We musicians are always looking for sheet music to play. New songs and hits are coming out everyday. Nonetheless, not everyone is blessed with the ability to play songs by ear. I know I don’t, even after almost 20 years of playing the piano. I, like many musicians still rely heavily on the sheet music.
When you hear the song that touches your heart, you almost instantly want to play it. Next you go online to search for the free sheet music, only to find that it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. Most of the so called free sheet music websites require you to pay. Then, you decide that it is not possible to find the freebies online, you go ahead and purchase the sheet music. Later you notice that the sheet music is not accurate, or you are simply not happy with the arrangement! Are all these déjà vu to you?
Despite what everyone told you, it is true that you can find free sheet music online. Yes, I mean, full version, downloadable, printable, high quality, no-cost sheet music of different genres, including pop, musicals, classical, jazz etc. Why pay for something that you can get it free? Here I will share with you two methods on how you can locate free sheet music from internet:
1. Search engine (SE): Search engines like Yahoo, MSN and Google are the most important tools that can help you to find free sheet music. The problem is, most people don’t know how to effectively search for the information they need from the SE. Do you just enter 1 or 2 search terms and give up? Note that if your search term is too generic it may not yield good results. Don’t believe? Try typing the term “sheet music” in Google, most of the results point you to paid site! So you have to be very specific with your search term. If I am looking for Kelly Clarkson sheet music, I would search for…
Kelly Clarkson sheet music
Kelly Clarkson free sheet music
Because of you sheet music
Kelly Clarkson because of you sheet music
I hope you get the picture. The more specific your search term is the higher chance that you can find the sheet music. Each search terms would usually give you thousands of listings. At times you have to go pass the first few pages to finally arrive at a website that offer free sheet music. It can be time consuming but I assure you that the result will be worthwhile.
2. Websites partners: With the method described above, you should be able to find few free sheet music websites. On the World Wide Web, websites with common themes are often linked to each other. When you land at a sheet music websites, look for links that says “link page”, “link partners”, “Resource”, “Other websites”, “Other links”. You should be able to find a list of website address which point to other sheet music websites.
3. Forums: Forums are great places where you meet like minded people, exchange opinions and seek for advices. There are literally hundreds thousands forums of different niche on the internet. If you are looking for sheet music, why not join some music forums? You will be surprised by the number of people out there who are friendly and helpful. I’ve also noticed that many musicians post links to various sheet music sites on the forums. Do a search on these forums and you should be able to find those links.
4. Notation software: Notation software really makes finding sheet music easy as pie! There are excellent notation software in the market that do a very good job in transcribing the Midi files into sheet music. The whole process is very simple and easy. You open the Midi files with the software, and it instantly arranged it into sheet music format. The good news is that it is very easy to find Midi files of almost any song from the web. The software that I used and recommend are Midinotate Composer and Noteworthy Composer. You can download 30 day trial version from their website. Best of all, they have friendly and supportive forums for their users.
5. Guitar Tabs: this method is suitable if you are good in improvisation. Guitar tabs give you the lyrics and chords of a song. If you are very familiar with the melody and rhythm, the tab can come in handy. Try to play the chords while playing back the song on the radio. This should give you good feel on how to play the song.