The Really Useful Piano Poster

Music theory basics for producers who are unfamiliar with the keyboard
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From my own experience as a teacher, I know that visual aids are very useful, especially with something as initially confusing as music theory. But while it would be perfectly appropriate to hang The Really Useful Piano Poster on the wall in a piano-teaching studio, its designer, Domenico Arenare, conceived of it for a different audience: It is designed for musicians and music producers who don’t have a full understanding of music theory or a background in keyboard playing, but who occasionally need a reference.

“When producing music, I used to use a number of online resources, apps, and good old-fashioned pieces of paper to look up different scales, chords and diagrams,” Arenare explains about the genesis of The Really Useful Piano Poster. “But I wanted a much easier, more immediate way to access all of this information, so I brought it all together onto one poster.”

The graphical density of the poster looks intimidating at first, but the information is logically organized and simple to follow. The main section shows 48 scales and 60 chords: Each row is based on a note name, starting from C at the top and moving chromatically to B. The columns (from left to right) include the major scale and the three minor scales with left- and right-hand fingerings, followed by the root positions of basic chord shapes (major, minor, augmented, diminished, dominant seventh). Also shown are where the notes reside on the grand staff, diatonic chord names, and the circle of fifths. Its large format, colorful design, and quality printing make it easy to read at a distance.

Arenare’s Kickstarter campaign to fund the poster brought in nearly four times the stated goal when it ended in late April. By the time you read this, The Really Useful Piano Poster will be available for direct order in several formats from as a digital download in PDF format for £10; printed on an A1 size (23.4" x 33.1") paper in a Standard (folded) version for £15 including shipping; A1 size but rolled in a paper tube for £15 plus shipping; and in a Deluxe version (higher-quality paper and silver-foil debossing on the logo) for £25 plus shipping.