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  #16  
Old 04-29-2013, 08:42 PM
HAMFIST HAMFIST is offline
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Originally Posted by StivMacRae View Post
Arguably the most intelligent post I've read in months. We learn differently at different ages. The way you teach something to an 8-year-old is completely different from the way you teach it to a 50-year-old. Most books are written for young people, and very little thought is given to how to teach the same techniques to someone who is older. We know the learning process is different, but we don't apply that knowledge in useful ways.
I agree with this whole heartedly. But dudes ... I am not 50 YET! Not for three more years.

This thread is becoming traumatic ... feeling old.

Had my lesson tonight and the idea of playing the notes, saying the names and drilling common patterns around the neck got the thumbs up. Will continue to work on things. Not thinking I'll be sight reading any time soon, but I ought to be able to pick up new stuff in standard notation without too much distress.
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  #17  
Old 04-29-2013, 09:36 PM
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min7b5 min7b5 is offline
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Originally Posted by wrbriggs View Post
.....It's a little dry, but William Leavitt's "Reading Studies for Guitar" is pretty nice for learning to translate standard notation into fretboard work.
I agree. I've put a lot of students through this book over the years and find it makes a very big difference for them in a short amount of time.
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  #18  
Old 04-29-2013, 09:37 PM
Roselynne Roselynne is offline
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Doing all of the above, plus trying out the occasional simple, single-note tune will get you there. I say this as someone who began to learn notation at age 55.

It's been several months, but now I can make the single-note songs sound sorta like music in only a few tries, and I'm fumbling through chord melodies these days.
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  #19  
Old 04-29-2013, 10:11 PM
bayoubill bayoubill is offline
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Not to worry Hamfish! Get to where you know those notes on the manuscript first. the keys and all that comes later and much easier. By learning those notes you've covered from the low E string to C over 2 octaves higher. After that you can start sight reading those notes,working up from a very slow tempo. Not as hard as you'd think. But you have to do it everyday. The good news is it only takes no more than 15 minutes a day. When you can read quarter notes at 60 beats per minutes then things will speed up for you.

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Last edited by bayoubill; 04-29-2013 at 10:25 PM.
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  #20  
Old 04-30-2013, 10:53 AM
Davis Webb Davis Webb is offline
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Uh..FACE and EVERY GOOD BOY DESERVES favor. I look at the notation and I just go blank.

I think Bayou, what you say is helpful. Small measurable goals, short sessions, consistency.
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  #21  
Old 04-30-2013, 11:12 AM
bayoubill bayoubill is offline
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I you place a B flat in place of B natural on the previous page you are in the key of F. Small measurable goals, short sessions reading the notes, consistency. The next thing is to read rhythms but first things first. It gets easier. This is the hard part.
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  #22  
Old 04-30-2013, 10:06 PM
softballbryan softballbryan is offline
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Default Reading Standard Notation

Download a free music notation app. I used them at work for a couple of months whenever I had a free moment. Nothin to it and it got the basics in my head quickly.

Treble Cat app
Music Tutor app

Also, get a fretboard app too.

I'm 40.... With no music background whatsoever.... Get the method book mentioned above... Get the Apps and then just put in a bit of time. You'll have it in no time.
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  #23  
Old 06-04-2013, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Davis Webb View Post
What he is asking, is how to instantly turn a symbol onto a page into a motor response. This is overlooked in all course work, and often limits or ends a mature player's progress. It has not been dealt with in the teaching game for music. The problem isnt knowing where middle C is on the fretboard. Its how to associate a symbol on a page, with pressing that note. Add sharps and flats and its mind bogglingly difficult to learn. The response is usually, tough it out. But for a person over 30, that can be a 2 year process with small changes.
YES this is an issue I'm having right now and at 51 it isn't easy and I have to fight the temptation not to try and memorize the music. I'm getting all hung up on one easy piece yet can play another quite easy.

I worked out it was some kind of motor response trigger in the brain, for me its playing the open g string. I just about freeze and go blank, notes on other lines and open strings are much easier.
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  #24  
Old 06-04-2013, 09:13 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Originally Posted by Davis Webb View Post
What he is asking, is how to instantly turn a symbol onto a page into a motor response. This is overlooked in all course work, and often limits or ends a mature player's progress. It has not been dealt with in the teaching game for music. The problem isnt knowing where middle C is on the fretboard. Its how to associate a symbol on a page, with pressing that note.
Exactly.
Learning the note names can help, but it's really just an intermediate stage in the process:

Symbol on page > note name > position on fretboard.

As you say, the goal is the following:

Symbol on page > position on fretboard.

Normally we learn two separate translations, to make it a 3-stage process. However, as mentioned before, the guitar makes it complicated, because for any one "symbol on page" OR "note name", there could be (usually are) many "positions on fretboard". So it can never become automatic (as it can with other instruments), because there is always conscious judgement involved: which position to choose?

TAB is not only no help here, but a positive hindrance (IMO). It means you end up viewing those many possible positions as a problem rather than an advantage. It's a little like getting used to training wheels on a bike, which then stop you properly learning how to balance. Removing the training wheels may be scary, but it gives you the freedom to learn to ride properly.

Personally, I learned to read notation before I ever thought of being a musician myself. It was just something we all did in school in those days. (I remember sitting in a class of 25-30 pupils listening to a piece of classical music and following the score; not knowing what any of the notes were to start with, but being able to recognise long and short notes, fast and slow sections, etc.. We also all learned to play the recorder, mostly very badly, of course, but enough to play a simple tune in G major anyway.)
When I began teaching myself guitar, understanding notation was invaluable. There was no tab in those days, and only one or two guitar tutor books (literally), which used notation of course. That and borrowed songbooks was how I managed to teach myself. (My ear was awful, but I had to learn stuff that way when notation couldn't be found.)

Now, I teach schoolkids (ages 7-10) guitar from a book which uses notation only. None of them have any problem with it - although I've noticed that almost all of them need the intermediate note name stage; they can't translate symbol directly to instrument, and always need to go via the note name stage. Most of them like to write the note names above the staff, and they can then play quite easily. IOW, they learn the note positions on the guitar (in 1st position) more quickly and easily than they learn the note names on the staff. I suspect that's because the notes on guitar have a tactile and aural dimension, while blobs on a page are only ever that. Easier to remember the name of a finger position (eg "fret 2 string 3 = A"), than it is to remember the name of a blob on a line or space; because of course the blobs all look pretty much the same, while the fretboard has two obvious dimensions, easily mapped out.
For those who don't write the letters down, I'm always having to remind them what the notes on the staff are; never how to find that note on the guitar. Eg, if I tell them "that's a G", they know that's the open 3rd string.
The strange thing is that when they learn the higher G (string 1 fret 3), they often don't get that the higher staff position means a higher octave. So if they need reminding what note that is that sits above the top line, and I say "G", they'll go for the open 3rd string. I have to say "high G".
Ie, it's as if they haven't understood that the vertical dimension of the staff stands for pitch. (Maybe that's poor teaching on my part...)

There are a small minority of pupils who - instead of writing the note letters above the staff - like to write a string and fret number code of their own devising. Eg instead of writing "A" above the staff, they'll write "3-2" or something similar (string 3 fret 2). Obviously they feel that the note name stage is not helpful, and seem to have intuitively decided on the direct "symbol > fret position" translation. These pupils give the impression of being more intelligent or thoughtful than their friends, but maybe they're just more methodical.

What's interesting is when they (all pupils) encounter (a) higher positions (usually beginning with 5th), and (b) TAB. Some don't get TAB at all, while others get it straight away. (The "number code" users are obviously right in tune with it.)
The higher positions confuse all of them to begin with. They don't see the point. It only clicks when they see how melodies sit under the fingers in higher positions.
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Last edited by JonPR; 06-04-2013 at 09:22 AM.
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