Musicnotes.com Blog http://blog.musicnotes.com The official blog of Musicnotes.com Mon, 15 Sep 2014 14:59:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 News: “Let It Go” Sheet Music Smashes Sales Milestone in Record Time http://blog.musicnotes.com/2014/09/12/let-it-go-sheet-music-sales/ http://blog.musicnotes.com/2014/09/12/let-it-go-sheet-music-sales/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 17:51:12 +0000 http://blog.musicnotes.com/?p=8044 MADISON, WI – September 12, 2014 – ‘Frozen’ sheet music has shone hot atop our Musicnotes Top Downloads list since its early 2014 debut, but even the most seasoned of sheet music forecasters couldn’t predict that the Disney film’s breakout anthem, “Let It Go,” would hit the 100,000 sale milestone at such a scorching fast pace. “Let It Go,” penned by acclaimed husband-and-wife songwriting team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, joins the company of just three other songs ever to reach Musicnotes’ prodigious 100,000 download milestone. Adele’s “Someone Like You,” Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up,” and “Hallelujah,” written by Leonard Cohen, each have been purchased and downloaded more than
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MADISON, WI – September 12, 2014 –

‘Frozen’ sheet music has shone hot atop our Musicnotes Top Downloads list since its early 2014 debut, but even the most seasoned of sheet music forecasters couldn’t predict that the Disney film’s breakout anthem, “Let It Go,” would hit the 100,000 sale milestone at such a scorching fast pace.

“Let It Go,” penned by acclaimed husband-and-wife songwriting team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, joins the company of just three other songs ever to reach Musicnotes’ prodigious 100,000 download milestone. Adele’s “Someone Like You,” Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up,” and “Hallelujah,” written by Leonard Cohen, each have been purchased and downloaded more than 100,000 times since Musicnotes’ 1998 inception. However, none of the previous songs hit 100,000 downloads even close to as quickly as “Let It Go” has, a mere eight months after its Musicnotes.com sheet music release.

“Simply speaking, ‘Let It Go’ has sold as well as it has because it’s a remarkable piece,” said Musicnotes Chief Marketing Officer, Bill Aicher. “The song, like ‘Frozen’ itself, has its own engaging story of independence. Those lyrics, coupled with the emotionally-engaging musical themes, really inspired people,” Aicher said. He pointed to the movie’s enormous success and cross-generational appeal as other key elements of the sheet music’s unique success.

‘Frozen’ has grossed more than $1.2 Billion worldwide since its November 2013 release, according to Box Office Mojo, making it the highest-grossing animated film in history and the fifth-highest-grossing film of all-time. The movie’s climax power ballad has inspired legions of popular ‘Let It Go’ covers, from Alex Boyé and One Voice Children’s Choir to The Piano Guys and more.

In order to provide sheet music for all musicians seeking to play the song, we offer nearly 50 “Let It Go” arrangements for download at Musicnotes.com, including those for vocalists, instrumentalists, intermediate and beginning musicians. Sales calculations include downloads of all the various arrangements.

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Q&A with Composer, Innovator and Modern Musical Renaissance Man, Sleeping At Last http://blog.musicnotes.com/2014/09/09/sleeping-at-last/ http://blog.musicnotes.com/2014/09/09/sleeping-at-last/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 14:54:59 +0000 http://blog.musicnotes.com/?p=8022 There’s a mantra commonly repeated in writing to “show, don’t tell.” Sleeping At Last creates music that doesn’t just tell us stories, he shows us the warmth and emotion behind them. His anthology-inclined discography is a study in musical storytelling concepts, from the 36-song year-long ‘Yearbook,’ to this year’s ‘Atlas: Year One,’ a compilation of pieces from his ‘Atlas’ series of EPs. Perhaps it is his propensity for narrative through music that’s made Sleeping At Last a favorite among TV and film producers. “Turning Page,” the absorbing declaration of love that appeared in ‘Twilight IV: Breaking Dawn – Part 1,’ is a perennial favorite of Musicnotes musicians, as is “Sun,”
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There’s a mantra commonly repeated in writing to “show, don’t tell.” Sleeping At Last creates music that doesn’t just tell us stories, he shows us the warmth and emotion behind them. His anthology-inclined discography is a study in musical storytelling concepts, from the 36-song year-long ‘Yearbook,’ to this year’s ‘Atlas: Year One,’ a compilation of pieces from his ‘Atlas’ series of EPs.

Perhaps it is his propensity for narrative through music that’s made Sleeping At Last a favorite among TV and film producers. “Turning Page,” the absorbing declaration of love that appeared in ‘Twilight IV: Breaking Dawn – Part 1,’ is a perennial favorite of Musicnotes musicians, as is “Sun,” which appeared in the trailer for ‘The Fault in Our Stars.’

The man behind the music (Chicago-based singer-songwriter, producer and composer Ryan O’Neal) graciously took time to share with us a bit about his songwriting process, how TV/movie placement works and his advice when it comes to writing music to be featured on-screen.

Listening to your music, and playing sheet music you’ve written, it’s clear that there is a genuine passion behind the notes. Where did your love of music stem from? Is there a clear moment when you decided you wanted to make music your life’s work?

S@L Thank you so much! My love for music began when I got my first guitar. I was 13 years old and my parents gave it to me as a Christmas gift. I taught myself how to play and eventually started writing my own songs. Sometime around 15 years old, I completely fell in love with the craft of songwriting. In listening to albums that I loved around that time, I started to understand and appreciate that a song, at its best, can be so much more than just a song. It can move people deeply and personally. It can even make the hair on your arms stand up. Once I realized that, music became so much more to me than just something fun to do, it became the thing I wanted to spend my life doing.

Similarly, your songs are loved for their emotive and thought-provoking nature. Where do you pull inspiration for your song writing?

S@L In general, I pull inspiration from all sorts of places; nature, travel, photography, movies, tv, books. But I like to think of my songs as my audio journal, so I pull a lot of inspiration from my own relationships and life experiences. That’s where most of it comes from. Lately I’ve been enjoying telling stories in my songs. Some true, some fiction. That’s been really fun and different for me to try my hand at.

Would you mind walking us through your songwriting process? Do you start with music and add lyrics, or do you know what you want to say ahead of the composition?

S@L Every song comes about somewhat differently… but I’ve learned a few practices and routines and that at least keep me busy until a decent idea appears. I do a lot of collecting. Every day I collect words and musical ideas… for words, I have an app on my phone called Day One, and it gives me a daily reminder to write a journal entry. Throughout my day I’ll write down a few words that sound interesting to me, or a string of words, or some random idea I have… it’s all very disconnected, but the idea of collecting all of these little half-thoughts ends up being very helpful to me down the road.

Musically, I do the same thing – I use the voice recorder app on my phone and make a habit of sitting down at the piano or with my guitar several times throughout a day and just play around. I’ll record whatever sounds decent and forget about it. When I set out to write a song, I’ll dig through the random recordings and journal entries I’ve made and just see what stands out. Most of it is no good, but usually there’s something that sparks an idea, or fits together in an interesting way. So that’s sort of how I approach songwriting. Do little bits of it every day to find a spark, and once I find one, put in the hours of hard work to turn it into something.

You’ve had the opportunity to perform and collaborate with so many other amazing artists. Is there anyone you were especially inspired by?

S@L Getting to work with Van Dyke Parks was a dream come true! His musicality and songwriting is on a level so far beyond anyone else I know, it’s staggering! So to get to work with him was truly a treat! Working with Billy Corgan early on in my career was also a huge inspiration and dream come true.

Even before “Turning Page” was featured in ‘Twilight’ and “Sun” appeared in the trailer for ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ you had songs on popular TV shows including ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Bones.’ How did that television soundtrack relationship come about? Is TV different than film placement?

S@L The folks on the music team at Grey’s Anatomy have been an incredible support over the years! They first placed a song of mine in an episode in 2006 and have since been kind enough to let more and more of my songs be a part. Eventually that lead to other shows being interested in my songs as well, which lead to the films I had the privilege of having music in too.

The Film and TV placement world are very similar to one another… The only notable differences are that TV has a much quicker timeline than a film. A song could air on a TV show with only a week or two of notice, where as a placement in film could take over a year in some occasions. But overall, very similar experiences. I grew up absolutely in love with movies and TV, and I still am, so the privilege of getting to make music for these amazing projects has been such a treat for me!

Twilight Breaking Dawn: Part 1 soundtrack Sleeping At Last Atlas: Space I Atlas: Darkness by Sleeping At Last

When you compose/write for a show or film, is your process different than when you work on personal projects? Do you know what the mood or scene that you’re writing for is, or do you write the song first and someone else determines where it’ll be used?

S@L When I’m invited to write a song for a specific scene or project, I’ll get an email with some general notes on the mood, or some musical references. From there, it’s just a matter of researching the project and knowing more about the story and trying to get into the headspace of what kind of song it should be. Ideally, I’ll get to see the footage of the scene I’m writing music for, and in that case it’s just a matter of playing around until something musically makes sense of the visuals, but in my experiences – it’s not that common to get to see the scene I’m writing a song for.

When I’m hired to write the entire score of a TV show or film, as the composer, then I always get to see the entire thing and write to the footage, but writing a song or two for a project tends to be more about a general mood and lyric direction, than specific footage. But for general song placements, a TV show or film will typically choose a song you’ve already written and released and you’ll receive a request to use it and cross your fingers that it’ll make it into the project!

Would you have any advice for musicians wanting to get a song placed on television or in movies? Do you see any benefits or drawbacks to focusing on placement?

S@L Write and record as much music as you can! I say that for a few reasons…

1: It’ll make you a better writer.

2: Having new music consistently available in this very cluttered digital age of music will only increase your chances of having it heard by more people, including by folks looking for music for TV and film.

3: Because if music is your passion, making more of it will only make you happy. Focusing on business opportunities will do the opposite. It will drive you nuts and you will lose the authenticity in your music by trying to chase after success.

Your moniker is so very unique. Would you mind sharing with us where the name Sleeping At Last originated?

S@L Many years ago I was in a book store with a friend and I picked up a book of poetry. I jokingly told my friend that whatever page I turn to next would be my new band name. I flipped the page and there was a poem called “Sleeping At Last” right under my fingertip. I actually liked that a lot and felt that it fit, so I went with it!

Finally, what’s up next for Sleeping At Last? (We’re patiently anticipating Atlas: Year Two.) Any little tidbits you can share or ideas of what we can expect?

S@L Thank you so much! This Fall will be a very busy season for me… My wife and I are expecting our first child, a little girl! I’m SO very excited to get to be a dad! Around the same time, I’ll be announcing a brand-new business that I started and am super excited about! And of course, I’ll begin Atlas: Year Two, which will be a series of new music, about 2 dozen songs, all revolving around the theme of Life. I’ve also got my fingers crossed for a few TV and film projects I’m hoping to be a part of too!

We’d like to thank Sleeping At Last for his time and for sharing such valuable insights! Be sure to check out his website, and see all downloadable Sleeping At Last sheet music here!

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Is Your State A Little Bit Country or A Little Bit Rock ‘N’ Roll? http://blog.musicnotes.com/2014/09/05/sheet-music-genres-by-state/ http://blog.musicnotes.com/2014/09/05/sheet-music-genres-by-state/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 20:20:50 +0000 http://blog.musicnotes.com/?p=8002 In a clash of the digital sheet music genres, it looks like country and rock ‘n’ roll are somewhat evenly matched, according to the shopping patterns of U.S. musicians.   Inspired by songwriter Marty Cooper’s classic tune “A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock ‘N Roll“® (as performed on ‘Donny & Marie’), our stat-savvy data team explored a year’s worth of U.S. sales data to determine where, geographically, country or rock sheet music proved to be most popular. Country sheet music was defined by any song with a ‘country’ tag on the website, while rock consisted of sub-genres ‘arena rock,’ ‘classic rock,’ ‘hard rock‘ and ‘rock & roll.’ Overall,
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In a clash of the digital sheet music genres, it looks like country and rock ‘n’ roll are somewhat evenly matched, according to the shopping patterns of U.S. musicians.

Country vs. Rock 'n' Roll Sheet Music Sales

 

Inspired by songwriter Marty Cooper’s classic tune “A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock ‘N Roll“® (as performed on ‘Donny & Marie’), our stat-savvy data team explored a year’s worth of U.S. sales data to determine where, geographically, country or rock sheet music proved to be most popular. Country sheet music was defined by any song with a ‘country’ tag on the website, while rock consisted of sub-genres ‘arena rock,’ ‘classic rock,’ ‘hard rock‘ and ‘rock & roll.’

Overall, Americans download more rock sheet music than country sheet music, although only by about 5%. And the two genres together make up a little over 10% of Musicnotes annual sales. But, when comparing individual country sheet music and rock sheet music sales stats by state, as a percentage of the state’s total digital sheet music downloads, 26 states (plus D.C.) more frequently purchased country sheet music and 24 states more frequently bought rock.

While country music is most likely to sit atop any given Southern or Midwestern music stand, musicians on the East and West Coasts prefer to rock the house. Those states represented by the lightest blue and green colors above just narrowly lean toward one genre over the other, with darker colored states strongly favoring their musical category.

Watch the Donny & Marie  Osmand YouTube video for a little bit more about “A Little Bit Country,  A Little Bit Rock ‘N Roll.” And a special thanks to songwriter Marty Cooper for allowing us to use his song as inspiration and offer it on our site for your digital sheet music downloading pleasure! Download “A Little Bit Country – A Little Bit Rock ‘n Roll” here!

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Test Your Technique with Challenging Guitar Tab Selections! http://blog.musicnotes.com/2014/09/02/challenging-guitar-tab/ http://blog.musicnotes.com/2014/09/02/challenging-guitar-tab/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 21:57:19 +0000 http://blog.musicnotes.com/?p=7993 Are you a guitarist looking to expand your playlist and/or skills? In need of a piece to impress at a school or band audition? Well, you’ve come to the right place! We love guitarists, and guitarists love Musicnotes for our selection, reliability and convenience. Our awesome customers frequently come to us for song suggestions. So, we decided to provide a fun mix of guitar tab challenges that make great pick-up-and-practice skill-builders. These aren’t songs you’ll most likely master quickly, but rather works you’ll develop over time. How difficult a piece is to play can depend on a variety of variables. Speed, length, mood and dexterous fingering may all be factors
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Are you a guitarist looking to expand your playlist and/or skills? In need of a piece to impress at a school or band audition? Well, you’ve come to the right place! We love guitarists, and guitarists love Musicnotes for our selection, reliability and convenience.

Our awesome customers frequently come to us for song suggestions. So, we decided to provide a fun mix of guitar tab challenges that make great pick-up-and-practice skill-builders. These aren’t songs you’ll most likely master quickly, but rather works you’ll develop over time.

How difficult a piece is to play can depend on a variety of variables. Speed, length, mood and dexterous fingering may all be factors affecting difficulty. The following are just a few of the songs that have tested our skill and/or patience recently.

Classical Gas” by Mason Williams

A standard for guitar students, “Classical Gas” features tempo and mood shifts, and is ideal for intermediate-level players. Familiarizing yourself with this solid solo is considered a rite of passage for many guitarists.

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565” by J.S. Bach

Its blazing tempo alternating with delicate lyrical passages makes Bach’s Toccata and Fugue a technical challenge in control even for experienced guitarists.

The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

This frantically speedy piece has tested the dexterity and perseverance of many a guitarist. But, once mastered, it is oft-requested and impressive at social gatherings!

Little Wing” by Jimi Hendrix

Fretting the bass notes with his thumb, Hendrix blends quartal and tertian harmonies with single-note runs to produce a distinctly unique sound on this renowned, and frequently covered, song.

Satch Boogie” by Joe Satriani

In addition to the unrelenting intensity of “Satch Boogie,” Satriani’s lightning-quick hammer-ons and pull-offs are certainly not easy to master. And the song’s tap-on middle section, played only on the fifth-string, is a perfect lesson in Satriani’s pitch-axis theory.

Cliffs of Dover” by Eric Johnson

Employing advanced techniques like string skipping and hybrid picking, Eric Johnson’s epic guitar solo intro is widely considered one of the best. This massive work not only displays advanced technique, its non-stop notes offer nowhere to hide, meaning any mistake in fingering will be easily noticed.

It was a task narrowing down our selections, with so many songs by Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and more discussed. What songs have you found particularly difficult to play and why? Any advise for your fellow guitarists in how to work on an especially hard-to-play piece? Share your insights in the comments below!

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News: Jarrod Radnich and Musicnotes Team Up for Epic ‘Game of Thrones’ Video http://blog.musicnotes.com/2014/08/27/game-of-thrones-video/ http://blog.musicnotes.com/2014/08/27/game-of-thrones-video/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 21:35:20 +0000 http://blog.musicnotes.com/?p=7985 MADISON, WI – August 27, 2014 – Fresh off the incredible response to his “Don’t Stop Believin‘” music video, Jarrod Radnich and Musicnotes have again partnered to bring a whole new blockbuster to aspiring piano virtuosos, and anyone who appreciates virtuosic musicianship and exciting video production. ‘Game of Thrones‘ showcases Radnich’s original medley arrangement of music made incredibly popular by the HBO award-winning Game of Thrones television series, complete with a beautiful concert piano set atop a rocky shoreline, Radnich donning a sword, arm bracers and full period-based attire, and even a few surprise effects! A keynote speaker at the 2013 National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, Radnich terms his arrangement
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MADISON, WI – August 27, 2014 –

Fresh off the incredible response to his “Don’t Stop Believin‘” music video, Jarrod Radnich and Musicnotes have again partnered to bring a whole new blockbuster to aspiring piano virtuosos, and anyone who appreciates virtuosic musicianship and exciting video production. ‘Game of Thrones‘ showcases Radnich’s original medley arrangement of music made incredibly popular by the HBO award-winning Game of Thrones television series, complete with a beautiful concert piano set atop a rocky shoreline, Radnich donning a sword, arm bracers and full period-based attire, and even a few surprise effects!

A keynote speaker at the 2013 National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, Radnich terms his arrangement technique as “Lisztening” in deference to Franz Liszt who, in the 1800s, rearranged for piano those musical works that were contemporary and popular at that time. Liszt’s arrangements and performances elevated the solo piano to previously unseen levels of popularity and spawned an enormous resurgence in piano study. Liberace admittedly followed Liszt’s model for piano performance as a social, interactive, and theatrical event, and now Radnich and Musicnotes are continuing what Liszt began nearly two-hundred years ago, but with an exciting twist. What neither Liszt nor Liberace had at their disposal was YouTube®, and the new team has embraced the visual aspects of performance to increase interest in and an understanding of the new arrangements.

“Jarrod’s performances are visually and musically stunning and, as a pianist myself, seeing him actually perform his arrangements is extremely motivating. There’s an element of aspiration pianists feel when watching Jarrod play, and that ignites enthusiasm about practicing,” said Muiscnotes CEO and co-founder Kathleen Marsh.

Teaming with Musicnotes to create inspiring videos and offer these rare, virtuoso style musical arrangements was a natural fit for Radnich and his team.

“I couldn’t ask for a better supporter and publisher than Musicnotes,” said Radnich. “I’ve used their service and products for years as a consumer and have always been very pleased, so I knew that partnering with them as a content creator would be fantastic.”

Not only does Musicnotes offer the moving “Game of Thrones” sheet music medley, you can explore and a broad catalogue containing many more of Radnich’s remarkable arrangements. Download Virtuosic Piano Solo™ sheet music for classic rock favorites like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Nights in White Satin,” “Come Sail Away,” and the just-released “More Than a Feeling.” Or, now is the perfect time to start practicing Radnich’s incredible holiday sheet music, sure to add an extra dose of magic to your season.

For more information about the Jarrod Radnich and Musicnotes partnership, click here.

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Simple Tips to Help Anyone Improve His or Her Vocal Range http://blog.musicnotes.com/2014/08/22/improve-vocal-range/ http://blog.musicnotes.com/2014/08/22/improve-vocal-range/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 16:11:40 +0000 http://blog.musicnotes.com/?p=7966 One of the most frequent questions we’re asked by both aspiring and experienced vocalists is how to improve vocal range. Hitting those higher notes can make or break a performance, that’s for sure, but the most important thing is not to injure yourself in the process. We’ve consulted with a few of our vocal coach friends to present some simple tips to help you safely and comfortably improve vocal range over time. As with any new exercise program (you’re conditioning your vocal muscles to be comfortable at higher pitches), it’s ideal to consult with an expert first. In this case, a professional vocal coach will be able to help ensure you progress
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One of the most frequent questions we’re asked by both aspiring and experienced vocalists is how to improve vocal range. Hitting those higher notes can make or break a performance, that’s for sure, but the most important thing is not to injure yourself in the process. We’ve consulted with a few of our vocal coach friends to present some simple tips to help you safely and comfortably improve vocal range over time.

As with any new exercise program (you’re conditioning your vocal muscles to be comfortable at higher pitches), it’s ideal to consult with an expert first. In this case, a professional vocal coach will be able to help ensure you progress in a healthy way. “If it hurts, stop,” are words to live by when it comes to protecting your voice. It’s also absolutely essential that you take care of your cords!

Know Your Voice

Before you can start to train your voice to sing higher, you must determine your natural range. All the singing you’ll ever do is within your natural range, the interval from your lowest to highest note. The goal in improving your vocal range is to ‘unlock’ the outermost notes of your natural range and be able to sing them comfortably, clearly and beautifully.

To find your vocal range, start at middle C on the keyboard. Middle C is represented as C4 on your sheet music, 4 signifying the 4th octave. Sing each semitone down until you cannot comfortably and clearly hit the notes, this is your lowest note. Then work your way up the keyboard from middle C, singing along with each semitone to find your uppermost note.

Practice singing your natural range daily via “friendly exercises.” A friendly exercise is repeating a sound that is easy for you to sing, such as ‘mum’ or ‘la.’  As your range gradually expands (one note at a time), add these higher notes to your friendly exercises. Don’t worry about holding the new note at first, rather concentrate on hitting it reliably multiple times (8-10) within a practice session. Work until you can comfortably sustain the note clearly for a longer duration of time. Trying to extend your vocal range will do you no good if it breaks or lacks control.

Use Proper Technique

You’ll find it ‘s nearly impossible, not to mention dangerous, to extend your range without employing proper singing techniques. Here’s a quick overview of the basics:

Your larynx should be low, at rest position. “Sing with an open throat,” is a common mantra to remember. Here is a great tutorial for practicing your open throat singing! Stand straight and make full use of your breath support. Your tongue should rest at the top of your bottom teeth and your jaw should be relaxed. Finally maintain consistent airflow.

When singing outside their regular vocal range, some beginning vocalists tend to either force more air through the throat, which can jam up the vocal chords, or restrict air flow, which can lead to a breathy sound. Maintaining your technique will help you avoid either of these situations.

You may also find it helpful to start at the top note of your vocal exercises from time to time. Starting from the top will keep your voice from getting too heavy, help you keep your larynx low and break the cycle of always having to move from your chest voice to head voice (higher register).

Modify Vowels and Substitute Words

Let’s discuss for a second that pivotal moment when you move from your chest voice to your higher register. It’s often around this point in your range that you may experience “the break.” This is when your voice tends to crack or strain, and our natural response if often to add tension to avoid the problem. A great technique for circumventing this problem is vowel modification. By using rounded, closed vowel sounds, we’re able to more easily transition from chest voice to higher register. Try it out! Use “oo” or “ee” when first singing higher notes. Once you can reach your desired register, slowly open the vowels to “oh” and “uh.” Change how you articulate a vowel to help make it more comfortable to sing, then gradually practice opening it up.

Similarly, when working on a new piece with a challenging note, try substituting the lyrical text with a vocal exercise. Use the word “noo,” for example, on the high notes. Once you can sing the notes comfortably, add your text back in. You can also use vowel modification within words. The word “that” might be replaced with “thet” in the upper register. Here’s a very detailed article focusing on vowel pronunciation and the acoustics behind it (skip to page 3 for vowel modification).

Now that you have some tips to try out, check out our Singer Pro sheet music store for the best selection of officially licensed, professionally arranged vocal sheet music. Our Singer Pro sheet music is created specifically for vocalists, with a vocal line separate from the accompaniment, so that you’re better able to replicate the original artist’s rendition or put your very own spin on the song.

Do you have any additional tips or suggestions for your fellow vocalists? Is there an exercise you’ve found especially helpful in improving your vocal range? Share your insights in the comments below!

 

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Pre-Show Rituals of Popular Musicians http://blog.musicnotes.com/2014/08/19/popular-pre-show-rituals/ http://blog.musicnotes.com/2014/08/19/popular-pre-show-rituals/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 16:39:46 +0000 http://blog.musicnotes.com/?p=7358 We all have our own routine prior to walking on stage for a big performance. Some of our pre-show rituals include certain exercises, meditation and maybe even a ‘lucky’ song you listen to in order to shake stage jitters and get into the ‘zone.’ We’ve looked at pre-show rituals of popular musicians you may have seen in concert or heard on the radio recently. Check out their typical (and some unusual) formulas for stage success! Beyoncé “Bey” told Vogue magazine that she takes a few hours to prepare the day of a performance. “I say a prayer with everyone in the band, then we do a stretch,” she shared. “I
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We all have our own routine prior to walking on stage for a big performance. Some of our pre-show rituals include certain exercises, meditation and maybe even a ‘lucky’ song you listen to in order to shake stage jitters and get into the ‘zone.’

We’ve looked at pre-show rituals of popular musicians you may have seen in concert or heard on the radio recently. Check out their typical (and some unusual) formulas for stage success!

Beyoncé

“Bey” told Vogue magazine that she takes a few hours to prepare the day of a performance. “I say a prayer with everyone in the band, then we do a stretch,” she shared. “I sit in my massage chair while they do hair and makeup and I have an hour of peace and I have a playlist that I listen to every day.”

Katy Perry

The Dark Horse singer revealed to Ryan Seacrest that her gear-up is pretty consistent while on tour. “You know, I wake up. I sometimes throw myself on a massage table, get massaged from the previous night where I had to do a two hour show and then I go and work out and I stretch and I kick. And then I do a warm up and then I go to rehearsal and then I basically get ready for the show. I mean when it’s show day, it is all dedicated to the show. There is nothing else that’s more important. So, I’m very focused.”

Coldplay

The band also spoke with Seacrest detailing their fairly tame gear-up process. “Before we play live we have a little moment where we’re just quiet, and supportive group hug.” Front man Chris Martin, however, has said he has a pre-pre-show ritual of his own. “For me, there are about 18 things I have to do before I can go out to perform—most of them are too ridiculous to repeat! One is I have to brush my teeth before I go on stage, otherwise I just don’t feel smart.”

Mumford And Sons

Filed under the more unusual pre-show rituals, Mumford And Sons’ Marcus Mumford reportedly keeps a bit of of palo santo wood (from a South American tree related to Frankincense) burning backstage prior to performing. He claims its smoke is the only cure he’s found for pre-show headaches.

Adele

The 21 songstress has a well-documented proclivity for stage fright, although she’s said it actually motivates her and has become sort of a pre-show ritual. “The bigger the freak-out, the more I enjoy the show,” she’s said.

Passion Pit

The members of indie pop group Passion Pit gather for a ‘team’ cheer prior to going on stage, keyboardist/guitarist Ian Hultquist told Vulture. Although, their chant is nothing you’ve likely heard before. They cheer “Roote to scoot, mate!” (a gibberish phrase) in their best Scottish accents just prior to performing.

Lorde

Berries or seaweed serve as Lorde’s dinner of choice on show nights. She shared her ritual with The Guardianwhich includes noshing on one of those foods after taking a dressing room nap with her go-to blanket. Also on Lorde’s must-do list? Wearing her favorite performance outfit. “Once I’ve got my suit on, I can do anything,” she says.

John Legend

In addition to vocal exercises and warm-ups prior to hitting the stage, John Legend shard his specific pre-show dinner choice with the Today show audience. The ‘All of Me‘ singer said roasted chicken fuels him for playing in front of thousands of fans night after night.

Do you have any go-to routines or rituals prior to taking the stage? Anything you’ve found helps you focus on your performance or combat pre-show jitters? Share your pre-show rituals with us and your fellow musicians in the comments section below.

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Destination: Music! Great Musical Travel Ideas http://blog.musicnotes.com/2014/08/15/musical-travel-destinations/ http://blog.musicnotes.com/2014/08/15/musical-travel-destinations/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 21:45:32 +0000 http://blog.musicnotes.com/?p=7890 Every city has a soundtrack, and one of the most inspiring prospects of exploring a new locale is uncovering its pulse and the stories behind its unique sound. That’s why we decided to take a look at cities known for their rich musical backdrops, cities whose rhythms can be felt the second you step foot on their soil: our great musical travel destinations! Today we’ll highlight just seven of the countless cool musical cities to consider for your next holiday away. If a trip isn’t part of the budget this year, no worries. We’ve also included a few sheet music selections to help bring a bit of each city’s flair into your own music room. London A 10 minute photo shoot outside Abbey Road Studios in
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Every city has a soundtrack, and one of the most inspiring prospects of exploring a new locale is uncovering its pulse and the stories behind its unique sound. That’s why we decided to take a look at cities known for their rich musical backdrops, cities whose rhythms can be felt the second you step foot on their soil: our great musical travel destinations!

Today we’ll highlight just seven of the countless cool musical cities to consider for your next holiday away. If a trip isn’t part of the budget this year, no worries. We’ve also included a few sheet music selections to help bring a bit of each city’s flair into your own music room.

London

A 10 minute photo shoot outside Abbey Road Studios in 1969 would establish one of the most iconic images in rock & roll history. You, too, can pull three mates along to stroll the crosswalk on Abbey Road.

Abbey Road

The Beatles weren’t the only rockers to make use of London’s fashionable streets in cover art. David Bowie‘s ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ album was shot on Heddon Street (in front of number 23, to be exact) in 1972. Oasis chose Berwick Street as the setting for their 1995 ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory’ cover.  And, the video for Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” was filmed on the street behind London’s Savoy Hotel.

More notable London sites include Jimi Hendrix‘s residence on Brook Street, as well as Waterloo Bridge, Ray Davies‘ inspiration for his homage to the River Thames and his home city.

Looking for a show? Catch an awe-inspiring musical in London’s West End Theatreland, the world-renowned stage destination frequented by the best stage and screen actors, and visited by millions of fans each year.

London-inspired sheet music: “Waterloo Sunset” by The Kinks, “Ziggy Stardust” by David Bowie, “Oh! Darling” by The Beatles

New York

The birthplace and epicenter of musical theatre, more than 12 million people attended a Broadway show during the 2013-2014 season, according to The Broadway League. But, even aside from the tremendous talent and legends of the ‘Great White Way,’ New York has more musical history than you can shake a bagel at.

Make your way to Central Park to see John Lennon’s meditative Strawberry Fields memorial and its Imagine mosaic. Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Musical Instruments permanent exhibit, and admire pieces dating from 300 B.C. Sip a cold one at Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village, where beatniks and folk artists congressed to make music and discuss politics in the 1960s.

Apollo Theater New York

Head north to Harlem’s Apollo Theater, and see where Ella Fitzgerald first walked on stage at age 17, where Jimi Hendrix won first place in an amateur contest in ’64, and where the likes of Duke Ellington, Ray Charles, Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin knocked the socks off excited audiences year after year, night after night.

New York-inspired sheet music: “New York State of Mind,” Billy Joel, “42nd Street – Broadway Revival” collection, “Take the ‘A’ Train” by Duke Ellington/Ella Fitzgerald,  “The Boxer” by Simon & Garfunkel

 Vienna

There must be something about the fresh air rolling off the Alps or the flow of the Danube that fosters musical virtuosity. How else does one explain the talent emerging from Vienna in the late 18th and early 19th centuries?

Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Strauss all spent the heights of their careers in the picturesque city, and remnants of the great Viennese Classical period are evident at every turn even today.

Stand where Mozart wrote ‘The Marriage of Figaro,’ among other works, at Mozarthaus Vienna, the virtuoso’s home from 1784 to 1787. Tour the 19th district, where Beethoven spent his summers, and see the stream said to inspire the first movement “Pastoral” of “Symphony No. 6.” Visit the gardenesque cemeteries of Austria’s capital city and see the graves of Beethoven, Schubert, Strauss and Brahms next to one another. Or visit Mozart’s unnamed grave, marked by the statue of a crying angel.

Mozarts Geburtshaus

Just a short train ride west of Vienna will land you in Salzburg, Austria, where Mozart was born. Not only will you find Mozarts Geburtshaus (Mozart’s birthplace) museum in Salzburg, you can recreate all your favorite scenes from ‘The Sound of Music’ movie, filmed here in 1965.

Vienna/Salzburg-inspired sheet music: “Piano Sonata in C Major, K. 545: I. Allegro” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “Symphony No. 6 ‘Pastoral,’ First Movement” by Ludwig van Beethoven, “Edelweiss” from ‘The Sound of Music’

Memphis

Rock ‘n’ roll is the pulse of Memphis, Tennessee, and  Beale Street is the heart of it all. It was on this 1.8 mile span that W.C. Handy brought the blues to Beale Street at the turn of the century, to be followed by legends like Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters, B.B. King and so many more. Visit the Rock ‘n Soul Museum at 191 Beale Street for a thorough trip down memory lane.

In 1954, an unknown artist named Elvis Presley entered a small blues record label named Sun Studio and paid $3.80 to record a demo. Elvis, and Sun’s owner Sam Smith, combined Memphis blues with country, jazz and an emerging genre called rock to forever change the course of popular music . Tour Sun Studio and see where Presley, as well as Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and more, made history.

Sun Studio

Soon after becoming the king of rock, Elvis realized he needed a more private residence for himself and his family. Enter Graceland, one of the most infamous homes in all of America. You can tour the Graceland mansion, just south of of the city, and see personal artifacts, cars and even his private jets.

Memphis-inspired sheet music: “Memphis Blues” by W.C. Handy, “The Thrill is Gone” by B.B. King, “Blue Suede Shoes” by Carl Perkins, “All Shook Up” by Elvis Presley

 Nashville

Head east a couple hundred miles from Memphis to Nashville, Tennessee, where country music reigns supreme. ‘Music City’ as its come to be known, is home to one of the longest-running radio programs in history, the ‘Grand Ole Opry.‘ The show began broadcasting from Nashville in 1925 as a one hour ‘barn dance,’ and expanded to a nationwide program  showcasing 4 hours of country, bluegrass, gospel and comedic performances by the 1940s.

The Ryman Auditorium

It was in the ’40s that the Opry moved into a former house of worship, what is now known as the Ryman Auditorium. Visit the “Mother Church of Country Music,” where honky tonk heros like Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Roy Acuff and the Carter family played regularly. When the Opry moved to its current home in 1974, a circle of the Ryman floor was removed and placed behind the mic in the new Grand Ole Opry House.

Stroll Music Row, and see famed sites like RCA’s Studio B, where countless legends, including  Elvis Presley (after leaving Sun) and Dolly Parton, recorded. Take in the world-renowned Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the mecca of country music history. And catch a listening session at the historic Bluebird Cafe, where a mile-long list of who’s who, from Garth Brooks to Faith Hill to Taylor Swift, have enjoyed shining career moments.

Nashville-inspired sheet music: “I Saw the Light” by Hank Williams, “Jolene” by Dolly Parton, “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks

 Paris

There’s perhaps nothing more Parisian than sitting at a sidewalk cafe accompanied by an accordion player’s bal musette tunes  wafting through the open air. Paris has storied musical history, with classical, jazz and rock roots.

Opera admirers flock to the Palais Garnier, the Paris Opera, built in the second half the 19th century to house the city’s opera and ballet companies. Its opulent decor and ornate facade provided the perfect setting for Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1986 musical, ‘The Phantom of the Opera.’

Palais Garnier

More classical/impressionist landmarks in or around Paris include Claude Debussy’s birthplace and now museum in Saint-Germain-en-Laye and the Cité de la Musique (City of Music) museum, which houses more than 1,000 historical instruments and pieces of musical art, including almost 200 classical guitars.

Jazz more your scene? Check out the La Chope des Puces (Espace Django Reinhardt) the city’s jazz homage to Django Reinhardt including a restaurant, school of jazz, recording studio and concert hall. The famed father of gypsy jazz lived near the site and lost the use of two of his fingers in a fire there, leading to his trademark phrasing.

Thousands of music fans tour the ornate tombs at Pére Lachaise each year, the most visited cemetery in the world, to see the grave of The Doors‘s Jim Morrison, among others. Also buried there are such luminaries as Oscar Wilde, Frederic Chopin and Marcel Proust.

Paris-inspired sheet music: “Swing de Paris” by Django Reinhardt, “Clair de Lune” by Claude Debussy, “La Vie En Rose” by Edith Piaf

Seattle

Seattle is still ubiquitous with the ‘grunge’ scene of the early 1990’s when bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and more put the city on the map as a musical destination.

Visit the sensory-rousing  EMP Music Museum to learn about the evolution of rock and popular music. The building’s exterior, designed by Frank O. Gehry, is said to be built mimicking the lines of  electric guitars.  Its ‘Northwest Passage’ exhibit focuses on on Seattle musical lore, including Jimi Hendrix’s beginnings (he’s buried in nearby Renton), the band Heart and the advent of grunge. Also not-to-miss is the museum’s Guitar Gallery.

EMP Museum

Take a trip to Viretta Park, the site of the unofficial Kurt Cobain Memorial. The park that sits just the the left of Cobain’s former residence at house number 171 is unmarked, yet serves as a place of remembrance for fans, many of whom leave song lyrics, pictures, letters and more on the park’s benches.

Complete your rock music vacation experience with a tour of London Bridge Studios. Bands including the aforementioned Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Blind Melon and Alice In Chains recorded albums at London Bridge throughout the 1990s.

Seattle-influenced sheet music: “Magic Man” by Heart, “Come As You Are” by Nirvana, “Yellow Ledbetter” by Pearl Jam, “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” by Death Cab For Cutie

That’s all for our exploration of musical travel destinations. There are so many other great places to experience music around the globe, we want to hear your favorites! Share your most beloved musical cities in the comments below, and be sure to include your can’t-miss attractions for each destination!

Creative Commons image sources via Flickr: Abbey Road by Grahamc99, Apollo Theater by Pedro Plassen Lopes, Mozart Geburtshaus by Neil Willsey, Sun Studio by Carl Wycoff, Ryman Auditorium by arianravan, Palais Garnier by Scarletgreen, EMP by Brad Coy

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Get Your Back-to-School Sheet Music Ready! http://blog.musicnotes.com/2014/08/12/back-to-school-sheet-music/ http://blog.musicnotes.com/2014/08/12/back-to-school-sheet-music/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 21:16:04 +0000 http://blog.musicnotes.com/?p=7857 Those magical days of reading, writing and arithmetic are just around the corner. Are you ready?  If you’re anything like some of our friends here at MNHQ, it might take a little, shall we say, extra motivation to get back into school mode. Luckily we have just the cure to beat those end-of-summer blues and gear you up for another great term: the most fun-to-play back-to-school sheet music this side of homeroom. We’ve explored the more than 260,000 arrangements at Musicnotes.com (oh, did we forget to mention we recently surpassed 260,000 arrangements!?!), and narrowed down 10 of our back-to-school sheet music front-runners. These anthems are guaranteed to punch the keys on your calculator, squeeze the juice
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Those magical days of reading, writing and arithmetic are just around the corner. Are you ready?  If you’re anything like some of our friends here at MNHQ, it might take a little, shall we say, extra motivation to get back into school mode. Luckily we have just the cure to beat those end-of-summer blues and gear you up for another great term: the most fun-to-play back-to-school sheet music this side of homeroom.

We’ve explored the more than 260,000 arrangements at Musicnotes.com (oh, did we forget to mention we recently surpassed 260,000 arrangements!?!), and narrowed down 10 of our back-to-school sheet music front-runners. These anthems are guaranteed to punch the keys on your calculator, squeeze the juice in your juice box, put the point on your pencil… well, you get the idea.

10. “School Days” by Gus Edwards

The quintessential back-to-school song, “School Days” has been around almost as long as school itself! The folk tradition was written by vaudevillian Gus Edwards in 1907 for his Broadway production of the same name.

9. “Fifteen” by Taylor Swift

A single off her ‘Fearless’ album, Taylor Swift wrote “Fifteen” detailing events that happened to herself and her best friend, Abigale, their freshman year of high school. The country pop star was sure to get her BFF’s blessing before recording the song and even asked her pal to co-star in the music video.

8. “Harper Valley PTA” by Jeannie C. Riley

A tongue-in-cheek account of one outspoken school parent, “Harper Valley PTA” became an international country music hit in 1968. The record sold more than six million copies and made Riley the first woman to top both Billboard’s Hot 100 and the U.S. country singles chart with the same song. (Dolly Parton would repeat the feat with “Nine to Five” in 1981.)

7. “Expectations” by Belle & Sebastian


Voted ‘Scotland’s greatest band’ in 2005, Belle & Sebastian’s “Expectations” was featured on the soundtrack to 2007’s coming-of-age film ‘Juno.’ Interesting fact: the indie-pop sixsome named their group after a french children’s book.

6. “Rock ‘N’ Roll High School” by The Ramones

“Rock ‘N’Roll High School” was written for the 1979 musical comedy film of the same name. Punk rock legends The Ramones appeared as honorary students in the silly film, however producers originally wanted the band Cheap Trick to play the story’s unruly rockers.

5. “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” by Pink Floyd

Containing one of the most recognizable bass lines in all of rock, “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” is a rebellious cry against heavy-handed authority. Perhaps not the best call for structured education, the song has definitely left its mark on history and we just couldn’t leave it off the list. Plus, it’s great fun to play!

4. “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)” by Beastie Boys

Another unlikely inclusion on our list, Beastie Boys’ parody-filled “Fight for Your Right” was almost a right of passage for restless teens of the late ’80s. This is another song whose hook is just so much fun to rock out with.

3. “We’re Going To Be Friends” by Jack Johnson/Jack White

Written by the White Stripes as a homage to the simplicity of childhood, “We’re Going To Be Friends”has been covered by a number of artists, including Bright Eyes and Jack Johnson. Johnson’s version was featured on the soundtrack for the 2006 ‘Curious George’ film.

2. “ABC” by The Jackson 5


The Jackson 5 knocked ‘Let It Be‘ out of the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970 with their catchy classroom pop hit “ABC.” The song, and its ‘simple-as-do-re-mi’ title, also sits first alphabetically on all-time Billboard #1 singles and is one of the shortest top song titles of all time!

1. “No Such Thing” by John Mayer

Inspiring students to forge their own paths, John Mayer’s “No Such Thing” is a somewhat autobiographical song reiterating the popular theme of developing into what you want to become, even if that means taking the road less traveled.

Well, that’s all for our back-to-school sheet music list. Are there certain songs that come to mind when you think of going back to school? What are you most looking forward to in the coming school year? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Music Theory Lesson: Learn How To Transpose Music http://blog.musicnotes.com/2014/08/08/how-to-transpose-music/ http://blog.musicnotes.com/2014/08/08/how-to-transpose-music/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 20:24:52 +0000 http://blog.musicnotes.com/?p=7806 Digital sheet music aficionados like yourselves already know how easy it is to transpose your digital files into any key you want with a simple click of your mouse. However, if you’re playing from a non-digital file (gasp!) , it’s great to know the basics of music transposition. Additionally, just as a budding mathematician studies algebraic laws, it’s important for us musicians to have a firm grasp on the theory behind what creates all those emotive, provoking sounds, and learning how to transpose music will help with just that! Transposition is simply the process of changing the key of a piece of music. Any major key can be transposed into any other major key, and
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Digital sheet music aficionados like yourselves already know how easy it is to transpose your digital files into any key you want with a simple click of your mouse. However, if you’re playing from a non-digital file (gasp!) , it’s great to know the basics of music transposition. Additionally, just as a budding mathematician studies algebraic laws, it’s important for us musicians to have a firm grasp on the theory behind what creates all those emotive, provoking sounds, and learning how to transpose music will help with just that!

Transposition is simply the process of changing the key of a piece of music. Any major key can be transposed into any other major key, and the same goes for minor keys.

Sometimes we’ll need to transpose music so that it can properly be played on different instruments. Because of the physical properties of certain instruments, it’s easier to transpose and read sheet music for them in a different key rather than read them in concert pitch (like a piano). Other times, we’ll decide to transpose the key of a piece to make it simpler to play or sing. The basic process of transposition is the same for either use.

Say you have a piece of sheet music written for a flute (a C instrument /concert pitch instrument) and you need to play it on the clarinet (a B-flat instrument / transposition instrument). A C pitch played on the flute or piano will actually sound like a C because they are concert pitch instruments. Remember the line “if it sees a C, it sounds its key.” However, if you play that same pitch of C on your clarinet, that C actually will sound like a B-flat in concert pitch, because the clarinet is a transposing instrument.  In order for that piece to sound the same on a flute and clarinet, we’ll need to transpose each of the notes by the correct interval (the distance between the notes). Find a list of non-transposing and transposing instruments here.

Ok, so we’ve determined that we do, in fact, need to transpose this very important piece of music for one of the reasons above. First, we’ll identify what key signature our original piece is in and what key signature we need to transpose to. Learn more about key signatures here. The Circle of Fifths provides an at-a-glance look at key signatures based on the number of sharps or flats.

Circle of Fifths

Circle of Fifths

Now that we’ve pinpointed our original key signature, we can identify how far up or down in tone we’ll need to transpose for our new instrument to sound the same as our original concert pitch. Below is a handy guide that shows how many steps (or half steps) we must move each note from our original score to our new, transposed score.

Music transposition chart

As you can see using the chart above, if we’re transposing from a C instrument to a B-flat instrument, we’ll want to move the key up one whole step (or whole tone). Our key of C Major transposes to a key of D Major, Key of G Major transposes to Key of A Major, key of B-flat Major transposes to the the key of C Major, and so on. You may also use this chart as a guide when transposing individual notes on your sheet music. For example, when an F instrument sees a C, it will sound like an F pitch. Or vice-versa, in your concert sheet music when you see an F written, your F instrument should see a C.

Now let’s pretend we need to transpose a melody to alto saxophone (an E-flat instrument). Your concert-pitch melody is scored in the key of A-flat Major. We can see that you’ll need to move down 1.5 steps to transpose your piece for an E-flat instrument, thus your new key is F Major. If you need help counting out the steps, following the whole and half steps on a keyboard can be helpful. Print out our piano guide cheat sheet to visualize whole and half steps between notes.

Note that a pitch may sound an octave lower or higher than the original depending on your instrument and you also may find you’ll need to change clefs. There’s more detailed information on that here. Starting out, however, just focus on transposing in the clef you’re most comfortable reading.

Practice Time: Take a look at our free downloads of the month. Print each arrangement, look at their key signatures and see how they relate to one another. Use the Circle of Fifths to familiarize yourself with the keys and the transposition chart to see how many steps (or half steps) the key moves depending on the instrument.

Now that we have our key signatures determined, the fun really begins! Print your free manuscript paper, and start transcribing your piece moving each note the same interval, or number of steps and half-steps, as your key. Again, you can use the chart above if you get stuck. Don’t forget that accidentals must also be transposed by the same interval. For example, if you see an A-flat in your concert score as an accidental, a B-flat instrument would need to see a B-flat to sound the correct concert pitch.

The easiest way to go about it is fill in your new key signature, your time signature (which will not change at all), and write out every note paying close attention to the interval between your original notes and transposed notes as well as the intervals between the notes in the individual measures. Also remember to update any changes in key signature within the piece (use your handy chart). When you’ve completed your transposition, all that’s left to do is mark in the upper left-hand corner what instrument your transposition is for. In our examples above, we’d write “Clarinet in Bb” or “Alto Saxophone in Eb.”

Are you a vocalist looking to transpose in order to change the range of your piece? Simply follow the same process of determining your original key, deciding on your new key, and moving each note the same number of steps and half steps throughout the piece. (In this situation the notes you read will be the actual concert pitch. Just remember to transpose any accompaniment in the same way.) Take a look at the Singer Pro arrangement of “Let It Go,” as an example. Listen to the original song in the key of A-flat Major (4 flats). Now, choose the C Major transposition available on the right hand side of the product page. Listen to the song in C Major (no sharps or flats) and notice how the pitch of the song in C Major, which is 2 steps higher than A-flat Major, sounds higher when you listen to it. Pretty cool, huh?

Just like with most music theory, the best way to master transposition is to practice it. Check out other free sheet music at Musicnotes.com and try transposing the pieces yourself. A great title to start with is our Beginner Notes arrangement of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” You’ll find that not only with this help you improve your transposition skills, key signature memorization and sight reading abilities will grow by leaps and bounds!

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