Reading Music

  1. irishman
    Hey guys,
    I just met up with a new Mandolin player her in charlotte, Don Tison. Heck of a nice guy! Played for a long time in the Baltimore orchestra. I think he has a lot to offer to teach me, but he primarily plays from sheet music.

    I play entirely by ear.

    So if I want to learn from him (which I do). I have to teach myself to read music.

    I dont think it will be that tough, just practice. Hopefully i can pick it up within 8-12 weeks are so.

    I was hoping there would be some online guides, like flash cards that not only showed you the note and the note name, but also PLAYED the note, so you could go through and use the flash card while playing and associate the tone and the music.

    Any help/guides/thoughts out there about learning to read music on the Mandolin?


  2. timv
    Flip answer: Start learning before the age of 12. :-)

    As a matter of fact, my early guitar teachers had me learning to play from notation, and most of what little ability I have comes from that young exposure. I've tried to get improve my reading at various times since with some occasional success but it's gotten much harder. Being able to play pretty well by ear, it's tough to make myself depend on the written page when I've played a piece through a couple of times and have it in my head.

    It's really impressive to me what players who really sight-read can do, playing a piece at full speed the first time they look at it. I guess that comes from years and years of doing it, playing in orchestras or whatever, and I don't expect to ever get there myself. But I'm pretty sure that you could get to reasonable competence in a couple of months with steady work at it, as you say.

    I don't know of any online guides or software, but making flashcards yourself might be a good exercise. Just about any introductory music book for any instrument in any used bookstore will start out by telling you all you need to know about the notes and lines. It's not all that hard to remember "Every Good Boy Does Fine." From there I think it's mostly about playing off the page a lot and getting practice at making those associations more quickly and easily.

    You could do a lot worse than to get a copy of The Fiddler's Fakebook and spend some quality time playing out of it. An advantage there is that you'll probably know some of the songs in it and not others, so you could practice unfamiliar tunes but check yourself on the familiar ones.

    Sorry to not have better suggestions... Good luck with it!
  3. pickloser
Results 1 to 3 of 3