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Thread: Learning Standard Notation

  1. #1
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    Learning Standard Notation

    I came to the realization that I am at a great disadvantage not knowing how to read standard music notation efficiently. I played saxaphone and baritone while I was in elementary school, but I haven't mastered it in any sense. I need to work on reading music and eventually sight reading.

    Can anyone show me how musical notation applys to the guitar? I do not really understand how the staff would correlate to the fretboard at this time Also could you pick out some easy pieces to learn from initially?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Transpose up, 1 octave to play on guitar. Middle C is actually on the 3rd fret, 5th string,......(right ?...I'm pretty sure that's right ) when transposed, would be 5th fret, 3rd string.
    I much prefer standard notation, over tab. It lets you see the harmonic content.

    ....I don't think I could spell chords without picturing the staff -

    -best,
    Mike

  3. #3
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Yes middle C is 5th string 3rd fret.

    Ledger notes below the staf are on the 5th and 6th string.
    Ledger notes above the staf are on the 1st string - just take it up the neck.

    Everything else fits in the 5th to 1st string nut to 4th fret. Sharps and flats will be shown on the standard notation music --- just adjust on your fretboard.

    You can play everthing right at first in the 1st position - nut to 4th fret area just like we do open string chords. Later you will move on up the neck. Once you get middle C placed and a handle on where the ledger notes fall it's a piece of cake. If you can still read music should not take you very long to transfer it to your guitar.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 03-06-2006 at 10:19 PM.

  4. #4
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm
    If you can still read music should not take you very long to transfer it to your guitar.

    I started out on trumpet before I began playing guitar, so for me, learning to read merely meant I had to learn the notes on the fretboard.


    When reading music on guitar, we read in positions, just in the same way scales patterns are played in a position on the neck. A position is typically 4 frets wide, although it's common to reach a fret higher or lower than the position for a few notes. Definately start with the open/1st position (the open strings plus frets 1-4). Take any music you can find and just try to find where the notes fall on the fingerboard.

  5. #5
    uhh yeah? NHOJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amalankar
    I came to the realization that I am at a great disadvantage not knowing how to read standard music notation efficiently. I played saxaphone and baritone while I was in elementary school, but I haven't mastered it in any sense. I need to work on reading music and eventually sight reading.

    Can anyone show me how musical notation applys to the guitar? I do not really understand how the staff would correlate to the fretboard at this time Also could you pick out some easy pieces to learn from initially?

    Thanks!
    Vibrato = Pitch, Tremolo = Volume, therefore it is a Vibrato Bar.

  6. #6
    Experimentalist Koala's Avatar
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    Hey amalankar, If youre willing to shell out a couple of bucks I recommend you try the Hal Leonard Guitar Method, start out with book 1 and work yourself up. It's very comprehensive and takes a step by step approach which I find most people really enjoy.

  7. #7
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    i play piano and can read music well enough, but i guitar (my first instrument) i could never learn how to play reading notation, tabs werenta problem really, but notation was horrible. my guitar teacher asked me something that i think is the answer,

    "What makes the guitar, string instruments really, differents?"

    On string instruments you can play the same pitch in more than one place. piano you have it mapped out, the difference is the octaves, but the guitar can play the same pitch in more than one place, i guess i just never knew where to put them on the fretboard, and i read notation pretty well, im mainly a singer and can sight-read, when at my best, pretty darn well. but i could never do that on guitar, maybe im just lazy :P

  8. #8
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    First things first....... forget about all those other places just use the nut to 4th fret area. That's your first position. Worry about position 2 later.

  9. #9
    I, Galactus oRg's Avatar
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    Yes, first thigns first. Memorize the fretboard. You should be able to just pick any fret and be able to know what note it is. This is the first step to being able to read standard notation for guitar. From there if you can remember the mnemonics for the treble staff(stave) you can easily adapt it for guitar. Next thing would be scales and keys...lol...jk.
    v2sw3CUhw6ln3pr6OFck3ma9u6Lw3Xm6l6Ui2Ne5t5TSFDAb8T DOen7g6RZATHCMHPa21s6MSr53Dp3hackerkey

  10. #10
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    I agree. Take time to study the fingerboard and learn it fluently. Leanr where all the notes are, and in addition learn where all the different versions of the same note (ie. same register) are.

    Then you can start actually trying to leanr some tunes by way of looking at the manuscript. A great place to start is with Celtic folk music, such as jigs and reels, because th rhythms are usually very straight forward and there won't be too many accidentals (non-diatonic sharps and/or flats) to negotiate.

    Hope this helps.

    NM

  11. #11
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    another good thing to try would be church hymns, do the melody, go on to the other parts, hymns are simple enough harmonically to get you started

  12. #12
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    Hymns are certainly pretty straight forward melodically, but most of them have rather complex harmonic content.

    NM

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