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Brandy Kraemer

Brandy's Piano Blog


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What If Your Piano Tuner Isn't Certified?

Tuesday April 22, 2014

Grand piano strings close up.Not all piano tuners and techs are registered, nor do they need be; certification is not a professional requirement in the piano tuning and repair trade.

However, there are organizations set up to maintain a standard of quality within the trade, and offer certification to piano technicians who can meet those standards.

So what if your tuner isn't registered or certified? Will you be risking more money in the long run? The answer may surprise you:

Image: Tim Hawley/Getty

Quick Keynote Reference for Composers

Tuesday April 22, 2014

Chromatic scales by keynote.Most notes of the staff name both major and minor key signatures, but some are only seen as one or the other. (A few keynotes don't name any working key signature, and their scales are considered rare or theoretical.)

Consult the following table to research how a note relates to a specific key, and strengthen your understanding of the diatonic scale:

Image © Brandy Kraemer

Avoid A Rip-Off on the Piano Sales Floor

Monday April 21, 2014

Sales tactics are used in every trade, but the piano's cost and complexity allows some people to take advantage of those not "in-the-know." Don't fall victim:

Time to Clean Your Piano Keys?

Monday April 21, 2014

Kitten on a piano keyboard.Piano keys are destined to become soiled over time. Sweaty hands and skin oils bind dust and dirt to keys, and frequently used notes are especially vulnerable; their porousness allows grime and germs to build up and feed off each other.

During cold and flu season, disinfecting your piano keys is a must, especially if you share an instrument. Use the following tips to safely cleanse your keyboard:

Image: David De Lossy/Getty Images

Early Musical Organs

Monday April 21, 2014

Organ pipes.Read about -- and hear a few of -- the earliest types of musical organs, including the oldest-known keyboard instrument! (Can you name it?)

Image: Michael Betts/Getty

How to Go Longer Between Piano Tunings

Sunday April 20, 2014

Piano strings tuningIt may not feel like it now, but spring will be here in a few months (and you know what that means: time to make an appointment with the piano tuner!) But, if you keep your piano in the right environment, you might be able to wait longer between tunings:

Image: Tim Hawley/Getty Images

Playing Dotted & Double-Dotted Notes

Sunday April 20, 2014

Rhythm dots in piano music.Dotted notes may seem confusing at first, but you'll see that they're actually pretty simple. You should, however, have an understanding of note lengths to make sense of them.

Dots placed next to notes increase their duration (although a dot above or below a note is something completely different -- the staccato accent):

Image © Brandy Kraemer

Piano Care 101

Saturday April 19, 2014

The piano's size and complexity can make its upkeep seem like an endless endeavor ... and in a way, it is. Learn all there is to know about piano care, damage detection and prevention, and keeping your instrument in tune:

ˇMusical Quizzes!

Friday April 18, 2014

Musical quizzes.Now you can find a detailed list of all available musical quizzes in one convenient and organized spot. Test your knowledge of the piano keys; musical symbols & commands; theory; rhythm ... and, well, all things notation:

Image © Brandy Kraemer

Building Different Chord Types

Thursday April 17, 2014

How to form piano chords.The piano has a note layout that's easy on the eyes as well as the memory, so if you're looking to build your own chords on the keyboard, all you need is a simple understanding of chord intervals:

Image © Brandy Kraemer

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