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

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

Post by kmurdick » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:16 pm

Zesty feline wrote:
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.
Right and left hand development, interpretive skills, learning music theory and reading music notion are the skills needed to play the classical guitar. Of those skills, reading music notation represents less than 2% of the total. In other words, if you want to learn the classical guitar, get a good teacher and study the instrument.

Todd Tipton
Teacher
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:21 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA

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

Post by Todd Tipton » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:47 pm

Years ago, I was one of the weird graduate students no one could understand. Call me crazy, but I actually ENJOYED teaching guitar classes to rank beginners. Being as teaching beginners is about the only way one makes money in the profession, I was very puzzled by the lack of care or concern from my colleagues. But I digress... Anyhow...

Many teachers were frustrated having a 16 or more students sitting in one classroom. Some students had played guitar for years, and thought a music class would be an easy credit (lol), others had a little experience but could do nothing more than strum a few chords. Some students had never touched a guitar before and might not even know how to produce a sound. There was even the occasional music major just wanting to pick up a new hobby. Some could read music, and some could not. And here everyone was in the same classroom.

The first thing I told every single section of my class every single semester was, "You are going to have a blast this semester! This class is going to be one of the most productive and rewarding experiences of your life! While you all having varying abilities, by the end of today's class, each and every one of you will be on the same page."

How???

See, I've never taught my students how to read music. But they all learn how to read music. See, what we are learning is very comprehensive. In the most abstract way, we are learning how to work effectively and efficiently. We are also learning how to play with security and confidence. There is a great deal of importance in the fundamentals.

In my guitar classes, I was personally responsible for selling hundreds of copies of Aaron Shearer LEARNING THE CLASSICAL GUITAR. (I now see the old Charles Duncan books have returned since my leaving and class numbers have dropped significantly. I am digressing again; I can't be everywhere! ...Anyhow...

Students who had never read before were very relieved to see that all they had to learn were eighth (aka fast notes) and quarter notes (aka slow notes) and how to recognize the difference between an open 3rd string and an open 4th string. On the other hand, the other students who thought they knew something were very relieved that I was only asking for these two notes and two rhythms giving them the chance to pay undivided attention to the seated position, the use of the right hand, and the very particular way I wanted everything done, to include a great tone.

Gradually, students learn another note or two. Students learn another fundamental technique. This continues. In a very short amount of time, students are learning repertoire to perform for others. Because of this comprehensive approach, learning to read is painless and almost effortless.
Dr. Todd Tipton, classical guitarist
Cincinnati, OH, USA (available via Skype)
http://www.toddtipton.com

Todd Tipton
Teacher
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:21 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA

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

Post by Todd Tipton » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:23 pm

Maybe I could have actually answered the question! ...lol So, to the original poster,

Learning the classical guitar can be a challenging endevour. In my decades of teaching (to include professionals), I've never once met a student that simply needed to learn how to read, but had no other issues to address. The classical guitar is unique in that it requires far more out of the left and right hand than in many others styles and instruments. With that being said, a comprehensive approach is usually taken to include reading. Under the guidance of a competent teacher, a student establishes fundamentals in music, musicianship, and technique. Students also work together with a teacher, learning new effective and efficient work methods. They also learn techniques for playing with security and confidence.

With all of that said, my recommendation is to seek out a competent teacher that emphasizes the importance of habits, and gradually introduces you to material that is challenging but well within your grasp. If you were to try this without a teacher, then I would recommend Aaron Shearer's Learning the Classic Guitar Parts 1, 2, and 3. The books were never meant to be used without the guidance of a competent teacher. Ironically, it is my opinion that they are the best books for someone without a teacher. The books are intended to be used together. Along with the gradual and easy music reading you seek, is useful information information for developing a good seated position, understanding how the hands work best together, the mechanics of the hand, advice for finding a competent teacher, slow careful practice, how to play musically, and so much more.

The introduction of notes is introduced in a manner that is logical to the guitar and are coupled with fundamental movements of either the left or the right hand. Students are given the much needed time to give undivided attention to one new concept at a time. Once a student is reading on 3 strings, I recommend supplementing the material with Juilio Sagreras Guitar Lessons: Book 1.

As a student is almost finished learning the six strings and is almost finished with the first 37 exercises in Sagreras, there is now a wealth of repertoire to choose from spanning hundreds of years to include contemporary music. The Royal Conservatory of Music has a wonderful collection of graded repertoire. Preparatory Guitar Repertoire and Studies, Bridges: A Comprehensive Guitar Series is a great book to get into. In addition, there are footnotes in the music so that students can easily begin exploring more of the repertoire with confidence that the material is not too easy nor too difficult. After than book are 8 more levels of graded repertoire.

After a student is well into the repertoire books, has completed the first 37 Sagreras exercises, and is reading on all 6 strings, it is not necessary to fully continue in Shearer page by page. It is my opinion that the left hand becomes too difficult too quickly for the concepts that are being taught. Regardless, there is a wealth of additional pieces for further repertoire and study.

Happy practicing!
Dr. Todd Tipton, classical guitarist
Cincinnati, OH, USA (available via Skype)
http://www.toddtipton.com

kmurdick
Posts: 509
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:48 pm

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

Post by kmurdick » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:56 pm

Todd Tipton wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:47 pm
Years ago, I was one of the weird graduate students no one could understand. Call me crazy, but I actually ENJOYED teaching guitar classes to rank beginners. Being as teaching beginners is about the only way one makes money in the profession, I was very puzzled by the lack of care or concern from my colleagues.
This is because your colleagues didn't know how to teach. Teaching beginning guitar classes is the one of the most fun things a teacher can do. I used to run my program like a military drill. All the students would be in a semi-circle and I would stand in the middle. When I had eveyones's attention, I would ask them to assume the classical guitar position and then would walk around fixing problems. Then I would say, "rest ima on the 1st string and play P-stroke on he 3rd string repeatedly. " From my central vantage point I could easily pick out problems and correct them. I would then do rest stroke crossing, iP,mP exercises, etc. Then we would start at the beginning of the Shearer book and work our way though the duets to the point that we made it to last time. It's interesting that 15 students playing the first part and me playing the 2nd part sounds really good. It sort of sounds like a big lute. I eventually re-wrote the Shearer book because I found it went too fast. My first book can be found at the address below. In any case, by the time we finished the semester the students would give a half hour ensemble performance to whole school. I was a much better guitar teacher than I was a math teacher (which was my main job.) Unfortunately nobody really cares about guitar teachers, all the guitar majors want to do play the big pieces, attend virtuoso master classes and eventually sell stuff over the phone for a living.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/edqt3ez7xsr4 ... vxgea?dl=0

Todd Tipton
Teacher
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:21 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA

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

Post by Todd Tipton » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:53 am

kmurdick wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:56 pm
This is because your colleagues didn't know how to teach.
[/quote]

If we are ever fortunate enough to have a drink together, ask me about the time I had to write a method book for my daughter's flute teacher so that my daughter could learn to play the flute...lol
Dr. Todd Tipton, classical guitarist
Cincinnati, OH, USA (available via Skype)
http://www.toddtipton.com

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