FREE Music Fact Sheets
Live out your piano and Ukulele dreams with fun, interactive Music Musing fact sheets that teach you three different ways to learn to play music, and lots of ways to start playing melodies, chords, cool bass lines and even improvising with blues scales. Enjoy! –Suz
(See Suz’s complete list of YouTube videos on her Music How To Videos page.)
Click on the title of the fact sheet below to preview it, then select the download button to download it to your hard drive.
Fact Sheet Starter Kit — PIANO & BASIC MUSIC
Start playing fun music right away!
- What is Music?
- Discover 3 ways people learn music, and which one can get you started playing
- Making Melodies
- Learn how to play the melodies of oodles of popular songs with just 7 simple notes!
- Making Chords
- Play songs right away using 3 simple chords that are in almost every song. Learn how these 3 chords are made out of the same 7 notes melodies are made of.
- Playing by Ear
- Learn how to figure out which 3 chords to play in over 35 songs.
Playing “the Bones” of a Song
Learn how to easily play many songs “by ear” by playing the main chords of the songs, rather than all the chords.
- 1950s Chords
- Play lots of doo-wop and crooner songs of the 1950s with just 4 simple chords!
- Playing with All 7 Chords!
- What chords do “Over the Rainbow”, “Gillian Island”, “Y.M.C.A” and “Danny
Boy” have in common? This fact sheet shows you!
- Chords & Scales
- Learn what kind of chords every scale and key have in common, which is the
basis for transposing songs to different keys.
- How to Read Chords
- Make chords from the simple “C” to CmMaj7, and learn one simple way to switch
from a major chord to a minor one.
- Cool Bass Lines
- This is where you really start playing with the feel of a song! With these
Boom-chuck, Cowboy & Boogie bass lines, you’ll be sounding cool (and having fun)
in no time!
- The Blues Scales
- The secret to improvising jazz, blues, and even heavy rock. Does “Smoke on
the Water” really use blues scales?
- 8 and 12-Bar Blues
- Use 3 simple chords and 3 cool blues scales to practice playing 8 and 12-bar
General Music Theory / For Any Instrument
How to Choose Music for a Memorial Service
Planning a memorial service while dealing with the emotional aspects of losing of a loved can be challenging. This article, written by a seasoned performer who has provided music at hundreds of funerals and memorials, helps you understand how to choose music for memorial services, and — most important -what the function of the music and musicians are at these gatherings. This article is free to copy and share, but not to sell or re-sell.
How to Transpose a Song
A practical (and easy to understand) introduction to how to transpose (change) the key of a song to a different one. Includes explanations of major chords, minor chords, how to simplify a song (with a detailed example), and handy at-a-glance transposing charts for both Major and minor keys — not to mention a brief explanation of what the heck a key is! 3 pages.
Transposing Chords and Keys chart – MAJOR KEYS.
A handy chart to help you easily transpose chords from one key to another. Each row shows the 7 different chords built on the notes of the scale in any given key (chord number 1 is the name of the key). Just take the chord numbers from the key a song is in, and play the same chord numbers from a different key. Each key has 7 different chords. See the “How to Transpose a Song” Factsheet for transposing charts in both major and minor keys, and an explanation of how to transpose.
Transposing Chords and Keys Chart – MINOR KEYS
A handy Chart to help you easily transpose chords from one key to another. Each row shows the 7 different chords built on the notes of a scale in any of the minor keys (chord number 1 is the name of the key). Just take the chord numbers from the key a song is in, and play the same chord number from a different key. See the “How to Transpose a Song” Factsheet for transposing charts in both major and minor keys, and an explanation of how to transpose.
Blank Chords by Measure Chart
Here is a template of a blank “Chord by Measure” chart. Add the title of your song, chords used for the intro, and then the name of chords measure by measure. A great way to chart out a song by how the chords line up in a given measure, based on the number of beats per measure. For guitar, piano, or any instruments that use chords.
Note Geometry of Chords No. 1
A nifty chart in which you can draw lines between the 3 notes of every chord in the key of C, and see the resulting geometric shape.
Note Geometry of Chords, Nos. 1, 2 & 3
A nifty chart for seeing the geometric shapes of chords in the key of C, different kinds of C chords, and a blank one for drawing shapes to any chords you’d like.
INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED MUSICAL IDEAS:
New! Amazing Grace chords – 5 Variations
Five different versions of how to play Amazing Grace. Includes words & chord to these styles: 1) 3-chord easy version; 2) Softened version (minor chords); 3) More chords (minors and 7ths); 4) Jazz Ballad Style (Major 7th and 9ths); and 5) Gospel Style (alternate bass notes, 4 chords with 5 bass notes, 1 to 4 chord riffs).
How to Make a Major Scale in any key
Explains the quick and easy formula for creating major scales in any key based on understanding the intervals between the seven notes of a scale. Covers different ways to remember this formula, and includes a practice sheet for writing out major scales starting on notes of almost every Western Scale, organized in the order of the circle of fifths.
How to Memorize Notes of a C Scale
A quick, visual guide to memorizing the name of the 7 notes of the musical alphabet (and of the 7 notes that make up the C Scale).
How to Memorize Notes on the Treble Staff
A quick and easy way to memorize the names of the notes on the lines and spaces of the treble staff.
A quick and easy guide to memorizing the names of the notes on
the lines and spaces of the bass staff.
Easy Piano Chord Substitutions (at the end of a song)
A quick and easy reference to how to create cool endings of a song, by substitution different chords for the usual ending chord. Includes 10 different styles, from the “Amen chord” to jazz, gospel, Broadway, rock, funky, torch to the surprise sudden key change ending. (2 pages)
Easy Ragtime style of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Printed music to accompany Suz’s Ragtime Style Piano Made Easy (Part 1) instructional video. Includes Twinkle Twinkle Little Star viewed as a words and chord sheet; as a words and chord number sheet; as regular easy piano notation; and as an easy Ragtime style notation.
How to Change the key of a song (even while you’re playing it!)
A handy guide to four different ways to quickly change to a new key while playing a song. Includes a basic overview of chords and keys, an easy explanation of the circle of fifths, and 4 ways to change keys on the fly: The Super Easy Switcheroo; the Semi-easy Switcheroo; the Semi-tricky Switcheroo; and the Super-tricky Switcheroo (can you tell I like the word “switcheroo?”). Factsheet is 4 pages long.
Different ways to look at a scale.
This handout shows 6 different languages used to talk about a C Scale, from notes on a staff to note names, numbers, solfege, scale formula and tetrachords — all in one handy chart. It describes the advantage of each one, and also shows a scale in guitar and mandolin/ violin tablature. ALSO includes a BONUS guide to the old “Guitar & Mandolin/ Violin Switcheroo Trick” (how to flip a chord upside down from the guitar and play it on a mandolin).
A Visual Look at 7, 9, 11 and 13 chords
A graphic look at the basic way chords are made out of skips on the keyboard.
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Shows how to play the chords C, Am, F, and G7 (a 1950s progression) in 4 different positions on the Ukulele fretboard. Includes how to play 3-string versions of the chords in the higher positions. Also explains how to create a 1950s feel by using triplet strumming.
VOICE & PERFORMING FACTSHEETS
These factsheets are free to download, view and share for personal or educational use. However, they are copyrighted and may not be reproduced and sold for profit without permission of the author. For more information, contact Suz. Some of the information in these factsheets is covered in videos on Suz’s Youtube channel.
All fact sheets are Adobe Acrobat files (.pdf). Download the free plugin to view and print the pages. Save the files to your hard drive before attempting to open them: Right-click (windows) or Control-click (Macintosh).
Contact Suz if you’d like to purchase the set in multiple copies.
Please write to let me know how these Musings work for you. I appreciate your feedback. — Suz
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