#1
Hey UG. Recently I bought Hal-Leonard Guitar Complete Edition and Bass Complete Edition, I understand that these are teacher-student books, but I think i'm capable of handling it. I get on pretty easy with the books, but one problem is, with sight reading, I can do it, but for me to solidly get a 12-bar song down, it takes half an hour at best and thats at about 80 bpm. What I'm asking is there a simple way to learn songs and faster while still using notation? Is it fair for me to write the note names above the staff? Or is that the 'cheater' way out? Any experienced musicians tell me how you got along with reading music. Thanks!!
#2
It's just experience. The more u do, the more u'll get used to it. After that u'll be able to read and play on the fly. Make sure u follow the basics tho (like most common neck position, etc...). Also, play as many different kinds of music as u can.

When u start seeing chords and such, make sure ur able to recognize them without having to go through every note in the chord (same with arpeggios). But yea, the more u do, the better u get at it... there really is no shortcut to this.
#3
uhh just practice man
I can still play a song sight reading at full speed on piano and I quit twelve years ago.
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#4
Thanks for the replies, but can someone reply to my query about writing the note names above? Is it a good idea? Does it help or will it only become a learning crutch for me that i'll always have to use? Would re-writing the song on a blank staff improve my ability to sight read?
#5
Quote by cjlane
Thanks for the replies, but can someone reply to my query about writing the note names above? Is it a good idea? Does it help or will it only become a learning crutch for me that i'll always have to use? Would re-writing the song on a blank staff improve my ability to sight read?

It might help, I used to write the note letters under the notes to see what was what, but if you keep reading it without writing letters, you'll get the practice of knowing what's what.

Now all you need to figure out are rhythm values...
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#6
Thanks for the replies, but can someone reply to my query about writing the note names above? Is it a good idea? Does it help or will it only become a learning crutch for me that i'll always have to use? Would re-writing the song on a blank staff improve my ability to sight read?


Rather than writing I would, and had at one point to improve my sight reading, say every note before playing it, and after that, every interval, and for chords, name the chords. It's an even slower process and you needn't do it all the time, just choose 10 to 20min a day to do that kind of reading till you think you no longer need to.
#7
Quote by cjlane
Is it fair for me to write the note names above the staff? Or is that the 'cheater' way out?


I think that's fine. Every time you write them out, you are getting practice at reading them. Training wheels are fine. You'll notice that it starts taking you less time to write them out before long and then one day you'll find you can't be bothered because you don't need it anymore. I'm still clunky at reading the note values, but I used to write the durations out in half time and that really helped me learn to read the rhythmic aspect faster. Over time, I found myself doing it less and less as I didn't need it anymore (I still use that trick for harder stuff but I can usually convert it to half time in my head now).
#8
Quote by se012101
I think that's fine. Every time you write them out, you are getting practice at reading them. Training wheels are fine. You'll notice that it starts taking you less time to write them out before long and then one day you'll find you can't be bothered because you don't need it anymore. I'm still clunky at reading the note values, but I used to write the durations out in half time and that really helped me learn to read the rhythmic aspect faster. Over time, I found myself doing it less and less as I didn't need it anymore (I still use that trick for harder stuff but I can usually convert it to half time in my head now).


meh i remember my music teacher always said that was a really lame thing to do and it doesn't really help you so i never did.
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#9
Quote by tona_107
meh i remember my music teacher always said that was a really lame thing to do and it doesn't really help you so i never did.

i think he was coaxing u lol
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#10
Don't write the notes on top it'll slow down your sight reading progress. You'll get better when the years go by. How long have you learnt to sight read for? I'll give you a few tips anyway if you don't already know them. Guitar is harder to sight read than most instruments, to quickly figure out where to play the note right, you use the combination of the fingerings but only when position and string no. change isn't listed. When it's listed use a combination of all three. Also try do it as fast as possible and when you get good, you'll be able to do it in real time.
#11
Think of it this way.... do you give a kid in grade three "War and Peace" to read? No. You learn to read by sounding stuff out. In grade one, you'll sound out mmm---uuu----ssss----iiii----ccc. Music! Yes! After you see the word a couple hundred times, you just look at it and know what it is. Learning to read music is no different than learning to read text.

As far as writing the note names down.... do NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT do it!! Here is something I do with my students, and it works *every* time:

I write a bar of music on the board - say, 8 eighth notes. Above the notes, I write the note names above them, only one of them is wrong. I have the class read the notes along with me, giving them ample time to name them. (look at the note.... count five seconds.... everybody say the note name out loud) When I get to the wrong note, there is a *very* obvious percentage of people who get the wrong one... wrong. It just goes to prove that when the note names are written above or below that people don't look at the notes - they look at the letter names that are written.

You can't learn to read if you don't look at the notes. It's like trying to learn to read text by looking at the pictures and not the text. A huge waste of time.

CT
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Last edited by axemanchris at Jan 10, 2009,
#12
Quote by axemanchris
As far as writing the note names down.... do NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT do it!! Here is something I do with my students, and it works *every* time:


I'm not going to argue with you too much on this one, because you know what you are talking about here. Not to discount anything you said, but as an early learning tool, that you would want to wean yourself off of after a while, it helped me. The process of writing it out itself helped me with transfering symbols on the staff to note letters in my head. Kind of like if someone tells you their phone number, the moment you write it on a scrap of paper, something about that makes it stick in your memory.

I think it's hard to argue that if someone was given 10 pieces of music and asked to write out the note letters (no guitar involved, just writing them out) that by the end of this exercise they'd have some improvement at identifying the notes on the staff for an 11th piece.

All that said, I basically agree with you. We're just arguing the shades of grey here - complete waste of time vs something that's useful to do at the beginning before phasing it out.
#13
Quote by se012101

I think it's hard to argue that if someone was given 10 pieces of music and asked to write out the note letters (no guitar involved, just writing them out) that by the end of this exercise they'd have some improvement at identifying the notes on the staff for an 11th piece.
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I agree with you entirely on that bit. So, maybe make a photocopy or two or three, write out the note names for some drill and kill practice, and then use the clean original to play from.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#14
Quote by axemanchris
I agree with you entirely on that bit. So, maybe make a photocopy or two or three, write out the note names for some drill and kill practice, and then use the clean original to play from.

CT



Conversely you can try finding an accurate tab and then take the numbers on the tab then transcribe them to sheet music, helps a lot too, definitely more than writing note names above the notes themselves.
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