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Reading Music For Guitar - The Open Position

Robert Mussatti 91 lessons

We are now going to start getting into actually reading music on the guitar, so grab your axe, cause it's time to blast off into the world of melodic reading!

The easiest way that I can see of starting your journey is with the open position and more specifically, learning the open strings first, because that way, you don't have to worry about frets, or keys or sharps and flats right away. For those wondering, a position on the guitar is the span of four frets across the guitar, so when I say open position, I am taking about the open strings, or the 0 fret, to the 3rd fret.

A few things to keep in mind when reading music is to first, look through the piece and see if you can notice any similarities, such as repeating notes, repeating rhythms, sequences, anything that will make it easier for you. Also, make sure that your eyes are always on the music and never on your guitar, because that will cause you to fumble and loose your place on the page.

So the first notes we are going to learn are going to be the open G, B and high E notes:

Once you have them memorized, play through this exercise, which uses some of the rhythms you had previously learned, and if you've been going through them, this should be no problem at all. But make sure that you go through this slowly, trying not to repeat yourself. If you make a mistake or get stuck, work on that part a bit, and then go back to the beginning and start over:

Now we are going to learn the lower 3 strings, which are the low E, A and D strings:

Once you have those memorized, play this exercise below. As before, try not to repeat any lines. if you get stuck, work on that part a bit, and then go back to the beginning:

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