Logo for Piano Play It

Music Terms for Beginners

Home » Piano Notes» Music Terms for Beginners

You'll find some of the most common and important music terms that has to do with piano playing in this page.

Repeat Signs

Repeat Signs

The double dots inside the double bars indicate that everything between the double bars must be REPEATED.

If you only see the closing dotted bar and no opening dotted bar it means you have to repeat the whole piece staight from the top and all the way back to the dotted bar.



An example of an incompleate measure in the song When the Saints go Marching In

Play this piece next and follow the repeat signs.

In the Hall of the Mountain King by Grieg Download

Pick Up Bar / Up Beat Bar

Some pieces start with an INCOMPLETE MEASURE.
We call it a pick up bar.
The first measure in this piece has only 3 counts.
The missing beat is found at the last measure.

An example of an incompleate measure in the song When the Saints go Marching In

When you repeat the whole piece, you will have one whole measure of 4 beats as you play the last measure of last bar combined with the first incomplete measure.

When a piece begins on a weak beat - like the second bar in our case, you must therefore ACCENT the first beat after the bar line in order to help the listener understand where he's at.


Let's practice some pieces with a pick-up bar.

Oh Susanna Download

William Tell Download


8va

8va sign

When the 8va sign is placed over the notes, you should play the note 1 octave (8 notes) higher than written.
An example of an 8va sign in Morning Mood by Grieg

This sign is often used to write the higher notes in a more comfortable way. Instead of sweating while trying to locate the notes above the staff with many ledger lines we simply write the notes an octave lower, on the staff, and we add the 8va sign above.

We might use the 8va to write very low notes under the staff in a more comfortable way as well, but then we'll place the sign under the staff.



First Ending / Second Ending

Signs of First Ending and Second Ending

This music term tells you to go to different endings after repeating a part of a piece.

During the first time you have to follow the sign of the first ending, and after repeating the piece between the dotted bars you have to skip the first ending and go straight to the second ending.

An example of using the first and second ending in Ode to Joy by Beethoven


Da Capo Al Fine

An example of a D.C al Fine sign in Old Macdonald

This music term means that you have to back to the beginning and play the whole piece through until you read the Fine sign which means The End.

Da Segno al Fine

Segno Sign

When you see the De Segno al Fine Sign you should go back to the S sign instead of going to the beginning like the D.C al Fine Sign and play through until the FINE.


An example of a D.S al Fine sign in Bridal Chorus


An Image of me (David Yzhaki) Recommending the Rocket Piano Ultimate Learning Kit.

If you want to learn more about reading piano notes you should definately check out the Rocket Piano Ultimate Learning kit. Rocket Piano provide an amazingly handy and effecive piano course on various issues such as reading piano notes, playing piano by chords, piano technique and more.

You're going to love the way they work systemically with the help of their useful audio and video files that are short and to the point. By working with Rocket Piano you basically guarantee that you'll become pro at reading piano notes (And the big bonus is you'll learn to play piano by ear as well).
Check out the Ultimate Piano Learning Kit of Rocket Piano Now!



Join Our Facebook Group...

Get 72% Discount Coupon Code Today!


The Rocket Piano Ultimate Piano Learning Kit

"Your entire site is simply fantastic. I really loved it. Now I am learning the basics of piano by myself, with your really great help. Thank you very much!"

Jaime C. from Brazil



Play ALL your favourite Pop, Rock songs (by artists like Adele, The Beatles, Bruno Mars, Nina Simone etc...) Combine the right hand with the left hand and learn to know which rhythm to play!

The Ultimate Piano by Chords Learning Kit
Check It Out Now!



"I only started to play about six weeks ago but the last hour of watching your videos about chord progressions has been something of a revelation. You're brilliant!!!!"

Stephen Roberts from U.S.A



"I'm a beginning keyboard player and your video's are an excellent guide. You're absolute not in a hurry, and take time to explain. I'm sure I'll follow all your lessons to get the hang of playing the piano/keyboard!"

Wouter E. from the Netherlands



"Thanks for all your work ( tuto and others ). You're doing a really great job, You're the best internet teacher I know."

Anthony Hassen Cohen from France



"I really appreciate what you do for piano lovers and I'll let everyone interested I know to come visit your website and see how magnificent it is organized and how much you are really helpful to us beginners."

Mohamed B. from Egypt



"Thank you so much for all these piano lessons! You really make it easier for some of us who always wanted to play piano and have no musical experience."

Luis S. from the U.S.A



"Today I watched your video on "how to play piano by ear" and was totally amazed at how well you teach. I wish I lived close by, I would hire you for lessons."

Douglas Grendahl from U.S.A







[?] Subscribe To
This Site

XML RSS
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Add to Newsgator
Subscribe with Bloglines



Enjoy This Site?
Then why not use the button below, to add us to your favorite bookmarking service?