Post by docboneseed on May 30, 2020 18:18:32 GMT -6
Hi all, newbie to the Forum. My question; How essential is it to learn how to know/read music manuscript vs reliance on Tablature? I feel that as I go further into the series; relying on Tablature alone won't help with the theory aspects. I can sight read manuscript in first position... BUT further up the fretboard is much more difficult for me. Anyway advice?
Hmmmm, like anything related to music I would say it just comes down to your goals in music. There are excellent players out there who know the bare minimum of theory and don’t sight read at all, such as Alex Lifeson of Rush. If you want to learn to read staff notation and follow that path, power to you. It’s a valuable skill because you can translate musical ideas in a very accurate way, far more accurate than tablature ever will be. But at the same time, it’s by no means a requirement unless you plan on being a classical or jazz style guitarist.
The first and foremost thing should always be your ear, and the music itself. So I would just say if you want to learn it, keep learning it because it will be useful and if you want to follow a different path then go that way, but above all just follow your natural inclinations, curiosity and the things that inspire you because that will be ultimately what pushes your growth as a musician the most.
Since I'm trying to get better at reading standard notation I'll tell you what I'm doing.
First, I want to draw a distinction between reading standard notation and sight reading. Sight reading is the ability to read music and play it like you were reading a book out loud. I'm nowhere near having that ability nor do I ever expect reach that level. I'm just trying to read. May be "decipher" would be a better word.
The area between the 5th and 12th frets is where things get fuzzy. You just have to slowly work out where the notes are up there. After a while you'll be able to find them just like you can below the 5th fret.
One thing that has helped me some is to pick a note like "C" for example and find every "C" on the fret board up to the 13th fret "B" string and repeat it over and over. Try doing it with a metronome. Do that every day with a different note.
But what has helped me more than anything is reading music that doesn't have any tab. If there's tab below the notation I always look at the tab. Find a transcription of a sax solo, for example, and figure out the best position to play it.
There's no easy answer. It takes a lot of effort. You just have to do it.
I will risk my neck by claiming that for the material you learn in the Blues You Can Use Series, the ability to read standard notation is absolutely irrelevant.
But when learning the songs in the studies you should always be able to tell what position you're playing over (pattern 1 - pattern 5). Is it mainly major or minor sounding? If you are playing notes that are not in pentatonic scale, what are they - approach notes, color tones, or something else? When you go the IV chord, do you change key, or do you keep soloing over the I chord, and if so - why does it work over the IV chord? Stuff like that.
You should also be able to analyze licks from the book, in a verbal sense like "bend up to 5th, next play the 5th on a higher string, then the root and finally slide up to the root on string 2".
And finally - don't worry about playing the songs at full tempo - it's fine if you can (most of us can't), but John recorded those at such a high tempo that it shouldn't really be a goal to play along. That just steals too much focus and practice time, which should be spend on learning the music instead.
I think if you put in the effort to complete either of the books with those goals in mind, you will learn a lot! Stick around and share your progress...
Post by grampalerxst on May 31, 2020 1:54:33 GMT -6
Hello and welcome,
What is usually missing in tab is the information about note values (duration) and groupings into beats that can be discerned from regular music notation. That can all be worked out by ear if you have audio to work from, but learning enough about music notation to be able to correlate that information with the streams of tab numbers is helpful.
The best thing probably is to learn to work things out by ear.
I learned how to read music from piano lessons when I was a kid, then some time back I took a two year foray into classical guitar which helped me adapt standard notation to guitar. I still don't really sight read, and don't have the whole fretboard memorized, things I should work on. I know just enough to be limp through in a pinch.
Looks like we have another Rush fan about, too.
The note being played at this moment *is* the song
Welcome, lots of spot on info myself I can read music, but not read and play it on a guitar. I prefer tab because when playing its easier, that said doing the exercise Phil said learning where all the notes are is a valuable skill. If you know note locations on the fretboard and the key the song is in it helps you move around the fretboard when improvising.
When first learning music theory, as in "a major triad has a major third on the bottom and a minor third on the top" and that sort of thing, it didn't finally "click" until I worked it out in standard notation. Everything theory-related makes perfect sense in standard notation because it's right there in front of you, just like the keys on a keyboard. In fact, getting a cheap keyboard and learning the basics of theory on it would probably be a really good instructional exercise for any guitarist.
Having said that though, once it "clicked" I never went back to standard notation - I've used tab ever since. Of course you get the time values of the notes with standard notation but I learn just by listening to the original piece of music. Maybe if you're into classical music, and there are no recordings of how Bach actually played his pieces 300 years ago, well standard notation will get you "in the ballpark" though all the intricacies of phrasing are lost. But with anything modern you'll have a recording so I don't see the point.
I just look at it as opportunity cost - it takes a lot of time to learn to apply standard notation to guitar, and wouldn't that time be better spent learning songs, working on technique, etc. etc. etc.? I mean, it depends...some folks have a lot of problems with timing, and perhaps learning quarter notes, eight notes, the dreaded dotted-eight notes etc. will be an important and needed step in your development. Other people don't have problems with timing so time spent working on those sorts of exercises would be better spent on something else.
I want you to know that someone cares. Not me, but someone.
Post by docboneseed on May 31, 2020 17:03:31 GMT -6
Thanks so much for everyone's responses. And thanks for the welcome. There's lots of great ideas and good points made in each response. And I can say that I have a better idea of where to head towards regarding this issue.
I think Phil's advice is particularly helpful and nailed the issue really well regarding knowing where notes are above the 5th fret.
Also Joachim's point about recognising the pattern that you are using as well as major vs minor.
Jack1982's comments are important too as I hope to learn exactly where scale tones are (e.g. 3rd 5th etc).
Importantly, everyone has offered good kind advice. Thank you! I will be persevering. I really the love this method (BLUES you can use series)
I should point out that I'm in Australia and I have loved blues from a young age. As a youngster I loved the Allman Brothers Band - and particularly their take on blues. Unfortunately in Australia hardly anyone has heard of them! Very sad for them!
Anyway, thanks everyone for taking the time to respond to my first post. Very very helpful indeed.