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Suggested "idiots" guides for learning to read


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I'm 40something and never have been very successful at learning anything where reading was the sole source of information delivery.

 

What I started looking for was some introduction to reading music, specifically for guitarists, that includes a fair amount of visual/video explanation. Interactives would be perfect. I haven't gone far beyond the local stores (music & book stores) and didn't actually find anything locally at all.

 

While it might be late for me to introduce this to the grey matter I'm certain it will open the lid on exploration that my ears just can't translate. It will also help me get my daughter going in a better direction than I went.

 

Any suggestions that suit my criteria or even web based resources would be greatly appreciated.

 

thanx in advance.

Shoes

I still think guitars are like shoes, but louder.

 

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Really the best thing is to get a teacher or a few basic books to establish understanding of notaion but nothing replaces the actual act of practice. You can't learn to ride a bike from reading a book, as it were.

 

As when learning anything, start with the simplest material---boring though it may be---& practice getting the habit of counting rhythms first before tackling pitches (& remember when you do move to note recognition that, unlike the piano & many other instruments, the guitar offers a variety of locations for most pitches; doen't get caught up in the "here's where middle C is" idea that some tutorials teach).

 

A very good practice is to get a score or songbook & listen to the music while scanning the notation. That takes you away from the need to think about the playing & let's your mind focus on the recognition of the notation. Some use of the new CD players that alter speed without changing pitch can be helpful, too.

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Originally posted by Guitars are like shoes. But louder.:

I'm 40something and never have been very successful at learning anything where reading was the sole source of information delivery.

 

What I started looking for was some introduction to reading music, specifically for guitarists, that includes a fair amount of visual/video explanation. Interactives would be perfect. I haven't gone far beyond the local stores (music & book stores) and didn't actually find anything locally at all.

 

While it might be late for me to introduce this to the grey matter I'm certain it will open the lid on exploration that my ears just can't translate. It will also help me get my daughter going in a better direction than I went.

 

Any suggestions that suit my criteria or even web based resources would be greatly appreciated.

 

thanx in advance.

Shoes

I don't know that there's an "idiot's" guide to learning to read music, but I don't really think you need an idiot's guide either. I think that you are plenty intelligent enough to teach yourself to read music.

 

If you have the capability to read and write English or Italian or any other language (which you obviously do), can count and do some basic arithmetic, and have at least some sense of rhythm and timing, then you have everything that you need to read music.

 

There is another aspect, though. You need to be able to read the music AND relate it to your instrument. You already have a working knowledge of your instrument, so half the battle is won.

 

There are a few good books that you can order from Amazon that will get you started. Once you get started, it's simply a matter of repetition.

 

Here are a couple of good ones to begin with:

 

Music Reading for Guitar by David Oaks

 

Music Theory Workbook for Guitar (Vols 1 and 2) by Bruce Arnold

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

~Paris Hilton

 

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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When learning to read, I found it helpful to separate learning to read rhythms from learning the note locations. I use "Modern Reading Text in 4/4" by Louis Bellson to help my rhythm recognition.

 

"Music Reading for Guitar, The Complete Method" by David Oakes is another good book that introduces both elements separately.

 

"A Modern Method for Guitar" Vols. 1,2,3 by William Leavit are excellent books (I highly recommend them) that will help you to read, as is "Melodic Rhythms for Guitar", also by Leavit.

 

Paul

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Originally posted by pauldil:

"A Modern Method for Guitar" Vols. 1,2,3 by William Leavit are excellent books (I highly recommend them) that will help you to read, as is "Melodic Rhythms for Guitar", also by Leavit.

 

Paul

this is an outstanding method for learning to read.

 

BTW Berklee Press has a DVD companion to the leavitt series now. i just ordered it :thu:

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You don't need an idiots guide - go find an instructor, or try online tutorials if you prefer not to use books for "information delivery". It's no more difficult than learning to another language. You will find that you'll need to put in the practice time, however boring or mundane it seems at the time, for maximum results. I strongly encourage you to give it a truly good effort.

 

I used the Guitarist's Bookshelf, a compilation spiral bound of 200 pages, which allowed me to learn where other books (there are a few on my bookshelf from previous efforts) were not helpful at all. In time - I'm just getting comfortable with my reading level - it will help me to be a better musician, learn my instrument more thoroughly, and help me enjoy and write music in a different way.

 

You might try some gentle encouragement for daughter to try a school band or choral group. It might help if her friends are doing it too!

 

PPaul

 

PS Go check out the local symphony - those musicians read their parts during their performances, and they practice their a66e6 off.

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Well... another idea is, if you have some sorts of MIDI sequencer software, such as Cakewalk or Magix (I'm sure there's others), you can download .MID files for some tune you know.

 

From the software you can see how they are put together. You can see the staves and the notes being played (they go red).

 

Sort of like "follow the bouncing ball".

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I tell ya, when I was into my first 2 years of playing, i was able to teach myself theory, triads, scales/modes/harmony, etc . . . w/o notation

 

The thing that was stumping me was teaching myself how to read notation and I was pissed (pride thing).

 

So i sucked it up and took lessons from a lady who barely even played guitar, but knew how the notation system worked w/it. That was my sole lesson, learning how to read -- that's it.

 

What a payoff !!

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Besides my (& others) earlier suggestions to [1]concentrate on rhythms at first & [2]also to get in the habit of trying to write your ideas as a way to familiarize yourself with the staves, I offer these tips:

 

[3]Keep in mind that lots of music that you see may be arranged for piano, where the player has completely different concerns as far as how things are voiced. Look for stuff written for guitar.

 

Also, as you probably know, [3]some instruments, such as horns, are notated differently than their actual notes; if you ignore that some sheets won't seem right. [4]The guitar's written with correct notes but is set an octave up from the actual pitch; keep that in mind.

 

[5]Forget schemes like "Every Good Boy Deserves Financing", etc., that are supposed to aid memory when learning the stave. They just give you something else to keep track of.

Instead, learn where the open string notes are or just a couple of other clues that will help you find your place 'til you become more familiar with the staves & when you can, alternate working with both treble & bass clefs so that you get a grasp of both.

Middle C is on the B string, second fret*---I'll let you figure the others out since investigating on your own helps re-enforce one's sense of achievement. ;)

 

[6]When you begin working with more than single-note lines, expand to recognizing individual intervals rather than trying to read the whole chord at first.

Thirds are always on adjacent lines or adjacent spaces. Fifths skip over to the next one after but are still on the same visual cue; that is, they're on a space or line also.

That's a bit of simplification [but simplifying is good for learning], since accidentals, weird technical combinations, etc., can put things differently in certain settings but the basic principle remains the same & carries over. Every alternative odd-numbered interval will generally be on the same either line or space as the note from which you're measuring.

 

Trust me, though they may seem to some like improper ideas or shortcuts, they come from years of doing it the hard way & considering, in retrospect, what would've been easier ways to learn.

 

Keep in mind that the learning curve's always more steep at first & that merely reading about any subject gives one a mistaken sense of what's understood. Always practice the actual exercises 'til they're ingrained in your practical ability.

 

Finally, like any other aspect of musicianship, it's something that you never get done learning completely.

Scientific studies that track actual eye movemment & performance show that even the best sight-readers use all sorts of tricks & short cuts, often not reading all the notes, for instance, but making presumptions based on their experience & familiarity with certain types of music. When faced with something really complex or with weird note combinations, they operate at a reduced level of ability....so don't despair at getting to the ultimate master/expert level, cause no one's beyond flubs &, has been noted by more than once, if you get the timing right & carry through playing, pitch mistakes are secondary.

[back to studying rhythms first & foremost.]

 

 

[*clarification: Mid C is played on the 2nd string/ 1st fret but, because the guitar is notated an octave higher than its actual pitch, music notated specifically for the guitar would show that pitch as the 3rd space of the treble clef.]

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i posted this in another thread, but i think after using it, it has more merit here

http://www.musictheory.net/index.html

it helps with reading notes, understand time signature and some other stuff. They have ear training for different scales and different chords (not what key they are but like major, minor, suspended, augmented), that was too hard for me, but i was using there thing to help read notes, and though i already know how, i could see it prove very useful for someone who doesnt.

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Originally posted by pauldil:

When learning to read, I found it helpful to separate learning to read rhythms from learning the note locations. I use "Modern Reading Text in 4/4" by Louis Bellson to help my rhythm recognition.

 

"Music Reading for Guitar, The Complete Method" by David Oakes is another good book that introduces both elements separately.

 

"A Modern Method for Guitar" Vols. 1,2,3 by William Leavit are excellent books (I highly recommend them) that will help you to read, as is "Melodic Rhythms for Guitar", also by Leavit.

 

Paul [/QUOT

 

YES! the text by Leavit is excellent: I frequent the University of Michigan used book store in

Ann Arbor Mi. looking for music text and many of the grad students buy their theory books there. The Leavit text is one of the most popular! There is no doubt that your will be able to learn to sight read! Just take it slow and have patience with yourself and you will be very glad you tried. Good luck!!

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OOOPS dept... maybe I'm still an idiot after all.

 

To clarify an earlier post... Middle C is played on the 2nd string/ 1st fret but, because the guitar is notated an octave higher than its actual pitch, music notated specifically for the guitar would show that pitch as the 3rd space of the treble clef.

So the conventional notation for the open B string's the 3rd line of the treble clef, etc.

 

 

Originally posted by Caputo:

Any sites out there which have the run down of all the guitar tyoe inflections.?

 

You know, like they have in the front of those Guit mags?

 

I'd like a really thorough one.

 

Also, which shows what it looks like in BOTH standard notation AND Tab

 

TIA

I can't offer a site for this but the general effects that might be covered would basically be the same as for the symbols used for other strings such as violins. Those can be found in most books on notation.

My observation has been that these are best illustrated by being notated above the tablature. Same thing for rhythms, for instance, where the note value is given above the tab position.

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