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Old 11-14-2018, 05:34 AM
Don W Don W is offline
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Default Learning standard notation

I have been playing guitar since I was 12...I am 66 now!!! Almost all of those years I played "by ear". I never learned standard notation or even tab for a lot of years. I always wanted to learn finger style guitar after hearing and seeing Alex DeGrassi and Leo Kottke. So...5 years ago I located a great instructor (Raymond Gonzalez) and have learned so much but was restricted to tab. I mentioned that I would love to learn some classical solo guitar pieces too. He said "do you want to bite the bullit and learn standard notation"? I rose to the challenge ...and it is a challenge. In addition to my finger style work I am working through Noads "Solo Guitar Vol. 1". A great learning tool. I am having difficulty with the different "positions" and especially "timing" and learning to count as I play. I have been working on standard notation for a year now...it is slow. Anyone out there learning notation at an "advanced" age? I would love to hear your experiences with this. Will I eventually get it? My instructor says yes and says I am in good company. Of course I believe him but would love to hear from others and how they are doing with this.
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Old 11-14-2018, 06:00 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Sorry, I learned it when I was 11, in school, before I cared about music or guitar. It was easy (and very useful when did get interested in guitar, at 16).

Still, as someone who teaches beginner classical guitar to kids (yes I know I'm an evil monster.... ), they do hit problems with the notion of position (i.e. above 1st position). It's easy when there's only one place for each note. Up above fret 4, it's a whole other dimension.

Noad is good though - stick with it!
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Old 11-15-2018, 05:53 AM
SunnyDee SunnyDee is offline
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If I understand you, you are learning to read from a score? Have you seen this forum? http://classicalguitardelcamp.com/
There is a lot of talk there about learning to sight read and play from a score and many threads mention staying in one position for years, sometimes, before moving to the rest of the fretboard.

I see this as something like learning to type. Once you understand the symbols, it's then a matter of seeing the symbol, the note on the staff, and going straight to a position that plays that note on the fretboard.

I used Musescore to create simple exercises for myself to practice, so that I'd learn to associate seeing the dot with directly placing my finger on the fret. No translation of note names in the middle. Seemed to work so far, but, yes, slow.
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Old 11-15-2018, 07:54 AM
Don W Don W is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyDee View Post
If I understand you, you are learning to read from a score? Have you seen this forum? http://classicalguitardelcamp.com/
There is a lot of talk there about learning to sight read and play from a score and many threads mention staying in one position for years, sometimes, before moving to the rest of the fretboard.

I see this as something like learning to type. Once you understand the symbols, it's then a matter of seeing the symbol, the note on the staff, and going straight to a position that plays that note on the fretboard.

I used Musescore to create simple exercises for myself to practice, so that I'd learn to associate seeing the dot with directly placing my finger on the fret. No translation of note names in the middle. Seemed to work so far, but, yes, slow.
Thanks for that info...just signed up with "classical guitar" site.
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Old 11-15-2018, 07:58 AM
Kerbie Kerbie is offline
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Don, I think you're doing the right thing and I wish you a lot of luck. I learned it in elementary school and I'm very glad I did. To me, it's just a language and you'll get it like you get any other. Keep at it... being able to read music opens up new worlds!
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:03 AM
stanron stanron is offline
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One problem with learning from a single book can be that you quickly start to play from memory rather than from reading.

I learned to read on mandolin and fiddle and I read mostly from books of folk tunes. Over time I got hold of several. One book can have hundreds of tunes. O'Neil's book of Irish tunes has one thousand. I got most benefit when I spent 20 or 30 minutes a day reading from these tune books. I'd read each tune once through, including repeats, and then go on to the next. I'd mark in pencil where I got to at the end of each session and next day start from there. At the end of one book I'd go on to the next. There was no danger of playing by memory. Everything had to be read.

In folk tunes most notes are within the first five frets with an occasional jump to the seventh fret on the first string.

It's all monophonic, no chords or counterpoint, but it is good exercise at seeing a note on the score and finding it on guitar. What you learn by doing this will help you read standard guitar music.
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:36 AM
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ljguitar ljguitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don W View Post
…Anyone out there learning notation at an "advanced" age? I would love to hear your experiences with this. Will I eventually get it? My instructor says yes and says I am in good company. Of course I believe him but would love to hear from others and how they are doing with this.
HI Don

I think the best way to learn standard notation and a bit-o-theory is to take beginning piano lessons. Many community colleges offer group classes.

Pianos/keyboards are laid out differently than guitars, and are easier to learn/understand notation and theory on. Learning scales in standard notation is very simple on keys, and building any chord makes more sense - especially as to how they are written out in standard notation and laid out on the keys.

Both scales and chords make sense visually on keys, and they make sense to one's hands as well. I'm not suggesting you forsake guitar, or TAB. I'm suggesting you add keyboard to the arsenal.

Just learning note names on the score without learning the scales and chords they relate to is senseless.

I'm not sure there is a magic answer. I have a degree in music, and played trumpet, keyboards (piano, accordion, synth) and guitar starting age 8. I've often been glad I learned music from a keyboard perspective and then brought that knowledge to other instruments.

Hope this adds to the discussion.


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