After you’ve learned the notes and scales (or guitar chords, for all you guitar players), there’s only so much noodling around you can do on your own before you’ll need to find actual music to play. And once you’ve learned how to read it, the world of sheet music is your oyster!
When you’re first starting out, your music teacher should have ideas for typical beginner pieces – but if you have your eye on another tune (or perhaps a popular song on the radio), the Internet can be a great resource for finding sheet music.
Here are a few of our staff and teacher favorites for finding sheet music online:
This is a great online catalog of over 200,000 songs, with everything from Bach to Sara Bareilles. The categories (piano, guitar, voice, woodwinds, brass and strings) are easily searchable, with additional lists for the current Top Downloads, New Stuff and Recommended Picks. A corresponding app also syncs to your iPad, where you can even annotate the music with virtual highlighters and text. Note: In order to print the sheet music, you’ll need to download Musicnotes Suite, the program used to preview and make purchases.
This website boasts the world’s largest collection of music, with over 720,000 titles in their catalog. Similar to Musicnotes.com, pieces are categorized in several different ways, including by instrument, genre, format (CD sheet music, DVD sheet music, play-along, karaoke, etc.), top sellers and even alphabetically if you want to spend the time purely browsing. Additionally, each piece is marked with a difficulty rating and includes a rundown of all of the different positions, scales, chords and rhythms you will need to know beforehand. The only downside? Since downloading to your computer isn’t an option, you’ll have to place your order and wait for the snail mail to arrive.
If you’re looking for free sheet music, 8notes.com is a great resource for all types (and levels) of musicians. Not only can you find sheet music, but the website offers tons of other music tools, like an online metronome, interactive music theory lessons and guitar or piano chord charts. You can also set up blank sheet music, if you’re planning on trying your hand at composing!
– Suzy S., TakeLessons staff member and blogger
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