Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 26 to 37 of 37

Thread: Learning to read music for Mandolin

  1. #26
    Registered User grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    1,692

    Default Re: Learning to read music for Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by David L View Post
    Knowing the chords on the fretboard has very little to help you learn to read.
    That´s a bold statement without giving the shadow of an argument. Your statement is therefore negligable.

    Yet I feel inclined to elaborate my point yet again, and probably clearer.

    The OP stated he could read music. His problem was reading music and applying it to the mandolin. This means that he does not know which note (from the music he reads) to play where on the mandolin.

    Going from there the solution lies in knowing the notes on the mandolin fretboard. This means that you could learn "scales" etc. (Niles Hokkanen´s "Pentatonic Mandolin" gave me a running start on the mandolin; the book is truely remarkable). You could also learn your chords (not only your basic chords but also extentions etc.).

    If you know the notes that your chords are made out of and you know your chords on the fretboard, you know where the notes are, that you read on your lead sheet.

    I rest my case.
    Olaf

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to grassrootphilosopher For This Useful Post:


  3. #27
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    26,892

    Default Re: Learning to read music for Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by mandohobbyist View Post
    Hey all! I'm a lifetime piano player, and can read music quite well.
    Just chuck the TAB and do like a few above have recommended. You are much more than halfway there if you understand how standard notation works. I would bet that one quiet morning or afternoon of solid reading will get you further than most people. I can read pretty competently for mandolin or violin and still can read OK for piano (my first instrument) but guitar is a slower thing for me since I rarely do it. I would pick one and dive in and I am sure you will do fine and quickly.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  4. The following members say thank you to Jim Garber for this post:


  5. #28

    Default Re: Learning to read music for Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by grassrootphilosopher View Post
    That´s a bold statement without giving the shadow of an argument. Your statement is therefore negligable.

    Yet I feel inclined to elaborate my point yet again, and probably clearer.

    The OP stated he could read music. His problem was reading music and applying it to the mandolin. This means that he does not know which note (from the music he reads) to play where on the mandolin.

    Going from there the solution lies in knowing the notes on the mandolin fretboard. This means that you could learn "scales" etc. (Niles Hokkanen´s "Pentatonic Mandolin" gave me a running start on the mandolin; the book is truely remarkable). You could also learn your chords (not only your basic chords but also extentions etc.).

    If you know the notes that your chords are made out of and you know your chords on the fretboard, you know where the notes are, that you read on your lead sheet.

    I rest my case.
    Knowing where your chords are is an important skill to have, but it doesn't really help in reading. Knowing where your chords are and what notes are in the chord to figure out what the note on the page is seems like reverse engineering to me. OP already knows how to read, they just need to know where the notes are, not what notes are in what chords.

    You said that you are mostly illiterate about reading music. As a very literate (on many instruments) music reader and long time music teacher, I think my statement is not "negligible".

  6. #29

    Default Re: Learning to read music for Mandolin

    I started learning using jack tuttle’s mandolin primer, which has tab. Then after about 20 songs I flipped over to the fiddle primer which has similar arrangements for all the same songs, and just relearned the first 20. That got me started, and then the only way to get fast is just read and play a lot of fiddle tunes.

  7. #30
    Registered User grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    1,692

    Default Re: Learning to read music for Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by David L View Post
    Knowing where your chords are is an important skill to have, but it doesn't really help in reading. Knowing where your chords are and what notes are in the chord to figure out what the note on the page is seems like reverse engineering to me. OP already knows how to read, they just need to know where the notes are, not what notes are in what chords.

    You said that you are mostly illiterate about reading music. As a very literate (on many instruments) music reader and long time music teacher, I think my statement is not "negligible".
    I have marked the obvious and necessary part of your statement in red. Read my post and see that my posts were about just that. And it´s no reverse engineering. Because mainly it (the OP´s queation) is not about reading music (i.e. knowing what dot on notepaper is which note) but about to find said notes on the instrument (as has been stated in both of my posts).

    Can you deny that when you know "all the chords, all over the fretboard" that you know how to play any note that you read written out on your instrument? I think not. If you don´t agree I´ll be glad to read your argument. Then we may discuss further. If not we´re done here.

    Other than that, (marked in green) whe have the "authority argument" or argumentum ad verecundiam in your statement. That means that you think you are right just because you are a teacher (= authority). The argument from authority is based on the idea that a perceived authority must know better and that the person should conform to their opinion. But alas, there is no logic in that. Wesley C. Salmon has defined the authority argument as a statistical syllogism. It is an inductive argument, that lends the conclusion as possible (though not undeniably true).

    In order to consider an authority argument several premises have to have the following characteristics:
    - The authority must be trustworthy.
    - The authority has to be competent with respect to the discussed point.
    - The uninversal rules of argumentation have been followed.
    We have none of the above in our case. Since I don´t know you from Adam I cannot even believe you are an authority. So naturally I have to see your position as sophism.

    Therefore - permit me to say - without a viable argument, your former statement was negligable as authority alone is no proof for a claim (or an argument).

    One more interesting thing and then I´m outa here. I am reading music (namely knowing what dots on paper represent what notes in music) like a first grader reads a book. But what I read I understand. And I am able to apply that on my instrument. So my thing is not "not knowing how to apply knowledge". I´m just a little slow deciphering what´s on paper. So my "illiteracy" has nothing to do with the OP´s question.
    Olaf

  8. #31

    Default Re: Learning to read music for Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by grassrootphilosopher View Post
    I have marked the obvious and necessary part of your statement in red. Read my post and see that my posts were about just that. And it´s no reverse engineering. Because mainly it (the OP´s queation) is not about reading music (i.e. knowing what dot on notepaper is which note) but about to find said notes on the instrument (as has been stated in both of my posts).

    Can you deny that when you know "all the chords, all over the fretboard" that you know how to play any note that you read written out on your instrument? I think not. If you don´t agree I´ll be glad to read your argument. Then we may discuss further. If not we´re done here.

    Other than that, (marked in green) whe have the "authority argument" or argumentum ad verecundiam in your statement. That means that you think you are right just because you are a teacher (= authority). The argument from authority is based on the idea that a perceived authority must know better and that the person should conform to their opinion. But alas, there is no logic in that. Wesley C. Salmon has defined the authority argument as a statistical syllogism. It is an inductive argument, that lends the conclusion as possible (though not undeniably true).

    In order to consider an authority argument several premises have to have the following characteristics:
    - The authority must be trustworthy.
    - The authority has to be competent with respect to the discussed point.
    - The uninversal rules of argumentation have been followed.
    We have none of the above in our case. Since I don´t know you from Adam I cannot even believe you are an authority. So naturally I have to see your position as sophism.

    Therefore - permit me to say - without a viable argument, your former statement was negligable as authority alone is no proof for a claim (or an argument).

    One more interesting thing and then I´m outa here. I am reading music (namely knowing what dots on paper represent what notes in music) like a first grader reads a book. But what I read I understand. And I am able to apply that on my instrument. So my thing is not "not knowing how to apply knowledge". I´m just a little slow deciphering what´s on paper. So my "illiteracy" has nothing to do with the OP´s question.
    Highlighting in colors and using big words doesn't make your argument any better. You haven't explained how knowing the chords helps your reading, you just stated it. Learning where the notes are on the fret board is what helps you to read. Knowing how those notes are combined into chords is a more complex idea that doesn't necessarily lead to better note reading since it is a higher level of complexity and learning. IF you already know the notes in the chords on the neck, then of course that will facilitate your reading. If you do not already know them, learning them is an complex extra step that is unneeded, especially if OP is reading melodies.

  9. #32
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Palmer, Texas
    Posts
    3,407

    Default Re: Learning to read music for Mandolin

    I think both sides of the current argument have valid points, sometimes we argue past each other. In my own life, thinking about chord tones has helped a great deal to learn the real estate of mandolin neck, and thus helps my reading. But this is only because I spend a lot of time working out voicings for solo mandolin & vocals; benefits to reading are secondary, and OP may not have such interest in chord building.

    So IMHO, you guys are both trying to be helpful and contribute valuable points. Who cares about winning an argument?
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
    ------------------------
    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
    Newbies Social Group | The Song-A-Week Social
    The Woodshed Study Group | Collings Mandolins | MandoCymru
    - Advice For Mandolin Beginners
    - YouTube Stuff

  10. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Mark Gunter For This Useful Post:


  11. #33

    Default Re: Learning to read music for Mandolin

    Another skill is understanding intervals.
    The gap between two notes on the keyboard will equate to a certain angle and distance on the fretboard.
    You can learn thirds (major and minor, above and below) and fifths first. Then play these as doublestops -two strings played at the same time.
    As with the piano, think about how these distances and angles on the fretboard sound together.
    Vertical spacing in notation can have a similar feeling, whereas TAB has other advantages.

  12. #34
    mando-evangelist August Watters's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    New Hampshire/Massachusetts/Oregon
    Posts
    983
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Learning to read music for Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by grassrootphilosopher View Post

    Other than that, (marked in green) whe have the "authority argument" or argumentum ad verecundiam in your statement.
    Funny, I was just about to invoke the "authority argument" in defense of your position. Since I spent nearly 20 years teaching college music students (in part) to read standard notation and connect written music to the ear, I have had many opportunities to observe that process. I’d say that reading notation and chord playing can and do go together.

    I’d wager that by far, most mandolinists play chord shapes without thinking about the spelling or function of the chord tones. When you’re playing an A chord, you might be thinking about where the “A” is, but most likely you’re plugging in the other notes by following chord shapes in relation to that A note. Or, you might be thinking in terms of third or seventh in the bass (or the top voice, which is how I do it); my point is that the thought process (in a non-notation approach) usually involves envisioning chords as shapes on the fingerboard.

    But it’s really not that different, playing in a notation-based chord environment. You learn to read the intervals, and the shapes follow. You start reading music by learning where the notes are on the staff, and on your instrument, and associating the two. Over time, though, you learn to read the distances between the notes, and the fingerings follow. That’s true of single-note lines, but also equally, of notated chords.

    It’s interesting to look at some of the music that was published a century or more ago in magazines like Cadenza and Crescendo, which were both aimed at a general audience. The level of skill in reading notated chords, on the fingerboard, was way beyond what you would be able to use today, in a general-interest publication. Perhaps that’s because now, the mandolin is more often associated with aural traditions, where standard notation happens rarely, if ever. But it’s not a limitation on where we can go in the future!

    If we are often talking past each other here, perhaps it is because we assume we all mean the same thing by “reading standard notation,” when that process involves various steps: identifying the notes on paper, knowing their location on the fingerboard, translating that to instrumental technique, recognizing the intervals, and mentally “hearing” the notes before playing them (audiation). It is entirely possible to be stronger in some of these areas, and weaker in others. In my view, though, they’re all essential to fluent reading of standard notation.
    Exploring Classical Mandolin (Berklee Press, 2015)
    Progressive Melodies for Mandocello (Amazon, 2019)
    New Solos for Classical Mandolin (Hal Leonard Press, 2020)

  13. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to August Watters For This Useful Post:


  14. #35
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Northop, North Wales
    Posts
    6,139

    Default Re: Learning to read music for Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by August Watters View Post
    It’s interesting to look at some of the music that was published a century or more ago in magazines like Cadenza and Crescendo, which were both aimed at a general audience. The level of skill in reading notated chords, on the fingerboard, was way beyond what you would be able to use today, in a general-interest publication. Perhaps that’s because now, the mandolin is more often associated with aural traditions, where standard notation happens rarely, if ever. But it’s not a limitation on where we can go in the future!
    Following up on this, it is also interesting to look through the back issues of the BMG Magazine (which has the longest unbroken publication run among the mandolin periodicals) and observe changing conventions in notation. In the early issues, chords were always notated in full, in the mandolin parts as well as guitar parts. From the late 1940s onwards, additional chord symbols started to appear above the stave for the guitar parts, and from about the late 1960s the lead sheet style of notation started creeping in, melody plus chord symbols only.

    In terms of the OP's question, I have little to add to what has already been said, except to share my own experience that the way of weaning myself off tab and onto fluently reading standard notation was to start playing written music in groups with others. This forces you to play in time and keep up with the tempo and although there will be plenty of mistakes or missed notes early on, gradually the reading will become more fluent and more accurate. Also, it's more fun than learning scales...

    Martin

  15. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Martin Jonas For This Useful Post:


  16. #36
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    3,987

    Default Re: Learning to read music for Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by August Watters View Post

    It’s interesting to look at some of the music that was published a century or more ago in magazines like Cadenza and Crescendo, which were both aimed at a general audience. The level of skill in reading notated chords, on the fingerboard, was way beyond what you would be able to use today, in a general-interest publication. Perhaps that’s because now, the mandolin is more often associated with aural traditions, where standard notation happens rarely, if ever. But it’s not a limitation on where we can go in the future!
    .
    Thanks for bringing up this issue.

  17. #37
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    23,153
    Blog Entries
    52

    Default Re: Learning to read music for Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    Get a beginner violin book. The tuning is the same. I started on violin decades ago as a schoolkid. Being able to sightread is a skill worth earning..
    Great recommendation. There are quite a few easily available on line or at physical music stores. I don't think it matters which one you get. And you just work the book from the beginning. With your piano background it will even be fun.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •