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(@joehempel)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2418
 

I think I learned a bit different than alot of people...I just kind of jumped right in. I got a staff with notes, and just played very slowly through pieces finding the notes on the guitar.

The other thing that REALLY HELPED, was transcribing music to tab. When I did that I got quicker at recognizing where I needed to be on the fret board when writing and that easily transferred over to just reading with the guitar in my hand.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3998
 

My problem is mainly with the rhythm and note lengths. If the staff has just one or two alterations (for example, G or D major, perhaps A major) and the rhythm is very simple I can read it. But if it is in C major and it has some short and long notes mixed, some dotted or triplets and some rests...

I need something that increases progressively the difficulty. Those books seem follow that approach. Thanks!


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(@joehempel)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2418
 

Okay, yeah those do help. I've got the Classical Method book from Hal Leonard, and that is pretty good, I use it for just every day reading some I remember and can play well when looking at it, others need work. It came with a CD so I can get tempo right if I have trouble.

I will say one thing that really trips me up, and sometimes still does, is the B/C/D notes. The reason is from tab...B is the 2nd highest line....in music it's in the middle.

I still use tab alot, but I tend to go with tab that has music over it. I can play things much quicker if the notes are there...not only for the reason stated earlier, knowing where you are going (plus I can actually read the notes faster than the tab sometimes....weird...for me anyway) I can get a better representation of the length of notes without ever hearing the song. I'm going through Fingerpicking Andrew Lloyd Webber, and I've heard of MAYBE one song by name....but can play them because I know music...and realized I in fact knew more of the songs.

Yeah, stay in school, reading is cool.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


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(@fibaz)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 38
 

Good book recommendations. Those listed do help. Another series to consider is the Solo Guitar Playing by Frederick Noad. It is full of exercises to get many note combinations under your fingers while reading. And it has quite a few musical pieces to learn to love and/or hate.

When I began to read music I jumped blind into the piano (had a piano collecting dust the last 15 years anyway) and learning classical guitar pieces. I figured if I wanted to become a better musician I should finally learn to read music, pick up another instrument, and have a fresh look at music theory on the keyboard. Sure I could have done it a bit easier by not learning two staffs at once but it was something I always wanted to do.

I'm happy with the results thus far. One advantage is I don't have to search the internet for the lesser evils of the inaccurate tabs anymore. It just means I get to buy more music books a bit more often. All in all, songs are just easier to learn these days. It still takes just as much practice though.

To add to some of the previous discussion- Anytime you have a small competitive field some people feel the need to seperate themselves. Whether it's an Emergency Room R.N. who has 5 years of level 1 trauma experience in a major city talking crap about the new hire nurse who has 15 years of floor nursing in a rural area. Or a musician bad mouthing another for not being able to read music. Besides everyone knows it's the tone trolls you have to watch out for.


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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

Noad is good - I teach classical guitar from that. But it is a classical guitar book, so unless you're playing fingerstyle (or doing some serious hybrid picking!) it's not one I'd normally recommend.

If you are playing fingerstyle, a good supplement for Noad is Aaron Shearer's "Classical Guitar Technique" - it's got a lot of technical drills that can help target the coordination you'll need for some of Noad's pieces.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@fibaz)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 38
 

Noad is good - I teach classical guitar from that. But it is a classical guitar book, so unless you're playing fingerstyle (or doing some serious hybrid picking!) it's not one I'd normally recommend.

If you are playing fingerstyle, a good supplement for Noad is Aaron Shearer's "Classical Guitar Technique" - it's got a lot of technical drills that can help target the coordination you'll need for some of Noad's pieces.

Thanks a lot. I'll check that one out.


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(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1497
 

<...>To add to some of the previous discussion- Anytime you have a small competitive field some people feel the need to seperate themselves. <...>. Or a musician bad mouthing another for not being able to read music. <...>

I do hope I didn't come off that way. Instead, I hope I come off as a person who encourages others to learn to read music so that they can better themselves.

I know that I need a lot of new skills to better myself, and it is something I do on a regular basis. I'm still working on reading on the guitar, it's still slow for me. And there are a million things that I'm sure many non-readers on this forum can do better than I can. But the more I work on various skills, the better I will get at the guitar. Someday I want to play the guitar as well as I do the saxophone. Then it might be time to learn a new instrument (I love learning new things).

I had a lot of people help me along the way, and others both on a personal level and in forums like this still do. The only way to pay someone back who helped me, is to pass on the information to someone else. I think most musicians have been doing this for centuries.

Insights and incites by Notes ♫

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


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(@fibaz)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 38
 

<...>To add to some of the previous discussion- Anytime you have a small competitive field some people feel the need to seperate themselves. <...>. Or a musician bad mouthing another for not being able to read music. <...>

I do hope I didn't come off that way. Instead, I hope I come off as a person who encourages others to learn to read music so that they can better themselves.

You didn't. You are a stand up guy. I just meant in general. You know the Tanya Harding portion of the population. People who will kick, trip, bite, or take a police baton to the knee of anyone in their way.


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(@imalone)
Reputable Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 267
 

Having no idea who Tanya Harding is, I thought I'd chip in on the Mel Bay book (Modern Guitar method book 1). After reading this thread I ordered it on Sunday, it had arrived when I got home this evening and I'm now happily reading music in first position. I'm not a complete beginner anymore, having worked my way through Chappell's dummy's guide to guitar, but that book is almost exclusively chords and tab (its concession to musical notation is to put it above the tab with about 6 pages explaining it in an appendix, but no exercises) and I've only been learning for about a month, so I'm pretty happy with today's work.
Conclusion: if you've always meant to learn to read music for the guitar definitely consider getting the modern guitar method book 1. It's incredibly cheap without the CD, pretty reasonable with and contains a lot of practice material. If the Hal Leonard book is similar then it would also be a good investment, has anyone seen both to compare?


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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

They're all pretty similar. And they've all got good points and bad.

Although I use primarily Mel Bay and Leavitt with my students, I'll work with whatever book a student might already have... so I've taught from Alfred, Hal Leonard, Fender, Bill Bay (Mel's son) and a few other methods. Overall I prefer Bay & Leavitt, but they've got weak spots.

In Mel Bay book 1, the big weakness is in presenting the 5th string - none of the songs in that section use the A or B notes! So you've only got those in the three basic exercises when the string is first presented. There's another Bay set, the "expanded edition" that solves that issue... but the type in the expanded books is smaller - and since I work with a lot of young kids, I decided to just use the standard Bay and write out supplemental exercises for those students.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@adrianjmartin)
Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 76
 

I've mentioned it before, the Mel Bay book gets hard quick! I think its one to work through with a teacher...

The Hal Leonard books, for me, were much more paced. Although I'm floundering at book 3...too many different thing to do...i'm sure it will make sense....

Wife has given the go a head to get a few 1 on1 lesions sorted, and hinted at getting a proper guitar! Tanglewood Acoustic instead of the Classical her dad gave me( he tried and gave up years ago!)


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(@causnorign)
Honorable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 559
 

Can somebody help me out here please. I had a software program to help with sight reading, it worked sort of like fretboard warrior, except it was notes to read as they flashed by. When my old computer died last year I lost the program and can't remember what it was named. I'm again trying to get comfortable with reading music and could really use the program for help.


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(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1497
 

I have a friend who is learning to read music, I'm helping her as a friend, but I am not an official teacher.

As Adrian mentioned, the Mel Bay book got too hard too fast. Someone mentioned the Hal Leonard books as being slower paced. Can you recommend specific titles?

She is learning music and guitar at the same time, so a slower paced book would be good for her.

Thanks!

Notes ♫

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


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(@hyperborea)
Prominent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 833
 

Leavitt's A Modern Method for Guitar (the Berklee book) is worth a look. It starts out reasonably gradually and all in first position though through the 3 books all positions are covered. There are fret and string notations when new notes are introduced for a little while to assist the reader. It comes in a number of different formats (books 1 to 3, book 1 with a CD or with a DVD). You can look inside the book at Amazon to judge for yourself.

Your friend would probably also want some other technique book to accompany this one. There are also further sight reading study books by Leavitt beyond this series too. I haven't finished Modern Method yet so I haven't gotten into them yet.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

Leavitt moves much faster than Bay.

The first page of Leavitt is a one-octave C major scale - Bay gets into that after about 20 pages. And although Leavitt's books are more than twice as thick as Bay's, by the end of Leavitt 1 you're playing in the key of Db. Bay gets into that 40 pages into book 5.

Bay has a simpler book, the "Guitar Primer". I use that with young kids, because it's got a lot more exercises and songs for each string. But the songs are pretty simple - kids songs, mostly - and I don't especially like the fact that it presents the high (first ledger line) A before the 2nd string notes.

Notes, if she just needs reading material to supplement Bay, I'd probably go with a folk song fake book. Lotsa music, most of it fairly simple, some of it in the key of C, and probably some familiar tunes. And with you steering a bit, she could tackle the songs in a somewhat progressive sequence.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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