The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #26

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    Is your problem recognizing the note on the page, or finding that note on the guitar? You should theoretically be able to find any note on the fretboard without thinking much about it. If it's the latter, you need to practice the guitar a lot more.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #27

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    I forgot to mention that you'll make progress when you learn to recognize both groups of rhythms and groups of notes. Here on the 1st phrase of ornithology, you don't think that's an 8th note d, that's an 8th note g, that's an 8th note a etc. You look at the whole phrase and see they're all 8th notes. You see it starts on an upbeat so you know how that sounds. You see that it's all in the g major scale, and it only leaps or changes directions a few times. So you internalize the whole phrase.


  4. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    Is your problem recognizing the note on the page, or finding that note on the guitar? You should theoretically be able to find any note on the fretboard without thinking much about it. If it's the latter, you need to practice the guitar a lot more.
    It’s more than the note, you ever hear a kindergartener read? Transfer that to guitar, and I’ve been stuck at that level for over a year because I don’t know how to teach myself to be better.

    If I could answer your question I’d know what to work on instead of just plodding through stuff until I give up for the day.

  5. #29

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    Can you just play FACE without having to think about where each note is on the fretboard?

  6. #30

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    Ok I think the solution is we need to improve your analysis skills and rhythm reading skills. Trying to read things down isn't a good way to approach it unless ur an advanced musician, especially on guitar. I started reading in college and I'm 36 now and I don't try to just straight read things down. 1st I choose material that I can handle for the day if I'm learning something new. Then I take an overview of the phrases. Then I start on the rhythms and make sure I can sing them in my head (or out loud). Then I start in on the notes. Look for scale or arp patterns or groups. Then I'll go about learning the thing on my instrument. Most of the time I'll have the thing learned in my head or an overview of it before I can play it fluently on my instrument.

    Why don't you post the music to something you're working on and I can walk you through it.

  7. #31

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    Trust Mel Bay. Work through the book starting on page 1. While you're doing that, ignore other advice. In fact, I'd recommend ending your Internet access altogether.

  8. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    ignore other advice.
    Wat!

  9. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    I'd recommend ending your Internet access altogether.
    You have no idea how much joy this would bring me.

  10. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith View Post
    Ok I think the solution is we need to improve your analysis skills and rhythm reading skills. Trying to read things down isn't a good way to approach it unless ur an advanced musician, especially on guitar. I started reading in college and I'm 36 now and I don't try to just straight read things down. 1st I choose material that I can handle for the day if I'm learning something new. Then I take an overview of the phrases. Then I start on the rhythms and make sure I can sing them in my head (or out loud). Then I start in on the notes. Look for scale or arp patterns or groups. Then I'll go about learning the thing on my instrument. Most of the time I'll have the thing learned in my head or an overview of it before I can play it fluently on my instrument.

    Why don't you post the music to something you're working on and I can walk you through it.
    Do you have the mickey baker book? Next up is Blues no. 3 on page 33.

  11. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    Can you just play FACE without having to think about where each note is on the fretboard?
    I thought about it while I picked up the guitar, so maybe?

  12. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllanAllen View Post
    Do you have the mickey baker book?
    Negatory. Do you have a scanner? :P
    Last edited by Jimmy Smith; 01-28-2022 at 05:29 PM.

  13. #37

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    I can't read-368ce3a4-de9c-42df-af61-70463456c03e-jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images I can't read-6a902810-af9c-4e11-be84-1b49bab45ea1-jpg 

  14. #38

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    Okie dokie, so 1st: Since we are not sight reading and are just trying to learn the tune in a reasonable amount of time, we look for patterns in the notes. Surprise! They're all patters. The whole top line is only the notes of a G6 arp. On line 2, for over the 4 chord, they changed 1 note only! Bb to show that we're now over C7. Notes of a G-6 arp. Measure 7 and 8 are identical to 1-2 and 3-4. Measure 9 is a F#-7b5 arp, D9 without the root. Measure 10 is a G-6 arp to outline the C7. Measure 11 is the only scale passage that resolves around G using the 3 1st notes of a G- scale and an E below.

    Pretty easy shapes. Locate the best way to play them on the neck.

    On to the rhythms. They're hokey, but they reapeat every 2 bars for the first 2 lines. It uses syncopation. Take note of the notes that hit on up beats. They're the 3rd note of the 1st bar and the 4th and 5th note of the 2nd bar. Bar 9-10 is all quarter note triplets, 3 notes for 2 beats. Bar 11 is all 8th notes. Try to tap or sing the rhythms while you tap your foot as the tempo. Note the length of the phrases. Every 2 bars of the first 2 lines are a phrase, with the 1st bar being the 1st motif and the 2nd bar being the concluding motif. Bar 9-10 is a sequence of 2 1 bar phrases. Bar 11 is the bringing it home phrase.

    So now you've got a map in your head of how the thing is supposed to sound and you can work it out on your guitar. No more plodding away trying to sight read 1 note at a time.
    Last edited by Jimmy Smith; 01-28-2022 at 08:37 PM.

  15. #39

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    I can't believe I never thought to read the music before getting my guitar out. Thanks!

  16. #40

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    No prob!

  17. #41

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    AllenAllen, how brave of you!
    I was lucky enough to learn reading when I picked up the guitar (in Germany that was classical guitar), but I literally never needed much sightreading so sadly the ability stunted on me. Now when someone gives me a music sheet I stumble through it like a first or second grade student through text. Much like playing or hearing, reading music is something that needs frequent practice. Since we started our trio in 2019 we write our own sheets and since I got much better at it again (both writing and reading music).

    I think the best way to learn it would be going to a music school, the second best would be to get a book.

  18. #42

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    No one should be surprised that most guitarists(excluding Classical guitarists) cannot read music. It's because it is the quintessential folk instrument that has been learned by ear forever and will be ad infinitum. Three chord All Stars have made millions in the past and will continue to do so as long as there are people on the planet. Surprisingly, after 40 posts, NO ONE has mentioned studying with a teacher? This is the best way to learn if you're serious and want to move quickly since practicing mistakes through lack of understanding, on your own, is not only a waste of time but will create more confusion. Reading music for piano/guitar/harp(non-linear instruments) is a lifetime of study and will quickly open doors to you musically as you progress. However, many new students "bail" quickly since they don't have the discipline needed to progress. . . "Hey, buddy . . . throw me a capo . . . the song's in Bb . . . . "
    Marinero

    P.S. Just saw Guava's reply when mine posted. M
    Last edited by Marinero; 01-29-2022 at 09:19 AM. Reason: spelling

  19. #43

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    It’s not unusual to find reading guitarists now. Most working players are good readers.

  20. #44

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    If you’re really really starting at sight reading stuff, you can take some staff paper and put random notes (like a full page), even putting some notes in ledger lines. After that, choose a key, let’s say, Bb major, and then you read every note with a metronome in a comfortable bpm. You can read it in your instrument but also by speaking out loud each note. Choose a different key everyday. When you do all 12 keys, turn the page upside down. After that, write another page full of random notes, perhaps add some accidentals.
    If you really want to get into reading, it’s just like building any other chops. You need to do it everyday, even if it’s 15 minutes.
    Also get a copy of Modern Method for Guitar, it’s damn good for starters.
    When you advance a little bit, try reading some standards out of the real book. A step up (depends on the person but with one year practicing reading everyday probably you can do that) would be trying to read some chorinhos (o melhor do choro brasileiro vol. 1 to 3) or some bop heads.
    Also, use a metronome. Start really slow and gradually increase the bpm.
    It takes time but you will get better gradually if you do it everyday.

  21. #45

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    I ordered the Mel bay book to work off of.

    In the mean time I have been doing something similar to your suggestion. I open a real book or a Parker transcription and go note by note to try and get it in my head instead of deciphering each note using “FACE is the space”

    I haven’t been concerning myself with mentally reading in time, I figured I would wait until the book comes so I can do it right the first time.

  22. #46

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    If you are going to work through songs from real books, I’d suggest starting with Richard Rodgers tunes. Many of them are rhythmically quite straightforward and diatonic in nature. In fact, the melodies for My Romance and Falling in Love with Love contain no chromatic alterations at all!

  23. #47

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    I think the key here is daily practice - whatever methods you use - just keep at it and keep it simple. Sight reading every day, regardless of how simple the song, will help you improve. It is a skill that gets better over time the more you use it. AND DON'T Beat yourself up for what you can't do! Focus on what you can do and seek to improve a little bit at a time. Don't be discouraged.

    You have received a lot of great advice here. Many of us are or were in your position. So you're not alone

    I have been playing 50 plus years and I sight read daily -mainly RB stuff. It is always a work in progress, even at this stage. But the more you work at it, the better you will get. But just don't give up. You can learn and improve upon your skills

  24. #48

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    The Mel Bay book came. 1 string etudes with 3 notes are easy to play. After all this lead sheet suffering it’s nice to start from the start line instead of halfway into the marathon.
    Last edited by AllanAllen; 02-04-2022 at 04:07 PM.

  25. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller View Post
    It’s not unusual to find reading guitarists now. Most working players are good readers.
    Many contemporary working guitarists are products of music schools; I'd be very surprised to learn of any graduates of a college-level music curriculum who can't read music.

    Things have changed. My father was an opera singer, a graduate of (and teacher at) Juilliard, who received his Master's in 1950 or so. He got quite a number of jobs because he could read, which was apparently not common among classical bass-baritones (and perhaps everyone else, I don't know). Ezio Pinza famously claimed he couldn't read music. I don't believe it would be easy to find a successful opera singer who can't read music today.

    Of course, pop music is a horse of a different feather.

    The ability to read music is a very handy tool. Kudos to anyone who wants to learn to read music. Stick with it, AA; you'll get better.

  26. #50
    It's this strange and wonderful thing called "practice". Find some beginners books for whatever instrument you already master or look at music pieces you may have laying around at home and try to play them on the piano, guitar, or whatever you have. Soon, you will be comfortably reading music sheet.