If you’ve never translated the traditional music note system (from a music staff) onto the guitar neck, then this will be an excellent lesson. You’ll learn the lines and spaces of the staff and how to organize the music notes from a song onto the guitar fingerboard…
Q: Can you do a video lesson that explains how to read music notation (not tab) on the guitar? There are so many of the exact same notes on the neck that I cant understand how the process of where the notes should be played specifically actually works when a guitarist reads music notation.
A: There’s most definitely a process involved with how guitar players can study and learn ways to organize the music notes from a song onto the guitar fingerboard. However, the system needs to be approached in a logical manner using a step-by-step method. This method is based upon first understanding the music staff.
UNDERSTANDING THE MUSIC STAFF:
The first step of the ‘method for learning the staff’ involves understanding what the music staff represents. There are five lines and four spaces to the staff. Within these lines and spaces notes can exist on any line or space.
PITCH WITHIN THE STAFF:
The staff is a representation of pitch, so the higher up that the note is on the staff, the higher the note will sound. When the note is placed lower on the staff, that lower note position will generate a lower sounding pitch. When the note is placed higher up on the music staff, that higher note position will generate a higher sounding pitch.
When notes are very low, or very high pitched, they will exceed the range of those five lines and four spaces. The way we represent the greater distance is through what is called “Ledger Lines.”
The Ledger lines are a way that we can “extend” the pitch beyond the normal range of the staff and allow for lower or higher tones to be represented musically.
Once you comprehend the pitch defining elements of the music staff, the next step is to begin learning where the notes relate over to the guitar fingerboard.
NOTES ON THE NECK:
When we perform music reading from notation, the range of the notes written onto the chart for the piece will relate to the guitar regions of the neck, (low, mid, high).
How low or how high a note is on the staff, along with “where” each note is located within the notation, will determine specifically where we will play that song on our fingerboard.
To do this effectively, a guitar student must learn to read a piece of music in multiple neck locations.
These locations include the; lower neck region, (open position to the 5th-fret).
The middle region, (the 5th-fret position to the 10th-fret location /plus or minus a fret in either direction).
And, the higher “upper-neck” location (the 10th-fret position to the 15th-fret location /plus or minus a fret in either direction).