Reading Music

I cannot read music.  But about a month ago I was helping my daughter as she was just starting piano lessons and I at least knew more than her.  That is no longer the case.

In my attempts to be better at practicing, I started working through my copy of Hal Leonard Guitar Method yesterday. I am starting at the very beginning and trying to use this opportunity to not just fill in the gaps of knowledge I skipped over through my haphazard approach to learning to play the guitar, but also to learn how to read music.  I got through the first few pages just fine.  But Ode To Joy was a real challenge. I can play Ode To Joy on the guitar just fine by ear, but to play it while calling out the note names as I play them on the fretboard and read them from the treble clef…well, that is very difficult.

And I don’t want to cheat either. I could just pretend that I’m reading the notes on the page when I’m really just playing by ear.  Or I could memorize the song after I’ve figured out the notes once.  I have done this before (not cheat, read music). I learned to play Ode To Joy on the recorder in second or third grade.  I even read the music.

So I have two goals (you could almost say they are resolutions, but resolutions are ways you want to live your life and goals are things you want to achieve).

  1. Read the notes on the treble cleft as I play them.
  2. Know the notes I am playing on the fretboard as I play them.

This means when I see a C on the treble clef (third open space from the bottom) I know that it is a C and I know that when I play, for example, the second string on the first fret I am playing a C.  I guess I know what I’ll be spending my lunchtime practice sessions at work doing!

But let’s be honest.  I’ll always sound more like this:

Than I’ll ever sound like this:

Or like this:


One thought on “Reading Music

  1. Pingback: Reading Music Report | Confessions of a Wanna Be Guitar Player

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