Learning to read music, Software?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Csgband, Feb 17, 2009.


  1. Csgband

    Csgband Member

    Messages:
    2,046
    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    Location:
    Moved to Austin, formerly from Brooklyn, NY
    I have been a musician, playing guitar, singing and writing for 25 years.
    Like a lot of people I am self taught. While this has served me well over the years of recording and shows I feel my hands can do way more than I know I can do.
    Is there a software out there that I could use to learn to read music kind of like Rossetta Stone but for Music and guitar?
    Thanks, chris
     
  2. stevel

    stevel Member

    Messages:
    12,935
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Hampton Roads, Virginia
    Chris, there probably *is*, but IMHO, it's something that's so simple, you'd be wasting your time and money.

    Reading music is so stupidly easy - it's just a matter of sitting down to do it.

    Pitch is cake (examples are Treble Clef):
    ___________
    _____|_____
    _____|_____
    _____|_____
    ____0______

    A note that looks like this is an F.

    All you have to do is remember F is in the first (lowest) space.

    Then you count up or down - the next line is G, and the next space is A:

    _____|_____
    _____|_____
    _____|_____
    ____0______
    ___________

    Spaces are F-A-C-E, lines are E-G-B-D-F (Every Good Boy Does Fine, or Eagles Go Bald During Flight, etc.).

    If you read them frequently enough. you won't have to "count" anymore, you'll just see an A and go, hey, that's an A.

    Kind of like how when you're learning to read you have to put C-A-T together and make the sounds to say "cat", but now you just see and know what it is (and how to pronounce it).

    Rhythm is slightly trickier, but if you start off with basic note values like Whole notes, Half Notes, Quarter notes, and Eighth notes before you moved into mixed groupings and dotted notes, etc. etc. It will be more accomplishable.

    I think most people's problem is they expect they'll be able to read very complex musical "sentences" right off the bat - no, you have to put yourself back into that position of being a kid sounding out "See Spot run".

    You have to start with simple pitches, and simple note values. In fact, at first, it's good to play the pitches (and name them) without the rhythm, and then play the rhythm of a passage without the pitch before you combine them.

    Start with something simple - Yankee Doodle - nursery rhyme type stuff. Read something every night.

    It doesn't matter if it takes you a half hour to get through Yankee Doodle - soon you'll find it getting easier and easier.

    I would go through and name the notes, then go through and play the notes, and name them as you play them (this helps you learn the notes on the fretboard better too, if you don't already know them well).

    I would spend about a month working on Pitch by itself. You need to get to the point where, when you see the note in the top space of the Treble clef, you go "E" automatically. Or when you see the note that's two ledger lines below the staff, you go "A" automatically.

    Guitar is written in Treble Clef only, and sounds an octave lower than written.

    But you can learn to read Bass Clef too. It's not really any more difficult.

    While a lot of people might learn Pitch and Rhythm together, I think it's better to get the Pitch down pretty well so it becomes a non-issue when you're working on rhythm. However, you could also do something where you read the pitches of piece one night, and the next night read the rhythms. Again, I'd concentrate on the Pitch first, since it's more "finite" than Rhythm can be.

    Do that every night for a month, and you'll be a better reader. Do it for a year, you'll probably be *very* good at it.

    But again, you have to start simple - don't do pieces with sharps and flats in them at first, until you get the basic 7 letter-named notes down. Don't be trying to play Quintuplets from the score until you've got quarters mixed with eighths down, etc.

    Have Fun,
    Steve
     
  3. Csgband

    Csgband Member

    Messages:
    2,046
    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    Location:
    Moved to Austin, formerly from Brooklyn, NY
    Thanks for the good advice Steve, Chris
     
  4. giannifive

    giannifive Member

    Messages:
    130
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2007
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    To learn it systematically, I really recommend the Berklee guitar method books.
     
  5. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

    Messages:
    11,965
    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Music Reading For Guitar by David Oakes might be another good book to look at. What I like about this book is that it gives you tips on what position on the fretboard to start your reading from. Also, it gives a very thorough introduction on standard notation (like what "al fine" means and other things that I think the Berklee Modern Method books, while fine books in their own right, gloss over).
     

Share This Page