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Many guitar players find learning sight reading at the guitar laborious, boring and intolerable! The reason being that many guitar players don’t have a grasp of the notes on the fingerboard.
But, many wish to go to music school or do studio work or tour with famous artists. The need to sight read music suddenly becomes very apparent and essential in order to reach the required standard.
The question is always the same. Is there something that I am already familiar with that will help me speed up the process?
Luckily the answer is a big resounding YES!
The one thing most guitar players do know very well is the A minor pentatonic scale. This gives you many of the notes of the 5th position. Not only that but you will know the fingering like the back of your hand.
The next thing is to move away from the actual guitar and see, hear and feel the notes in your mind and see the notes on the guitar fingerboard and how the look in music notation.
For instance how to does the note A on the 1st string 5th fret look,
How does the note C on the 1st string 8th fret look in music notation
When visualising also “Feel” it in your fingertips and your whole hand,
Now “Fill in” all the rest of the notes in 5th position from frets 5 to 8.
Now visualise them by moving up or down in semitones going across all the 6 strings from the 5th position frets 5 to 8.
For Instance: 1st string=C B B flat A. 2nd string= G F sharp F natural E etc as we see in the notation below.
Now apply this to all six string of the guitar.
One more thing to realise is that the notes on the 1st string are the same as the notes on the 6th string but in a different octave. This in turn cuts down the amount of notes you need to learn.
This is just part 1 of this method, but it is a simple way to get started because you will already have a firm grasp of this scale and position on the guitar. Once you fill it out with the rest of the notes you will start to see patterns, arpeggios, 4ths and one 3rd [Guitar’s Tuning] and most obviously and importantly octaves as they will connect the other positions for you as you progress.
As you become aware of all of this sight reading at the guitar doesn’t seem so daunting and it all starts to make a lot more sens.
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