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  • how to read sheet music

    Okay, I can read it and play it on piano (its fairly linear for that!)

    but how to do i translate it to guitar, they notes are all over the place!
    ilovemystrat
    ROCK'N'ROLL player in the Tokyo, Japan
    Leader/Founder of the Gibson Les Paul Classic Crew (GLPCC)

    Gear:
    2007 Chambered Gibson Les Paul Standard in Ebony
    2006 Gibson Les Paul Classic in Natural Honeyburst
    2005 Fender Japan '57 Stratocaster
    1995 Marshall JTM30

  • #2
    If you are trying to play music in piano notation on the guitar you have a few options. You can use fingerstyle picking and pick up the treble clef and the some of the bass clef, you can use a style that plays single notes accentuated with chords or insert chords in strategic places and/or between phrases, you can play single note melody or strum chords. I prefer to either buy guitar arrangements or do my own arrangements, time consuming but worth it. I don't use TABs for my standard guitars but I do arrange in TABs for the lap steel.

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    • #3
      The way i do it (well the way i was taught in my jazz lessons) is the melody is played on the higher strings so not to clash with the chords, plus you got your notes written above and below the stave to show higher or lower notes.
      www.myspace/kodiakjackuk

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      • #4
        I am not an expert on music notation but I think a major problem with standard notation is that it doesn't take into account the guitars ability to play the same note in more than one place..standard notation that I've seen for guitar usually indicates the position at which each bar/section is to be played.
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        Some Tunes:

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        • #5
          its for the berklee audition... just treble clef!
          ilovemystrat
          ROCK'N'ROLL player in the Tokyo, Japan
          Leader/Founder of the Gibson Les Paul Classic Crew (GLPCC)

          Gear:
          2007 Chambered Gibson Les Paul Standard in Ebony
          2006 Gibson Les Paul Classic in Natural Honeyburst
          2005 Fender Japan '57 Stratocaster
          1995 Marshall JTM30

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          • #6
            I am not an expert on music notation but I think a major problem with standard notation is that it doesn't take into account the guitars ability to play the same note in more than one place..standard notation that I've seen for guitar usually indicates the position at which each bar/section is to be played.


            Yeah, it's an issue, but most guitar notation methods emphasize the 5th string/3rd fret as middle C, the one below the treble clef. And if I recall correctly, many jazz players take that an octave higher...3rd string/5th fret as middle C. Wait...that doesn't sound right. But I had this big discussion with my classmates and teacher in a sight reading class I took a few years back, which note is actually middle C. Jazz players?
            www.keith-moore.net
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            • #7
              According to my piano, Bs 2, Gs 5, Ds 10, As 15, Es 20.



              Any examples of the audition material?
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              • #8
                its for the berklee audition... just treble clef!


                buy the real book, i bring it to all my ensemble classes at berklee so it won't even be a waste of money.

                pick random songs and play them in different octaves and in different positions. and by "play" i mean know how to play the melody as well as the chords. learn a few places on the neck to play each chord and also inversions so you don't have to move all over the fretboard.

                and don't get stuck on only a few songs. the more uncomfortable you are while trying to figure out how to play the song, the more you are learning.
                Gibson Robot SG Silverburst>JC-120

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                • #9
                  Yeah, it's an issue, but most guitar notation methods emphasize the 5th string/3rd fret as middle C, the one below the treble clef. And if I recall correctly, many jazz players take that an octave higher...3rd string/5th fret as middle C. Wait...that doesn't sound right. But I had this big discussion with my classmates and teacher in a sight reading class I took a few years back, which note is actually middle C. Jazz players?


                  the 5th string/3rd fret is what it technically is but you'll also see a little 8va symbol next to the treble clef sign and that means you can take it up an octave.

                  for the most part you will be playing a majority of melodies an octave up so it cuts through. but you should know how to play in both octaves. you HAVE to be flexible because in the real world the rest of the band isn't going to change just for you.
                  Gibson Robot SG Silverburst>JC-120

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                  • #10
                    The first thing you need to do is learn the fretboard. But after that there's two basic ways to approach it- read everything in the same position or read it in different positions.

                    The advantage to reading everything in the same position is that it's easy to learn all the notes in that position. I recommend 5th position as it's an nice place to play with no sharps or flats (hence makes it easier to make a note sharp or flat), and it's a good spot on the neck. The negatives of this are somethings/keys are going to be difficult to play in this position.

                    The next option is to play things in different positions. How this would generally work is you'd change your position based on the key- for instance if it's in Bb then you'd be basing stuff off the 6th fret, Db off the 9th fret, etc. This means that you're usually using the same fingering pattern for each key, which can be a big help. In this case you're probably thinking more about intervals than notes- you'd read a note on the staff and then convert it to an interval of the key, then play it. That may seem complicated but after a bit of practice it becomes second nature. The negatives of this is you can end up trying to play in some awkward spots on the neck.

                    My advice is to learn three different ways- one position based off the 5th fret (which will work for the majority of reading), another position (off the 'E' string) that moves based on the key of the tune, and then another position the same as above except based on the 'A' string- the last two in which you'd be thinking of intervals rather than notes. With those 3 you should be able to read most anything.

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                    • #11


                      The guitar is a transposing instrument. By convention guitar music is written an octave higher than the instrument's true pitch. Written "middle C" on guitar music (equal to the pitch produced at the 5th string-3rd fret) denotes the pitch one octave below concert "middle C" ("middle C" = 262 Hz given A @ 440 Hz)

                      The reason jazz players read "up the octave" is because they are reading "at concert pitch" rather than reading as if the piece were written for the guitar.

                      So when I read something written for guitar - middle C is on the 5th string - 3rd fret (plus other locations).
                      But when I read something written at concert pitch - middle C is on the 2nd string - 1st fret (plus other locations)

                      cheers,

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                      • #12
                        I am not an expert on music notation but I think a major problem with standard notation is that it doesn't take into account the guitars ability to play the same note in more than one place..standard notation that I've seen for guitar usually indicates the position at which each bar/section is to be played.


                        Once you are familiar with reading standard notation this is not an issue. Usually the position is determined by the range of notes in a particular phrase - a position is chosen so that the phrase may be played with a minimum of position shifts.

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                        • #13
                          its for the berklee audition... just treble clef!


                          The trick with reading on guitar is to eliminate as many variables as possible so you can focus on the task at hand. When reading, it doesn't matter that you can play a 3rd space C (treble clef) in 5 different places. You just need to grab ONE of them. Typically what I do is choose a position based on the key and stick with it while site reading. Once I get familiar with the piece, I'll make adjustments for musicality.

                          For the Berklee audition, I'm pretty sure they will give you the reading examples ahead of time. If they do, practice it on piano, then teach it to yourself on guitar. In the meantime, practice reading!
                          Thinking too much produces exactly the opposite of the intended outcome.

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