© 2016 by #MatCreedon.

mat@matcreedon.net |  Tel: +61 409 869 577

How to Learn Songs Fast Using Note Range.

June 22, 2018

Mat Creedon

Do you find yourself being over whelmed trying to play an instrument?

 

All notes you have to play & where they are on the instrument can be totally over whelming : /

 

Here is a trick I love teaching my students to help them break down the problem.

 

Note range is basically knowing the lowest and highest note of the song you want to learn.

By doing this it gives your mind boundaries to work within so you don’t start thinking that the song is

bigger than what it actually is. 

 

Lets do a quick example of this, here are notes for the song Sunshine Of Your Love, displayed on a keyboard below.

 

The lowest note of the this song is a D and the highest note is the same note an octave higher. 

 

Now all I need to do place my pinky on the highest note and my thumb on the lowest to give myself an idea of what I’m working with. All the notes higher than my pinky I don’t need to worry about and the same with everything below my thumb. I then play all the notes in the song working my way from the lowest note up to the highest note and then back down again.This is similar to playing a scale and helps me to know which notes I should focus on. 

Once Ive done this Im now ready to play the song. 

 

 

 

Now if the song your learning is really long break it down into phrases and learn it one phrase at a time.

 

As you play more songs using note range you will soon discover that the range of most songs are only about  

1 & 1/2 octaves. Which is rather small in comparison to the average full length piano which is roughly 7 octaves. 

 

Here are a couple of other helpful facts to think about:

 

The average human can only hear a range of 10 octaves 

 

The average instrument range is about about 3-4 octaves

 

And if you play piano you will find that left hand will only play about 2 octaves and your right hand the same.

Thus for most of the songs you play on the piano you may only need about 4 octaves in total.

However if you have a 7 octave piano those 3 extra octaves can be pretty fun to get creative with.

 

And if you are producing music you could find it useful to have a small travel piano of about 2 1/2 octaves

as most of the melodies you create may only be of about 1 1/2 octaves.

 

 

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