Learn­ing Zone

Guitar Techniques - - GT Learning Zone -

READ­ING MU­SIC. DOES this topic strike you with dread, dis­in­ter­est or with a de­gree of enthusiasm? It’s cer­tainly a widely dis­cussed topic among gui­tarists, mir­ror­ing the fact that people come to play the gui­tar from a wider spread of back­grounds than pretty much any other in­stru­ment. What­ever your per­spec­tive, we felt it was time to ad­dress this as­pect of mu­sic mak­ing with a se­ries on how to be­come a strong mu­sic- read­ing gui­tarist. To do this, there are three main ar­eas to get to grips with: fret­board knowl­edge; un­der­stand­ing mu­sic no­ta­tion; and flu­ency when com­bin­ing the two. Fret­board knowl­edge is cov­ered in the open­ing ar­ti­cle from Rockschool’s Char­lie Grif­fiths. In it, he talks of us­ing a metronome for test pur­poses. This is pop­u­lar for many gui­tarists ( in­clud­ing Joe Sa­tri­ani); you de­cide on a note, set a metronome go­ing, then play one note per click. You can choose to make this eas­ier ( one note ev­ery two clicks) or harder ( two notes for each click). Rather than aim­ing to play, say, all E notes on the fret­board as fast pos­si­ble, we’d rec­om­mend you tackle a dif­fer­ent note ev­ery prac­tice ses­sion to main­tain va­ri­ety.

There are two pop­u­lar ways to play­ing the same note all over the fret­board; ‘ po­si­tional’, or ‘ each string’. Po­si­tional draws on your chord knowl­edge; for ex­am­ple, an F barre chord at the 1st fret ( E shape) will pro­vide you with three F notes ( sixth, fourth and first strings). As­cend­ing to the next avail­able F chord places you at the 3rd fret ( D shape) where two F notes can be found ( fourth and sec­ond strings), etc.

Al­ter­na­tively, you may favour a reg­i­mented string- by- string ap­proach. For ex­am­ple, there are two F notes on the sixth string ( 1st fret, 13th fret) and two F notes on the fifth string ( 8th fret, 20th fret). Here’s a good tip: for the higher oc­tave, add the orig­i­nal fret num­ber to 12; for F, 1 + 12 = 13 pro­vid­ing F at the 1st fret and the 13th fret.

I’ll leave you with some words from our new writer, the A- list UK ses­sion gui­tarist, Mitch Dal­ton. “Un­less you in­tend to spend your ca­reer as a mem­ber of a per­ma­nent tour­ing and record­ing band where there is time a- plenty to learn and prac­tise a fairly limited reper­toire by ear, then I strongly ad­vise you to bite the bul­let, get it to­gether and learn to read. It is an ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial tool of the trade for a pro­fes­sional ( or as­pir­ing pro) mu­si­cian.” Happy fret­board­ing!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.