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Frequently Asked Questions for Beginning Guitarists - Should I learn to read music? |
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Should I learn to read music?

Author:
Mike Dean
Date added:
Friday, 26 March 2010
Last revised:
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
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Answer

When I hear this question I assume the person is referring to standard musical notation.  sheet musicThis happens to be the way that I learned (I learned the piano from age 8 to 15 and then moved on to guitar) so its hard to imagine learning the guitar without first learning to read music.  So, what I can do is tell you what parts of reading music I find most useful as a guitarist (these are the parts that I teach my students). 

  • Time signatures and Rythm  Ie. beats per measure, beats for each type of note (in 4/4 time, quarter notes get 1 count, eigth notes get 1/2 count and so on)
  • Music notes Ie. there are 7 notes in a major scale, each note is either a full step or half step away from the previous note, etc.
  • Notes that are used to make different chords.
In conclusion I think it's a great idea to learn to read music.  If anything, it allows you to learn new songs even when you only have access to the sheet music.

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