Here is my second assignment, it is a real eye opener. It cleared a lot of issues concerning the means and madness of how to read the notes. In fact, I found a mistake in the tab on one of the Hendrix songs I was looking at. Don’t get the idea I’m very good at reading music, I just noticed it by mistake. Sight reading is a lot more accurate than tabs. It’s not the sort of stuff you will find in the online guitar lessons reviewed and recommended on this site. It is not necessary for most people interested in learn at home guitar lessons.

Chapter two reveals some information which is key to my understanding of  clefs and the note arrangements concerning the staff. Called the Treble staff. It is what I remember as a classical guitar student in the ’60’s. Only remembering the limited amount of notes I was reading. Aaron Shearer was not being paid to teach me theory. I realize now that I remembered what notes determined what frets to push on, but I had no idea why.

I lost interest in reading music and changed my style of play in 1967. I took some lessons again 6 years ago and have learned mostly by ear and crummy tabs from then. I’m familiar with the looks of a treble staff,  understanding the clef/s and relation to the staff is one of the keys for me. Without an understanding of these symbols, no sense can be made out of the notation. Another staff called the Grand Staff exists, using both the G clef and Bass clef combined.

The G clef always starts on the note G, which always starts on the second ledger line of the staff [from the bottom].  Once I discovered this, I realized what a G clef indicated and how to read said music. There are other clefs, each one looks different and represents a different pitch and starting point.

The bass clef identifies the F note, to be on the 4th ledger line [from the bottom] as the starting point. Whereas the G clef indicates the second line from the bottom as the starting point for G. There are 4 different C clefs. Each one is identified by a different name and ledger line to start on. Although the note is always C and the symbol is the same.

The Soprano Clef is the note C. It always starts on the 1st ledger line of the staff. The ledger line runs through the center of the C clef symbol.

The Mezzo Soprano C clef always starts on the 2nd line of the staff. Indicating that is where the C note is placed.

The Alto C clef starts on the 3rd line of the staff, and the Tenor C clef starts on the 4th line of the staff.

We call the starting points the primary harmonic. The lowest note.

It’s absolutely necessary to know and recall each clef and how it is used to play music with other people, especially different instruments. In an orchestra, every musician must understand every clef and read it instinctually even if they are not playing said section, in order to stay in time with the group. Even if the music you play is in a different clef, one has to know them all for a group or symphony to be successful.

Learning how to read added ledger lines, which indicate higher or lower notes than can be put on the standard 5 line treble staff is a logical method of putting extended  notes into writing. By adding the Octava sign, it makes the excessive use of ledger lines not necessary.

Accidentals are another method of showing a change in the tone of a note. By adding the correct incidental, the note is read accordingly. We differentiate in writing the differences between the diatonic half steps and chromatic half steps with: flats, lowering the basic note one half pitch: double flats lowering the same note 2 half pitches: sharps, raising the basic note one half pitch, double sharps, raising the same note 2 half pitches, and the natural symbol.

The natural symbol indicates that an accidental is canceled in that bar only. A critical aspect to the understanding of how to read and use accidentals is that notes come in patterns that are called bars. If an accidental is put next to a note in the beginning of a bar, then that note in that particular bar uses said accidental unless a natural symbol is put next to the note to cancel it later in that bar.

I hope this is of interest. Don’t worry though, learning to play guitar at home is is the perfect environment for those who can make a schedule and keep it. People who don’t need to be monitored. Responsible folks who will practice their lesson everyday. Or parents who know how to motivate their kids. Guitar lessons for beginners is all about fun and enjoying learning how to play the guitar.

Reference: Internet Online Class Assignment 1: Click Here

3 Responses to Online Guitar Lessons Chapter Two Exposes Big Secret

  1. Fascinating Danny, Thanks for the lesson. It is so cool that you are back in school for music theory.

  2. Hey we’re both guitar students from the 60’s, and we are both still playing…very cool. I enjoyed your article about the clefs, and it sounds like you enjoy online guitar lessons too? I have found that I was able to take the mystery out of finding the right instructor by watching their free videos. I believe that you learn how to play guitar much quicker than ever before with online guitar lessons.

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