~ reading music notation ~

~ the audio - visual combo ~

~ a 'reading basics' page ~

~ playing the pitches 'by ear' helps guide our eyes to their notation symbols while moving through measured time ~

Quarter notes. 'Four to the bar' might just swing the hardest, quarter notes on the beat, just choppin wood, the 'big 4' and the boom boom boom ... of it all. Ready to play along and read too ? Cool, got your ax ready ? Just click the music for playback and commence to read along. Repeating 10 times, read to the end of the phrase then back to its beginning, following the notes along and their symbols moving through time. In 'C' major ...

First a leap and then resolution. Now in 'A' minor, 10 times through a four bar phrase heading to the Fair.


Review, just read a bit every day or alot, it helps. If you like to read, read music, figure out puzzles, push buttons by 'the book' and make nice music, keep on ! And know that even developing a rudimentary reading ability opens up a vast library of music to the evolving artists and guitarist. In most cases, it's just about learning new ideas. In performance and professional situations, chances are there is no tab for the guitar part, which often is a doubling of another instrument in the group. This 'standard notation', notes and rests etc., have been around for a while now, so the bugs have been worked out. Do good readers get more pro work? Unless we're a star and the feature, a monster soloist or a sideman with such an such an artist, then yea readers get more calls.

Reading music notation is challenging and a fun exercise of discovery. For there's often one or more ways to get to a pitch, and the rhythm is often the determining factor in how a phrase gets sounded on each instrument. So all just a bit of a puzzle really yet there's some pretty set in stone now ancient ways of doing it, which makes it easier to share with other musicians. Can you point out and name the eight or so different music symbols in these measures ?

Notes, numbers and letters yikes ! Read a bit every day for a while and the symbols become rote memorized. Any strengthening in reading notation or clapping out rhythms first then adding pitches, opens a vast trove of music that has been written down over the centuries now. For near everything written in treble clef is also readable for guitar. And when reading to learn new songs, remember to play the root pitches of the chords if included on the music as a bass line, to get a sense of the 'storyline' and the tale the song will tell. Here's a few links to begin to unlock the symbols included in the above example.

"Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results."

"Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results."

"Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results."

wiki ~ Willie Nelson

Sound about right ?

Three times still a charm ... ?

This should be a chant ?

Please, somebody right this tune :)

References. References for this page's information comes from school, books and the bandstand and made way easier by the folks along the way.

References academia Alaska. And when you need university level answers to your questions and musings, and especially if you are considering a career in music and looking to continue your formal studies, begin to e-reach out to the Alaska University Music Campus communities and begin a dialogue with some of Alaska's own and finest resident maestros !