Reading Music

26. Learn the names of the notes on the odd frets. For example, starting from the sixth string and going to the first string, the notes at the first fret are F, B-flat, E-flat, A-flat, C and F. If I am somewhere where I can’t play the guitar (waiting room at the dentist), I will often practice that in my head. Learn the notes on the odd frets. That way you can figure out the even numbered frets pretty easily. For example, if you have a note on the 6th fret, first string and you know that the 7th fret is a B; one fret away will be a B-flat.

27. Pick a note and learn where that note is on every string up to the twelfth fret. For example, the note E can be found on the first string as an open string and the twelfth fret. On the second string it is at the fifth fret. The third string it is at the ninth fret. The fourth string it is at the second fret, the fifth string it is at the seventh fret and at the sixth string it is the open string and twelfth fret.

28. Practice sight-reading. For the longest time I had a problem reading bass clef on the piano. When I was working on my doctorate a teacher of mine suggested I play through all of the cello suites by J.S. Bach with my left hand. I did that and guess what? I can read bass clef on the piano. Start slowly. Get a book of popular melodies and read through melody or bass line.