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




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



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


.... 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

For example. even slightly. and expect you to make mistakes. focus their attention on you. the people you are working with will pick this up. practicing the part with your amplifier on. would be a lifemanship no-no. 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. 10 . Don't worry about being a phoney. even when the music is easily within your capability. The selfconsciousness that results from this can cause you to make those mistakes. This business of confidence is something that all performers must always deal with and is a legitimate part of the art.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 greatest sight readers in the word must constantly guard against the mental blocks that can actually destroy their performance. Use every device at your disposal to maintain an attitude of self-confidence at all times.

I ~ . Take 30 sec. Close the book. play Bars 11 and 12.Step 13. Step 22. Now. Take 30 seconds. Step 27. Learn Bars 3 and 4 of Example 7 in the same manner.J 11'\ . play Bars 7 and 8. Play the last two notes of Bar 8 and first two of Bar 9. Step 20. Close the book.) IJ 4 ~ J . Play the last two notes of Bar 4 and the first two notes of Bar 5 without stopping. Take 30 seconds. Step 26. Ex. Step 17. Example 7 (near the bottom of the page) combines the same notes used in Examples 1 to 6 (previous page) in a new sequence. Step 16. 0 0 0 0 0 0 [J Step 18. 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 !* 5 Q r[ ~ EI 2 ~ r r ~ 3 I ~ . Step 15. in the same manner. Step 30. Now. everything in Bars 1 and 2 of Example 7. 0 0 0 0 Step 14. to learn Bars 7 and 8. Learn. to learn Bars 11 and 12. to discover the newness of the sequence. Close the book. Step 25. Without looking. Play the first eight Bars. Close the book and play. close your eyes. close your eyes! And play Bars 3 and 4. Step 23. Without looking. Step 28. to learn Bars 9 and 10. play Bars 9 and 10. Play the last two notes of Bar 6 and the first two of Bar 7. Play the last two notes of Bar 10 and first two of Bar 11. Step 29. Take 30 sec. Step 24. Take 30 sec. close your eyes! And play Bars 1 and 2 of Example 7. Step 19.1 . Step 31. play the last two notes of Bar 2 and the first two notes of Bar 3 without stopping. to learn Bars 5 and 6. Take 30 sec. Take 20 sec. Play Bars 5 and 6. Without looking. Step 21. play the whole piece. as before.

Use the method contained in this book on at least one new piece of 12 . Visualize yourself Playing each note as you write it. o I ~ ~ J J IJ ~ jI i ~ ~ rr I . However. 9 II Summary Chapter 1: General Rule .play in your mind! The analysis process used in this chapter is the same once used subconsciously by all good sight readers. Ex. 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. The only difference between you and them is that they do it faster. Separate in your mind that which is actually hard to read from that which is really only hard to physically play. there is no substitute written material each day. Know the name of the note and which string and finger will be used.J -J J JI Step 34. 0 Ex.Step 33. for practice in sight reading. 8 Play Example 8. Write your own example using the same notes as Examples 1 through 8 in a new sequence. Accept as an axiom that speed in sight reading comes from fast mental recognition. comprehension and memory.

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

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

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

... I .. r .. .... IIrIL 'Do "11 o L. -.1 • • I ..... Learn.being able to play on one string only.~ IU" II I• I" .IL" J ''II 11 ru ..r. .. " . : '" .. [II. Learn........ Step 44. r II " "'\ ell L T 1 I' I • I • •• •• Step 45. Gel accustomed.1L " .... 23 ~ . .. Learn... n rv I L "'" --. then play Example 23 very slowly in tempo.".. For each session.... L L I IT. "'""+ . pick one key signature only.rTl -. review often.. then play Example 25 very slowly in tempo.o~ II I .. ""If ...... I "UR " •• •• Ex. 1- .1 ' '''II .. . IJ...: II " .. then play Example 22 very slowly in tempo.rr fl Jll'LII' "(I WIJt I"U'" r.... EX221~'f-.~. i 1. . l.1 I..~ 1 I -.. -..r Il • I- ft I• I J.. • l' IIr i.- " :t~~+ • •I iI •• I ·I •• •• •• •• o I....~ J •.. I I. practice all exercises slowly. Try different fingerings...I~ .. Pick one key signature per practice session.. I Ii I . Learn.1 IJI.. o Step 46._.~ -:.--. even one finger at a time. r' I • I + ~~:t ~II :=:~ • :~:~:I-:I- :t.:_ .. lL I . . eventually without looking at the guitar fingerboard.•..t ~ I ... . ."" . Consequently... 1/1 ~ I\..5.. l..~ ._. The following exercises are to be played only on the I st string. . "'II 11 ".~. t..I ...:~:::I..... I... •• . Step 43..r: -"'. o 16 . ~~.~'I-. then play Example 24 very slowly in tempo. 'ID .c..


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

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


I T It ttl r t rl r rrl r r11 r rr I r (f-I r Q I~ ~ II ~ Step 55...i \I 1.. -.± .Linear Sight Reading . then play Example 32 in tempo. . • 1 . Learn..." ~ I • ~ I I - I I I I I .~ ..L ' .11' """'"-I " IU 11'1' I. " 'I' ut' II l III'I'!! I. Lit: fLIl.....I ... .. .. I I I I I.. -" ' 11 . then play Example 35 slowly in tempo..wl "0 '"'II I ......... [ r I'r r· r ~r I Q II ... .. Learn.. -.... IN 111'11' I"~ 1"-11' "' II'ft iN . 1. '. I I .. 0 _L I " ..In • ~ ~-----:.~ _L ~ .. in tempo. 33 ~ . then play Example 33 in tempo.. .. .-~ .. One key signature per session.... ~ • .. then play Example 34 slowly.r y IJ. Step 53. I. :.. Learn.01 .6.3rd STRING ONLY One point must be emphasized .. L L . I'!! III' I... 1.• .11.. "'I: i JI......the importance of following the sight reading process exactly. .. Pick one signature per practice session.---:: ---== I I I I I . II' II II l ... .. l- "'11 . i i I i i I I I I • 1 _L ~ - I I I I r~ It Ii II II Step 54.. ...+..1 .) '\ Ex... ""'""" Step 56.. 11 11 I. '1 II I' ~ iJ ~ -"""" 1 I . mentally..It 11 lJ.. • ~I I" . You must learn. I) l 1\ I . "1' fJ I .L....... The following exercises are to be played on the 3rd string only.L .. II'_ft_ r t. everything in the exercise before you attempt to play it. Learn. ~ -"""' ' ~ I I I I I I I I I I I I I I .. I . ... " ..

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


. Ir -4··~II--+I"'_-""1&t+... -• • •• ~ • I _ .... I I I • • ..'1 I. • . . -• T T I l I I • .. then play Example 39 slowly in tempo..I • • •• • •1 v . . U.... Pick one signature.IA I .I . o I n. 40 Learn. •I • '11 . . I' "I . When combinations of strings are used in the exercises. 'II I'" I PI I' I • r..: Ij... -. I " - I . L rJ I' l• .. 1ft" .. it reappears. Ex. ..... I'll .. i7 " • I'" LL .. ~ • t.. n r.......I I I...-1M IIr 11' .....IiR I rU II' IR " I'U .. o r ~r Ir.. -. Learn. o II Step 62............. 38 . then play Example 41 slowly in tempo. ... Learn.. The following exercises are to be played on the 4th string only...t • .. J1III "U.-.I 1"I. . II Ilf I..... • .. D .u i.....I .. III' I \ow .:.II" ~~ tJ '" rl' I. • - •..1 . Remember the key signature... '. Step 59. then play Example 40 slowly in tempo..... .. -- . r 2r 24 J II ... IJll. I T I ..&.4ilJ---UolJi. •• •• •• •• Step 60.4th 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.. ..41 Learn... • .llJ • • . then play Example 38 very slowly in tempo..... ~ Step 61... .II Ex.. Ex."til ru-~ l' .. "II . ! flu I.. [i" j I. 39 ~ I- " 411 .. _."LV 11'11 VU lit V Ex.. .-""I. "l' IJI... r ..&. o • . l II I .. II II .!.

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


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

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


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

In Example 56 is a measure of 4 quarter notes. 56 Ex... & . 63 SIXTEENTH RESTS ~ 1 DA DA DA DA Example 64 has a complicated looking rhythm figure one measure long.___. Analyze Examples 60 and 61 .J = 1 DA J iJ J J 2 1 DA DA Ex.. If you play all four but only count 2. Analyze and relate it to Example 65 and 66. J J . 58 ) = 60 CUT TIME (OR) Ex. il J DAH DA DAH 2 . 62 DA I~ J J J J DA 1 DA DA 2 II DA !!T! Step 77.3 & DAH 4 DA DAH DA lDA I J5 1 DA MM DA DA i MM J5 . 66 @3..57 Ex. 64 J = 60 IIJ DA JJ .h '1 II & 4 DA DA & MM Ex.. DA DA J J J J I~.J = 60 JJJJ 4 3 COUNT riA 2 DA DA ) = 60 II DA <OJq Ex. !3 Ex. . II 4 MM DA DA MM MM DAH Ex.J ~ 1 3.Chapter Four: MORE RHYTHM First point: Counting complex rhythms is a lost cause using the 'one and two and' method alone. II MM DAH . 65 l' J ~ )) 2 DAH 1 & }J &. The sound of the rhythm is what matters and whether or not you can recognize the figure at sight.61 II $ . J rJ DAH DA DAH J'--" J J I J IJ I JJ DA MM DA DA #JJ DA DA . 59 f= 60 MNT{ J DA DA ~ J DA (OR) Ex. !f . 0 . fll I~' 60 EIGHTH RESTS Ex. 60 . " .. 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). Ex. Ji J J 3 DA DA MM DA DA .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

INTERVALS I Ie~f r r r fI _ oJ J 3 J .J J J I J JjJ . The learning process in this chapter is expanded to include not only rhythm and notes but also note configurations.. IlJ J:l . Learn. The three main configurations are scales. Pick out all interval skip. Make special note of the visual difference between scale. the left hand finds a safe fingering niche from which to operate.. Step 86. 0 §i r r Err r r r I E ( lr iJ J. 1 in the open position. Step 83. The following examples use fingering pattern No. The little or first fingers may dart out of position for a short time.1J3 I lJJJl II o Step 85. then play Example J 08 slowly in tempo. arpeggios and interval skips. arpeggio and interval skp passages. but always return to the pattern. 0 Step 84. Learn Example 107.0 J J I J J J] J1J J I Ex. 108 r fr . r liJ3] n J J I . Play Example 107 slowly in tempo. arpeggio and scale passages in Example 108 in that order. 107 SCALES . The point here is to lead larger and larger groupings of notes. 3)..In lateral or position reading as opposed to linear reading (Ch.. o Ex.

arpeggio and interval skip passages...· .. o o ••• • • -. Step 87. arpeggio and scale passages in Example J 10 in that order.... Pick out all interval skip. .1 Step 89._ . o o I IE c r tErri r rrr£jJ~ lEEr: Jj '] I if . The following examples use scale pattern No.......=. I:: . -~:• .... Step 88. . Learn. Feel free to change them. . Learn Example 109.Don't get hung up with the fingerings.1 ._ •..: 1 ... II -. Step 90.2.. then play Example 110 slowly in tempo.... Make special note of the visual difference between scale... What's important is that you know where the scale tones are within the range of each pattern of any position..." • ...~ .~ "'151-..... _-8- 'I 'I .• ••• • I j .----. Play Example 109 slowly in tempo.. :.

The scale patterns used here are arbitrarily numbered 1-5.3. - " ... .. arpeggio and interval skip passages. Play Example 111 slowly in tempo. r· . c c Ex. The following examples use scale pattern No....... o o A I I .. Step 91.. III SCALES_ §4JJJJ19JO I JJIJ"JJJJ I JJJJ nJ...... Step 92. Pick out all interval skip. arpeggio and scale passages in Example 112 in that order. I I I I -L • I A P'" _ - ~ . Learn. I .~.. . . I ~ I I ~ A P'" • I _ P'" ... Learn Example] ] I. then play Example 112 slowly in tempo.. .... Step 94. .. Make special note of the visual difference between scale. _ I(err Crrr I rrrrrrrrtjTrrrttfFlfrer iJ~~~1 Step 93. I JJJJ ARPEGGIOS CHJ.1_ • I - . feel free to use designations most meaningful to you. . Since the learning process is unique to each individual.. .

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

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

Go back and play Examples 107 and 108 up an octave by mental transposition. arpeggio and scale passages in Example 118 in that order. o o . Step 107. " o o A sight reading refinement is learning to play an octave higher or lower than written.6. Step 106. arpeggio and interval skip passages.Pattern No. Step 104. Learn Example 117.6 is the same as pattern No. Learn. then play Example 118 slowly in tempo. The same principle applies to any of the five patterns when the key positions them sufficiently low on the fingerboard. Make special note of the visual difference between scale. Step 103. Play Example 117 slowly in tempo. 0 0 Step IDS. Step 108. The following examples use scale pattern No. Pick out all interval skip. Play Examples 117 and 118 down an octave by mental transposition. Iup an octave.

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

last half of bar two)... ~ G o _______________________________ Eb __ Step 118. .. _.. I IT Dm7 G13 • .. 1.1 J J~ f ric " J Dbmaj7 Ebm9 L L I • _r I _ .. .~ PI-_ -_. then play Example 123. Step 117. 1·.. Learn. then play Example 124._ . _II. 123 lirPr~*e.. _I . II I "I' __ .. then play Example 122. Learn.. . JI~_ ... '1_ I" " .. o o Abmaj7 Ex..§rfl'r Dmaj7 I BI3b9 Emaj7 Emaj A7 rr Ab9 r ririe.. therefore... I.. Step 119.. Find the key cen ters in Example 123.. o o Step 122. I IU..."_ I" ... • . 0 . 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. The last three bars return to the key of G.._ .It is helpfuJ for hand positioning.1 ~I"".. In Example 122 the first two and one half bars use a scale pattern for the key of G.. This is not to say that you should shift to a new position every time an accidental foreign to the key appears (i. to know the key you're in for a particular passage..e. Learn. Step 121... Find the key centers in Example 124. I • II Step 120.. .. I I I M_ " ...... The next bar and a half use an Eb scale pattern..

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

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

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

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

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

. Learn. . the melody note will still sound. . In sight reading chords. Step [54. Then. . . 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. then play Example [41 slowly in tempo. it's a good idea to read from the top note down.Example J41 is a chord melody solo difficult for anyone to read. o Ex. . . J41 (J =92) . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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