If you’re a musician, you know the struggle of finding good sheet music. And if you don’t have the biggest budget, you know how nice it is when you find good free sheet music.
Before you resort to dropping a ton of money on music, consider your options. You won’t always find what you need for free. But you can try a few things out to save money on sheet music.
Stick to Public Domain
One of the easiest ways to get free sheet music is to play pieces that are in the public domain. These pieces have been out for a while, so they don’t have copyright protection, so you don’t need money to get the music.
You can find tons of public domain classical music from the Baroque era up until the early 20th century. So if you want to expand your repertoire on the flute or any other classical instrument, you can do so basically for free.
I will often look for public domain music when I want to learn something new. That way, I don’t have to pay, but I also don’t have to worry about shipping or other issues.
Use Your Ears
If you’re better at ear training than me, you may want to use your ears to learn music. A lot of pop and rock musicians do this when creating covers. And so can classical musicians who want to cover pop or rock songs.
You can put on a song that you like and try to figure out the melody. It may take multiple tries to get the notes write. But you can write them down as you go or attempt to remember them.
Then, you’ll be able to play along to some songs. This method also works for learning classical music. But if you want to learn music by living composers, please buy their sheet music to support them!
Ask for Sheet Music
Whether it’s the holidays or you have a birthday coming up, add sheet music to your wish list. You can ask for specific pieces, or you can simply give your instrument and let someone decide what to get for you.
This can be a great way to get free sheet music that isn’t quite in the public domain. You don’t have to pay for it, so it will be free to you. And you will have access to a larger selection of works.
If you don’t have musicians as family members, I’d recommend sending names of the exact pieces you want. Then, you can make sure they will purchase the right sheet music to help you improve your playing.
Create Your Own Sheet Music
If you’re good at composing or arranging, you can create sheet music for yourself. You can do this in a few ways, depending on what you already have:
- Print off free music notation paper
- Use software like MuseScore
- Use an app like NotateMe Lite
Creating sheet music from scratch takes work. And if you want to arrange music, you’ll still need to find the sheet music or use your ears. But it can be a great way to find free sheet music that you can’t get anywhere else.
Websites to Find Free Sheet Music
The internet is one of the best places you can go to find free sheet music. And you can find free sheet music for just about any instrument. Fortunately, there are a few excellent websites to check out when looking for pieces.
IMSLP is probably the most popular website for public domain sheet music. You can find music for the more common instruments as well as for some less common ones.
If you have an iPad, you can even use the free IMSLP app. That way, downloads will be ready and waiting in the app, so you can use the app as a sheet music reader.
Even if you just use the website, you can find plenty of music. And if you want to branch out from classical music, there are tons of other styles available.
Specifically for flute players, FluteTunes is another excellent resource. The website uploads a new piece daily. Some pieces are classical, while others are traditional and from different countries.
You can also find sheet music for etudes on the site. All of it is available for free, but the music does use its own edition. So the markings may be slightly different from what you’d find elsewhere.
Still, it’s a great place to find holiday songs, concertos, sonatas, and more. So if you play the flute or another instrument with a similar range, FluteTunes is a great place to look around.
The first free sheet music website I found is 8Notes. It has music for a lot of different classical instruments. You can also search by difficulty, and there are even some pieces for chamber instrumentations.
I believe you can pay for some extra access. But the free version is enough to help you get started. Then, you can learn original pieces for your instrument as well as arrangements.
And you can use the forum section to ask questions and interact with other musicians. It’s a great website for any musician to use.
A lot of musicians know of MuseScore as a free notation program. While that’s a huge part of it, MuseScore users can upload their sheet music to the program’s website.
You can search for sheet music from classical composers and pop artists. While a lot of the downloads require a PRO subscription, some are available for free.
So if you want to learn about up and coming composers and find new music to play, give the website a try. You never know what you might find.
How Will You Find Free Sheet Music?
Finding free sheet music can be a great way to expand your musical knowledge without breaking the bank. But you need to know what you can get for free and what you need to pay for.
Then, you can set realistic expectations for your search. Soon enough, you’ll be able to play more music on a budget.
Do you have a few dollars to spend on sheet music? Download some famous solos for flute today!