Learning to Read Music Step 5: Playing Simple Melodies

Once you have a feel for how the musical staff works, and you have worked with some basic scales, it’s time to try a few simple melodies. Not chording to familiar tunes. That will come soon enough (and no doubt are already doing it). What we’re talking about here is playing some simple songs from

Reading Music for Guitar Beginners – Part 5: Start playing Major Scales from written music

Now that you understand the basics (as outlined in the previous series of posts: Reading Music for Guitar Beginners, it’s time to put this knowledge into practice. It may sound too good to be true, but once you understand these basics, “learning to read” is just a matter of practice, practice, practice. The more you

Reading Music for Guitar Beginners – Step 1: Understanding the Staff

Learning to read traditional music notation is fairly simple. Once you understand a few basic concepts it is quite intuitive. The two dimensions of the Staff The basic framework for traditional music notation is the staff. The staff consists of a series of five parallel lines. The sequence of musical notes that make up a

Reading Music for Guitar Beginners – Part 4: All about sharps and flats, how Keys work

The concept of musical “keys” can be a complicated and confusing topic, so let’s give it a go… For the most part, specifying a musical “key” is simply a way of making clear: (i) The pitch range the music is set in (the highest and lowest notes in the song), and (ii) Which notes should

Reading Music for guitar beginners – Part 3: Tempo and Note Length

Tempo, Time Signature and Note Values “Duration” – the “length” of each note – is the second basic property of all notes. (The first was “pitch”.) If you tap your foot at a consistent rate of, say, 60 taps per minute (once every second), that would be called a tempo of 60 bpm (beats per