Skip to content
Notifications
Clear all

Reading music.

Page 2 / 3

(@fretsource)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 974
 

Thanx for that fretsource, so the example you have given is Em and G, so then the relative minor of a key has the same key signature as the major? So I assume then that Am being the relative of C has the same signature? Just exposing exactly how much I don't know yet!!and not trying to hijack Kevins thread.
Robbie

The major and the relative minor have the same notes, so yes, they will have the same key signature. Don't forget, even with a # (one sharp, key of G or Em respectively), there may be other accidentals in the notation that will instruct you to alter other notes in the key.

Yep - and that's often how you can tell whether it's in the major key or the relative minor key. To check whether it's in the minor look out for the 7th and, to a lesser extent, the 6th degrees of the minor scale being raised a semitone.
So a key signature of one sharp will likely be E minor, rather than G major if you can see some C# and D#s (especially D#s) used within the music.
Similarly a piece in C minor (key sig Eb Ab Bb)will often have some A and B naturals, too
This is because music in minor keys also uses notes from two modified forms of the minor scale (harmonic and melodic minors) which have those notes (6 & 7) raised a semitone or half step.


ReplyQuote
(@kevin72790)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 840
Topic starter  

This is what I think you are getting at but are confusing what the sharp siign means in this instance. The sharps beside the clef actually tell you what key the song is in and has no bearing on where the note is to be played on the fretboard. For ex. if there is one sharp noted that indicates that the piece is in the key of G as that Key has one sharp. The sharp notation will be on the F line of the staff as that is the F# in the key of G. If there are 2 sharps the key of the tune is D, if there are three sharps key of A and 4 sharps key of E. These sharp notations will be on the staff lines of the relevant notes. These are figured out in major scales by using the WWHWWWH configuation. Therefore back to the key of G we have the notes G-A-B-C-D-E-F#-G......Now I would really appreciate someone that knows what they are talking about to weigh in, I am now cornered :)
Robbie
Wow that is confusing as hell.
I don't wanna continue falling into tablature hell.

I don't think it's bad to use tabs, as long as they also specify the timing (either by showing the music notation right above it, or specified in the tab itself).

IMHO, tabs just seem like a much better mechanism for writing guitar music. I'm sure learning to read music has its benefits, but quite honestly, there just doesn't seem to be enough good reasons to spend time learning it when there's soooo many other aspects of guitar to learn.
Yea. I want to learn it all. Tabs, real music, and transcribing. But tabs still don't have the timings, but if you know the timing in your head it's good.


ReplyQuote
(@ab0msnwman)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 125
 

Thinking about the circle of fifths can help a lot when working on key signatures. If you can memorize that and visualize it in your mind's eye it will make wading through all the sharps and flats in each major and minor scale infinitely easier.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle_of_fifths

You probably already know this but you can take any key signature and instantly find out how many sharps or flats it has in it by looking at the circle. The numbers on the inside of the circle show how many sharps or flats a key signature would have.

So take the key of E major for example. It is going to have 4 sharps because it is in the forth slot on the circle pictured below.

Cool, so now what would those sharps be?

Well go back to the circle again and starting at F (for sharped keys always start at F and move clockwise) just count four spots.

So F, C, G, and D are all going to be sharped in the key of E major. You could harmonize that out in chords too if you wanted, but I won't get into that.

There is a good mnemonic device to help you remember the sharps from the circle that I read in a book by Tom Kolb. Fat Cats Go Down Alley Endings Boldly Fighting. F-C-G-D-A-E-B-F#

Now what about those pesky flatted key signatures?

Not a big deal really, it's the same exact concept just essentially reversed. The notes on the left side of the circle are all going to have flatted key signatures.

Again look at the numbers in side the circle to determine exactly how many flatted notes will be present in that key. So F will have one flatted note, Eb three flatted notes, Ab four flatted notes, Db five flatted notes etc.

And once one knows that how does one determine WHICH notes are flatted?

Again look to the circle. For flatted key signatures always start on Bb and work your way counterclockwise to Gb (F#) then jump up back to C and then finally to F.

A good device for remembering this that I also am stealing from Tom Kolb-- BEAD Games Come First -B,E,A,D,G,C,F.

So what would be flatted in the key of Db Major?

Looking at the circle we see Db in the fifth slot so that means it has five flats. Using what I said above those flats would be Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, and Gb.

So the notes in Db Major come out as Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab, Bb, C.

That can be a lot to digest but hopefully I spelled it out clearly. The circle is a crucial foundation for jumping on into deeper harmony stuff. Knowing the circle cold really helps you A LOT when you get to modes and it is even useful just for harmonizing the major and minor scales in triads. Hope this helped.

So if you haven't memorized that yet, do it. Then when you spot 4 sharps on the staff you will just immediately think "okay working with E major here--the F, C, G, D are all going to be sharped" and you would instantly know that C# is going to be the relative minor (you just take the sixth degree of the scale).


ReplyQuote
(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3460
 

IMHO, tabs just seem like a much better mechanism for writing guitar music. I'm sure learning to read music has its benefits, but quite honestly, there just doesn't seem to be enough good reasons to spend time learning it when there's soooo many other aspects of guitar to learn.

Try handing your guitar tab to the singer in a band and asking them to sing it. :P

It takes longer to learn standard notation, but if you ever think your interest in music might go beyond 'playing guitar by numbers' with Tab then it's worth the effort. You can use your knowledge to pick up a piano score, for instance, and see how it could sound on guitar. You could pick up a song book and know how the song should sound if you sang it or played the melody line. And so on. It's the nearest thing we have to a universal music language and it IS worth knowing for those who can find a little time. And it's not as complicated as it looks. The terms can be off-putting, but the principles underneath are pretty straightforward once you 'get' them. :D

Chris


ReplyQuote
 Taso
(@taso)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2852
 

I don't wanna continue falling into tablature hell.

I don't think it's bad to use tabs, as long as they also specify the timing (either by showing the music notation right above it, or specified in the tab itself).

IMHO, tabs just seem like a much better mechanism for writing guitar music. I'm sure learning to read music has its benefits, but quite honestly, there just doesn't seem to be enough good reasons to spend time learning it when there's soooo many other aspects of guitar to learn.
+1

http://taso.dmusic.com/music/


ReplyQuote
(@steve-0)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1165
 

Steve - I think you meant to say F natural, (the flatted 7th) not G natural.

Yup, my bad.

Steve-0


ReplyQuote
(@robbie)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 456
 

abOsnwman that is a lot of handy info all in one place.Thanx I have earmarked it and will try to commit the things I didn't know to memory and that can be quite a chore when your addled 60 year old brain isn't so good at, now what was it I was trying to say?
Robbie


ReplyQuote
(@kevin72790)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 840
Topic starter  

I kinda sorta get.

Key of C major...you can use C chord, G7, and F.

Key of D major you can use G and A and D.

Key of E major you can use B and C7.

Am I right?

I still understand how single notes are determined...that confuses the hell out of me.


ReplyQuote
(@ab0msnwman)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 125
 

I kinda sorta get.

Key of C major...you can use C chord, G7, and F.

Key of D major you can use G and A and D.

Key of E major you can use B and C7.

Am I right?

I still understand how single notes are determined...that confuses the hell out of me.
You are jumping in too deep here.

Start simple.

If you are looking to harmonize the major scale in seventh chords but you don't understand how the notes of the scale are determined your head is going to explode.

So forget about that for now.

What about the single notes is confusing you specifically? Is it how the scales themselves are formed?

I'm not sure I am understanding you.


ReplyQuote
(@kevin72790)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 840
Topic starter  

Well. I'll use pics.

I went around the B note with my red box, star type shape. That usually means OPEN B string. Am I right? Yes.

But where else are B notes?

both E strings 7th fret, A string 2nd fret, D string 9th fret, G string 4th fret, B string open

Saying that "you can play it multiple place", says to me...sure, so I can play it all those places, right?

But then if something is in a different key, all the notes change. But how the hell is that determined. If it's in the key of E, what the hell does that "B note" become?


ReplyQuote
(@pearlthekat)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1472
 

maybe what you should do is learn the pattern for the major scale. the patttern is the same for al thel scales, (C, D, E, F, G, A, B). What scale you're playing changes depending on what note you're starting one. Start with the C major scale and say the notes as you play them. Learn that they're are different places you can play the C major scales because there are many different Cs on the fretboard. Then go to another scale and do the same thing and you'll see "what happens to the notes."

Another thing to do is to learn where the same note is on each string. For example, find the C note on the 6th string, the fifth string, etc.


ReplyQuote
(@slejhamer)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 3297
 

I don't wanna continue falling into tablature hell.

I don't think it's bad to use tabs, as long as they also specify the timing (either by showing the music notation right above it, or specified in the tab itself).

IMHO, tabs just seem like a much better mechanism for writing guitar music. I'm sure learning to read music has its benefits, but quite honestly, there just doesn't seem to be enough good reasons to spend time learning it when there's soooo many other aspects of guitar to learn.
+1

-2

The ability to communicate with other musicians might be a good reason ...

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


ReplyQuote
 lars
(@lars)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1121
 

I don't think it's bad to use tabs, as long as they also specify the timing (either by showing the music notation right above it, or specified in the tab itself).

IMHO, tabs just seem like a much better mechanism for writing guitar music. I'm sure learning to read music has its benefits, but quite honestly, there just doesn't seem to be enough good reasons to spend time learning it when there's soooo many other aspects of guitar to learn.
+1

-2

The ability to communicate with other musicians might be a good reason ...

+1+(-1)

I've been thinking a lot about tabs, and I've reached a subjective tnetative conclusion. Tabs can be a great instrument for "cheating" / taking short cuts. I mean - I can transcribe a Clatpon guitar solo, and almost any guitar player can stumble through it at once no matter what theoretical knowledge they might have. On the other hand, you don't really learn anything except patterns, unless you put in an extra effort. That's what I'm often trying to do: "What is he doing here?" "Why does it sound good" "Aha he's moving from E minor into E major" or "He's throwing in an E9 appergio, that extra F# note sounds really good" or whatever. That gives a double benefit: I can learn cool sounding licks real quick, and in addition I (can) learn something to use elsewhere in improvisation or other songs.

Obviously you can do things like this without necesarily knowing how to sight read standard notation, as long as you have some clues about which tones make up scales and chords.

THe challenge reffered to as "Tabulatur hell" as I see it, is that it is so easy to just play without thinking - you can pick up the entire guitar part from Sultans of Swing in an afternoon (well), without really learning anything except patterns. It can sound good, but it does not really make you a better guitar player. Oh, IMHO that is.

So, I kinda agree with Taso. It's very easy to write down guitar music, and often the need to communicate with other musicians (say in a band setting) is on a "Hey guys: 4 bars E, 2 bars A, 2 bars E, 1 bar B, 1bar A, 2 bars E" basis.

Still it requires you to take one extra step, not being satisfied with it just sounding good, but starting to try to understand why and how it sounds good.

my 0,02$

lars

...only thing I know how to do is to keep on keepin' on...

LARS kolberg http://www.facebook.com/sangerersomfolk


ReplyQuote
(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5384
 

When I started, almost four years ago, my goal was to be able to play atleast five or so covers around a campfire. Tabs ruled, notes were pointless. I still learned the basics of music notation without really knowing why and let me tell you, that was one of the smartest things I've done. Atleast 50% of my music, including all classical pieces, would have been impossible. Was I planning to do that when I started? Hell no. Maybe you'll go on to use more instruments as well, or maybe you'll end up writing your own songs and you want to show a melody line to a singer you know. Or you make your own pop-song but can't play piano, so you want to give the score to a pianist. Maybe you want to write a guitarsong with some counterpoint melodies, a heck of a lot easier with writing notes. Maybe you'll one day get a cool idea, riff or theme in your head and you want to write that down right there, wherever you are. Maybe you'll want to read a book on theory. Or maybe you'll come in one of the other ten billion possible situations where you'll need it.

Ofcourse, chances are you won't. But is spending a rainy sunday-afternoon getting you started that much of a problem to risk it? Who you are in five years might be totally different then what you expect. Be prepared.


ReplyQuote
(@noteboat)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

Well. I'll use pics.

I went around the B note with my red box, star type shape. That usually means OPEN B string. Am I right? Yes.

Yes, one place to play that is the open 2nd string.

But where else are B notes?

both E strings 7th fret, A string 2nd fret, D string 9th fret, G string 4th fret, B string open

Saying that "you can play it multiple place", says to me...sure, so I can play it all those places, right?

Not quite right.

Every once in a while I'll have a student who writes in the names of the notes above or below the standard notation. That's a problem, because they end up looking at the letters instead of the notes. The letter identifies the note NAME, but not the note's PITCH - that's communicated by which B you have on the staff.

All those B notes on the guitar aren't the same B. The 6th string 7th fret is too low to be that B - it's the B note right below middle C; the 5th string 2nd fret is also the B below middle C. But you could play the circled B note on the 6th string 19th fret, or the 5th string 14th fret.

The open E string is too high to be that B note. The B on the 7th fret of the 1st string isn't on your diagram - it's the one that comes after your last A note.

Depending on how many frets you have, the guitar can play up to 13 different "B" notes... but only 5 of them will be the B you've circled.
But then if something is in a different key, all the notes change. But how the hell is that determined. If it's in the key of E, what the hell does that "B note" become?

It stays a B note.

The key signature (the sharps or flats right after the clef sign) tell you what a given note becomes. The key of E has four sharps - on F, C, G, and D, and they're always shown in that order. Since B doesn't have a sharp or flat, you just play B... but the note right above it, C, moves up from the 1st fret to the 2nd - because there would be a C# in the key signature.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


ReplyQuote
Page 2 / 3