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Music Reading:
Reading a Notated Melody



Playing a notated melody is all about deciding upon your fingerboard range and most of the time the fifth position has what you need.


A Pre-flight checklist...

1). Check the Clef-Sign, guitar is the G Clef. Also known as Treble Clef.

2). Check the Key Signature. You will need to understand which keys contain which sharps and flats. Key signatures also have a lot to do with the tonality of the piece. It takes knowledge of Major and Minor Tonality to determine this.

3). Look at all of the measures and check for any accidentals. Sometimes sharps or flats occur in one measure only. Take notice of this and know how you will approach it prior to performance.

4). Analyze the rhythmic phrasing and compare phrases to the time signature. If the piece has multiple time signatures, look over where other shifts in time will occur.


5). Go through the measures of the song and begin to develop a solid feel for each measures melodic line. It is crutial to develop a quick memory for what the measures sound like. That said, there is no substitute for actually hearing a recording of the piece. Sometimes however, that isn't possible. In those cases, your level of skill at music reading becomes paramount.

6). Once you have a general idea for the piece and you are playing it through easy enough, remember to put some LIFE into the notes. They are certainly more than black notes on a white piece of paper. Phrase passages with embelishments - that can include; slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs, gliss notes, even trills. It all boils down to what you think sounds good.

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The PDF document below contains a Guitar Fingerboard Worksheet paper.


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