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Howard Roberts Sight Reading

Howard Roberts Sight Reading


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Hovvard Roberts Guitar Manual t .. .•.. "E9a ·ng S· Igh... R······cd·'
in collaboration




visual and audial processes are involved."Do a lot of it. How? By analyzing the process of sight reading! Understanding what constitutes good sight reading is the key to success and once you realize what physical. . it's simply a matter of programming yourself to respond to certain specific stimuli. however.this book is designed to allow you to read guitar exactly like you play without reading. by relating to what you already know and play and you'll notice the improvemen t immediately. mental. Through most of this book. and consider sight-reading at worst terrifying and at best a necessary evil." If you resign yourself to a couple of hours of daily drudgery for the next ten years or so.FOREWORD A Question on how to become a better sight reader usually elicits the typical reply -. Guitar players as a general rule are pretty poor sightreaders in comparison to players of almost any other instrument you can name. If.there is no harder instrument to read on. with good reason . you are in that vast majority of the class designated 'average guitar player'. that method unquestionably works and eventually you will become an adequate sight reader. you can learn without even having a guitar in your hands! Follow each step carefully and review often. it is for you that this book has been written. Never fear . primarily because of the duplication of notes on the fingerboard and the number of strings.



II Without turning back. 6 . If you can do this. you have read music. find these in the on the notes on the fingerboard exact previous positions shown page.


.... the art of learning new material quickly with a fair amount of retention. In theatre, they call it quick study.


Know the notes on the music staff Know where they are on the fingerboard Understand notation musical time



Be able to do all this




is not an automatic,



.IS rather

tile ordinary

iearrung process

spec up ana renneu

so as to appear



automatic. The learning process itself i~ a completely mental one. Physical practice is applied only after something is learned. In sight-reading, to discover the process is to break it into component parts. You must know (1) the names of the notes on the staff;

(2) the location

of those notes on the guitar fingerboard and what fingering will be used; (3) the musical notation for the length and number of times you will play each note. All this must be known before you touch the guitar. Simplified, this means you must know thoroughly and completely what you are about to do before you actually do it. Apply this thinking to the following exercises. Check

off each step as completed.


Step 1. Step 2.

Take 30 seconds Close the book!

to learn all of Example Now play Example 1.

1. _. Everything.


Ex. 1

only insofar as you must strive to reduce it. Take 30 sec. to learn all of Example 2.

Step 3. Step 4.

The time limit is important Close the book'

Now play Example


o o

Ex. 2

Remember! Step


each note individually,

then look at the measure

as a whole.

Play in steady

time. Take 30 sec.

to learn all of Example




Close the book! Now play Example Ex. 3


Remember! Example 4.

Visualize Ex.

each 1\


on the guitar.




you will use. Take

30 sec. to learn

all of





111 ::\.L


~ ~



Close the book! Remember! Close the book! Ex.



4. 5.



~ ~ ~




Step 8. Step 9. Step 10.

Now play Example Now play Example

Do not touch

the guitar!

First visualize


in your mind. Take 30 sec. to learn all of Example



Step 11. Step 12.


Go back to Example 6.

1. and review. Relate all exercises

to things you already

play. Take 30 sec. to learn

0 0

all of Example

Close the book! Now play Example Ex.6



~ ~.r:..z ~~





New information is retained longer when the sense of touch is associated with the thing being learned. The art of imagining yourself to be playing without actually using a guitar can be developed more quickly by manipulating the fingers of the left hand on a substitute fingerboard. The right forearm works well for this --

(3 little conspicuous)

as does the left hand thumb ---

(much more subtle)

The latter reason ....


is highly recommended


with good

THE SIGHT READER AND LIFEMANSHIP (or How To Be a Fair Reader and Appear To Be an Excellent One) When you walk into a sight reading situation with a group of other musicians and do anything at all that may indicate a lack of self-confidence. the people you are working with will pick this up. Don't worry about being a phoney. Use every device at your disposal to maintain an attitude of self-confidence at all times. focus their attention on you. 10 . even slightly. This will create a feedback between you and those around you which will actually build confidence and speed you along the way toward really being a good sight reader. For example. The greatest sight readers in the word must constantly guard against the mental blocks that can actually destroy their performance. The selfconsciousness that results from this can cause you to make those mistakes. practicing the part with your amplifier on. even when the music is easily within your capability. would be a lifemanship no-no. This business of confidence is something that all performers must always deal with and is a legitimate part of the art. and expect you to make mistakes.

to learn Bars 7 and 8. Step 21. Take 30 sec. to learn Bars 9 and 10. Play the last two notes of Bar 4 and the first two notes of Bar 5 without stopping. Without looking.1 . 0 0 0 0 Step 14. 0 0 0 0 0 0 [J Step 18. play Bars 7 and 8. Step 19. Without looking. Take 30 seconds. Step 27. Now. Ex. Step 16. play Bars 11 and 12. play the last two notes of Bar 2 and the first two notes of Bar 3 without stopping. Close the book. Step 26. Learn Bars 3 and 4 of Example 7 in the same manner. close your eyes! And play Bars 3 and 4. Learn. Play the last two notes of Bar 6 and the first two of Bar 7. Step 15. Without looking. Take 30 sec. Play the last two notes of Bar 8 and first two of Bar 9. to discover the newness of the sequence. Step 24. to learn Bars 11 and 12. Step 20.) IJ 4 ~ J . Step 25. Step 17. Close the book. Take 20 sec.Step 13. Close the book. Close the book and play. Take 30 sec. Step 22. in the same manner. Step 28. Step 30. Play Bars 5 and 6. Now.J 11'\ .I ~ . to learn Bars 5 and 6. Step 29. 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 !* 5 Q r[ ~ EI 2 ~ r r ~ 3 I ~ . as before. Step 31. Take 30 sec. Play the first eight Bars. everything in Bars 1 and 2 of Example 7. play Bars 9 and 10. close your eyes! And play Bars 1 and 2 of Example 7. Play the last two notes of Bar 10 and first two of Bar 11. play the whole piece. Step 23. Example 7 (near the bottom of the page) combines the same notes used in Examples 1 to 6 (previous page) in a new sequence. close your eyes. Take 30 seconds.

there is no substitute written material each day. Visualize yourself Playing each note as you write it. Ex. Separate in your mind that which is actually hard to read from that which is really only hard to physically play. The only difference between you and them is that they do it faster. 8 Play Example 8. Accept as an axiom that speed in sight reading comes from fast mental recognition. However. o I ~ ~ J J IJ ~ jI i ~ ~ rr I . Use the method contained in this book on at least one new piece of 12 . Write your own example using the same notes as Examples 1 through 8 in a new sequence. comprehension and memory.Step 33. for practice in sight reading.play in your mind! The analysis process used in this chapter is the same once used subconsciously by all good sight readers. Know the name of the note and which string and finger will be used. Try to see music as a series of one and two bar passages and not a bunch of disconnected notes to be read one at a time. 9 II Summary Chapter 1: General Rule .J -J J JI Step 34. 0 Ex.

14 . . first count the time. the notes are learned next. then play them in tempo... 0\ I I " • . rhythm should be your first consideration. 11 M4M D~ I I" Step 36. The latter is the way you would count were you playing the same passage without reading it. 0 J II 0 DA Step 38. :.. Normally. J =60 M~ • •• .. • . not played. then the two are integrated. Ex. . Learn the notes mentally.. MM 3 it DA 1 ~ DA MM 2 di I DA fI 0 Now learn the notes and play Example 13 in tempo. The former being standard procedure. Try counting the following examples two ways as noted below each one. It is thought of as a separate but equal function of notes. Count this o -= 60 • . Now learn the notes and play Example 11 in tempo.Chapter Two: RHYTHMS In Chapter 1. . =60 Ex. M1M Ex.~ JI . . In the following Examples.. Ex... 16 . 10 ) I I . The rhythm is learned first.J =. Ex. straight quarter notes were used to demonstrate the sight reading process with notes only. however.. Step 39. Step 35. and the second note of a tie is held but not picked.60 Ex. DA M~ 1 . 17 . 12 Count this J =60 9* :J 4 . Remember that rests are counted.=60~ r - - II ..t I ~ J . Compare the rhythm in Example 15 with that in Example 16. D\ II II u I• Step 37. .

In the blank line below. 19 ) =60 • .20 ) . Do not touch the guitar until you are confident you can play what's written.' . Q . J . =60 J lid JJ I ~ d. use those notes but add your own rhythm. then do it. I . 14 II II Summary Chapter 2: Play in your mind . 0 Example 20 is a four bar rhythm figure. 21 Example 21 is four measures of notes. first know what must be done. I II o Step 42.first rhythm. r 15 I J l:j :t Step 41. In other words. then notes.Ex. then both together.. Practice hearing in your head the way th~ passage should sound. Then play what you 'hear. Ex.. :j: . J I F . Use the same figures in the blank line below but write in your own notes. Ex.

Chapter Three: LINEAR SIGHT READING Playing along the length of the string .

.1 ' '''II .~ 1 I -... practice all exercises slowly. . 1/1 ~ I\... eventually without looking at the guitar fingerboard.. l......1 • • I . Consequently. •• ._.. 23 ~ .IL" J ''II 11 ru . IIrIL 'Do "11 o L. I. pick one key signature only. then play Example 23 very slowly in tempo.:~:::I..o~ II I . The following exercises are to be played only on the I st string.. . . n rv I L "'" --... Learn. . EX221~'f-.... r II " "'\ ell L T 1 I' I • I • •• •• Step 45... then play Example 22 very slowly in tempo..~ J •..~ .: II " ... IJ.~ -:. [II.. .r: -"'. i 1... Step 44. then play Example 24 very slowly in tempo.I~ ....~ IU" II I• I" . Learn.. I "UR " •• •• Ex.. ""If . r' I • I + ~~:t ~II :=:~ • :~:~:I-:I- :t... • l' IIr i.r Il • I- ft I• I J. " ... I Ii I . Step 43.1L " .... -... Pick one key signature per practice session.rTl -...c..... review often.. even one finger at a time.- " :t~~+ • •I iI •• I ·I •• •• •• •• o I. -. Gel accustomed... 1- ."" .. then play Example 25 very slowly in tempo. .~.I .1 I. o Step 46. . Learn... "'""+ ..1 IJI.."....~'I-.. . ..r.. o 16 .rr fl Jll'LII' "(I WIJt I"U'" r. Learn..•. I I........5.t ~ I .:_ . For each session.. L L I IT. 'ID .._.. Try different fingerings. l. "'II 11 "... . ~~..--... t. I .~.being able to play on one string only. : '" . lL I . r .


. Step 47. I... one string at a time.. I I I I _ ..A I .JI . work strictly to attain speed in playing scales up and down one string as this technique alone is not practical.U ~'I 'I .. Do not. '.... l I . 1111 L . sometimes sight reading requires fast position skips which these exercises will also facilitate.....u- ... I . Learn. JI1 " J.. you are forced to play the note only by reading it.1 i.1 '"II . I I I I I ~ Step 48. .'" I I.. .. 'IL I.. then play Example 29 slowly in tempo. L. . Learn. -'IL '410_ 1. Learn. -. :lI'r.II '. IJI...: J "~ 0. then play Example 28 very slowly in tempo. iJi I iJi...../C.. -..l ...r:r::v r£III 10 I -• ..."..... T T I ".JJ. Pick one key signature per practice session.. Step 50. The following exercises are to be played only on the 2nd string.. " I_ II I . As a sidelight.. I. L ... then play Example 26 very slowly in tempo.. however. '"' .11 .. I I . Irl ...... Step 49. ... I "'" _ I I I po I _ J J ..2nd STRING ONLY Remember that your main goal in this section of the book is to familiarize yourself with notes everywhere on the fingerboard. ..Linear Sight Reading . then play Example 27 very slowly in tempo.~ . -'" I - I I I I P" I . . Learn... . Since you have no particular hand positions to relate to and since the key signature changes. .. . For each session.. r I " • • ]I ... I.no I... I. pick one key signature only.1. [ .IJ 1 I.. .. _ I I I III' I I I I I J I I I I I I I I I ......

Play both exercises as written but after considerable practice of Example 31 you may change the key signature. Aim for familiarization with notes. Adhere to the circled string markings. Learn. o rr "Don't forget to visualize everything in your mind before you touch the guitar.1st and 2nd STRING COMBINED The next logical step is to combine reading on both 1st and 2nd strings. 0 r rrr ® Step 52. then play Example 30 slowly in tempo. r Ir r . not particular fingerings. then play Example 31 slowly in tempo. Learn. Step 51.


. • ~I I" . Learn..• . -. Learn. ..wl "0 '"'II I .I . L L .1 ....In • ~ ~-----:. :. . Learn.. The following exercises are to be played on the 3rd string only.. • 1 ... i i I i i I I I I • 1 _L ~ - I I I I r~ It Ii II II Step 54. . II' II II l ..L ' . You must learn.. ""'""" Step 56.. mentally...-~ ..It 11 lJ. . [ r I'r r· r ~r I Q II .. ... Learn. then play Example 32 in tempo... Lit: fLIl. everything in the exercise before you attempt to play it..6...i \I 1... IN 111'11' I"~ 1"-11' "' II'ft iN . . I I I I I... Pick one signature per practice session.11.. ~ -"""' ' ~ I I I I I I I I I I I I I I . I) l 1\ I . in tempo.. I.. -" ' 11 ... " 'I' ut' II l III'I'!! I..± . '1 II I' ~ iJ ~ -"""" 1 I . 0 _L I " .. I I .......---:: ---== I I I I I ....~ ...01 ... '.. .. .. .r y IJ. II'_ft_ r t.L.....L ." ~ I • ~ I I - I I I I I .+..Linear Sight Reading .. l- "'11 . 33 ~ . "1' fJ I .11' """'"-I " IU 11'1' I. " .... 11 11 I. -.. . then play Example 34 slowly. then play Example 35 slowly in tempo.. I ... ~ • . then play Example 33 in tempo.~ _L ~ .. 1...) '\ Ex. 1..the importance of following the sight reading process exactly.. I'!! III' I.3rd STRING ONLY One point must be emphasized . I T It ttl r t rl r rrl r r11 r rr I r (f-I r Q I~ ~ II ~ Step 55... Step 53... "'I: i JI.. One key signature per session..

2nd and 3rd STRINGS COMBINED The string indications (in circles under the notes) are given to make sure you read on all three strings. Ex. After familiarization.Linear Sight Reading . Example 36 could be indicated 2 1 I 3 . 36 Learn. before you play. then play Example 36 in tempo. For example. Bar 4. you can (and should) discover new fingerings of your own. Step 57.1st. Ir ® t£ r @ I£P! Ir 0 @ . Resolve tho~e problems mentally.


:.&. II II ....41 Learn..... II Ilf I. • .. I'll ..&. D . -- .. .. J1III "U...I 1"I. 39 ~ I- " 411 .....IiR I rU II' IR " I'U .. •I • '11 ... o • .II Ex.. III' I \ow .-""I. "II . I' "I ... Ex.... Remember the key signature......u i... then play Example 39 slowly in tempo.I .. r . . ~ • t. . it reappears.... Learn.llJ • • . Ex...I • • •• • •1 v . • . 40 Learn. •• •• •• •• Step 60. l II I ..4th STRING ONLY Be aware that the open note on each string has been left out of the one string exercises to facilitate the key signature changes.I . Learn.. -.. IJll.. I I I • • . 38 . L rJ I' l• . ~ Step 61..4ilJ---UolJi. U.!.. r 2r 24 J II . Ir -4··~II--+I"'_-""1&t+. Pick one signature.. ...... then play Example 40 slowly in tempo... . Step 59..I I I. '.... ..1 .: Ij.... • . .. "l' IJI.IA I ...-1M IIr 11' .. then play Example 38 very slowly in tempo.. .. ..'1 I...."til ru-~ l' . o r ~r Ir.. _... o I n..-... . ! flu I.. 'II I'" I PI I' I • r.... -.. 1ft" ..."LV 11'11 VU lit V Ex. then play Example 41 slowly in tempo. n r.II" ~~ tJ '" rl' I.. The following exercises are to be played on the 4th string only.. -• • •• ~ • I _ ... -• T T I l I I • .. o II Step 62.t • . i7 " • I'" LL ... I T I . • - •. [i" j I... When combinations of strings are used in the exercises... I " - I ..

o .2nd. o . r 1£ ® r ® £ I rrrr I Learn. £ (i) ®® r r Ir r r® @@ @ J ~ I . Step 64. 3rd and 4th STRINGS COMBINED Remember not to play any notes on the first string merely because they are more familiar there. ® £ 1£ (i) . then play Example 42 slowly in tempo. @ £ J @ r r Ir ® @ @~ J J ® @ r I J. It is only a mental hangup caused by avoidance and will be corrected simply by adherence to the sight reading process. Learn. There is no good reason for weak sight reading on any given string or in the high register. Step 63. then play Example 43 slowly in tempo. I@ I.


. •. then play Example 45 slowly in tempo. -:: I 'I 11 I' . I' I\. .. III' L III' rl " '.+. 44 . then play Example 47 slowly in tempo.. I I I I I _.. ID. 47 Learn. Strive for that same familiarity on the fifth string by itself. then play Example 46 slowly in tempo.. IJI 41 I'" IJo i....~ joB' IIIIL • u Jr 'II III ·11 Jl. Pick one signature. 0 A .. - • I - _..5th STRING ONLY If you had to read any of the following exercises in the open position.. Step 65.Linear Sight Reading ... '1 I I 11I.-+ IJI. . - • I • I I - _. "'_ II " • -.~ I t ... I • I • _.... Learn." . --: I..... o II Step 68. .IL '" I. I I I l_l_ I I l_ _l_ _l_ _l_ - ~-:::::=-::::::: I I I I . .... .• I I I I • . . •- .... 46 Learn.. .. Ex.n '" " It.. . . • o I 11 " 1II1L ..I s .. - _.. 45 I:l " . I 1 I I r I 1111 -- _.1 . - I _. [ OIl I pOll -I II .... I . I • r - I I. I' I" III' IU I..... I If U ~ M III' IIlf U . Ex... then play Example 44 slowly in tempo... -rr I I I I . • -'lit .) .. I - ~ I I I I I ~ - • •I . Ex. I I I I I • r I -"• I Step 67. . ... • j III ... Pick one signature. u If L " MIL "'L Hi'll L lfUI'I II -. r Ex... it would be a snap. 11 III I.. II Step 66. Learn..._It o L L ILIt.

£!1 I~@ r ~ I!! r ~I£! 1£ 1£. o I £! r £ 1£ £ . ~ I i £ ~ !I ~ £ i !I I~gd~ Igt££I:££!I£.Linear Sight Reading . Learn. ~ £ 1 I E @~ 11£ J ! 11 @@@@ !tli£ ~ 1£ £ i ~ I iE IJ @@@@ .3rd.t£11 Step 70. Keep forging ahead and learn 1. then play Example 49 in tempo. then play Example 48 in tempo.0 recover quickly. Learn.: Id J r I I. o Ii! £ jJ Ii I i &! £ r I £ !~I ~£ ~ :.J fill ir I ~r J r r @ Itt 'r I E pr (4)~@(.5) Pt ij~ II . Step 69. 4th and 5th STRINGS COMBINED Do not break tempo when you make a mistake.


r il!! r £ 1&£ [ !II o REVIEW Chapter 3: By now. Learn.£ I! ®@@® i !!I! !.4 I! i~ .~ r Ex. Learn. Experiment playing each exercise in every possible location on the fingerboard. thus maintaining the same timbre . I OJ OJ @®@<i> 1oJ J J OJ I . 1J OJ I . then play Example 55 in tempo. Learning to read and play on one string has a musical as well as an educational purpose. Go back and review the first three chapters.Linear Sight Reading . r oJ rJ rj @@®@ OJ OJ I 1£ !. Each string of the guitar has a different tone quality. JO ®@@® Ir . You may frequently encounter passages that can be played nicelv on one string. 54 r r I~@@@r r I ®@®®J r I @{.4th. then play Example 54 in tempo.®@. you should be confident that you can read music using the entire guitar fingerboard. 0 . 5th and 6th STRINGS COMBINED Step 75. OJ @@@@ J I 1£& r ~I!£ Step 76.

In Example 56 is a measure of 4 quarter notes. J J . 59 f= 60 MNT{ J DA DA ~ J DA (OR) Ex. .J ~ 1 3..61 II $ ... as in Example 57 it will sound the same as playing cut time (Example 58) or a 2/4 bar of eighth notes (Example 59). & . 66 @3.Chapter Four: MORE RHYTHM First point: Counting complex rhythms is a lost cause using the 'one and two and' method alone. " .J = 60 JJJJ 4 3 COUNT riA 2 DA DA ) = 60 II DA <OJq Ex. 58 ) = 60 CUT TIME (OR) Ex. Ji J J 3 DA DA MM DA DA . il J DAH DA DAH 2 . !3 Ex. Analyze and relate it to Example 65 and 66. Analyze Examples 60 and 61 .57 Ex. 0 ..h '1 II & 4 DA DA & MM Ex.J = 1 DA J iJ J J 2 1 DA DA Ex. fll I~' 60 EIGHTH RESTS Ex. 65 l' J ~ )) 2 DAH 1 & }J &. J rJ DAH DA DAH J'--" J J I J IJ I JJ DA MM DA DA #JJ DA DA . 60 . If you play all four but only count 2. 62 DA I~ J J J J DA 1 DA DA 2 II DA !!T! Step 77. The sound of the rhythm is what matters and whether or not you can recognize the figure at sight. II MM DAH . Ex. 56 Ex. II 4 MM DA DA MM MM DAH Ex..3 & DAH 4 DA DAH DA lDA I J5 1 DA MM DA DA i MM J5 . 64 J = 60 IIJ DA JJ .___. DA DA J J J J I~.. !f . 63 SIXTEENTH RESTS ~ 1 DA DA DA DA Example 64 has a complicated looking rhythm figure one measure long.

. ~ ~ J J..Step 78.. Example 70 is a simple looking rhythm 4 bars long in quarter notes. tJ IJ ~ J II 0 Step 80.. MM ~ DA ~ DAH DA DA MM . 0 '~4 Ex.. 70 JJ ~ J~ .. 69 IJ JPJ J .. 71 '7 II Ex. Transpose to sixteenths (Example 72) in similar fashion. 67 ~ MM DAH oAH "'--""" ~ ~ ~ DA . 72 .. ~ DA DAH ~ II q Step 79. Ex. Ex.. Transpose to eighth notes in Example 71 by halving the note values and the number of bars.__.~ . J JI J J II 0 Transpose Example 69 to quarter notes by doubling the note values and the number of bars in Example 68. Transpose to 8th notes (Example 68) by doubling the note values and the number of bars.. JJ IJ ~ J J I J J I J II ~ Ex.. Example 67 is a complicated looking rhythm figure in sixteenth notes 1 bar long.

Once this fact is recognized. From the standpoint of comprehension. Through this learning discipline. syncopated 32nd notes arise from non-recognition of the 32nd note symbols and/or being unaccustomed in the technique of subdividing more than two or three notes evenly into one beat . which is (of course) a separate problem... much of the mind-boggling fear.REVIEW . say. you've seen them all. It should now be apparent that any rhythm.proving once again that analysis and memory are the keys to sight reading. will be overcome. is really never any harder than quarter and half note combinations. For example. you encounter a long string of 16th notes with random sharps and flats. The first impression is fright. no matter how complex.beat being defined as one tap of the foot or downbeat.. that often keeps us from sight reading as well as our ability permits. an analysis of the passage may reveal it to be a simple Bb scale written enharmonically . . It is common to confuse difficulty in reading with difficulty in playing. followed by a look for the nearest exit. The only difficulties in reading. if you've seen one group of 16th notes. This fear could well be unfounded if the tempo is slow enough.

. A = ambiguous. DUPLe. ..I 4 II ~G JJJJ Ex.There are two kinds of meter (time signatures): Duple and Triple Duple meter is any meter (time signature) which as a two as its top number..I 2 . 86 JJ 2 1 I J ~~i J 1 2 I or simply ~~iJ 11 ~ 1 1 . 0008l. 93 Ex..I 1 . 84 I~ Ii II DUPl£ II All other meters are combinations of duple and triple meter. 85 . Any meter having one as its top number is ambiguous. T means triple.-_I\...f. 31 -r i 541753541 DAD 1 1121 (RARE) D .. 83 I~ II I~ ~! Common Time Ex. 87 Could also be thought of as g~ Ex.I 3 .'15. . Triple meter is any meter (time signature) which has a three as its top number. . §~ Ii Ii Ex. DD means double duple.~~ DUPLE ' 2 ill 3 1 ~ 2 4 Study the following combinations. 0 means duple.

is 11 beats long and the accents may be anywhere. 91 ~ 1231212312 Step 81. write out the meters of Example 88 through 95 using 2. . At the same time. Step 82. tap your hand for each "(1)" beat in the original meter and in the combinations.8 and 16 as the bottom numbers of the time signatures.Ex. Practice counting Example 88 through 95 in the following manner. On separate manuscript. devise your own meter combinations. Tap your foot for each beat in the measure. depending on the nature of the music. 0 0 Keep in mind that complex meters are usually used for musical reasons and not just to make things complicated. Then. 4. for instance. The flow of the music in 11/4 time.

With even time signatures. II J. 100 I t J . whether heard or not. a note (or rest). ~~ J J J J !)J J )1 J J J J~ }J J: J J J J JJJU II When odd time signatures appear interspersed in the music it is often helpful to disregard the bar line and play only the rhythm. etc. 99 I Ex. (6. 96 J. ~')\J Ex. divide the bar in half as usual.). 7. one should write all bars broken down to this simplest rhythmic equivalents .simplest defined as that which is easiest to read and understand. for example. --r' !. always divide the bar in half mentally.10.). Ji) J. jij Ex. When reading. In 4/4 time. 94 * Ex. ~J JJJJJ . picture an imaginary bar line at the end of each duple and triple section.ex meters. etc.1 JJ JSJ ~J 4) I II In odd time signatures (5. .t\J JI JJ Ii II )\ II Do not beam any notes over the imaginary center bar line.8. divide the bar into duple and triple meter according to its rhythmic accents. should appear on the third beat of every bar.Because of the ability to break complex meters into simple meters (duple and triple).ji j I RIGHT J.9. . In com?l. This may be accomplished by picturing an imaginary bar line in the middJe of the bar and only allowing four eighths (or their equivalent) to show on either side of it. 98 Ex. 97 WRONG I J.t$JJ J I .

There are books available dealing with familiar rhythm patterns in detail. 104 'J } I JS J ~ I J JJ I} J J Jill J I J I II SUMMARY: Remember . J'J J II J.when taking on a new piece of music. Examples 10 1 through 106 contain a random sampling of such figures. certain rhythmic patterns appear over and over. JiJ. . 101 JJ. 102 oJ -JJ ~'JJVJJJ oJ IIJ. Understand how the rhythm will sound before you play it.No matter what time signature you're in. II J. M Ex. 103 I~ Ex. J JS II J V Ii J:jJ'IJ 'JUJJ~ )I J ~. analyze the rhythm first and break it into simple equivalents if necessary. IoJ Ex. These figures should be learned once (not every time they are played) assimilated and never counted again.i'J 19 Ex.

. " ~ ..": . :...:. -' '- !.::! 'f ...: .. ::r ~ . -~ '" .'_ I~ I~ - "' ... ~ -..... -::...........:! .... .. ... - .:! ..."' " .. .. -.-. "' .. ~' '". 'If .. -.:. .. ...... .: " .. .. ...... • . ... . -. -.._ .' "'........ ~ . .- -"" ." .. "' ~ ' -rr- ..-' . ... :::' ... -.. ... _' '" ~ ~ ~ !.. ~ .. . .Cha pter Five: LATERAL SIGHT READING (Playing Across the Strings in Fingering Patterns) I~ . ... ~ :' ::.... . .. .. . ' -~ ....::. . I~ I. ~ ........:! . :_ ~ ~ ..... ~ .

. i 2 ! @ T . "7 2~ 3 ! 2 4 • + .1....... S<s:.i 3 4 J..L 1:. '.: II II +---~ = -" 2 4 . • II .. ~ .:. @ i 3 4 . .The Range of Each Fingering Pattern in the Key of C SAME DESCENDING 1 ~ @ -+ d . L ::!: !:""x "\ "\ 4 ® ® .+...

108 r fr .0 J J I J J J] J1J J I Ex. arpeggios and interval skips. The little or first fingers may dart out of position for a short time. Make special note of the visual difference between scale. 0 Step 84.. Learn Example 107. The learning process in this chapter is expanded to include not only rhythm and notes but also note configurations. but always return to the pattern. IlJ J:l . 0 §i r r Err r r r I E ( lr iJ J. 3). 1 in the open position.1J3 I lJJJl II o Step 85. arpeggio and scale passages in Example 108 in that order. Play Example 107 slowly in tempo. Pick out all interval skip.. the left hand finds a safe fingering niche from which to operate. 107 SCALES . r liJ3] n J J I . The three main configurations are scales. INTERVALS I Ie~f r r r fI _ oJ J 3 J . arpeggio and interval skp passages.. Learn.J J J I J JjJ ..In lateral or position reading as opposed to linear reading (Ch. Step 83. Step 86. o Ex. then play Example J 08 slowly in tempo. The point here is to lead larger and larger groupings of notes. The following examples use fingering pattern No.

1 Step 89.... Pick out all interval skip. Learn Example 109._ .. . Step 87... o o ••• • • -...." • ...· . arpeggio and scale passages in Example J 10 in that order.----. .. Feel free to change them.~ .Don't get hung up with the fingerings. -~:• .• ••• • I j ..._ •... Make special note of the visual difference between scale. arpeggio and interval skip passages... _-8- 'I 'I . Step 88. then play Example 110 slowly in tempo. I:: . The following examples use scale pattern No.=.: 1 ....... o o I IE c r tErri r rrr£jJ~ lEEr: Jj '] I if . What's important is that you know where the scale tones are within the range of each pattern of any position...1 .... . Step 90.. II -.. :. Learn...2. Play Example 109 slowly in tempo.~ "'151-.

. r· .. . arpeggio and interval skip passages.The scale patterns used here are arbitrarily numbered 1-5... c c Ex. Since the learning process is unique to each individual. then play Example 112 slowly in tempo.. ..... feel free to use designations most meaningful to you. .. I .. . - " . Learn... Learn Example] ] I. arpeggio and scale passages in Example 112 in that order. I I I I -L • I A P'" _ - ~ .. Step 92..3... I JJJJ ARPEGGIOS CHJ.... .. Step 94. Step 91.. III SCALES_ §4JJJJ19JO I JJIJ"JJJJ I JJJJ nJ.~.1_ • I - .. _ I(err Crrr I rrrrrrrrtjTrrrttfFlfrer iJ~~~1 Step 93. o o A I I . . Play Example 111 slowly in tempo.. The following examples use scale pattern No. .. Make special note of the visual difference between scale. Pick out all interval skip. I ~ I I ~ A P'" • I _ P'" .

arpeggio and interval skip passages. Make special note of the visual difference between scale. arpeggio and scale passages in Example 114 in that order. 113 SCALES_ ARPEGGIOS _ INTERVALS _ Step 97. o o Ex. Step 96. then play Example 114 slowly in tempo. Step 95.It should be pointed out here that many fine guitarists have made a career out of scale patterns one and four. Step 98. o o .4. These two patterns together can usually give you an adequate range in any key. Play Example 113 slowly in tempo. Pick out all interval skip. Learn Example 113. The following examples use scale pattern No. Learn.

Pick out all interval skip. arpeggio and interval skip passages. o o . Play Example 115 slowly in tempo. Learn.5. Step 100. 0 0 SCALES __ + II Step 101. Step 99.The following examples use scale pattern No. Make special note of the visual difference between scale. arpeggio and scale passages in Example 116 in that order. then play Example 116 slowly in tempo. Learn Example 115. Step 102.

Make special note of the visual difference between scale. Pick out all interval skip. Step 107. 0 0 Step IDS. Play Example 117 slowly in tempo. arpeggio and scale passages in Example 118 in that order.6. then play Example 118 slowly in tempo. Play Examples 117 and 118 down an octave by mental transposition. Learn. Learn Example 117. Step 104. The following examples use scale pattern No. o o . Go back and play Examples 107 and 108 up an octave by mental transposition. Step 106. Step 108. " o o A sight reading refinement is learning to play an octave higher or lower than written. Iup an octave. Step 103.Pattern No. The same principle applies to any of the five patterns when the key positions them sufficiently low on the fingerboard. arpeggio and interval skip passages.6 is the same as pattern No.

then play Example 119. Step 112. in the key of A for the player. Find the highest and lowest notes of Example 119 (arrows). 0 0 The accidentals in Example 121 are written enharmonically. Learn. D.. putting bar one. Gb to be the same as F # and Ab to be the same as e# .. E. is clearly in the key of Eb because the notes E.Step 109. Example 119 below. eb). Move your hand to a fingering in the key of Eb in which you are mechanically comfortable and which encompasses both the high and low notes. A. Example 120 below.------c ------. Find the highest and lowest notes of Example 120 (arrows). Bb. due to the absence of sharps or flats. the absence of accidentals would suggest a shift to a key of C fingering. Db. Step 114. then play Example 121. in bar two. write out Examples 107 through 118 transposed into all keys (G. Step 110. because analysis reveals Db to be the same as C #. F. However. On separate manuscript. Learn. A and B are flatted throughout. o . Eb. F#. which may be explained as an oversight on the part of the writer.. Step 116. [ [ Step 113. Step II I. is clearly in the key of C. . Move your hand to a fingering for the key of C in which you are mechanically comfortable and which encompasses both the high and low notes.. Ab. 8.

'1_ I" " ... I • II Step 120.. then play Example 124.. . The last three bars return to the key of G. Step 119.. Learn. I.e... last half of bar two). Learn.§rfl'r Dmaj7 I BI3b9 Emaj7 Emaj A7 rr Ab9 r ririe.It is helpfuJ for hand positioning..._ .. then play Example 123. Find the key centers in Example 124. The next bar and a half use an Eb scale pattern.. _.. 1·..... ."_ I" . then play Example 122.1 J J~ f ric " J Dbmaj7 Ebm9 L L I • _r I _ . • . I IU. II I "I' __ .. 1. This is not to say that you should shift to a new position every time an accidental foreign to the key appears (i.. 123 lirPr~*e... JI~_ .. Compare the key centers you have found in Examples 123 and 124 to the ones given in Examples 125 and 126 on the next page. ~ G o _______________________________ Eb __ Step 118. I IT Dm7 G13 • ...~ PI-_ -_.... _I ... ._ . o o Step 122.. ... o o Abmaj7 Ex.. Step 117. to know the key you're in for a particular passage. In Example 122 the first two and one half bars use a scale pattern for the key of G..... Find the key cen ters in Example 123. 0 . therefore. Step 121. _II.. I I I M_ " .1 ~I"".. Learn.

. ~~N- I Eb7 Ab-.the sight reading process used to this point can now be improved by the recognition of note groupings and the identification of key centers. # 0 Step 124. if the key center is C major and your hand is positioned for Eb. I"D-b-7Gb r. Go back to Examples 107 through 118 and add sharps and flats at random without any musical consideration. Positioning your hand in a fingering pattern for the actual key center will allow you to more easily hear what you see and play what you hear as a way of bringing musicality to your sight reading.. This will convert Examples 107 through 118 to atonal music which has no key center..'r..) In other words..rit"! ll~"""'J""'J-.accidentals (sharps and flats b). try to perform the music you are reading like you're not reading. It.. thus allowing you to more easily read larger groups of notes and obtain a smoother performance in general.. 0 SUMMARY: Remember . . 0 Step 125... Learn. then play Examples 107 through 118 slowly and carefully.. What this says is that when you're reading a chart (with an orchestra or group) that includes key changes which are not notated as such (no key signature). (For instance. Ab9 I I Dm7 C G13 Ec r t I~[rr (fr' ~fb--.. I C7 i Bbb~b-. II ----A7 D- J Irra D ------Dm--aj-7""1 Eft r r Iqooir!&c. your ear can be of great assistance in helping you to determine the key center that is if your ear has been developed to this point.Bb.. Have someone play the changes for you while you play the written line (or pre-record the changes on tape). eft r J Db Dbmaj7 --------------- Emaj . Include this step in the learning process from now on..a.. r F -.. . --Gb-" Step 123.C Cmaj7 ~------------------Ab Abmaj7 ~ IirYkirt I B13b9 - ~-------------------------------E f §tflk I Ebm9 Emaj7 r . focusing on the new material . the passage would at best be awkward to play and difficult to relate musically.

Take four seconds to learn Example 125 (4 seconds = 1 bar in 1 = 60 tempo).. Step 126. then turn the page . 125 ) = 60 Step 128.. The way this works is: (1) Learn Bar 1 before the tune starts. Learn Bar 3 while you're playing Bar 2 in tempo and continue in like manner. 131 Dmaj7 Step 132.e... This obviously involves very fast learning (i.. Ex. 127 Abmaj7 Step 130. 129 I o Emaj7 Take four seconds to learn Example 129 while you're playing Example 128 in tempo.e. then turn the page . Take four seconds to learn Example 131 while you're playing Example 130 in tempo.. i I o Ex. I *r Step 134. o Ex. (2) Learn Bar 2 while you're playing Bar 1 in tempo.. then turn the page .... then turn the page . one bar in two seconds as compared to 20 seconds).. Take four seconds to learn Example 127 while you're playing Example 126 in tempo.. then turn the page . fast learning and memory (instant recall). I Ex.Chapter Six: READING A BAR AHEAD Many good sight readers acknowledge that one of the keys to good sight reading is reading a bar ahead.. i. This is an extension of the same principles we've worked on up to this point. rI . I o Take four seconds to learn Example 133 while you're playing Example 132 in tempo... o ~t~p~ ~.

then immediately play Example 134 without breaking the tempo. then turn back to page 51 [ I ¥.~~~f' I Step 13]. Take four seconds to learn Example L30 while you're playing Example 129 in tempo. then turn back to page 51 Ebm9 Ab13 I Step 135. Ex. 128 B13b. I 0 Take four seconds to learn Example 134 while you're playing Example 133 in tempo. r G13 . Take four seconds to learn Example 126 while you're playing Example 125 in tempo. . 130 Em:' A 7 t" 1 0 Step 133. 134 Dm7. fl ! Eb13bg C p Take four seconds to learn Example 128 while your're playing Example 127 in tempo.Step 127.g Ex. then turn back to page 51 0 Ex. r pr ~ II SUMMARY: Make a special effort to always read a bar ahead. Take four seconds to learn Example 132 while you're playing Example 131 in tempo. then turn back to page 51 I if . I Ex.. Include this step in the sight reading process from now on.-. 126 Step 129.

A and F ledger lines below the staff).. This situation can be remedied by concentrating on ledger lines alone. Ex. B. Learn.Chapter Seven: READING LEDGER LINES Reading ledger lines is a basic hang-up for everyone. o o §" Step 138. one's attention and practice time Learn the black notes in Example 135 (the C. then play Example 137 very slowly in tempo.. Step 137.. G and E ledger spaces below the staff). 136 Ex. ~ - II 0 Step 139.. then play Example 136 very slowly in tempo. Step 136. Make special note of the accidentals. By comparison. o . 135 ~ -z:r . learn the blank notes in Example 135 (the D. Learn.

o SUMMARY: In sight reading practice. make special note of ledger line sections. Ex 139 to t r rrf r Fit = E t t f: t t:f I 11ftfftft IftftffffltftFftEt. then play Example 139 very slowly in tempo. By comparison. then play Example 140 very slowly in tempo. Step 143. Learn. B. Make special note of the accidentals. o o + + - +- - II o Step 142. Step 141. .Step 140. learn the blank notes in Example 138 (the G. C and E ledger lines above the staff). D and F ledger spaces above the staff). Learn. Learn the black notes in Example 138 (the A. Include this step in the sight reading process from now on. ~3 ~.

J41 (J =92) . Step [54. . Take your time working through this piece and apply all the principles of this book. . . . o Ex. . if you don't have time to get the whole chord. . Learn. then play Example [41 slowly in tempo. .Example J41 is a chord melody solo difficult for anyone to read. it's a good idea to read from the top note down. Then. . In sight reading chords. the melody note will still sound.

o Ex. Learn. . the melody note will still sound. . . . . it's a good idea to read from the top note down. . Then. then play Example [41 slowly in tempo. if you don't have time to get the whole chord. Take your time working through this piece and apply all the principles of this book. Step [54. J41 (J =92) . . . In sight reading chords.Example J41 is a chord melody solo difficult for anyone to read.

.. p: ~: ~ .i~ 12 '1 1· ..l ~!~:!~Pif! I If i If ~ ~ ~* . ~-:!: -l.t ~~~ " ..Ii . If ~~~ .

Staccato • Legato s-r-c . 5. Soft w/Fingers. Slow Trernlo.S. Written Out Chord Voicings. Remember: If you don't have time to figure out the complete chord. Etc. Now play the hardest looking thing first. D. = B. Once you have seen a rhythm pattern of four 8th notes in a row. Fuzz. tone sequences.Cha pter Nine: REVIEW (The business of playing a new piece of music on the spot. Dynamics: ppp fff. C. 2. since these are sonorally predominant. Accent > . Longtone etc. 9. 4.) A. Muffled. concentrate on playing the top notes first. 8. Waa-Waa. scan the page for: 1. From the above procedures decide on the basic fingerings or areas of the fingerboard you will use to play the piece. Key Changes Time Changes D. Extremely High or Low Ledger Line Sections Complicated looking Rhythms Remember: The most complicated looking 16th note figures can be more easily understood if broken down into 8th note equivalents. Certain rhythms. Etc. BEFORE playing any part of the new piece. Special Effects. 7.C. you've seen them all. D. Remember: This may involve a lifemanship game in which you don't let the other guys know you're practicing the part. CODA. You must always be conscious of every note you play. Repeats. Large Interval Skips. . chord voicings tend to become standardized. 3. Echo. w/Highs. 6. Improving Sight Reading is: Learning to learn faster and faster through memory. This applies to scales as well..

re. play the arrangement or composition like a real song. Learn to recover quickly and come in strong on the next entrance. me. Step 155.E. I do mean to visualize the fingerings. 0 . make your eye read one bar a11ead. la. G. H. I to 3 minutes (that is if you get yours first). very slowly and build up the tempo very. then play Example 142 on the following pages. The objective is to shorten the learning curve. deduce how the passage will sound. do. it is not uncommon to learn the music in the time it takes the copyist to pass out the parts. it is better to miss one bar than to miss one hundred. sol. Physically. as though played by ear. the string numbers and picking. ti. or be able to sing the part without playing it first. Make a SPECIAL EFFORT to do this. In recording or other professional areas of playing. Always force yourself to run down new material very. Learn to hear what you see. Learn. . DO NOT break tempo or metre when you miss a note. and from this. F. I don't necessarily mean. fa. After these conscious analysis' have been made. very gradually. When actually performing the piece for the first time. do. but. Remember: The above pointers are on how to behave under pressure. Remember: When the stick comes down. and not a plastic fabrication.

"'I 2'.UIJ (WJiliAJSJ.------. 142 .' It/IN (J. mf) - ..(- I_ ~nA) Ex.'~..

·14 Gm'l Am'" " 1Pc r r (1). t) PI .5. AL..

sharply to nothing. . SPEAK and PERFORM the MUSICAL LANGUAGE. When your practice time is up. Practice at home should be carried out with the same regimen as in the sight reading process.REVIEW. A metronome can be invaluable in maintaining this discipline. violin. It is important to use the time-clock in the same way. Set a definite limit on your practice time. fatigue will set in and your learning ability will drop off. Fingerings and String Numbers. For the complete musician it is important to READ. some classical guitar literature is suitable to both pick and finger style. Use a clock for this purpose. WRITE. Take tunes you can already play by ear and write them down in simple lead sheet form: Melody. More contemporary material is also becoming available. For chord reading. Always stop before you run out of gas.). Chord Symbols. A short period of 15 or 20 minutes is preferable to long stretches. Writing music by ear (away from the guitar) is another way to concentrate the disciplines of sight reading. etc. This will happen at a subconscious level and the learning experience will be unpleasant and unfruitful. Sight reading is not only a valuable tool to the professional player. stop and do not continue. etc. It is beyond the scope of this book to provide the pounds of music necessary for sight reading practice. If you practice too long. past and present. Some of the best material for this purpose can be found in available classical literature such as studies and pieces written for other instruments (clarinet. but also to anyone who wants to improve his musicianship in general in that access to the work of some real musical genius. becomes available via written music.

stressing a tone. fff sfz "> ESPR FERMATA HARM LEGATO MENO MOSSO PIU MOSSO POCO ACCEL. . String indications. ff . soft. very loud. loud. a steady rate of speed. means to uplift the fingers of the left hand while the note is sounding like a violin to produce a pleasing variation in pitch. no break hetween tone. without measure. number circled. a steady rate of speed faster than the preceding phrase. degrees of power or volumne. moderately soft. gradually louder. loudly as possible. fortissimo fortissisimo sforzando accent very softly. DYNAMICS in time.GLOSSARY OF MUSICAL ABBREVIATIONS AND SYMBOLS USED IN THE TEXT MUSICAL NOTATIONS A TEMPO CRESC DIM . slower than the preceding phrase. in similar fashion. hold a little. Left hand fingering indications. decrease speed slightly. a term indicating a return to the original rate of movement after some deviation. SIMILE. faster little by little. to hold indicating a tone or chord to be held or prolonged. trill. expressive. VIB UNOCHORDO TR SYMBOLS Slide up or down with the same finger. POCO MOSSO POCO RlT . a little retard. suddenly loud. RALL RUBATO SENZA MISURE . number not circled. a rapid alteration of two adjacent notes. a steady rate of speed. Up pick. slower than the preceding phrase. Dynamic signs commonly used are as follows: ppp pp p mp mf f softly as possible. gradually softer. pianissimo piano mezzo piano mezzo forte forte. Down pick. not in strict time. TEN . harmonics. two notes played legato (even as one chord). moderately loud.

. soft attack.--. Fast four tempo. R. which is slide. H. Grace note (Flag with line through it). Slur. Right hand. hold full value.>: Gliss. Bending at note (see notation symbols for blues ornamentation).-_[. hold half of value. use same finger (or chord) . false image. Roman numerals. Gliss up. EXPRESSION MARKINGS sudden accept full value.. the shake. fleshy part of first joint of the left hand thumb used to stop assigned notes. R.E _l__ . unlimited duration of time. an accented. H. Left hand.lIt Five basic fingerings. Pull off slur mark more than one note ascending.H... - _1_ _H_ V fl:! y __ - Reverse bending of note (see notation symbols for blues ornamentation). Fingers of right hand slap the fingerboard at the 16th fret. .Q _C__ T + L.. L. ghost note. infinity sumbol.. accent note. Slap. Slow four tempo. Gliss down. / ~~AIC. .H. played as half value. short staccato. short staccato attack. Hammer on.. -.

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