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How to Find Your Way Across the Piano Keyboard Landscape

Linus the Jazz Cat on Kent's piano keyboard, Kent's hand on the keys.
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How to Read Piano Music – Step One: Naming the Piano Keys


Attention Beginning Pianists!

Here’s a musical overview of your piano keyboard, along with helpful hints for remembering the letter-note/note-names of the keys!

VIDEO

Linus the Jazz Cat
Linus the Jazz Cat

 

FEATURED SHEET MUSIC WITH LETTERS

Scroll down for more educational posts!

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Jazz Improv Lesson: A Nice Drill using “Approach Tones” | Free Jazz Tutorial Video

Piano with kent sheet music with letters. piano bar and drums. Spokane, Washington. Photo (c) by Kent Smith @ Piano With Kent | Sheet Music With Letters
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Updated Sep. 5, 2021.


VIDEO LESSON ~~ JAZZ IMPROV TUTORIAL ~~ JAZZ EXERCISES


Hello everyone!

The jazz ‘drill’ in this video is demonstrated on a keyboard, but–of course–it can be applied and practiced on any other instrument, or voice.

This is a chord-based pattern that we will use and adapt for these standard chords: Major, Maj7, Minor, Min-7, Dominant-7….Actually, this concept can applied to any pre-determined chord, such as a diminished or an augmented chord.

Mastery of patterns/concepts like these

  • Can add fresh interest to your improvised lines, by sometimes preceding the “target tone(s)” of a chord with “approach tones.”
  • Will increase your mastery of any given scale, especially as it relates to the underlying chords.

As a result, the repeated act of mindfully (and not mindlessly) practicing this drill can increase your general facility with approach tones, as well as give you (possibly new) theoretical insights regarding chord-scale relationships.


VIDEO

 

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Sheet Music: Lick #10 from “A Study in Blues Piano”

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More Sheet Music for ‘A Study in Blues Piano’

Updated Aug. 5, 2021.

Hello to all blues piano students!

Here’s a downloadable PDF file of sheet music covering Blues Piano Lick #10, for optional use with my course “A Study in Blues Piano” (all on this site).

This sheet is part of a supplemental collection I’m putting together, in response to recent requests.

Cheers!

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The Amazing Tetrachord: How to Instantly Visualize Any Major Scale

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How to “Permanently Learn” Every Major Scale using the Major Tetrachord

UPDATED: July 20, 2021.

I’ve had lots of happy feedback about this lesson, ever since I first posted it on YouTube.  People are basically saying that this is the easiest way they have found to learn the notes of all twelve major scales, quickly and painlessly.  I learned about tetrachords in my college theory classes, and I have found them to be a little-known “secret” for organizing one’s thoughts about scales and modes.  Let me know what you think!

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‘Fur Elise’ COMPLETE | Real Sheet Music with Letters | Letters and Notes Together | PDF Download

Fur Elise with Letters. Note names added to each note.
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Für Elise piano sheet music – includes note-name labels for every note


FÜR ELISE – The entire piece – Letter-Notes/Note Names Included

Bagatelle No. 25 in A-Minor  ~ Ludwig v. Beethoven

Here’s the clickable product listing with images and descriptions:

Ludwig v. Beethoven’s timeless and extremely popular piano piece,  Für Elise, officially named ‘Bagatelle No. 25,” in A-Minor,  has been well-loved and well-known across the world for more than two centuries.  Beethoven’s music, especially his later works, ushered in the Romantic Era of western classical music.

QUICK LINKS TO MORE BEETHOVEN SHEETS 

Moonlight Sonata Package – All three movements at a reduced price – Letter-note labels included

Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata – Entire 1st Movement – Letter-note labels included

Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata – Entire 2nd Movement – Letter-note labels included

Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata – Entire 3rd Movement – Letter-note labels included

MANY MORE SHEETS AVAILABLE HERE:

Continue reading ‘Fur Elise’ COMPLETE | Real Sheet Music with Letters | Letters and Notes Together | PDF Download

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Jazz/Rock/Blues Soloing Tip: Using the ‘Rock-Bottom Four’ of the Blues Scale

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A Powerful Tip for Blues, Jazz, and Rock Improvisers

Good day!

Today’s post is about using the first four notes of a blues scale as a moveable pattern, with many ear-catching possibilities that can fire up your solos in unexpected ways.

This “rock-bottom four” pattern, starting on any given note, can produce a wide variety of bluesy, funky, and jazzy sounds, when used in a context of your careful choosing, guided by your ear as the final judge.

This is a slide show, which is a common format that I use on my Instagram page, @piano_w_kent.

I have discovered that these types of posts seem to work well on my Instagram page, so I’m going to start featuring these here, too.

TODAY’S REMAINING SLIDES:

Continue reading Jazz/Rock/Blues Soloing Tip: Using the ‘Rock-Bottom Four’ of the Blues Scale

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‘Clair de Lune’ COMPLETE | Sheet Music with Letters and Notes Together | PDF Download | Quality Piano Sheet Music | Includes Letter-Notes!

Clair de Lune With Letters - Letters and Notes || Piano Music with Note-Names
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Exclusive Clair de Lune Piano Sheet Music from Piano With Kent

Claude Debussy’s timeless and extremely popular piano piece, Clair de Lune, is well-known around the world.  Its origins includeperson influences from poetry, the music of Bach’s time (the Baroque period), and the artistic school of Impressionism.

Is ‘Clair’ of Clair de Lune a person’s name?  If so, who is that person?

The ‘Clair’ in the title Clair de Lune does not refer to a person.

Continue reading ‘Clair de Lune’ COMPLETE | Sheet Music with Letters and Notes Together | PDF Download | Quality Piano Sheet Music | Includes Letter-Notes!

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Larger Print ‘Prelude No. 7’ (A-Major) by Chopin | Sheet Music Download | Includes Note-Name Labels | PDF

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Chopin Prelude #7 in A-Major | Exclusive Sheet Music for Solo Piano | Includes Note Names (Letters)

Complete and Unabridged!

  • Meticulously engraved and annotated by Kent D. Smith, professional musician and music instructor, and founder of Piano With Kent.

  • Each note is labeled with its musically accurate letter-name, such as F, Bb, C, G#.

  • One downloadable, printable PDF file – Two (2) pages.

  • Your download link is returned to your screen (on this site), immediately upon purchase. Your same private download link is also sent to you by email (using the email address that you used for your purchase.)*

Ideal for the former piano student returning to piano after some time, but with no access to a teacher.

Also helpful for:

  • Those who play mostly by ear, and who know the basics of the 7-letter musical alphabet (note-names).

  • Any student or musician with a reading or learning difficulty that may affect the processes of learning to read sheet music notation.

  • Attention please:  Formal music students who are actively taking piano lessons, with a focus on reading sheet music, absolutely should be guided by your teacher, as regards playing piano from sheet music with note-names added.

Chopin Prelude 7 in A-Major With Letters | Includes Larger Notes | Standard PDF Sheet Music | Note-Names Included

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How To Memorize Music: The Rule of ‘Three Times Right’ for Memorizing Any Task

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Piano with Kent Hero Image How to Memorize Music
Learn the rule of THREE TIMES RIGHT and be a GREAT MEMORIZER!

How to memorize music with certainty?

Today, I want to share a very simple technique for being confident that you have memorized a section of music. This works for many similar things, such as an actor memorizing lines.

Continue reading How To Memorize Music: The Rule of ‘Three Times Right’ for Memorizing Any Task

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Beethoven Moonlight Sonata with Letters | COMPLETE | All 3 Movements | Includes Letter-Notes (Note-Names)

Ludwig Van Beethoven | Moonlight Sonata | piano sheet music with letter-note names added
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Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 14 “Moonlight” Sheet Music | PDF download

1st, 2nd, & 3rd  Mvt’s.

Letter-Notes Included | Complete and Unabridged

Entire “Moonlight ” Sonata No. 14 by Ludwig v. Beethoven. All 3 movements.

Continue reading Beethoven Moonlight Sonata with Letters | COMPLETE | All 3 Movements | Includes Letter-Notes (Note-Names)