How to read music (scores)

Advice on learning - Exercise order - Interesting facts

 

Introduction

Advice on learning

Exercise order

Interesting facts

 

Introduction

 

This section will give you direct guidance and useful tips on how to learn and practice reading sheet music effectively. First and foremost, it is recommended that you start the reading exercises with songs you are not familiar with, otherwise you will find yourself focusing not on reading the notes but the well-known melody of the song. I have included a list of widely-known songs in a separate section.

 

Advice on learning

 

  1. Guitar soloing techniques, intermediate level

  2. Knowledge of the basic scales

  3. Knowledge of the scale system, knowledge of the circle of fifths

  4. Knowledge of sheet music, intermediate level

  5. Knowledge of rhythm notation

  6. Following the exercise order

  7. When you have mastered the above, you can do anything you want

Other advice for learning

Look up and comprehend Guitar-oriented music theory I. section, and then you will be able to turn the videos into tonality exercises, too.

  1. You can try to guess the tonality of the song (expect not only major and minor tonalities, but other ones, such as Dorian or Mixolydian)

  2. You can try to guess the tonic relevant song’s tonality

  3. You can try to figure out songs by ear

  4. You can try to figure out songs by trying to play the songs in the scale system

  5. You can try to figure out the chord progression of the song. There may be more than one possible chord progression you can figure out.

  6. You can try to write the sheet music of the song. Verify using the original sheet music. There may be more than one possible versions.

Exercise order

 

C major – fourth note

11.

 

C major – fourth note + eighth note

1. – 4. – 10. – 13.

 

C major – fourth note + eighth note + sixteenth note

14. (altered notes!)

 

C major – fourth note + half note + full note

21.

 

C major – syncope

27.

 

C major – fourth note + eighth note + dotted rhythm + syncope

7.

 

C-major – fourth note + eighth note + half note + dotted rhythm

9.

 

C major with 3/4 time signature

15. – 23.

 

C major with 3/4 time signature + legato

6.

 

C major with 2/4 time signature

24. – 25.

 

C major with altered notes

18. – 22. – 28.

 

A minor

29.

 

G major - legato

30.

 

B minor

33.

 

D major – 6/8

62.

 

E major

71.

 

D minor – two voices

39.

 

B-minor – two voices

87.

 

If you consequently follow the above order, afterwards you will be confident enough to just pick any song you want. But now let me show you something interesting.

 

Interesting facts

 

 

Given the above sheet music, you might think the tonality is C major or A minor, since there are no key signatures. Actually, the tonality is D minor pentatonics. Let me explain it to you: the standard key signature to a D minor is 1 flat. The reason why you cannot see that flat signature is that there is no B flat note in D minor pentatonics (where the flat should be placed at), as the scale consists of only 5 notes. The person that wrote this sheet music did not bother to indicate this, which could be justifiable only from music theory wise, not from an educational point of view.

 

No to confuse you even more in case you found this little mistake, I did not change the sheet music in my version.

 

Note this when browsing through sheet music and trying to play along!

 

 

The key 1 flat signature suggests the tonality of the song is either F major or D minor. In reality, this song, which is Hungarian folk song, has a G Dorian tonality, as G Dorian is also one of the tonalities that have 1 flat key signature (see the table below).

 

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