Learning to Read Sheet Music for Guitar Players
In follow up to my previous posts about learning to read music, the first step is to learn where the C Major notes are in the first position on the fret-board and then subsequently on every fret of the guitar.
Second, you need to learn timing and how long to hold each note or rest (symbols that tell you when not to play).
Third, you need to learn to keep steady time and should tap your foot and say the name of each note as you play each exercise.
And fourth, you should practice with a time keeper device known as a metronome.
Start off slow and increase the speed as you get better. Too many guitar beginners want to skip this process and try to play songs and just read basic charts or tab notation. This can be okay for the person who just wants to play for their own enjoyment or as a non-professional. However, if you want to build the confidence that comes with being a true musician, these are important steps.
I started taking guitar classes at age eight and later had the opportunity to study advanced jazz guitar lessons with Ron Parker at New York Guitar Studio. He taught me advanced techniques in reading and playing by ear and I played in a Jazz Band and sang in choir. I later attended Berklee College Of Music where guitar greats like Al Dimeola, Pat Matheny, John Scofield and John Mayor studied, just to name a few. Each week, we would have daily guitar sight reading classes, rhythmic dictation, ear training, music composition, arranging, recording techniques and even film scoring and conducting.
My big break came when I got the chance to audition for Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five. It was this training that allowed me to get the job and perform with artists like Michael Jackson, Wild Cherry, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Barbra Streisand and many others.
I highly recommend finding a private instructor that you see weekly or at least twice a month that will teach you to read music, not just tab. If you are looking for guitar lessons in the Walnut Creek, Danville, San Ramon, Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton or any areas nearby, I would be happy to work with you. Reading music will build your confidence and you will find yourself taking huge leaps forward within six months to a year.
To get started with learning to read sheet music for guitar, I highly recommend Hal Leonard Method Books.