read actual music

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons, Tutorials & Tips' started by neologik, Dec 19, 2004.

  1. neologik

    neologik New Member

    this is my first post.
    i see most of the ppl use tabs for playing n most of the times so do i.
    however tabs fail to give the rythm, the beats n the timing of the song.
    for this proper music notations r reqd.
    dont know y ppl r scared of them. they'r pretty simple.
    see if u can understand them
    so here goes :

    basically the notations consist of five horizontal lines

    before the music piece begins, there is a cleft.
    '&' this type of cleft is called a trebble cleft.
    for normal guitar playing this will be used
    another cleft that looks like an inverted C is called bass cleft.
    this implies tht the piece to be played with the bass of the guitar or the piano.
    so ignore the bass cleft if ur not playing bass

    now depending on where the symbols r on the lines that note has to be played.
    i use the normal c,d,e,f,g,a,b notations.


    also u can go above and below these five lines by making small lines to get lower and higher notes.


    now in these music sheets u will not see the letters in their place there will be note symbols.

    symbol meaning
    o one whole note.
    o with a line half note (to be played for half the time of full note)
    o with a line n solid quarter (to be played for 1/4 time of full note)
    above with a tail one eighth
    above with 2 tails one sixteenth

    the entire music piece is divided into small equal parts. each part is called a measure. measures r seperated by lines called bars.
    the number of beats that a song has should be finished within one measure.

    most of the songs have 4 beats.
    i.e. assume each beat to be one second. tap ur foot per beat. u should finish playing one measure on ur fourth tap.
    also this means that a full note will go on for 4 seconds and so on.
    in reality a beat will be shorter than a second. (generally half a second). however u can take it to be ne thing even one minute. all it will do is correspondingly slow down ur entire tempo. n tht is the beauty tht the overall feel and rythm of the song will be maintained.

    after the cleft u should see a number like 4/4. this gives u the beats in the song. the above number is the number of beats per measure. thus there r 4 beats in one measure. the other number (1/4) signifies the note that is to be considered one beat. in this case the 1/4 note is one beat.
    it could have been ne thing n the number of beats and/or the note signifying one beat would change.
    if hypothetically it was 4/2, then u would have four beats in one measure n each measure would have four 1/2 notes (as opposed to four 1/4 notes in the above case).

    Remember beats of a song can change midway n are simply written before the part to be changed.

    till now we can only denote normal notes. however to denote sharps or flats is very simple. just place a # or a b before the note. if # or b comes next to the cleft before the song begins, it means tht all those notes till mentioned otherwise r sharp or flat.

    the '-' means tht u have to let the previous note ring for a quarter note.
    the symbol like a bracket { means that u have to maintain complete silence for a quarter note. these r also considered notes n have to be considered while keeping beats.

    the symbol : : means u have to repeat nething in between.

    finally the songs end with a double bar

    well hope u can learn something from this. ne questions or things i might have forgotten r welcome.
  2. jayswami

    jayswami Blue J

    good post . please continue to post.
  3. Bandbaaja

    Bandbaaja Pronounced Band Baaaa Ja

    good post
    Sheet Music is the BEST (till date) form of writing MUSIC.
    But its never customized or narrowed down to a particular instrument.
    All lead music is written under the G cleft and the bass is written in the bass cleft.
    Everything that needs to be explained, from timing to octave and pitch to tempo, slides and other forms of accents, styles etc are conveyed in this form of music.
    Its very simple to understand, but yes it takes a lot of time to actually PLAY while READING which you dont actually need to do while learning.

    But as a guitarist, the only thing the STAFF cannot explain is the finger position or fret positioning. So nowadays all staff music (termed sheet music) available for the guitar are accompanied with tablature also.
    So TABLATURE is not a NO NO, its a complete YES YES, just that you shouldnt rely on that always. And TABLATURE is useless if youve not heard the song before, or you dont have access to the song.
    BUT sheet music doesnt require you to have heard the piece before
  4. anjaan

    anjaan New Member

  5. bob-bobby

    bob-bobby Extinct or Banned!

    very nice post , neologic ...
  6. Subhro

    Subhro Argentina lost :"(

    nice post neo.. i dint kno ny of these.. post some more. reps 4 u.
  7. neologik

    neologik New Member

    thx subhro, everyone!
  8. Liquid

    Liquid New Member

    lol question question question..

    suppose if u only have sheet do u know where to play how would u know whether to play it towards the bridge.....or the other do u signal that on sheet music? :S
  9. shak

    shak Harrr!

    some times clefs have lines that go vertically upwards sometimes vertically downwards .... why is that ? ..
  10. light_of_erindi

    light_of_erindi New Member

    And yeah.... why r sometimes two or more notes joined by a horizontal line?
    does it mean a slide or playing the notes at onceor maybe far as i know.... chords....i.e. playing the notes at once is denoted by vertically stacking the notes at the same instant.
  11. neologik

    neologik New Member

    liquid : didn't quite get ur question but if it means which frets to use than that is not mentioned. u can use what u please.
    shahrukh : up n down lines have no significance. they r only to make it neater if there are too many notations in one measure
    light : two notes joined by horz line? assuming a curved line than its just tht the previous note has to continue ringing while the next one is played
  12. light_of_erindi

    light_of_erindi New Member

    @liquid....notes r mentioned in the notation... from that u have to figure out the fret position ur self....after a while u'll get used to it....

    the lower g in the notation is the 6th string 3rd fret on normal tuning....usually....correct me if i'm wrong here.......then u get the idea about rest of the notes.
  13. Liquid

    Liquid New Member

    ok ok .....i get what ur sayin but ill clairfy my question

    suppose the sheet music read "a"...( near the middle )..

    so on tab it would be :

    but what if it is meant to be played somewhere near the end....and not so close to the nut.....more near the end of the r u supposed to figure it out then?....and how do u get "used to that"? :S
  14. hs07

    hs07 New Member

    Staff notation can't help with where exactly u play an "A" note - could be open A on the 5th string, 2nd fret, 3rd string, 5th fret 1st string.....u get the idea (sometimes they will put a notation like "8ve" - means play an ocatve higher). This has to do with "voicing" - some voicings sound better than others. More on voicing some other time.

    In this particular respect, tab is better than written music.

    Written music though has one big advantage over tab - it signifies time of each note/beat, u can get really rigorous with the timing - quarter note, hal note, sixteenth. triplets etc. Idea is if u can play exactly in time, then u can start taking liberties and improvise, so if u r really good, u can "interpret" written music - more on interpretation later as well.
    sixstringsin likes this.
  15. Liquid

    Liquid New Member

    thanks man...:)
  16. johnny_flamenco

    johnny_flamenco New Member

    Actually, sheet music does show finger positions. I guess there is good and bad sheet music. You will see the number from 1 to 4 in circle next to a note indicating the finger of the left hand to use (1 - index, 2 - middle, 3 - anular, 4 - pinky). But it doesn't tell you all the fingers on ALL the notes. The reasoning here is simple: Once you have the starting finger indicated by the number in the circle, the rest of the fingers follow in a natural progression depending on the notes, UNTIL there is a change, at which point you will see another encirled number on the note.

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