If you’re a serious pianist, you need some good sheet music. Come to think of it, you need sheet music regardless of what type of pianist you are. These days, you have many options for obtaining this valuable commodity.
Most all music stores have a sheet music department with a variety of styles of music. Classical, jazz, rock, pop and educational materials can usually be found and categorized in hardcopy form. Typically single compositions, especially in pop music, tend to be displayed near the front of the store. These latest hits are hot selling items but rather pricey. Buying one piece of music is certainly not as price-friendly as purchasing an entire book of latest hits. Even if you only like four or five in the book, the price most certainly comes out less expensive on a per song basis.
Online sheet music is a nice option to have, either through websites that mail you sheet music or websites that offer downloads. An example of a fairly large organization that offers and mails hardcopy music is:
Here’s one that sells downloads:
The obvious advantage of downloading music is that you immediately have access to the music that you have just purchased. In seconds, you can view and begin learning your favorite piano works. Of course, having a bound copy means printing out the score (provided it is allowed by the seller) and binding it at a photocopy shop. This often still comes out less expensive then purchasing a prepared copy from a traditional music store, although you should carefully do the math before committing to a download.
As for purchasing from a website that delivers a hardcopy to you via mail, this is very convenient provided you have the patience to wait for the parcel to arrive. Often times, a seller will give a discount on your purchase, both for the shipping and the music when buying more than one item. Keeping this in mind, it is usually quite worthwhile selecting more than one desirable item as repertoire from this type of retailer.
There’s a lot of free music available on the internet. Sometimes it’s decent and often times it is not. Usually you get what you pay (or don’t pay) for. Music that has an unedited look to it is probably just that; unedited. If you are buying free music that is a recent pop hit, the music most likely has not been cleared for sale by its rightful copyright owner and is probably a second rate transcript.
When adding to your repertoire, you really should be seeking out quality publishers, either by doing some research, or by speaking to colleagues and receiving recommendations from them.
On a final note, if you are a fan of pop and rock music, determine if you are a pianist or a pianist/singer. If you are the latter, then the right (and occasionally left) hand of your purchased music does not have to contain the melody line. However, if you have little intention of singing your newly acquired popular piece, you should have a transcript that includes the melody in the piano arrangement.
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