How to read music and apply it to the fret board? (beginner)

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Zesty feline
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How to read music and apply it to the fret board? (beginner)

Postby Zesty feline » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:23 am

Hello everyone, I play electric blues guitar and I would like some advice on how to get started with reading music and playing it on the guitar using the classical method, thank you.

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Luuttuaja
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Re: How to read music and apply it to the fret board? (beginner)

Postby Luuttuaja » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:57 pm

I guess most CG method books start with introducing open strings (EADGBE) on staff notation. When you learn them (and it might take some time!) you start doing open string excercises. They will give you some hints to learn the notes on the staff, such as "the notes between lines from bottom to top make FACE" and "the notes on the lines make EGBDF = Every Good Boy Does Fine" etc. Then you need to know that usually, there are two half-steps (half step meaning one fret) between the notes (such as C and D or A and B) but that E and F only have one half-step between them, and so do B and C. So, first fret on E string will be F, but the second fret on A string will be B and C is the third fret on A string. Then you will eventually learn the sharps and flats "between the letters" and the basic note values. I really would suggest getting a method book for all this. There are internet resources that I personally like, such as "Online Guitar Fretboard Trainer" and musictheory.net excercices. Good luck with learning the notes, it's not easy at first, but very rewarding eventually!

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Re: How to read music and apply it to the fret board? (beginner)

Postby Erik Zurcher » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:04 pm

Reedition Domingo Esteso by Conde Hermanos 2004; Kenny Hill, model Barcelona 2001
"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

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Re: How to read music and apply it to the fret board? (beginner)

Postby Zesty feline » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:56 pm

Luuttuaja wrote:I guess most CG method books start with introducing open strings (EADGBE) on staff notation. When you learn them (and it might take some time!) you start doing open string excercises. They will give you some hints to learn the notes on the staff, such as "the notes between lines from bottom to top make FACE" and "the notes on the lines make EGBDF = Every Good Boy Does Fine" etc. Then you need to know that usually, there are two half-steps (half step meaning one fret) between the notes (such as C and D or A and B) but that E and F only have one half-step between them, and so do B and C. So, first fret on E string will be F, but the second fret on A string will be B and C is the third fret on A string. Then you will eventually learn the sharps and flats "between the letters" and the basic note values. I really would suggest getting a method book for all this. There are internet resources that I personally like, such as "Online Guitar Fretboard Trainer" and musictheory.net excercices. Good luck with learning the notes, it's not easy at first, but very rewarding eventually!


Hello, thanks for the info, being a guitar player it didn't take long to work out the basic method as to where these notes are played on the fingerboard in the open position, my aim isn't to sight read, but merely use the plethora of music available as a "material to learn" I dabbled in time signatures but they aren't that important just right now since it isn't my intention to sight read anyway, perhaps later on.

I guess the ultimate question I have now is.. is that it? I know what the notes are on the staff and I also know where those notes are on my guitar, I can hear the tune in my head so is that it? do I go ahead and work it out from here or is there something else I'm missing, just want to be sure.

I did up this rough diagram of the notes in the guitar spectrum.. any advice is welcome guys, it is most appreciated.

Phil

Image

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Luuttuaja
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Re: How to read music and apply it to the fret board? (beginner)

Postby Luuttuaja » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:42 pm

I don't think you need to worry about the bass clef yet. Guitar is actually notated an octave higher than what it sounds, which means there's normally only need for the treble clef. When you now know the notes on the staff and also know how to find them on fingerboard, I would suggest studying the note values and different basic rhythms. Perhaps playing some simple tunes in C major? I believe the next step then would be gradually learning the different keys, and by then then a picture having a "Circle of Fifths" hanging on your wall (or having it as a computer/smartphone background picture) could help to memorize the key signatures. But I guess you can start your sight reading by just playing simple tunes in C major / A minor. I also think any tutor book would help. There's a lot of material on this website, including the Julio Sagreras method book, which I've heard some people use as sight-reading excercises. Progressive Studies, op. 60 by Fernando Sor might also suit you, they also have some great musical value.

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Re: How to read music and apply it to the fret board? (beginner)

Postby Zesty feline » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:11 am

Luuttuaja wrote:I don't think you need to worry about the bass clef yet. Guitar is actually notated an octave higher than what it sounds, which means there's normally only need for the treble clef. When you now know the notes on the staff and also know how to find them on fingerboard, I would suggest studying the note values and different basic rhythms. Perhaps playing some simple tunes in C major? I believe the next step then would be gradually learning the different keys, and by then then a picture having a "Circle of Fifths" hanging on your wall (or having it as a computer/smartphone background picture) could help to memorize the key signatures. But I guess you can start your sight reading by just playing simple tunes in C major / A minor. I also think any tutor book would help. There's a lot of material on this website, including the Julio Sagreras method book, which I've heard some people use as sight-reading excercises. Progressive Studies, op. 60 by Fernando Sor might also suit you, they also have some great musical value.


Ah yes I can see that the bass clef isn't used and I have crossed it out.


I have ran into the next hurdle, I am seeing musical notation that only has singular parts such as bass lines and vocal lines individually, anyone know where I can find full "musical" arrangements of the songs and also a good general place to source notation, I play lots of modern songs like 80's hits.

Thank you

Edit: Looks like a website called "Jellynote" has a fair collection of quality musical "scores?" which can be printed for a few dollars each.

I have also found some piano sheet music but the high notes are way high, how could I transpose the notation to move it down to the open position, any set rules I should follow other than just moving the notes down a few rows?

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Re: How to read music and apply it to the fret board? (beginner)

Postby robert e » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:38 pm

You want to transpose music that's sounding too high. OK. The easiest transposition is an octave. When you see a "G", play the "G" an octave lower. That way, you don't have to mess with different key signatures. Any transposition less than an octave involves changing keys, so you'll have to learn key signatures. You can't just move a note down a few rows on the staff without dealing with that. If you know the entire fingerboard, it's easier, as you can just move everything up or down the same number of frets to change the key. Folk guitarists traditionally use a capo to do that.

You can find piano arrangements for just about any 80's pop tune. You'll want to learn bass clef to read them, or learn how to rewrite them for guitar clef (also known as tenor clef, which, as luuttuaja said, is written an octave higher that it sounds (i.e. played an octave lower than written)). The other option is lead sheets in "fake" books and "real" books, where you get only the melody and important riffs written out, with chords indicated by name (e.g. A7) but not written out. You'll then have to figure out how to finger and play the chords under the melody/riff.

There are many web sites that purport to teach you how to read music.

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Re: How to read music and apply it to the fret board? (beginner)

Postby SunnyDee » Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:03 am

I use 8notes for finding traditional music in simple versions for reading scores. I also use Musescore. Musescore is notation software that can transpose and play your compositions, but it can also translate a score into tab which is quite nice for figuring things out both ways. It's open source and has a great collection of scores and a very helpful community.
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KevinCollins
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Re: How to read music and apply it to the fret board? (beginner)

Postby KevinCollins » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:45 pm

Learning the left hand (reading) while learning classical sound (right hand) is really, really hard. I teach reading using a pick first, and once the left hand is set and notes are learned, I add the right hand.

If you are determined to do both, then play i-m rest stroke for the first three months until your default (alternation of i & m) is ingrained.

Keep in mind that "classical", the nylon-string guitar, is a different instrument completely from the steel or electric. It has 12 frets clear of the body and rests on the left leg, so that the right hand falls at the back of the soundhole. The steel/electric is played off the right hip and has 14 frets clear of the body so that, you guessed it, the right hand falls at the back of the soundhole.

Playing the classical off the right hip like a steel forces the right hand thumb inside, under the fingers, called "thumb-under". Classical, on the left leg, puts the thumb out front, so the fingers can follow through without hitting the thumb. I guess you would call this "thumb over". That's the difference.

But, for reading, play single note melodies (any guitar method will do), and learn your right hand default, i-m-i-m rest strokes, strict alternation. Practice 2x slow, 1x fast. Good luck.

Cheers,

Kevin
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Re: How to read music and apply it to the fret board? (beginner)

Postby zupfgeiger » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:47 am

From time to time I do some exercises from "Progressive Reading for Guitarists" by Stephen Dodgson & Hector Quine (Ricordi). This book is excellent, but not so useful for absolute beginners.
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