chords all the notes have to be
played simultaneously. Also, as you saw when we played in the key of F, the black
keyboard key is always in place of a white keyboard key. It is substituted for an adjacent
white key. You will later learn that in different musical keys, a black keyboard key is
substituted for a white keyboard key, sometimes above and sometimes below it. By
making these black substituting keys short and small, so that they don't change the
spacing of the white keys, we keep the spread of the fingers of our hands reasonable
and possible. It becomes a little awkward when we have to play a short black key with our
thumb but some times we can avoid that by changing fingering. At least it's not
impossible.
4/4  some, folks, like, to; cry, -, -, -;

some, folks, do, -; some, folks, do, -;

some, folks, like, to; sigh, -, -, -;

that's, not, me, or; you, -, -, -:
Learning Songs Without Music
Even though I will eventually be showing you easy ways to read and use musical
notation, we are going to start by showing you how to play songs on a keyboard without
using music. In the example above I just gave you a keyboard picture and told you what
to play. For actual songs, we will use the keyboard pictures, plus a simple text based
system. Songs are divided up onto bars or measures. We will mark off or separate these
bars or measures with the semi-colon. Each bar has a certain number of beats. We will
mark off or separate these beats by commas. Music notation always has a fraction at the
beginning that tells you how to count the song. The top number tells you how many beats
or counts to a bar or measure. The bottom number tells you which type of note gets one
beat. So 4/4 means four counts or beats to a measure with a quarter note getting one
beat. In our first song, we only need one beat quarter notes, two beat half notes and four
beat whole notes. Dashes will be used to extend notes. If there are no dashes, it's a
quarter note, which is held for one beat. If there is one dash, it's a half note, which is held
for two beats. If there are three dashes, it's a whole note, which is held for four beats. We
will use a colon at the end of a song. The one verse below of "Some Folks Do" is an
example of everything we just discussed. Listen to the sound sample, as you follow along
with the words. First we have the chords and melody. Then we have the verse twice with
just the chords so that you can sing along karaoke style. Finally the verse is repeated
one more time with the melody.
4/4 me, me, me, me; so, -, -, -;

fa, fa, re, -; me, me, do, -;

me, me, me, me; so, -, -, -;

re, fa, me, re; do, -, -, -:
4/4 3, 3, 3, 3; 5, -, -, -;

4, 4, 2, -; 3, 3, 1, -;

3, 3, 3, 3; 5, -, -, -;

2, 4, 3, 2; 1, -, -, -;
Solfeggio
On the left, we have the finger numbers for the
right hand to play "Some Folks  Do" Just position
your thumb over the any keyboard note that is
the letter name of the key and use those fingers,
holding notes where indicated. You will hear the
song in that key. Make sure you play the
substitute black key for the key of F. The
keyboard below shows you playing G and F
above C but you can also play below or
anywhere else on the keyboard
Some Folks Do In C
Some Folks Do In F
Some Folks Do In G
On the left we have midi sound samples of
the song "Some Folks Do" in three major
keys C, F and G. It is just the melody
without the chords. Notice how the melody
is the same for all keys but sounds higher
for F and G. That is because we play from
the F and G above C. If we played from the
F and G below C, the melody would sound
lower. You may have to click on the player
to activate it before you click on the play
arrow to play the sound sample.
Some Folks Do In C, F And G
Do. Re, Me, ,Fa, So in C, G And F
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