But wait, there’s more! We’ve also got another special trick for the pesty left hand… we all struggle with the left hand!
So grab your piano or keyboard, get cozy, and prepare to have your music reading skills upgraded. Oh, and after you’ve watched it, come hang out with us in the comments section. We want to know your biggest struggles with reading music. We’re all about helping you out and addressing your specific challenges.
Ready to take the plunge? Click right here to watch the video.
Listen, I know you clicked on this video because you are struggling to read music, and today, I’m going to offer you something you’ve always been looking for, and guess what? It is not every good boy does fine, if you know what that is. I have a very special trick for you that’s going to help you read music way faster and so much easier. And since I’m feeling nice today, I’m actually going to throw in a second trick and it’s going to be for your left-hand notes, because we all know the left hand is what we struggle with the most. Am I right? And if you’d like more videos about how to learn your favorite songs on the piano fast, be sure to hit the bell and subscribe to be notified every single time I post a video.
Unfortunately, I had to go all the way through music school at the university level to finally learn these tricks that I’m going to show you today. So I’m here to save you some trouble. I’m going to start with the right-hand tricks, but technically this could apply to the left hand, I just have a different trick for the left hand so stay tuned.
What I’m about to say is not the special trick, but I did want to bring it up, which is every good boy does fine. So let’s take a look at the treble cleft notes. Every good boy does fine means these are the right-hand notes. So the bottom line is E, the second line is G, the third line is B, the fourth line is D, and the fifth line is F. This is a really good trick that you can use to help you memorize all of the line notes of the treble cliff or the right-hand notes.
We also have FACE, which helps you memorize the space notes. There’s not some special sentence, it’s just FACE. And that’s how we remember the space notes for the right hand. This does not apply to the left hand bass clef. It only applies to the right-hand treble clef notes. This is not the special trick, but I wanted to bring it up because I do think it’s helpful, even though it gets a lot of hate and maybe seems like an old school way to learn notes, I do think it’s helpful. And so I recommend doing that as well.
But my special trick is more about the distance between notes. In music, we call this intervals. And the way I’m going to teach you today is going to be really helpful as you’re reading music, a new song. So if you just learned every good boy does fine and FACE, you’re going to read music a lot more slowly than you would with a trick I’m about to give you with intervals.
So let’s take a look at the sheet music to a song called Million Reasons. This song is by Lady Gaga. It’s really pretty. If you haven’t heard it, I recommend checking it out. We’re just going to look at the treble clef notes or the right-hand notes right now. So if I just memorized every single note one at a time, I would read the sheet music like this. B, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, E, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, E, and so forth.
Now, I have the notes memorized, but if you’re a new pianist, it’s going to take some time to read it that quickly. And even if you are a professional pianist, you really are encouraged to just read music like this. It’s going to be way faster. So don’t just memorize the notes and think about it the way I just said. We’re going to think about intervals now. So instead of thinking B, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, E, what you could think is B to C is one note. Then C is repeating the same note. And then I could think C to E is the distance of three notes, C, D, E.
Now, what is the trick to reading it like this more quickly? There is a simple way to read the intervals of notes. We just need to pay attention to the lines and the spaces. So to explain that, I’m going to show you the C major scale. We call this note middle C. And when I’m teaching children, I tell them, “Memorize middle C because it looks like a cat. It has little whiskers.” Whatever works for you is fine. Middle C is the fourth C from the bottom, one, two, three, four. This is our cat or middle C. C to D is the interval of a second. C to E is a third. C to F is a fourth. C to G is a fifth. C to A is a sixth. C to B is a seventh. C to C is an eighth or we really call this an octave. C to C.
Odd numbered intervals are the easiest to see immediately. The reason for that is because they look the same. So for example, C to E are both on a line and that’s a third. C to G are both on a line, and that’s a fifth. C to B are both on a line, and that’s a seventh. Another example. So if we started on D instead of C, D to F is a third, they look the same because they’re both on a space. D to A is a fifth, they look the same because they’re both on a space and D to C, they look the same because they’re both on a space, but that was a third, a fifth and a seventh. So again, those odd numbered intervals are the easiest to see. They’re going to be the same either lines or spaces.
Even numbered intervals are going to be the opposite of each other. So for example, one will be a space and one will be a line, or one will be a line and one will be a space. So for example, C to D is a second. This is a line to a space. C to F is a fourth. This is a line to a space and so on. So take some notes because I’m going to go through all of the intervals right now. We have a second. This is line to space. We have a third, we have a fourth, we have a fifth, we have a sixth. We have a seventh and we have an octave, or you can start on D or any other note. Here’s a second. These are two that don’t look the same space to line. Third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, octave.
So now, let’s look at a Million Reasons a little bit differently than we did before. Instead of thinking B, C, C, C, C, C, I’m going to think, “Okay, this is one note at the beginning here because we’re going from B to C, and B is considered a space note.” There’s not a line going through it. So we have a second and then we have the same note. From this note is a third, and then we’re going to go down a third. And that happened again. I’m going to keep going and show you how to read the song with intervals in mind. But I’m going to jump to the chorus now because the verse is quite repetitive of what we’ve already done.
So I’m going to go down to, I bow down to pray. We’re going to start on A, and this is where it’s helpful to just memorize those notes when you’re starting at the very beginning. So if I thought FACE, that first pitch is A, so it’s good to have a little bit of both here so you can see why. A is the first note. Now, I’m going to look, “Okay, we’re moving downwards.” So that looks like a second. I’m going from a space to a line. I bow down. So from bow down is two lines, and that was a third. Then it looks like I’m going back up, to pray. Then we’re going to go down a third again to see I, and then up a third, try to make the. Up a third again, worst. Down a fifth, seen better. That was a third.
Thinking of it this way is going to help you read it way faster, trust me. Versus if you don’t know the notes that well on the staff and thinking, C, E, E, E. And then you would go so slow if you did it this way. Trust me, it’s going to take some practice to think of it this way. And you’re going to need to study it a little bit before you go. But think of it, in intervals, you’re going to read the music much faster.
Before I move to the left hand, let me know, what is your biggest struggle with reading music? Let me know in the comments below. All right. Now, for a bonus tip, the left hand. Most people struggle with the left hand. So I’m going to show you exactly what to do if you’re just trying to play popular songs that you like. You really don’t need to read every single note individually. You really don’t. So let’s look at the song What a Wonderful World. Let’s take a look at that sheet Music. The left hand is looking pretty crazy. There’s a lot of notes. That seems like a big headache, doesn’t it? But you don’t have to do it this way. You can just read the chords instead.
So if you’re a total beginner, make sure that you find sheet music that has chords at the top that looks like this. Or you can search for your favorite songs as what we call a lead sheet, which would look something like this. A lead sheet is only going to have the right-hand notes, and then your left hand is going to play the chords. But you can also have music that looks like this with What a Wonderful World where there are left-hand notes and chords. So the trick with the left hand is really to just completely ignore the notes and instead play just the chords.
So here’s an example. If I read this piece, What a Wonderful World, the way it’s written, it would sound like this and it would be a lot more difficult to read. And so on. And honestly, it’s kind of boring. Or I could learn my chords and improvise a little bit with my left hand and make it sound really nice. So here’s an example. I know my chords really well. I’m going to check it out. I’ve got F major, A minor, B flat major, A minor, G minor seven. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to read those chords at the top and do some improvising and make it sound nice and in my own way. And so forth. You get the point.
So all I did was I just read the chords and I improvised on those chords. So what I recommend doing next is watching this video. That way you know exactly how to learn all of these chords really quickly. And then, once you’ve got the chords really well, I would watch this video and this is going to show you how to have some really great chord patterns and how to improvise a bit on those chords as I just showed you.
In my online program, the Piano Accelerator, I take students from absolute zero to playing their favorite songs just like this. They learn all of the chords, they learn how to be a fantastic accompanist, and they learn how to read their favorite songs just like this. They learn how to improvise on the chords and how to read the melodies and play their favorite songs, and they’re able to do that in just a couple of months. So if you would like to learn the piano this way and learn the piano fast and play your favorite songs, be sure to check out my free training. It is in the link of the description of this video. It’s going to show you exactly how to go from zero to playing your favorite songs on the piano in months, not years. Be sure to subscribe if you’d like more videos like this, and I will see you next time.