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Standard Notation Questions


(@olive)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 126
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After taking a bit of a break from guitar, I finally was able to find a competent teacher to take lessons from. One of my goals is to be a proficient fingerpicker, so we are going through a classical method. This means I will be learning pieces that are written in standard notation...no tab. I already know how to read music, but have only worked on lead sheets for jazz songs...no chords. I'm having a little trouble with translating the standard notation for the chords. What I mean is...I can read all the notes just fine, but then I have to sit and think about it to realize what chord it is that I'm supposed to be using. Does anyone have any tips to help me out? Or is this just a matter of memorization and lots of practice?

I am really enjoying this new challenge and don't mind a little blood, sweat, and tears to get better, but at the same time I don't want to labor over something if there is a simple way to get this notation down!

Thanks for any help you can provide!

"My ex-boyfriend can't tell me I've sold out, because he's in a cult, and he's not allowed to talk to me." --Dar Williams


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(@michhill8)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 420
 

I would say just practice, I used to play the saxaphone in my school band, a long time ago, but I remember it just comes with practice. Just write down some random notes on a piece of paper, actually write them in standard notation (you can find blank sheet music all over online) And practice by doing that. That should help you out. That's how we practiced in band and it worked. Hope that helps, I havn't been in band since 7th grade though.

Thanks Dudes!
Keep on Rockin'

Pat


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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

It's a matter of practice mostly, and remembering the key signature. When you see three notes on a stem, like A-C-E, after a while you'll automatically think Am if the key signature is C, F, or G, and you'll think A major if the key signature is D, A, or E.

It takes longer to sight read chords than single notes, so be patient and keep working at it.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@snoogans775)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 297
 

eventually, you don't see 3 notes at the same time, you just find the root naturally and say, "That's Bb Diminished!", but as has been said, lots of quality practice

I don't follow my dreams, I just ask em' where they're going and catch up with them later.
-Mitch Hedburg
Did you see that!


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(@paul-donnelly)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1069
 

Pay attention to the space between the notes. If you see three notes on top of each other, with no space between, you know it's some sort of 1-3-5 triad. Look at the root, and know your key signature, and you know what the chord is. Four notes stacked, and you've got a seventh chord. It still takes a fair bit of practice, but you don't have to read each note.


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(@olive)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 126
Topic starter  

Ah, that pesky practice! :? I can feel it getting easier to put it all together the more often I practice. It was just a bit overwhelming at first trying to coordinate the left hand, right hand, and poorly under-used standard-notation-reading portion of my brain.

Thanks for the encouragement!

"My ex-boyfriend can't tell me I've sold out, because he's in a cult, and he's not allowed to talk to me." --Dar Williams


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(@alex_)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 611
 

well for simple triads root, 1st inversion and second..

if you see them a third apart.. its root position.. if you see a root, a big gap then 2 notes close together but far from the root it is 2nd inversion.. if you see the bottom two notes close together (a third apart) and the last note sticking out.. it is first inversion.

the rest is.. like Tom said.. practice and having a good brain that can see the notes and re-arrange them to come up with possible chords.


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