Open Position Note Reading (Guitar Lesson IM-126) How to play IF Stage 2

Uploaded by JustinSandercoe on 30.12.2010

Hey, how're you doing? Justin here. Welcome to IM-126
where we're going to be talking about reading music.
Now, it's another one of those perilous
-- like scales with the metronome is -- that reading dots.
Most of you guys, I'm guessing, are TAB readers,
you know, and that's fine!
I recommend that.
When you're a beginner guitar player
you don't want to be learning to read music
because you'll end up playing 'Three Blind Mice'
and really boring stuff on the guitar
when you should be learning cool scales
that you could make up cool solos with, and chords and riffs and stuff, you know.
But if you're going to be an intermediate guitar player
I think there's a lot of benefits to learning the very basics of reading music.
Just so you understand the idea of:
"Oh, these are the notes
and this is what the notes are called
and this is how I find them on my instrument."
If you want, for instance, to get into a little bit of classical guitar,
just have a taste, not be a classical guitar player,
but have a go at playing a classical tune,
you need to learn to read music.
If you want to learn jazz melodies, you need to learn how to read music.
If you want to make up like a chord melody,
where you play chord and melody at the same time
from a sheet music book
then it's really helpful to be able to look at the melody that's being played
and figure out how to to it on the instrument.
So, what I recommend that we do in this session is
that we have a look at understanding the notes on the stave
and how to find them on the instrument.
And there's a third stage as well
if you're looking really at learning to sight-read
which is to be able to read instantly,
which is: learn the notes on the stave -- that's part 1 --
learn the notes on guitar -- that's part 2 --
and then the flow of seeing it and making it come out of the instrument
would be part 3.
We're not going to be looking at part 3 much, right?
We're going to start off with just talking about the notes on the stave.
Now, I've mentioned "stave" a couple of times.
A "stave" is what we call the five lines
that notation (or the dots) are written on.
Now, TAB has six lines, of course,
that represent the six strings.
The stave (five lines) has got nothing to do with the guitar strings at all
because they're universal.
They can be read by any instrument
and that's a pretty cool thing as well.
If you're trying to write down something
that you can do on guitar for a violin
to play it on a record or something, you know,
there's loads of good reasons
to be able to read a bit, right?
So, the first thing we need
is to have a look at a stave.
So let's get a little stave going up just here.
Now, you can see that there's five lines there
and that means that there's four spaces.
So, kind of the way that people have been learning to read music
and the way that I learned to read music
is by looking at the spaces and then the lines.
Now, the spaces contain the notes F, A, C and E.
F is in the bottom space, the lowest down one,
A is in the next space up,
C is in the space above that
and the top space has the note E in it.
So, that's the first thing to get through.
Now, the second thing that you have to remember
is 'Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit'.
Now I'm sure most of you have heard that before,
you know, that's been around for, I don't know how many centuries,
but people have been using that,
I learned that to remember the notes on the lines.
So, the lowest down line is the note E,
the next line up is the note G -- every Good... --
and the next line above that is the middle line,
is the note B (every good Boy, B).
The next line above that is D for Deserves
and the top line is F for Fruit.
'Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit' and 'FACE'.
Both those things should be very easy to remember.
Now what you wanna do in order to learn that stuff really good
is to get any piece of music at all,
it doesn't matter what bit of music it is,
you can download any sheet music that you like,
it wouldn't even matter whether it's music that you like or not. Don't worry about that.
But just get some sheet music from somewhere
and start naming the notes.
I've got some examples on the web page.
On this very lesson page, if you look down to the bottom of it ,
you'll find some examples where you can just start to look at the notes
and start naming them.
And that's really the first thing that you want to think about.
It's just being able to name the notes.
Now, once you know the names of the notes
the next kind of task part is putting it on the guitar neck.
Now, the guitar neck contains notes that go outside of the stave.
So we have to use a thing called 'ledger lines'
and if you look now at this illustration here
you'll see the names of the notes of the open strings on the guitar.
So if we're starting off with E which is the top space.
That one, that's the top space.
We've got the note B which is the middle line.
We've got G which is the third string,
which is the second line up from the bottom.
We've got D which is below the stave.
It's kind of, if you like, the space below the stave.
We've got the note A
which is two ledger lines below the stave,
right on the line
and E which is underneath three ledger lines.
So you can see that that's how it's made up.
That's how you get the notes
on the open strings on the instrument.
So, the next stage is to learn how to recognise all of those notes
and it's a little bit tricky, you know.
If you learn the notes on the stave
you can count down because it's all alphabetical.
if you look at this illustration now
you'll see all of the notes in the open position
starting at E and then F
which is on the third ledger line,
G: beneath two ledger lines,
A: on the two ledger lines,
B: beneath one ledger line,
C: on one ledger line,
D: beneath the stave,
this E is the note that's on the bottom line,
F: first space, G: second line,
-- God, this is getting tricky --
A: just in the second space,
B, which is the middle line,
C: second from top space,
D: second to top line,
E, which is the top space,
F, which is the top line,
and G which is the above-the-stave position.
So, the next stage for you is to find any old bit of sheet music
and find how to play the notes on the guitar.
So, don't worry about keeping it musical
or anything like that or the rhythms or any.
Just let all of that go for now. You can deal with that later.
What you want to do to start off with is just looking at the note and going :
"Right, OK, that one, that's on the middle line."
"Right, so middle line. Every Good B...Boy."
"so it's a B note" and then: "'B note." "Which was that B on the guitar?"
You'll probably have to use that little chart that I've just had on the screen.
It's on the web site, either print it out or write it out for yourself
and then go: "B, OK that was THAT B."
Because there's two B's:
There's B here at the 2nd fret of the fifth string
and B open string.
So you need to know not just what the notes are,
but which E is which,
you know, or which B is which on the guitar, you know.
Takes a little bit of practice and I got to be honest:
Learning to read music properly
and just be able to look at it and play it on the guitar is a real pig.
It's difficult to do which is why most people don't do it.
Most, probably the majority of, should I say?
Yeah, I would guess that the majority of professional guitar players
-- well, maybe not professional. --
The majority of guitar players don't read music.
Most professional guitar players can read music a bit
but not very many are good at sight-reading.
I'm certainly not much good at sight reading anymore
just 'cause I don't have to do it much.
I can work it out pretty quick,
but doing it like just looking at some difficult bit of music
and playing it right off, you know, that's difficult.
The reason it's difficult,
-- actually I may as well explain it to you : we've got plenty of time ! --
is that the one note can be found in lots of different places on the guitar,
so if we take the note E in the top space, that's here, that's this E.
Now, you can play it as the open thinnest string,
we can also play the same note
as the 5th fret on the second string
or the 9th fret of the third string
or the 14th fret of the fourth string
or the 19th fret of the fifth string.
I could play it on the 24th fret of the thickest string as well,
only I don't have 24 frets on this guitar
so I can't actually play it for you,
but you can see there that straight away it gives you a bit of a problem,
because you don't know where to play it.
So this same little line
. . .
can be played all over the guitar neck.
A TAB sorts that out, it just says:
"This is where you play the notes."
Which is a lot easier
when you're a beginner guitar player.
But like I said, if you're trying to communicate with another muscician,
who's maybe not a guitar player,
they're not going to know TAB or how to use it.
So, learning just the basics of how to read,
you know, what the notes are, it's a really, really,
I think it's a really good skill, you know,
it's a bit difficult!
Now what I'm trying to show you is just open position.
I don't think that you should bother trying to learn up the neck yet, right?
That's a whole another ball game
and it just takes loads and loads of practice
if you wanna do it. It's not particularly difficult.
it just takes lots of practise.
What I would recommend that you do is
get used to playing in this open position.
And the way I would recommend that you do it
is by having a go at a song or two.
Just picking a bit of sheet music and trying to play it.
You know, classical music is really good.
I learned to read it on classical music.
I wanted to go to a classical guitar school
and you had to be able to read music to get in there
so I went to the guitar teacher who was at the school
and said 'I'd really love to come to your school',
he gave me really difficult bit of sheet music,
Fernando Sor's Study No.9,
which is a really horrible looking thing,
and said: "OK, if you can learn to read that
in two weeks, then I'll let you in." Kind of thing.
And I was "Oh my God", it was really difficult!
But I did it, I figured out how to do it,
exactly with the sheets, the information that I'm giving you,
which is showing you the notes in the open position
and then I kind of worked out that all : that note is that note and
it's possible to do it that way and you learn!
It's not a difficult thing if you wanna pursue it, right?
Not saying you should, I'm just saying:
"Let's get the basics down and understand how to read the notes on the stave,
how to find them on the guitar neck
so that you can use that skill."
That's what I would like you to do.
So, go and check out the examples that I've got on the web site
have a go at just naming the notes.
You can do that anyway : naming the notes, you can do it on the train.
If you've just got a bit of sheet music
you can look at it and go "Right, OK, top space."
"F, A, C, E - that's an E! Wahay!"
You know, and keep going like that
just to learn what the notes are on the stave.
Same with the counting the lines, you know,
when I was learning to read music
I'd go 'Right, OK, well,
I know that bottom line is an E
so the next space down is a D
and then the next space down there must be a C
so, oh! That must be a B!'
Be cool with that, you know,
when you're learning that's what's going to happen
and the more you do it, the more experience you get,
the faster you get to recognize
and you just go 'Yeah, that's that note
and that's that note and that's that note
and it's played here' you know.
So stick with it. I know it's a bit gnarly
and doing this kind of, you know, note reading thing,
a lot of people don't like doing it and I don't blame them
but I do think it's a really useful skill
so if you want to go through it, and you want to do, you know,
I think, be a really good solid intermediate player
and not get unstuck later when there's something you want to do.
I'd have a good crack at this note reading thing.
It's a bit tricky but really worth sticking up.
So, I hope you understand the basics now
and you understand what to do.
There's a lot more information on the web page, of course
because this is about reading music
and not me talking or playing stuff, so
Have fun with that
and I'll see you for another lesson some time very soon.
Take care of yourselves. Bye-bye.