Throw The Boy Down The Well

author: Sean0913 date: 03/22/2010 category: for beginners
rating: 9.4 / votes: 13 
Assumptions sometimes kills the ability for evolution. People assumed the world was flat until someone challenged it. Galileo challenged wisdom and convention of his day, and we learned the universe doesn't revolve around us after all. There has not been a death to innovation nor has everything been taught yet. Today, open up a music book and you will see that when it comes to learning the notes on the staff it's taught the same way - F A C E in the spaces and E G B D F on the lines. Furthermore, every student has been taught Every Good Boy Does Fine. This is the mnemonic for the E G B D F on the lines of the musical staff. That leaves us a total of 9 notes to find the position for. What a remarkable system? Today I wanna throw that good boy down the well, and leave him there. The best learning is done when the brain has two things that it can do. 1. Learn small pieces of information 2. Apply that information to something it already knows. (Its less abstract that way) We are going to do that very thing in this lesson. Its so simple its profound, yet at the end of this lesson, a question is left by implication: Why has no one been teaching this? Let's get into the method. First, the small piece of information: 1. Spell the word FACE Second, lets apply it to something we already know 2. Your ABC's or Alphabet. Lets get going. First of all if you can visually determine what a space is from a line, you're halfway home. You figure out the lines relative to their position from the spaces. If I can spell the following:
E

C

A

F
These are my Spaces, this is the word FACE. So if the note is NOT in a Space, then its one a LINE and the LINE is not comprised of letters in the word FACE. So, let's say its this note as illustrated below. What note is the "-?-". (By the way I use a dash on both sides to denote that its on a line)
E
-?-
C

A

F
Simply go up one letter in the ALPHABET from the C (The C is in the word FACE and right below our Mystery note)
E
-D-
C

A

F
So the note on the line was D. All I do, is read up FACE until I get to the SPACE below the Line, in this case it was C, and then move up one letter in my ALPHABET. The speed in which you do this, makes IDENTIFYING notes FASTER than the traditional method involving the previously mentioned boy we threw down the well. Simply read up FACE and move to the line that was right after the Space. Its that simple. Its faster to get a note in 1-2 steps. You'll either get on it by FACE or be one note upwards from it. Or below, if you look at this example:
E

C

A

F
-?-
In this case go one letter of the alphabet BACK, and you'll land on E. With this licked, you need only know ledger lines a few below and a few below to have a pretty quick grasp on any note, or series of notes on the staff. Of course that's not to speak of things like Key Signatures or Accidentals, but that is a lesson for another time. For now, this should provide you with a nice simplified way to start instantly identifying the notes on the staff for beginning sight-reading purposes. (And leave the good boy in the well, but throw him a sandwich or something...maybe make him tune and string your guitars... reutilize his purpose as a roadie) ;) Best, Sean
More Sean0913 lessons:
+ Throw The Boy Down The Well. Part 2 For Beginners 03/29/2010
+ Tap Dancing With Triads Guitar Techniques 03/23/2010
+ Speed Kills For Beginners 03/18/2010
Comments
Your captcha is incorrect