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Old 2006-04-15, 03:04
New Blood
Join Date: Apr 2006
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i know how to read sheet music (time signatures, repeats, note values, timing, ect). but i've never figured out how to relate it to a guitar due to all of the octaves. does anyone know an easy way to explain this?
Old 2006-04-15, 14:37
problematic's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Sydney, Aus
Posts: 2,037
Not entirely sure of your question, but ill try. Think of your high E string.

0 -- 1 -- 3 -- is E , F, G. Well on the treble clef stave the top line is F ( im sure you know ... as in E,G,B,D,F ) . This F line is the F note on the high E string. (ie the thinnest string). So E is below the line and G is above, with the F note being ' cut ' but the line. Sorry that is a really bad way to describe.

Anyway. Your low E string (the thickest string) is quite low on the treble clef. On the fourth ledger line below the stave. So much guitar music is written on 4 ledger lines below the stave.
But , this is where '8va' comes in. If '8va' appears above the stave, this means the whole piece is written one octave higher. 8va doesnt apply to the whole piece. Sometimes dotted lines can specify how far the 8va goes to, but more commonly, the symbol 'loco' is written. This is basically bringing the piece back to its original form, that is that it is not written one octave higher than played. I hope that helped.
It gets a little bit more complex if say, you're playing at fret 7 or whatever, but just relate to piece back to the standard sort of open notes and youll be right.
Maybe someone should explain this better.
Old 2006-04-16, 01:47
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Thanks for explaining it to me too. I didn't know where the guitar actually sat on sheet music. Forget ledger lines i'll just use the grand staff =)
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Old 2006-04-16, 09:25
powersofterror's Avatar
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Originally Posted by problematic
Anyway. Your low E string (the thickest string) is quite low on the treble clef. On the fourth ledger line below the stave. ....

Below the 4th ledger line
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Old 2006-04-16, 09:54
problematic's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Sydney, Aus
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Shit, you're right, it's an octave, therefore being below...Bah. That's what happens when you post at 12.37 A.M after getting 3 hours sleep the night before :S.
Oh well.

I might add that the bass clef is also useful in composing guitar, i've seen composers switch from treble to bass notation for an instrument mid-piece. A good example is Rimsky Korsakov's 'The Flight of the Bumble-Bee'. The first bar is written in the Treble stave, then it immediately switches to Bass in the 2nd bar. The bass clef notation continues until Bar 67 where it switches back to the Treble clef. It continues in the treble clef until bar 86 and continues yet again in the bass stave. It switches to treble stave for the last 4 bars of the song, 98 - 101. But for guitar i believe it is played one octave higher. The lowest note in the song I believe is E on the first ledger line below the bass stave. So if the whole song is played one octave higher, it works fine. The E note is still on the bass stave technically, otherwise below the 4th ledger line below the Treble stave. ... This is where 5,6 octaves guitars come in handy... God I wish I could afford a Warr or a Megatar or a Chapman stick...

the point I'm making is the guitar can be written in both staves, if the composer wants to be technically correct. But usually composers write '8va' and 'loco' (as described above) for convieniece. The Treble and Bass stave work well together, there is only one ledger line between the bottom of the Treble and the top of the Bass stave... if you get me...If you but a 'learn to play the guitar' book, WITHOUT tab, you learn sheet music for guitar really well... Should make the small investment bud.
Hope I helped.

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