Do I have to learn how to read music?
The easiest way to learn guitar does not have to be with learning notes at first, especially if you are past your teens and entering your twenties or thirties. You can start with a system called TABS (more on that later) and start learning a few pieces and chords to be more familiar with the guitar.
Do you remember the music lessons in school, and how all the teachers succeeded to make us hate the musical notes? Thus, when we hear the word sheet music, we always think of the music teacher at school and all the drama!
There are many ways in which we can learn guitar, the cruelest one is that in the student’s first lesson I teach him music theory and how to read musical notes. Most of the music teachers are graduates of music institutes and colleges, and this is the way they were taught.
I mean, they don’t know another way at all, and I don’t think they tried to learn another way. According to the saying (every vessel exudes what is in it), when the first lesson begins with you, you must learn how to read music, and this is the way to learn the guitar he knows, so he has an excuse.
In this article, we will be discussing the easiest way to learn guitar if you are a complete beginner.
So is there a way to learn without reading notes?
Naturally! But the truth must be said, the notes are the language of music. Any other musicians who play instruments like the piano, violin, cello, and others all read notes. In order to become a musician and play in the orchestra or play with other musicians, you must speak the same language they speak, which is the notes.
In addition to being the language of music, the notes open a lot of doors for you, like if you want to compose or arrange music, all require a good understanding of music theory and thus know how to read music.
As for the guitar, reading music is required if you want to play classical guitar or jazz because without learning the notes, you won’t know how to play them and honestly this requires a separate article.
Ok, you do not want anything from those and you only want to learn guitar, or you want to play acoustic guitar or sing along with the guitar or play rock or blues, and later on, I will learn how to read notes, does this work? The answer is YES.
Yes, the method is something called TABS. You will learn to play by numbers which are the frets on the guitar. This is the easiest way to learn guitar, and I can make you play simple things after just two lessons! Because it depends on you finding the fret number on the string and playing it.
So what is the difference between TABS and notes? Big difference. In the music notes, you see the symbol or the note, and depending on its shape and location, you know what is the pitch and the rhythm, and then you play it on the guitar. As for the TABS, you can locate the note directly on the guitar, the string number, and the fret number. You do not need to decode the note, as it tells you where to press on the guitar fretboard.
Example: This is a guitar music sheet. If you are not familiar with it, then you are seeing logarithms!
Ok, this is the same but TABS:
Can you see the numbers and lines? The guitar has 6 strings, and each string has 19 frets. The line above is the highest string, and the line at the bottom is the thickest. The number 0 means the string to be played open and we play it without putting our hands on any fret, and all numbers from 1 to 19 we put our hands on the fret number.
So, in the picture, the sixth (thick) string is played open 0, and then the number 1 means fret1, and so on.
In this way, you see the line and the number and play the required fret. Have you seen a way to learn guitar easier than this?!
But there is a catch!
It’s true, we know where to play, but there is something that we forgot, the rhythm! I mean, the time of the note is what?
Music is a melody and rhythm. The melody we knew, we will play here. Ok and rhythm? And don’t worry, there is a solution. It is the Musical note!
One second! Why the music notes are back, didn’t we get rid of it? Yes, we would prefer to learn by numbers, don’t worry, but we will add a rhythm to the number, meaning a form so that we know how to play this number or note.
In short, we will borrow the shape of the rhythms in the original musical notes and put these shapes above the numbers so that we can play them correctly and make the melody right.
The easiest way to learn guitar is a mix
All that is required of you is that you memorize 4 forms of rhythms, I don’t think that this is a difficult request in return for playing guitar.
These are the shapes that need to be memorized:
Each of them has a time, 4 counts (or beats), two counts, one count, and a half count. The first one – from the left – when we play a note, it will last for a long time, 4 counts to be exact. The second is two counts long, the third is one count long, and the fourth is half a count.
When we combine numbers with rhythm, we get the following form:
We are still learning with numbers, but the shape of the rhythm above it will let us play the number or the note for a known period of time (4, 2, 1, or half a beat). Thus, the melody will be more accurate because we’re playing the note at the correct time.
Learning guitar does not have to be difficult or boring. I always ask my student, why do you want to learn guitar? What exactly do you want to play? Classic, rock, or pop. No one said that all guitarists have to learn how to read notes from the start.
If you want to play classical guitar, then you have to start with the reading notes. If you find that after a few lessons, you start to wear out or not have the same enthusiasm as in the beginning, switch the method of learning guitar to TABS.
Tabs will make you play whole songs, not just simple things, no, there are full TABS for difficult and complex pieces as well. Just as the notes have levels and you need to practice, the TABS also has levels and you need to practice in order to know how to play them.
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