Intro To Reading And Playing Sheet Music

author: hollywise14 date: 03/11/2010 category: for beginners
rating: 9.4 / votes: 14 
I have been a long time member of ug.com, but this is my first lesson. I have noticed that in most of the "basics" lessons posted on this site, no one explains how to read the sheet music. Now, you are probably thinking that it is a major waste of time to be learning something like thet. Well, you're WRONG. Reading the music and knowing what note it stands for can be a valuable asset when it comes to writing songs and transposing from one instrument to another. Did you know that over 90% of popular musicians CAN NOT read sheet music. Imagine what they could do if they could read and write sheet music. Let's start with the basic notes.
F---------------------------------------
D---------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------
E---------------------------------------
That is what it will look like on the sheet. The four spaces between the lines are labeled as so.
________________________________________
                                         E
________________________________________
                                         C
________________________________________
                                         A
________________________________________
                                         F
You're thinking, "That's all very well, but how do I play these notes on guitar?" Standard tuning goes like this (lowest to highest) E A D G B E For learning purposes, I ave extended the score to contain all of the basic notes.
                                         G
F--------------------------------------- 
                                         E  
D---------------------------------------
                                         C
B---------------------------------------
                                         A
G---------------------------------------
                                         F
E---------------------------------------
                                         D
C---------------------------------------
                                         B
A---------------------------------------
                                         G
F---------------------------------------
                                         E
A pattern has emerged. The lines and spaces go upward in alphabetical order (E F G A B C D E F)(bottom, up)and so on. However, in the regular alphabet, there are 26 letters. In the musical alphabet, they only go from A through G and then they repeat themselves. Basic notes of the first string (bottom string): A pick without any fretting is the E in the space under the F line. A pick with the first fret held is the F line at the top. A pick with the third fret held, is the G above the F line. Congrats, you have just learned the basic notes of the first string. I will proceed in the same format as above.
                                         G
F--------------------------------------- 
                                         E  
D---------------------------------------
                                         C
B---------------------------------------
                                         A
G---------------------------------------
                                         F
E---------------------------------------
                                         D
C---------------------------------------
                                         B
A---------------------------------------
                                         G
F---------------------------------------
                                         E
Basic notes of the second string: A pick without any fretting is the B line. A pick with the first fret held is the C in the space above the B line. A pick with the third fret held, is the D line.
                                         G
F--------------------------------------- 
                                         E  
D---------------------------------------
                                         C
B---------------------------------------
                                         A
G---------------------------------------
                                         F
E---------------------------------------
                                         D
C---------------------------------------
                                         B
A---------------------------------------
                                         G
F---------------------------------------
                                         E
Basic notes of the third string: A pick without any fretting is the G line. A pick with the second fret held is the A in the space above the G line. Careful here, the frets change, and there are only 2 notes.
                                         G
F--------------------------------------- 
                                         E  
D---------------------------------------
                                         C
B---------------------------------------
                                         A
G---------------------------------------
                                         F
E---------------------------------------
                                         D
C---------------------------------------
                                         B
A---------------------------------------
                                         G
F---------------------------------------
                                         E
Basic notes of the fourth string: A pick without any fretting is the D in the space under the E line. A pick with the first fret held is the E line at the bottom. A pick with the third fret held, is the F above the E line.
                                         G
F--------------------------------------- 
                                         E  
D---------------------------------------
                                         C
B---------------------------------------
                                         A
G---------------------------------------
                                         F
E---------------------------------------
                                         D
C---------------------------------------
                                         B
A---------------------------------------
                                         G
F---------------------------------------
                                         E
Basic notes of the fifth string: A pick without any fretting is the A line near the bottom. A pick with the first fret held is the B in the space above the A line. A pick with the third fret held, is the C line.
                                         G
F--------------------------------------- 
                                         E  
D---------------------------------------
                                         C
B---------------------------------------
                                         A
G---------------------------------------
                                         F
E---------------------------------------
                                         D
C---------------------------------------
                                         B
A---------------------------------------
                                         G
F---------------------------------------
                                         E
Basic notes of the sixth string: A pick without any fretting is the E in the space at the bottom. A pick with the first fret held is the F line at the bottom. A pick with the third fret held, is the G in the space above the bottom F line. Congratulations. You can now read basic sheet music. In my follow-up lesson, I will show you how they fit together to make basic chords and I will provide some simple songs for you to practice with your new-found skills. Enjoy this new talent and PLEASE post your comments, positive :-), negative :-(, or otherwise:-|.
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