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Musical Notation - How do I play this note?

by Ronna
(Western Mass.)

I am working on an Etude in Frederick Noad's "Solo Guitar, Vol 1". It is the one on the page right after "Greensleeves" (sorry I don't have the book with me at the moment).


It shows arpeggios where the first note (low E or A--stem up)is connected to the other three notes in what appears to be normal arpeggio notation. However, it also shows a half note (stem down) *right next to* and facing the other way from that first note on the same line!

Does this mean 1) it should be played a second time? Or 2)that the first note of the arpeggio is held for an extra two beats? (This doesn't make sense to me, since normally when I play an arpeggio, I don't mute the string after playing it....)

I am mystified by this notation. He doesn't give any explanation about this in his study notes for the piece.

Hi Ronna,

The notation just means the note (A in this case) is regarded as both a bass note and as part of the melody. So, in effect, you would only strike it once, let it ring on for two beats, and it also will form part of the melody with the other eighth notes.

It is quite common in music notation but you're right, it isn't often explained.

Hope this helps!

Kind regards,
Trevor M.

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I don't know how to read the notes.

I can only read guitar tab! I have no idea how to actually read guitar notes.

What are the notes???

What I'm trying to figure out is how a certain note looks like on a measure. I could've already learned them by now, but my guitar teacher gave me cheats when I read the notes saying it would help me understand.

Yeah right. That just made it difficult.

Hi,

You can see the basic note types on this page about music notation...

This will give you a basic understanding. The basics aren't really that hard. You just need to put a bit of time in.

Kind regards,
Trevor M.

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Rests Under Notes

Can someone please explain why, in classical guitar, a rest is put underneath a note, where you are playing only single notes? For example, a four-beat measure comprised of two sets of eighth notes and there are two quarter rests in the measure, the first after the first set of 8th notes, the second at the beginning of the second set of 8th notes? How can you rest and play the notes at the same time!

Hi,

The rests under notes are where the bass (usually) have a rerst and only the melody is played. So, only parts of the chord are played. As you probably knoe you can play 6 note chords (6 strings) but sometimes only part of the chords or melody are played and the bass line or other harmony have rests. I hope this makes sense.

Kind regards,
Trevor M.


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Missing the notes

by Stephen
(Dublin, Ireland)

Hi,

I would consider myself reasonably capable on the guitar; however, I have one major issue that prevents me ever playing in public.

Despite having been playing the guitar for a couple of years and having built up a decent repertoire, I have one major stumbling block that prevents me from moving up another level.

That stumbling block is 'missing the notes'. That is, when there is any considerable movement on the fret board, invariably I will always hit one or more dud notes, either they buzz or mute.

It is highly frustrating, there is no consistency either to the mistakes, sometimes it is one particular note that I miss, then when I play again I get that note right but then miss another!!

I have convinced myself that it is to do with dedication and concentration but I would consider myself a good student.

Any tips to get around this problem would be much appreciated.

Regards,
Stephen


Hi Stephen,

I think you're expressing a pretty common problem amongst guitarists (not just classical players).

There are many reasons you could be missing the notes. We've all been there before. It could be nerves, lack of preparation, muscle tension or a host of other reasons or all of the above!

If it's nerves you'd do well to buy this little book called Keeping Your Nerve by Kate Jones.

It's inexpensive, easy to read & it's packed with little tips to help you improve your performance.

In practical terms, you might need to "over-learn" the pieces. Playing and practicing slowly and advancing at a slow pace up to the proper tempo can also help.

Also, you can isolate the problem bars and "over-learn" those as well.

Additionally, you must learn to play for yourself first. Play for the enjoyment and don't judge yourself too harshly if you make a mistake. Ironically, the less I've cared about making mistakes has meant that the least amount mistakes I actually make. It just takes some time to establish your confidence and belief but be assured you can do it.

The last bit of advice I'd give for playing in pubic is to also work up to it slowly i.e. play for a small number of friends and family first before you "up the ante" as it were. Once you have several successful performances under your belt you'd be surprised how much confidence you can acquire.

I hope this is of help.

Kind regards,
Trevor M.

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about the notes

by shaina
(la)

Hi!

I bought a guitar because I always wanted to play the guitar.

So anyways I have a hard time with the notes to play songs, I don't get the notes.

Is there anything that could help???

Hi Shaina,

Investing in a good theory book like Alfred's Essentials of Music Theory - Complete will help to give you a good foundation for reading music notation.

Also a dictionary of music will help round out your knowledge.

If you spend some time in a conscientious study you'll develop skills for a lifetime.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
Trevor M.

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Need help with reading the...notes?

by Cam
(Ontario, Canada)


Okay, so I'm trying to learn a song. But I'm not sure what the line down with the dot beside it...I don't know if I should hold it a little longer or to do something different? Plus, what would two lines connected with two dots mean as well? Thanks so much for your time. I appreciate your help.

Hi Cam,

I haven't seen Tablature laid out like this before. I'd imagine that those lines were bar lines perhaps. In music notation the dots can mean alternating fingers e.g. "i" for one dote & "m" for two dots. But that doesn't make sense above because the 2 dots are on both the 3rd and 5th frets and then wouldn't be alternating.

The numbers of course mean the fret numbers. Is there anyone who can help further?

Kind regards,
Trevor M.

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what are the numbers under the notes?

by Derek
(Jamestown, ND)

I have a guitar book that is not tab and I have numbers under the notes, what are they?

Hi Derek,

They're most likely your left hand fingerings i.e.

1 = 1st finger;

2 = 2nd finger;

3 = 3rd finger;

4 = 4th finger of the left hand if you're playing right handed of course.

I hope this helps.
Kind regards,
Trevor M.

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