One of the most requested piano pieces is Scott Joplin’s, The Entertainer. Though Joplin wrote it in 1902, it was used in the film The Sting which was set in the 1930s, because it conveys an exuberant sense of humor and mischief. Ragtime is challenging to play because of its syncopated rhythm. Syncopation is when a weak beat (the eighth notes between beats 1, 2, 3 and 4, or the notes we count as “and” and call “upbeats”) is tied to a strong beat (beats 1, 2, 3, and 4, called “downbeats”). An upbeat is made strong when it is tied to a downbeat. In The Entertainer you will see a tie connecting the “and” (upbeat) of beat 2, to beat 3. The tie naturally accents and emphasizes the upbeat. Syncopation creates the jaunty rhythm characteristic of ragtime. Almost every measure of The Entertainer has a syncopated note.
Though I have simplified this arrangement of The Entertainer a bit, it is still quite a challenge to play. I would suggest that you approach the piece by writing the counts under the notes. [Never feel embarrassed to write counts in your music–even professional musicians write in counts for tricky musical passages.] After awhile you won’t have to worry about counting when your ear kicks in, but be meticulous about your counting to start. If you find the introduction too difficult to play with two hands, feel free to play it with just your right hand. And as always, you are welcome to change fingerings if you find something you like better.
CLICK HERE TO PRINT: The Entertainer
…plus other free sheet music from the past year
Remember the free sheet music I post is only available for a year. If you are reading this and want a copy of The Entertainer after The Entertainer is no longer on the FREE SHEET MUSIC page, leave a comment below or email me at email@example.com to request a free copy.
I also wanted to point out a new (restored) RESOURCES page on my website. On that page I list books of music that you might like to play while playing through the Upper Hands Piano method (with BOOKS 2+), and after you have finished the series. I have included fake books with popular music and standards, as well as classical collections.
I hope you have been enjoying a lovely spring in your neck of the woods. If you are preparing for an upcoming performance you might find my posts on Performance Anxiety and Recital Season helpful. I’m currently working on worksheets for students who have a difficult time remembering which octave to play their bass notes. If you need help solving piano issues, feel free to make a request in the comments below. I’m always happy to find ways to help students remove their musical roadblocks. Chances are that many others are sharing your difficulties.
With love and music, Gaili
Author, Upper Hands Piano: A Method for Adults 50+ to Spark the Mind, Heart and Soul
6 Replies to “May Free Sheet Music: The Entertainer”
Hi Gaili – I can’t find the copy of the Entertainer I made last year… Could you please send?- Thanks Muchly! johnny
Sure- it’s on its way
Hi Gaili! I am an (online now) private piano instructor. Your arrangement of ‘Solace’ is wonderful❤️ and I want to introduce this genre to a very talented high school student of mine. I think if I had your version of ‘The Entertainer’ it would be perfect to offer either to start with. We have been working through your arrangement of ‘Swan Lake.’ And a HUGE thank you for ‘Rhapsody in Blue’!
Hi Mary Ellen- I’m so happy to hear that you are enjoying my arrangements! I will send you my arrangement of The Entertainer now. Thanks for your comment!
Hi Gaili, can I just say I love your work. I found your website this year and enjoy looking and working on the monthly arrangements as they are at the right level for me. I would love a copy of the Entertainer. Still available?
Thank you so much Elaine! I’m glad you are enjoying the arrangements. I will send The Entertainer to you 🙂