Words You Must Know if You Are Learning To Read Music

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Understanding the language of music is not as hard as it looks. Once you learn how to read music, you will open your mind to a whole new world.

But before you get there, there are some basic words you need to be familiar with.

Get to know them well because you will use them a lot.

Here goes:

The staff

This is a pattern of five lines and four spaces where music is written. Each line and each space represents a particular letter, which in essence is a particular musical note between A and G.

Treble Clef

Out of the two clefs you need to know about, you have this one. It resembles an ornamental G. It is sometimes called the G clef. It represents higher pitches so to say. Higher notes are written on the treble clef.

The lines and the spaces on this clef have the note names EGBDF and FACE respectively.

Bass Clef

The other clef you need to know about is the Bass Clef. It is also called the F clef. It represents lower pitches so to say. Lower notes are written on the bass clef.

The lines and spaces for this clef have the note names GBDFA and ACEG respectively.

Notes

These are symbols that go on the staff to tell the musician which note to play and for how long to play it. They have a head, a stem and a flag.

Some notes have white heads and some have black heads.

The position of the note’s head tells us which note to play.

The flag is the curvy design on the right of a note’s stem. It indicates how long to play a note. Multiple flags mean the note is ever shorter than others. T

here are whole notes, half notes and quarter notes.

Another way to extend the length of a note is by using a dot. It adds have of the note’s duration on the affected note.

A tie can also be used to extend a note.

How to Teach Guitar Chords to Beginner Students

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As a teacher, you need to remember that the problem the students are facing with chords could be a mental processing issue and likely not a coordination issue.

The problem is almost always with their brains and not really their hands.

Keep this in mind so as to ensure you allow their process towards prowess to be much faster.

First, get the students accustomed to keeping their strumming hands working in time no matter where they are with fretting. There should be no time wasted waiting for the fretting hand to get its sh*t in order. Tell them they must keep strumming. It will allow them to keep the rhythm. And it will make them progress much faster.

You can also get them to grip the strings hard then relax and repeat- while playing the chord. This will train the brain to work the fingers in unison and not one at a time. Get the student to repeat this until they can do it well.

You could also try a rapid fire chord change with the fretting hand only and quickly! This is another way to train the hand and the brain to work on time.

Another tip is get them to try and play the A chord with just one finger, and it doesn’t have to be same finger. They can use their middle finger, index finger or ring finger. But the idea is that it will aid the fret hand speed.

Another interesting tip you can give them is to keep their mind on the NEXT chord and not on the one they are already one. That can help make transitions much faster.

As you will notice, most of these tips are of a physical nature but if done over time, they affect the brain and how it makes the students play.  A lot of practice will get their brains accustomed to the new skills and it is likely that all their chord problems and chord transition challenges will slowly vanish.

Learning How to Play Guitar Online

Online Guitar LessonsIf you’re like most people, at one point or another you have wanted to learn how to play guitar. I think most of us have seen the great guitar players like Eric Clapton, B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughn among others, and wanted to jam like they do.

There is something about guitar that just draws people to want to learn how to play it.

Below you will find some more information on how you can learn to play like the guys we’ve all wanted to play like.

Here are some good places to start:

There are three ways you can learn to play the guitar. You can either take on the long task of teaching yourself, get yourself a guitar instructor or you can learn from an online program.

Trying to teach yourself how to play can be a very long task. Not only will you have to struggle for at least a year before you really begin to understand how to play the instrument, but you will also pick up many bad habits that will only allow you to get so efficient. If you’re interested in online guitar lessons then you’ll want to check out Deviant Noise’s online guitar lessons guide.

While there have been a good number learn on their own, they will even tell you they wish they had taken the time to learn the correct way. It makes your efficiency on the instrument so much better.

You can hire a private instructor to teach you. While this is not a bad way to learn, it can also be very expensive. The average lesson will cost you around $30.00 per half hour. It is going to take you at least six months of lessons before you can call yourself a decent player. That is not counting the time it will take to go over things a few times to make sure you fully understand it.

The third way you can learn to play the guitar is by using an online guitar lesson. The advantages to this far out way the other two options. Our favorite guitar lessons is definitely JamPlay. First, the online programs allow you to learn at your own pace. There is no stress if you did not get a chance to practice last week. You can always go back and refresh what you learned if you had to take some time off.

Second is Guitar Tricks, the price for the quality you get is less than 2 hours of lessons from a private instructor. This alone makes the online programs worth the money. That and you won’t have anybody yelling at you if you did not practice last weeks lessons, or feel like you wasted money going to a lesson you are not prepared for.

I can tell you that playing the guitar well is one of the most rewarding experiences you can ever have. Not to mention it’s always fun to be able to play a song or two people know at a party.

The Basics of The Fretboard

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In-depth learning pf the fretboard is an obvious goal for guitar players simply because it allows them to play faster.

It’ll do the same for you if you put your mind to it.

It’ll increase your mental ability of recalling notes.

Being able to find any note and really knowing the fretboard are two very different things.

If you cannot recall notes in nanosecond speed, how will you be able to keep up with high tempo songs?

But before you get down to learning the fretboard, here are a few basic things you need to know first.

Strings and tuning

The thinnest string is the 1st string and the thickest string is the 6th string. That’s how they are numbered. Tuning is given from the 6th to the 1st as in E-A-D-G-B-E. This is referred to as standard tuning.

The first seven letters of the alphabet are used to name notes.

But there are more than seven notes on a guitar so note names repeat themselves.

Fret numbering

Frets are the thin strips of metal found on the neck of the guitar. Each represents a semitone in the standard western system.

Fretting is the action of pressing down the string behind a fret.

The headstock or peghead is the part of the guitar with the pegs.

Frets are numbered from the headstock towards the body starting with 1.

Zero (0) is used to represent an open string – one played without fretting a note.

A normal 22-fret guitar contains 138 notes!

Fretboard movement

Guitar players move either up and down the fretboard or across the fretboard.

There are specific terms used to refer to the shift of fingers on the fretboard.

Fretboard note locations

Now this one’s the kicker.

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A half step is the distance between two frets next to each other.

A whole step is two of those.

There are a couple of memorization techniques for the fretboard.

Find the one that suits you to be able to learn as fast as you can so that you can be playing the guitar like a pro in no time.

Common Chord Progressions Used in Music You Hear

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A chord progression is a pattern of three or four chords that are repeated throughout a song.

There are some chord progressions that are used in songs over and over again. Sometimes as they are, sometimes in combos with each other and sometimes with slight alternations to make things interesting.

Some songs switch back and forth from different chords for the verse and chorus. Other songs use a single chord progression all through.

Learning them will allow you to pick them up whenever you hear a song. It will also help you to write songs that are unique.

Note that the Nashville Number System is used to talk about chord progressions. In the system, each note in the scale is given a number one through seven and they are written in Roman numerals.

Here are some of them:

I-vi-IV-V

This was popular in the 50s and is usually called the 50s progression. It is still used in modern times as you will find it in Justin Bieber’s “Baby” or Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls”.

I-IV-V-IV

This was used in La Bamba.

vi-IV-I-V

This was used in Green Day’s “Holiday” and Cranberries’ “Zombie” and Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ “Snow”. It was also used in hit songs such as: Beyonce – “If I was a Boy”, Bon Jovi – “It’s my life”, Enrique Iglesias – “Bailando”, Lady Gaga – “Poker Face”, Bruno Mars – “Grenade”.

This particular progression is normally associated with heroism. You’ll find it in many movie trailers.

vi-V-IV-III

It’s been used in Stray Cat Strut and California Dreaming. A variation of it is vi-V-VI-V.

V-IV-I

It is the famous Sweet Home Alabama one.

ii-IV-V

It is usually used as a larger progression. You met it in Purple Haze and Iron Man.

Blues progression

It follows the 12-bar blues progression. In it, it’s common to switch between major and minor. It’s been used in thousands of songs outside the Blues.