guide to reading music

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Saile, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    IMO, what you learned in elementary school really isn't enough ... as such was primarily for voice, that if male, was prior to puberty. It also applys to instruments manufactured in the key of C. Mostly, trumpets that are used in public schools are manufactured in the key of Bb, thus the sound you should produce on a Bb trumpet from the same music as voice or piano (a C instrument) should be changed up one step or full tone with two sharps added to the key signature.

    Many of the computer programs I am told will do this change for you when you select the Bb trumpet from its menu.

    Now yes, the notes are the same sound.

    I do like to start with what a pianist calls a middle C as would sit on a ledger line between the Treble clef (G clef) and the bass clef (F clef), but visible only if it is there. Then alternating line and space ascend the the alphabet D in the space below the Treble clef, E on the lowest line of the Treble clef, F in the first space and G on the second line, then alternating start over with A in the second space followed by B on the middle line, C in the third space, D on the fourth line, E in the fourth space, and F on the top line continuing to alternate ascending above the treble clef. What you will then see is that ascending there are only 7 notes A thru G ... easier than the full alphabet.

    Back to that "invisible" middle C, you could decend into the bass clef alternating again B,A,G,F,E,D,C,B,A, such descent reversing the ascent, and again on ledger lines (too invisble unless there are notes there) below the bass clef.

    It's another lesson to introduce you to sharps and flats and to a natural symbol.

    In copy of music you have to a computer program, it is just that "copy". If a note is a whole note, half note, quarter note, eighth note, sixteenth note or a 32nds note, such is what you must copy and on the same space or line. Look also for notes which have a dot following them (as add the time of half the value of the note before the dot to that note).

    Have fun and enjoy ... learning isn't instant ... I'm still learning, and have been playing brass horns since the 5th grade, age 11 which was in 1947.
     
  2. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    When you're older and you've gotten by for years without reading music (guitar, drums, singing) .... it's a bit of a shock to the system to have to learn it now.:roll: Where was I in grade school when this was being taught??? (playing sports ... lot of good that does me now).

    Thanks for that first paragraph, Vulgano B! That's what it takes! I'm doing that and it is helping .... I particularly like the esoteric nature of it. Is this part of Zen Bulgano Philosophy? It's working.

    Turtle
     
  3. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    For anyone who's a little older and feeling bad about the struggle to learn to read music ....

    My teacher is sympathetic and pushes me to work harder at it. He's a kind hearted dude, though, and told me that I might be surprised at what famous musicians COULD NOT read music.

    Paul McCartney

    :-?

    Turtle
     
  4. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    I seriously doubt that Sir Paul McCartney could not read music. He composed many songs for The Beatles. If my music teacher told me that, I'd tell him/her to prove it or else I'm finding another teacher. Certainly there is a period in our lives where all of us could not, and although many have played / sung by ear, there are among this latter who have now learned to read music.

    For me, I can't remember when it was a problem to read notes and when I started to play instruments, and quickly thereafter, although I found it very tedious, I could hand transpose piano music (Instrument Key of C) for my Bb trumpets and for my oldest brother's Eb mellophone, and subsequently for the F French horn I played one year. No problem with sharps, flats and naturals either, as I could visualize the black piano keys on my Mom's piano. What still bothers me, for example, is quarter note beat, and the others proportionally, may have different duration from song to song though such is not reflected in the staff signature, but in tempo which is widely variable and often stated in Italian, French, German or language other than American, all of which I never learned. In college I had two professors, rather one and the second just an adjunct professor. One would direct us to play Adagio at 120 and the other at 100. I gave up on anybody waving sticks for or at me and now play at whatever tempo sounds RIGHT TO ME, or emulates closely to that which I've listened to. Yep, when you've heard a song more than 100 times, I do believe you could play it at the exact same tempo as the U.S. Marine Corp "Presidents Own" as I have. Yep, they play it at least once a year, so that accounts for 75 times this year, so my HS band director had us play it at least 24 times and I played it once all by myself.
     
  5. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    Are you kidding? It's pop music.

    Another musician that I believe I read about in here, who couldn't read music, was a jazz piano player ... can't think of his name. I don't see how you could get very far in jazz w/o reading music, but pop? You don't really need it. Chords are enough. It isn't necessary to know anything beyond the chords and a general idea of song structures to write the sort of stuff the beatles were writing. You need a lot of talent to write memorable songs ..... somebody else ends up writing it down if it gets into a songbook. That's not to say everybody in the pop world can't read music .... but more don't than you might imagine.

    Another famous musician who couldn't read music: Bach.

    Turtle

    Just kidding. I'm just checking to see who's really paying attention.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  6. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

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    Errol Garner (piano) didn't read music.
    Scott Hamiliton (sax) doesn't.

    But who can or can't is not the issue when YOU wish to learn.

    A great website you can use for some self-instruction is:
    Ricci Adams' Musictheory.net
     
  7. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    Right. Errol Garner. Thanks veery. And what a player he was! One of my favs, very tasteful piano player, especially with ballads. Shows it's possible ... never said it was recommended. Btw, whether it's true or not, or to what degree it might be true (Paul not reading music), it doesn't diminish my love and respect for the man one iota. He's my favorite writer among the Beatles, and one of my favorite musicians, overall. Another favorite is Stevie Wonder. :-?

    Turtle
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  8. Aussie Matt

    Aussie Matt Pianissimo User

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    Hi Saile,
    You stated this:
    "I know very basic like the C and the G. Once it gets between the lines, i have to look into it and use the thing i learnt as a child at school."
    Do you have a trumpet fingering chart? Most beginner books have them somewhere but you indicated that you're not using a book yet.

    Perhaps you could download a fingering chart (here's one: Trumpet Fingering Chart High Resolution Sheet Music Free Trumpet Finger Fingering Chart Trumpet) as that will show you what valves to press and also what the note is and where it is found on the staff. They're written chromatically (one after another) too.

    Some beginner books like Learn as You Play Trumpet or Cornet (Boosey & Hawkes I think) get you going pretty well with reading the notes and it has a fingering chart in the back.

    Sorry if this is way too basic but I got the feeling that that is what you were after.

    Enjoy.
     

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