Play the Bass Lines of 20 Pop and Rock Songs (Bass Method)
This songbook is a great resource for beginning bass players. It includes your favorite hits from The Beatles, Nirvana, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Garth Brooks, Eric Clapton and more.
The second book Rex introduces in his lesson plan for beginner guitar players is called Guitar Method (Book 1) by Hal Leonard. I remember the first edition of this book – I had received it with my guitar many years ago, and seeing that it’s still in use today goes to show that it must be an excellent beginner book. Rex employs the second edition of this book, an upgraded version which comes with a CD so you can hear what your music can sound like. I’m yet to find out what else is on the CD; I’ll follow up on that in a future blog.
Comparing to when I tried using the book on my own versus using the book with Rex’s guidance is like the difference between night and day. It makes it so much easier to decipher the techniques with the help of a knowledgeable instructor. I love how the book introduces some basics on your guitar such as the parts of guitar, how to tune it, proper playing position, and how to read music, before getting into how to play notes on each of the six strings.
My last lesson was especially informative as I learned the foundations of reading sheet music – read on for a quick overview.
Mastering these concepts will make reading music more fluid and easy. Once you understand the basics, it will be less overwhelming and complicated! Happy practicing, my fellow musicians.
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.