#1
So I was able to teach myself how to read sheet music at a basic but competent level out of a few lesson books. Now I got a new exercise book, "guitar excercises or dummies" and after frustratingly memorizing 5 major scale patterns, I then have to read sheet music in alternate positions based on the patterns i learned. UGH! Right when I thought I was getting it, tis completely shuts me down. After I get the basic positions of notation down, BANG! I can't play The First Noel to save my life.

I can struggle my way through finding notes on the fret board (schecter c-7 hell raiser) but its just so frustrating I fell like ill never get it. Idk how these guitar virtuosos can do it.

Anyone else have this frustration?
#2
Reading sheet music on guitar is hard. After 3 years of attempting to do it, I am amateur at best. I would first take a step back and learn all the notes on the fretboard. Print out fretboard diagrams, watch some lessons on youtube, quiz yourself or take quizzes on websites. I found once I had learned this (took months...), I was then able to go back to my method book and start to sightread with my new knowledge of the fretboard.

After that, its all pretty much CONSISTENT practice. Hope this helps
#3
Okay, I've mentioned this before, but there's a crucial intermediate step which is what makes reading music fast and fluid.

You want to be able to do two things:

First, you want to be able to hear what the music will sound like before you play it, just from reading the notation.

Second, you want to be able to play what you hear in your head, instantly and without hesitation (saving a moment to figure out what your starting note is).

What you are doing, it sounds to me, is like reading english phonetically. That's a way to learn, but it's not how people who know how to read actually read.

So I might back up and stop worrying about you sight-playing and instead focus on sight-singing for a while. Get that down, and you'll find that sight-reading for guitar gets a lot easier in a hurry.
#4
If you want to quickly memorize all note names try out my free quizzes. It took me 3 weeks and now I have the entire fretboard memorized. I'm always constructing new quizzes so check them out. Scales, Nashville Numbering System, Chord Construction, Circle of 5ths.. and more...Do not underestimate what I'm offering here, if you ever regretted not knowing every fret, your only 3 weeks away! Purpose Games - King Murdok
Just type in "The Fretboard" you should find my page - spread the word these are great resources and like nobody is using them!!
#5
One thing no one's mentioned yet is that it's all about intervals.

Find the root/resolution note of the melody on the neck. You need to know how to find notes on the neck to do that, obviously. From there, what's the next note in the melody? Is it a D? Wrong. It's a minor third from the root.

Don't think in notes, think in intervals. With few exceptions, every note's intervals are in the same place related to the root. For example, the fourth is directly above the root, except between the G and B strings ('cause they're tuned in thirds, not fourths). The major third is one fret down (to the "left") of that.

If you learn the neck this way, you won't need to memorize scale patterns... you'll be able to play any scale you know anywhere on the neck.
#6
It's tough, especially if guitar is your first instrument.

Carson's idea of thinking in intervals helps a lot. If you understand the major scale well enough, then you should be able to look at a note on the staff and immediately know what scale degree it is based on the root note. If it has an accidental, then you adjust for that. For example, a Gb in C major would be a b5. If you know where C is, you know you can just go up a string and up a fret to get that Gb, without even consciously recognizing that it's a Gb.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Jan 14, 2013,
#8
Thanks guys. It's a slow process, but I'm getting it. For example, I know that b&c and e&f have no note between them, so they are a help when I'm trying to name notes as I'm going up a scale. Also I am starting to remember where C is. The concepts of intervals make my head spin. I wished I cared about school when I was taking music theory in my early college years. Oh well, I feel more proud and motivated when I do it myself...even if it slower and rode painful lol.

I have a decent understanding of the major scale, wwhwwwh, etc... Cept i don't know what to do for accidentals.

I started out with trumpet for 8 years in middle school and high school, so I would say my understanding (or at least familiarity) with theory is at a basic-advanced beginner level. Any books that specialize in guitar theory would be a major help too.
#9
Quote by Chronic-Headach
Thanks guys. It's a slow process, but I'm getting it. For example, I know that b&c and e&f have no note between them, so they are a help when I'm trying to name notes as I'm going up a scale. Also I am starting to remember where C is. The concepts of intervals make my head spin. I wished I cared about school when I was taking music theory in my early college years. Oh well, I feel more proud and motivated when I do it myself...even if it slower and rode painful lol.

I have a decent understanding of the major scale, wwhwwwh, etc... Cept i don't know what to do for accidentals.

I started out with trumpet for 8 years in middle school and high school, so I would say my understanding (or at least familiarity) with theory is at a basic-advanced beginner level. Any books that specialize in guitar theory would be a major help too.


This one is more guitar-centric. An excellent resource.

http://www.amazon.com/Fretboard-Knowledge-Contemporary-Guitarist-Clement/dp/0739031570/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358220791&sr=1-1&keywords=Fretboard+contemporary+guitarist


#10
Quote by Scott Jones


w00t! Thanks! Putting that on my wish list for sure. I am currently working through guitar excercises for dummies, and got my major scale patterns and major scale arpeggios down pretty well, while trying my hardest to name the notes while I'm playing. Something like this should help, I hoe.
Last edited by Chronic-Headach at Jan 14, 2013,
#11
I think a breakthrough for you in terms of the major scale/intervals is to stop thinking of it as wwhwwwh. This is very limiting because in order to find a note, you have to have already found an adjacent note. Instead, you should think of the notes in relation to the root/tonic. So instead of a whole step, you have a major second. Instead of two whole steps, you have a major third. Instead of 3.5 steps, you have a perfect fourth. And so on...

Interval names are pretty simple really. Within the major scale, the fourth and fifth are both called "perfect" and the other intervals are called "major." So, major second, major third, perfect fourth, perfect fifth, major sixth, major seventh.

It's just about transferring your knowledge of whole and half-steps into larger intervals. It helps a lot once you start to see patterns. For example, up a string on the same fret is a perfect fourth (P4). A major third is just a half-step below that. A minor third is a half-step below that, or a whole step below a perfect fourth.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Jan 14, 2013,
#12
I think I kinda understand that... Maybe? Intervals really twist my head...
So a c to a d would be a major 2nd? As opposed to saying a whole step?...ummm... Yeah I just confused myself. And this is supposed to speed up note identification? How exactly?
#13
That's entirely correct. It doesn't really help for major seconds because it's only one step anyway. The problem is when you have intervals of a third or greater.

For example, if you have a major seventh from C, you should just know that it's a B instead of counting CwDwEhFwGwAwB to get there. Sevenths aren't really the best example, because you can just take the inversion of that interval (which would be a step, specifically a half-step in this case) and go the opposite direction.

I hope you understand my point though. Instead of counting each note in between, you can just skip over those.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#14
So instead of counting (or in my case, going through the chromatic scale till I get to the note I think said fret is) I am to just memorize what interval said note note is within the scale I'm playing? I think I understand the concept, now it's just to put it into practice.
Last edited by Chronic-Headach at Jan 15, 2013,