Hey guys, I need your help urgently!
donzo, nobody has said that, if you can't sight read, you're doomed. Far from it, there are, as Noteboat says, hundreds of thousands of very happy guitarists, who can't read standard notation. They are satisfied with being able to find a tab for their favourite song and learn to play it.
However, they are also the ones, who are unable to learn a piece of music, that they've never heard. They are also the ones who are unable to play a piece, that was written for anyother instrument than the guitar, because tab doesn't exist for the piano, the trumpet, saxophone, flute, oboe, clarinet, penny whistle, etc, etc., etc..
You're not doomed, but you are limited - more limited than you need to be.
So, for me to become a decent guitarist (acoustic) and to know enough to easily shift to an electric, what should i know?
Can someone give me a checklist if possible?
Thanks in advance.
I've done a list a couple times in the past... the first one is history (no doubt server space ate it), but the second one is still there
Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL
Heres a real life example of how not knowing theory and notation hurts. Ive been playing guitar 4 years and I play well, but I cant read notation.. I am now playing with professional musicians all the time, something I never thought Id really do, and its an incredible feeling...to not know a hole in the ground from a great staff... im drowning because I dont know MUSIC, theyre like, "Play in F#" And im like, "What?" So now Im playing catch-up trying to learn as fast as I can to keep my head above water and in a gig. AND IT SUCKS. Dont fall into this, if you intend to play with anyone outside of a garage I would learn EVERYTHING You can, learn Music, Not just guitar. And bro, a checklist? Everything you can. Learn every damned thing you can lol.
SHUT UP ABOUT IRON MAIDEN SOLOS AND GO PRACTICE!
As a beginner myself, I leaned toward tab to try and play some songs. I found myself getting lost, even on songs I knew. Fortunately I learned to read music in grade school, so quickly switched to using Standard Notation instead of tab. It has made a big difference in my advancement. Well, okay, I still suck, but I'm sucking less!
Music is the universal language, love is the key.
I know people aren't saying "you are doomed" if you don't know standard notation. :) That was just a little friendly exaggeration. But they are saying: you are limited and will lack a significant list of advantages that the standard notation reader has. To a newbie that sounds pretty daunting. It sounds like a serious handicap. Why would any one not learn standard notation to avoid this huge handicap? (Oh, pick me! I want to go jogging with a wooden leg! :))
I have nothing against standard notation and think any serious musician should learn it eventually. I just feel that for some newbies (case in point, ME :)) the decision not to learn standard notation from the get-go can be the right decision.
This thread is "tab v.s. standard notation". Just in writing this it strikes me that I don't even use tabs. I am working on folk guitar. Its rhythm guitar and what I use are chords - from there I use strumming patterns and fixed finger-picking patterns. The only time I use tabs are for short intros or riffs. The things I am actively working on these days are strumming patterns, syncopation, and getting my fingers to "remember" several picking patterns. I don't see how standard notation is going to do much for me at this point.
As well, I guess to a minor extent I do know standard notation. I mean, I know FACE and Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge. I know what is a whole, half, quarter, and eighth note, and what those dots and flags mean. I can understand the timing in a simple staff. All of that is pretty simple and doesn't take much longer to learn than tabs IMO. I also know how to map a note to the fretboard - but that takes me time. "Um... C - ok, A string - up 2 steps to B - up 1 step to C - ok, found it." So I have what I need, given sufficient time with graph paper and pencil, to map standard notation into a tab or to a fingering position.
But the idea of putting that knowledge to practical use, no pencil and graph paper, no counting on the fretboard, just sight reading to finger position... Holy crap!!! Like - that would be really HARD!!! :) It seems to me that like so many things, the theory is relatively easy, its putting it into practice that requires... well, it requires PRACTICE, a lot of practice. And this is where my "you have to decide how you are going to spend your time" point comes up.
Anyway, I think everybody understands everybody, its just different strokes for different folks. This thread has made me think more about standard notation and trying to apply my rudimentary knowledge there, so thats a good thing.
So what exactly is a chord? Is it there for tablature and standard notation?
Sorry if its a dumb question
Well, this isn't "exactly" what chords are, thats a complicated question :)
But the layman's answer is that they are a set of strings / fingerings identified by a single "name". So, for example, the D chord in tab format is:
You are playing the 4 highest strings with the fingering identified by these positions. You can strum or finger pick or whatever, but if you are playing these 4 chords, you are playing a D. Its not that hard to learn a good collection of chords that will enable you to play a lot of songs. If you look at the Easy Song sub-forum on this site, you will see that most songs posted simply list the chords that are played at each section of the song.
For example, Maggie May ( http://forums.guitarnoise.com/viewtopic.php?t=14529 )
(A) Wake up Maggie, I (G) think I got something to (D) say to you,
You play A chord, then G chord, then D chord. (But you have to know the song for this shorthand to make sense... for example, in this case you should play D for 2 bars rather than one, but you figure it out because it doesn't sound right otherwise).
There are lots of sites that show standard fingerings for open chords... here are some links with some reading but I just did a quick google search to find these - I'm sure there are better:
I'm guessing that if you are learning standard notation but you haven't been introduced to chords then you are learning classical guitar? I'm a newbie but to my understanding chords are the heart of any rhythm guitar style, but not lead guitar, classical, jazz, etc. Might be something you want to ask your teacher about.
But I think the thing for you to do, Samurai99, is to set some basic goals for the kind of guitar you want to learn and then discuss it with your teacher and make sure that he/she is teaching you the things that will help you. You might also want to work through some of David Hodge's online lessons on Guitar Noise for comparison.
Oh, and make sure he/she teaches you standard notation too ;) (Seriously, if you have the time, I'm sure its a good idea.)
You'd be surprised how often we use normal chords in Classical Guitar. The difference is that we don't have a flag above the staff that says G, or Am, or such like.
Personally, when I teach I always start with standard notation. When I started learning guitar I could already read music and the book that came with my first guitar didn't have Tab (this was back in 1974 btw), so it seemed natural to me to just go with the little black dots.
That said, I do teach one of my students using just Tab. That's because he wants to be able to play, wants to develop as much as he can as quick as he can, and has major educational exams coming up in the next few months. I also teach a 64-year old who's been with me for two years. I teach him using chords alone because he wants to be able to play and sing along; he's never going to be Jimi.
What I have found, though, is that my star pupil who has just passed his step 2 Classical Guitar (this is pre-Grade stuff) has worked up to being almost top of his class at school in music. Now, music education in British Schools is awful - mostly trying to force Beethoven and Chopin down the throats of uninterested classes full of non-musical teenagers who can't handle anything more complicated than Westlife - and it was a pretty good day when my student said his music teacher had asked him "how do you know that?" and he said he replied "my guitar teacher's teaching me properly".
So, good points and not so good points each way round. Like everybody else, though, I'd sugest you grab the opportunity to learn standard notation with both hands.
"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
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sounds like you have a very good teacher, tabs are alot easier to read, do what he says
learn notation, i dont know any studio guitar players that cant read music, and they make great money, its somthing to think about 8)
even god loves rock-n-roll