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guitar_demon 2004-12-05 16:24

how to read sheet music
ok i think the reason it froze last time was that there was soo much shit in here so please noone post till im done..ill tell you when
oh and dont get on my ass for having alot of posts right after the other

i will delet this post once im done...

guitar_demon 2004-12-05 16:33

sheet music, is written on a staff alot like our tabs but it has 5 lines and 4 spaces. each of the lines and spaces are specific spots for certain notes. befor each staff you will see a clef the two more common ones are treble clef and bass clef
you can write on either one seperatly or you can combine them into a grand staff

both the of clefs have the notes in different spots
lets start with treble, the notes are as follows

some good yet "corny" ways to remember these are
for the notes on the lines
Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge, or Evacuate Garage Before Dad Farts

and the space notes as the word "F.A.C.E."

the bass clef has the notes like this


to remember these think...
for the notes on the spaces Good Boys Deserve Fudge Always

and for the spaces think of "ace-g" or All Cows Eat Grass

the notes always go higher in pitch and higher up the musical alphabet as they are written higher on the staff, and vice versa for lower

guitar_demon 2004-12-05 16:46

-------------THE NOTES-----
when you writing on sheet music you use note values to represent how long to hold that note for

whole note lasts for 4 beats, and is counted as "1234"

half note lasts two beats and is counted as "12" "34"

quarter note lasts one beat and is counted "1" "2" "3" "4"

eighth note lasts for 1/2 of a beat and is counted "1+" "2+" "3+" "4+"

sixteenth note lasts for 1/4 of a note and is counted "1e+a" "2e+a" "3e+a" "4e+a"

those are are main ones, you could have a 32 note, but you would normall just speed the tempo up and use a smaller note.

you can also dot a note , which adds half of the original value to it. so if you had a dotted half you had half of the original beat value to it(2 beats) so you now have a note worth 3 beats

guitar_demon 2004-12-05 16:50

------THE RESTS-----
there is a rest equal to every note, rest represent a time in the peice where there is silence.

whole rest note the location of it, it must always be placed here

half rest looks very similar to the whole but again note the location, its different and its also above the line instead of underneath it. it too must always be written here

quarter rest

eighth rest

sixteenth rest

like their note counterparts there too can also be dotted to add half of the value to it

guitar_demon 2004-12-05 17:01

when writing in sheet music, there are three things you need befor even writing any music down

1-the clef its in (already coverd, but i didnt say that treble is the higher notes and bass is the lower)
2-key sig
3-time sig

lets start with #3

-------------------TIME SIGS-------
a time signiture is made up of two numbers.
the top one represents how many beats will be in a measur ( you can have 2, 3,4,8,12)
while the bottom number will tell you what kind of note gets a full beat
if 4 is the bottom note then a quarter note gets a full beat (so everything is normall to what i posted before)
but say 2 is the bottom number then that meens that a half note is now one note instead of two. which means a whole note is now 2 instead of 4 ect..

the most common one is 4, 4 time also known as common time and can be written with a C instead of the numbers.

these are not fractions so dont write them as such!!

other key sigs would be

guitar_demon 2004-12-05 17:05

-----------key sigs---
i wont go too much into detail with this (thats another thread another time ;) )
but they would basically look like this that one happens to be the key of Cb

in a nutshell, a key sig will tell you what note(s) need to be sharpend ot flatted within a piece. these notes will be sharpened or flatted everytime you see them unless there is a natual sign right before it
(looks like this but without the ".."

guitar_demon 2004-12-05 17:16


you may have seen ledger lines before, that just meens that the note was either too high (like the pic) or too low to be placed on the staff.

if you are familiar with piano then you know about middle C (if not then middle C is the middle key and is what a lot of things are based off of)
when you have a grand staff middle C would be located by going one ledger line below treble clef which is also one ledger line above bass clef. by knowing this its much easer to figure them out, say you have a note that is two ledger lines above bass cleff. well one line above is middle c and anything above that would be getting into treble clef. so two ledger lines above bass would be the first line in treble, which is what note folks? (thats right E)

bar linesare the lines that seperate one measure from the next one. when in only one staff there are written like the top one, but when in a grand staff like the bottom one.

every peice of music must end with two bar lines.

repeat sign this meens to repeat something. if there is only one then you go back to the beggining of the music, but if there is one facing the opposite directiong then you go to that sign and repeat from there

i think that should pretty much cover it

any questions im happy to answer

ok im done go ahead and post now...oh and i know i said i would delete that first post, but because its the first post and i made the thread im not sure if it would delete the thread and i fucking dont want that to happen ;)

hey john i think this should be a sticky what do you say?

johnmansley 2004-12-05 17:54

I agree - reading music is something that everybody should be within touching distance of.

Could you do a more specific thread on time signatures and how to identify them?

guitar_demon 2004-12-05 17:58

im not sure i follow you, how hard can it be to identify them, you just look at the numbers. or perhaps you ment the key signatures?

johnmansley 2004-12-05 18:01

I meant when you just listen to a song, for example Dillinger Escape Plan or Meshuggah. How does one work out and classify the time signatures being used?

guitar_demon 2004-12-05 18:03

i guess after a while you just kinda know, like being able to pick out notes in a song when tabbing them out. but meshuggas uses really weird time sigs alot which would make it even harder

EDIT: it also depends on the tempo somewhat too.
cause you could be in 4,4 time with a tempo of say 60bpm
or you could be in cut time(2,2) with a tempo of 30bpm which would end up being the same

powersofterror 2004-12-05 19:03

Wow, shit, haha a theory Zone, I'm in heaven!!!

You can identify most time signatures by the strong beat that you hear. In the time sig of 4/4, beats 1, 2, 3, 4 are the strong beats. In most 3/4, beat 1 is the strong beat.

ManOwaR 2004-12-05 20:24

this is awsome :) good job guitar_demon :beer:

andrewc 2004-12-05 20:31

yeah well done, thanks GD :beer:

MoonRaven 2004-12-05 23:40

Originally Posted by andrewc
yeah well done, thanks GD :beer:


Slabbefusk 2004-12-06 05:13

Ah, now I have a bit of a hang of notes, thanks.

obrien20 2004-12-06 05:36

Great Work!

Infinity 2004-12-06 05:57

Great documentation. The only thing I gained from school music class was playing in front of a crowd and reading a score :p

TheUndeadMan 2004-12-06 09:01

Originally Posted by Infinity
Great documentation. The only thing I gained from school music class was playing in front of a crowd and reading a score :p

Thats how I learned. When I was in 6th grade my music teacher tought me how to read music, she would have the class look at some sheet music and clap out the beats(while saying 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and). It helped alot. Then eventually we played full songs................. on the xylophone :rolleyes:

Claping the beats out is a good way to learn them. Just like guitar demon said, a whole note gets four beats so you would clap it out like this


And half note would be claped like this


And a quarter note....


A eighth note.....


You get the picture. Use the same method for the other notes and rests(just don't actually clap on the rest)
I figured this would help out if you are having a hard time with the beats/notes

amerok 2005-01-14 15:52

Theres a shitload of books on reading. It is definitely worth it to pick one up.

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