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View Full Version : Theory, learniing fret board or reading music



Tailgate
09-20-2013, 07:00 AM
In which order would you recommend the learning process?

basic theory (circle of 5ths, scales etc)
master the fret board and know the notes
reading sheet music

I'd describe myself as an intermediate player, without any real music training. I feel I'm ready for some music theory and have a great desire to learn what's next, whatever that should be....

Bob

sukie
09-20-2013, 07:06 AM
Personally, I'd learn the fretboard. Makes things a lot easier...said the lady who is still learning it and wishes I had forced myself to do it a long time ago.

janeray1940
09-20-2013, 07:21 AM
Seconding the fretboard, which would include theory, such as intervals and scales.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
09-20-2013, 07:26 AM
I think it depends on what you want to do.

If you want to play riffs and pick out melodies, then Fretboard and Standard Music Notation
should help. along with working with TABs.

If you're primarily a singer/strummer, then I'd suggest learning inversions (2nd, 3rd, etc chord positions)
for the chords you already know and use - in order to get different voicings & pitches (high or low)
to add variety as you accompany yourself and others.

BASIC theory would be helpful, esp keeping TIME. Usually when there's a long pause (whole note
or series of whole or half notes) it's easy - if one is NOT familiar with timing - to come in too soon
or too late. Also, some songs begin on an UP beat and it helps to be able to hear and understand
what is taking place.

There's also a difference between 3/4 and 4/4 time. This means the lead-in (Intro) needs to be
adjusted accordingly :)

keep uke'in',

Jon Moody
09-20-2013, 07:49 AM
Are you teaching this yourself, or are you going to go to a teacher? If it's a teacher, you should be taught all of them concurrently, as they all affect each other.

If you're going at it by yourself, I'd encourage you to learn to read music WHILE learning the fretboard. Those two things together will lay the groundwork. When you're confident in those, then adding some scales and theory is just building on those basics.

BIGDB
09-20-2013, 07:55 AM
Id learn the fretboard just to get it over with. I have most of it memorized and I hated doing it. Like sukie said too it will make everything else a lot easier

paw123los
09-20-2013, 08:50 AM
From my perspective in development as a musician I would say ear training, and then theory to understand what you hear. Nowadays we have easy access to scores, tabs, instructional videos, teachers but not many people play, feel and understand music in the way that people who learned the music by ear from records. I know many jazz musicians who learned this way and I have huge respect for them as they hear chords almost immediately and really feel the music they play. This is my goal ... but I feel I do not have enough life to achieve that :)

Tailgate
09-20-2013, 09:58 AM
[QUOTE=One Bad Monkey;1388997]Are you teaching this yourself, or are you going to go to a teacher? If it's a teacher, you should be taught all of them concurrently, as they all affect each other.QUOTE]

I am on my 3rd lesson with a teacher (guitar guy.. no uke teachers within miles). He's leaning me towards learning notation first and I'm getting so lost and can't keep up. This past week I've concentrated on learning the fret board and are probably 1/3 of the way there in associating notes with positions. I'm hoping that I can begin to keep up with him a little better this week. I still want to know the 'why' as much as the 'how'...

Jon Moody
09-20-2013, 10:26 AM
I am on my 3rd lesson with a teacher (guitar guy.. no uke teachers within miles). He's leaning me towards learning notation first and I'm getting so lost and can't keep up. This past week I've concentrated on learning the fret board and are probably 1/3 of the way there in associating notes with positions. I'm hoping that I can begin to keep up with him a little better this week. I still want to know the 'why' as much as the 'how'...

Truthfully, learning to read music is hard, period. There's no real easy way around that.

hibiscus
09-20-2013, 10:46 AM
Learning it all gradually is the way I taught my piano students. (Not just one subject at a time). I would recommend you work on easy pieces while you are catching up in other areas. Have to have some FUN!

Louis0815
09-20-2013, 11:02 AM
Get the basics right and learn to read and understand standard notation. This will be a lot of theoretical stuff, but it will lay a solid foundation for the future. Once you know the theory you can figure out the practice - but never the other way round.
Getting used to where the notes are on the fretboard is then "only" a matter of practice.

Tailgate
09-20-2013, 01:17 PM
Ok, today I didn't play a note.. We wrote out scales (wwhwwwh) referenced fret board and talked minor scale relationship.. Finally beginning to understand circle of 5ths.. I'm asking and he's answering. Probably not how he's used to teaching, but i really want music lessons, not necessarily just ukulele lessons, so I'm happy happy happy With todays lesson. I think learning notation will be slightly easier once a couple of lightbulbs come on.. This basic
stuff is fascinating and truly magical

sukie
09-20-2013, 01:50 PM
I would love to have a lesson without playing. (I already know how bad it sounds.). I would like to learn more theory, too.

Nickie
09-20-2013, 03:30 PM
I have 3 teachers right now: my pinany teach is teaching me reading notes and chords, and gradual theory. One guy teaching me uke is teaching me the fretboard, different strumming and picking techniques, and another guy is teaching me to play by ear, and to compose....I have my brains really addled right now!!! LOL

Ukejenny
09-21-2013, 04:43 AM
Truthfully, learning to read music is hard, period. There's no real easy way around that.

Learning to read music doesn't have to be hard. There are only seven letters in the musical alphabet. I have taught hundreds upon hundreds of kids to read music. The hard part only comes in when you have a musician who has many skills but still hasn't learned to read music, and I've worked with those people as well.

Perfect example - I have an 8th grader taking lessons right now (not in ukulele) and she cannot read music. She is a low reader and has taken remedial classes which kept her out of band last year. She couldn't name notes and couldn't count quarter note/rest rhythms. She did not recognize the difference between whole/half/quarter/eighth notes or rests. I was alarmed at how little she knew, but then she explained being out of class a year and her difficulty with reading and math. So, we went further back, to the basics. She is getting it. She is starting to get it. And her face lights up every time a light bulb goes off and she has an "a-ha" moment.

I have a few basic - and I mean very basic at the beginning - theory things that I can share with anyone who wants to learn how to read musical notation on the page. Rhythms and notes - it can be done. I'm happy to share with anyone who would like to read notes and rhythms - basic notation.