#1
Hi. Today, my guitar teacher started to teach me on how to read sheet music. I have had very little experience with notes, though. I had lots of trouble trying to play the given material. So, I ask thee, UG, any tips or advice about understanding and reading sheet-music?
Gear :

Jackson JS32T King V
Vox VT40+
Stagg C542
Last edited by Maglun at Sep 25, 2010,
#2
I don't use it, but people I know that use it would write the letter of the note under each note or would write the tab under each note when they were beginning to use it.
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#3
Guitars can teach?

But yeah, it really does take a while - I've been using it on and off for a couple of years and it still takes me like 20 seconds per bar. Practise makes perfect.
#4
I've been learning sheet music for a year and a half now, and all I can say is it takes practice. Sight-reading does come pretty quick once you recognise each individual note. It's the same as playing, you start off slow and build it up quickly.

Knowing the notes on the fretboard will definitely help once you start playing after position one. All I can say is, good luck!
#5
Answers regarding practice is what I hoped not to see, yet I expected those would come. :P Ah well, nothing to it. I could barely figure out the first four notes, even after the teacher pointed out which strings were fretted and which weren't. Practise makes perfect, then, I guess.
Gear :

Jackson JS32T King V
Vox VT40+
Stagg C542
#6
I gave it a go some years ago, I was in my thirties at the time. I got so I could read through easy pieces rather slowly and painfully.....Realized I would have to spend a lot more time and effort to become a "sight reader" than I was willing to.
Most all the good sight-readers I know started with childhood piano lessons. That's sort of the paradigm; sit at the piano and play the music from the sheet, starting with very easy stuff and working your way along.
The brain-science guys tell us that at the point you actually begin to be able to sight-read, there are actual changes in the way your brain processes the information, much the same way you learn to read.
We start out reading with short, simple words and simple sentences, and most of us eventually reach a point where it just "happens".
Same with music...Expect to spend some time if you want to achieve real proficiency.
#7
Yea. It will take years and years to be good at it.

One important point. It is much harder to read on the guitar than other instruments. Because there are so many ways to play the same note, when you see the written note, you have to process which position to play.

On the piano, there's only one middle C. You see it and play it - BAM.

It's for this reason that guitarists start out reading tab instead of standard notation. It's just really hard to get a hold of.
#8
Quote by Bikewer
I gave it a go some years ago, I was in my thirties at the time. I got so I could read through easy pieces rather slowly and painfully.....Realized I would have to spend a lot more time and effort to become a "sight reader" than I was willing to.


Quite honestly, I would say if you have no interest in being a professional musician and no interest in jazz or classical music, learning to read would be wasted energy.

For jazz, completely necessary though...
#9
just remember
the FACE is in space
and
Every Good Boy Does Fine when its all on the line
"I can see that we speak the wrong notes."

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Crate EL-10G
#10
This is a good starter for learning sheet music.
Last edited by T.s.e at Sep 25, 2010,
#11
Be wary about learning sheet music unless you have a good reason to use it. Otherwise it's a waste of time. I've taught over 200 people and only 1 has needed to learn how to read music because they were going to study music at college. What do you want to do in music? Does reading music really have to be a part of it?

If it does then work on some sight reading books that start in simple keys such as C major (no sharps or flats), G major (1 sharp - F) and F Major (1 flat - B) they you can focus on the simple notes more. Also, work on things that have simple rhythms so that you can concentrate on the dots more.
#12
Quote by Jonny_V
Otherwise it's a waste of time


I'm not having a go but I couldn't disagree more. It improves your fretboard knowledge, helps your timing, introduces time signatures, teaches you about keys, scales, rhythm, theory, etc. It's all in there.

It's a brilliant skill to have, and once you've nailed it you're laughing. The only problem is that it's slow to learn it, and it can be a bit dry. Thats the only reason why people don't like it.

I use sight reading as a warm up every day, for about 20-30 minutes, so you don't have to do it for hours.
#13
Don't get me wrong, for certain styles such as classical or Jazz it's essential and for any situation where you have to communicate and work with non-tab reading musicians it's obviously a must. However if someone has a day job and maybe an hour at the most to practice and play every day there's probably a whole bunch of things that are more important and a lot more fun to practice and play.

If you've found it useful then great but I've found that this is only an opinion and if you have hours and hours to practice. Do you have or know of any guides that have made it easier for you to get to grips with?
#14
Hi Jonny,

I know people have different goals and limitations on time etc, my only point was that reading will do far more good than bad and should be given a chance.
#15
Yep. I'm cool with this.

Do you know any good resources for helping people to learn how to read music that have helped you? I might get around to using them with my students. I'm from a classical piano background you see so the way I learned to read music is different from guitar players. What sorts of things helped you out when you first started, presuming you started on guitar of course?
#16
Hi Johnny,

I take lessons, and my teacher uses Hal Leonard's Guitar Method for the music reading. I know a lot of people don't like Hal Leonard books, but I personally think that this book is well paced, and well thought out. My only gripe is that the play along tunes are a bit cheesy, though they are adequate for what they try to teach.

I'll be honest, I'm not sure if this book would have held my interest without having my teacher monitoring my progress, but I've learned loads and I'm thankful I stuck at it.

So basically thats my only knowledge of resources, I'm sure other people could recommend other books etc.

By the way, I don't want to come across as some guitar Jedi Knight or anything, I went to my first lesson armed with only my trusty open chords (minus the F and B ) about 7 months ago. I played Baritone at school about 20 years ago, and a bit of drums and that was my musical education before my guitar.
#17
Quote by Jonny_V
Yep. I'm cool with this.

Do you know any good resources for helping people to learn how to read music that have helped you? I might get around to using them with my students. I'm from a classical piano background you see so the way I learned to read music is different from guitar players. What sorts of things helped you out when you first started, presuming you started on guitar of course?


I started with piano and sax and then learned on the guitar.

Unfortunately, on guitar, you are going to have to get the notes on the fretboard memorized before you can become any type of a proficient reader at all. And that takes a while as we all know.

Meanwhile, on the piano, and moronic simpleton can memorize the notes. There's only 12 of them and they're the same for every octave.

So, there really is no quick way to get TOTAL BEGINNERS into reading music on the guitar. Just my opinion.

Once they have some knowledge of the notes on the fretboard, Berklee series books are the consensus starting place for reading music. All of my teachers use those as the starting block and I've had lots of 'em.
Last edited by jogogonne at Sep 27, 2010,