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Thread: Learning to read and play Music

  1. #1
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    Default Learning to read and play Music

    A couple of weeks ago I decided to learn to read music. After four years of playing chord sheets and strumming, I thought I needed to learn to play notes.

    I found a Android app that quizzes you on the Staff and after a few days could recognize the whole Treble staff from Low D to high C. Not really fast, but enough to start trying to play notes.

    In the last four years I learned the first position notes on both the Sop/Concert and the Baritone Uke, so I thought I was in good shape.

    However the transition from note recognition to actually playing the notes without looking is HARD!

    For you who want to learn to read the staff I recommend DoReMiNotas a free App from the Google Play store. In fifteen minutes a day, in a week you can learn to read the Staff. Then the hard work of forcing muscle memory to fit the notes into your left hand and picking into your right hand begins!

    I've almost learned Skip to My Lou, just thumb picking and will start trying to use T-I-M fingers on the right hand.

    Wish this old man luck!

  2. #2
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    Luck!! You are on the way to reading music. It should get easier as you go.
    LACole
    Laurie Ann Cole

    Northern UK20 Concert Mahogany GCEA Aquila Lava
    2018
    Beaver Creek BCUKEFM-T Tenor Maple Flame gCEA D’addario Pro Arte
    Eddy Finn EF-Moon Concert Mahogany gCEA Aquila SuperNylgut
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    2019
    Ohana PKC-25G Concert Mahogany Pineapple gCEA Aquila
    Donner DUC-3 Concert Spruce/Mahogany gCEA Donner

    CPM CT-Q2 chromatic clip on tuner
    Snark SN-4 tuner
    Donner tuner

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackLuis View Post
    A couple of weeks ago I decided to learn to read music. After four years of playing chord sheets and strumming, I thought I needed to learn to play notes.

    I found a Android app that quizzes you on the Staff and after a few days could recognize the whole Treble staff from Low D to high C. Not really fast, but enough to start trying to play notes.

    In the last four years I learned the first position notes on both the Sop/Concert and the Baritone Uke, so I thought I was in good shape.

    However the transition from note recognition to actually playing the notes without looking is HARD!

    For you who want to learn to read the staff I recommend DoReMiNotas a free App from the Google Play store. In fifteen minutes a day, in a week you can learn to read the Staff. Then the hard work of forcing muscle memory to fit the notes into your left hand and picking into your right hand begins!

    I've almost learned Skip to My Lou, just thumb picking and will start trying to use T-I-M fingers on the right hand.

    Wish this old man luck!
    I'd been strumming/chording for over 40 years before I finally decided to learn to read music ... it gets easier

    I'd suggest, from my experience, not to try to learn too many things all at once. Get your fretting hand very familiar with the notes on the fretboard, then once that happens almost automatically whilst thumb-picking you can start to introduce extra fingers of your picking hand, fairly secure in the knowledge that once your reflexes have figured out which finger to pick with your fretting hand will have the note ready to be played

    Just my tuppence worth - YMMV- Good luck!
    There are those who will wax lyrical about the ability to play a double shuffle with a split fan and a tight G-string ...
    it just makes me walk funny!

  4. #4
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    Practice, practice, drink a beer and practice more, is that recommended?

    I was surprised how high up the staff I've been playing with my C tuned concert. Using my baritone tuned ukes to practice, as the big Zebra covers the whole two octaves, is really fun.

    I'm still misreading some notes the first glance but the app will give you the note, if you hit it right, to help the ear learn the staff as well.

    Good point about the T-I-M thing. Sticking to thumb picking will help my right hand training as I don't ever strum with it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    For those who can write computer code, starting with ABC notation is a way of moving into Standard Music Notation. When you write out a piece in ABC notation it is effectively a computer program to drive a sound generator (you and you ukulele in this case). The program has all the attributes and parts of Standard Notation in a computer code format, so you can then look at the Standard Notation and see the parts and the headers for what they are, instead of just seeing confusing graphical symbols.

    If you have never coded a computer, this post wont be any help to you.
    Way back in the '70s I wrote in 'basic' and HPL for automatic test equipment. HPL was a language HP developed but I never went to any other language and got out of test equipment, eventually into sales and marketing.

    I definitely do not want to put another layer of confusion into my music, though I have looked at ABC but decided against it. For me it would be like trying to read Akkadian music notation from 2500 BCE!

    But you whippersnappers might like it.

  6. #6
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    James Hill's 'The Ukulele Way' and 'Ukulele in the Classroom' are both great resources for learning to read music.
    If music be the food of love, play on! -Bill Shakespeare

  7. #7
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    It is totally worth the effort to learn to read music. I started about six months ago and have found that it has unlocked so many more musical options than if I only played chords or tab. Stay with it!
    Bruko Soprano Thinbody (maple)
    KoAloha Tenor (mango)
    Mya Moe Tenor (myrtle)
    Lone Tree Soprano (hemlock, western maple, pacific yew)
    Lone Tree Tenor (driftwood red cedar, black cherry, western maple)
    Lone Tree Five String Tenor (cedar/spruce top, hickory sides, koa back, birdseye maple fretboard)

  8. #8
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    I've got a yard of music books including Baritone Aerobics and a standard Baritone book so I'll use what I have to teach these old fingers to do music. I've got a lot of books I bought to teach myself guitar back in the late 60's and I think if I could have gotten a Snark then I might have gone farther.

    I'm not lacking for Scores to attempt and it's the practice and doing that holds me back so maybe I ought to get with it and stop reading.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    For those who can write computer code, starting with ABC notation is a way of moving into Standard Music Notation. When you write out a piece in ABC notation it is effectively a computer program to drive a sound generator (you and you ukulele in this case). The program has all the attributes and parts of Standard Notation in a computer code format, so you can then look at the Standard Notation and see the parts and the headers for what they are, instead of just seeing confusing graphical symbols.

    If you have never coded a computer, this post wont be any help to you.
    Being an "ex-coder", albeit mostly amateur, I found the use of ABC to be significantly helpful on my learning curve. Being able to take a sheet of staff notation, in ANY key and convert it into a piece of "uke-friendly" music with accompanying MIDI (if required) became the work of a few minutes!

    Being able to take a duet (or more parts), set the whole thing into a ukulele-friendly key and produce one or more parts in MIDI whilst playing the other part myself (then swapping positions) is great fun and very satisfying

    YMMV
    There are those who will wax lyrical about the ability to play a double shuffle with a split fan and a tight G-string ...
    it just makes me walk funny!

  10. #10
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    Yeah, it's worth learning, I'm still trying, but I seem to have an 8bit brain, & could do with an upgrade to a 64bit.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

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