Scores: seeing the notes, or only the patterns?

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Nick Payne
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Re: Scores: seeing the notes, or only the patterns?

Post by Nick Payne » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:29 pm

There is a good article on systematic memorization by Isolde Schaupp here: http://www.guitarteacher.com.au/site/ar ... ation.html

If the mods remove the link, just google "systematic memorization" and it should be the first result.

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guitareleven
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Re: Scores: seeing the notes, or only the patterns?

Post by guitareleven » Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:52 am

robin loops wrote:Seeing patterns is great. unfortunately it leads to not reading the individual notes as much.

This is a hasty response, as I have only had time to scan the topic briefly, and don't know all that's been posted- but I would say that seeing the patterns leading to not reading the individual notes as much is a good thing. That's the process whereby reading notation stops being approached as pseudo-tablature, the music being heard only as an end by-product of the endeavor, and starts becoming a process where the actual music is first appreciated directly from the score, and is then realized on the guitar in accordance with how well developed is ones aural rapport with the instrument.

In other words, I would reverse the words "patterns" and "notes" in the above quote, or eliminate the "un" prefix.

In fact I wondered before I read any of the posts why the thread wasn't headed "Seeing the patterns, or only the notes"?

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robin loops
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Re: Scores: seeing the notes, or only the patterns?

Post by robin loops » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:12 am

Guitareleven, I completely agree, if we're talking about seeing patterns when we look at new music. I was referring to seeing the patterns as opposed to notes due to over familiarity with a particular piece of music rather than when we notice particular patterns due to familiarity with certain key signatures and phrasing etc., and then struggling to read the individual notes when working on anything new. Seeing patterns because we've played the same piece a 100 times is more a form of memorization than reading and the patterns are just triggering memorized passages. This of course only applies when we are working on strengthening our sight reading skills. I should have clarified that. I did go on to explain in other posts that seeing patterns is the next step in sight reading development and is akin to reading words rather than sounding out individual letters...

So it's only unfortunate if we are still learning the notes and the fretboard of the guitar and not so much later on when we have developed good reading skills. In the past I never developed sight reading capabilities and would struggle through each new piece until I was really familiar with it. This is why I spend a little bit of time each day reading through unfamiliar music to improve my sight reading.
Last edited by robin loops on Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
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Tarbaby (1953 - 2016)

Re: Scores: seeing the notes, or only the patterns?

Post by Tarbaby (1953 - 2016) » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:21 am

robin loops wrote:This is why I spend a little bit of time each day reading through unfamiliar music to work on my sight reading.
:bravo: Robin!

I've always maintained that reading is a "muscle" that must be exercised daily to make it stronger. It should be a part of everyone's daily practice routine.

Luckily, we have lots of free material here and all over the internet to keep us busy for a long, long time! :D

Alan

David McHarg

Re: Scores: seeing the notes, or only the patterns?

Post by David McHarg » Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:56 am

Definitely agree with Alans comments about daily practice of sight reading. I think you have to find what works for you. I have never found sight reading books so to speak very useful. I have found it much better to actually read small pieces or studies and there is a ton of material available online. I think you also have to look for pieces that have different challenges i.e different key, positions, time signatures, rhythmic patterns etc. Start real simple and keep at it and slowly things improve. For sure i find you start to get familiar with different keys, scales and triads etc. I am no expert and whilst i can't sit down and just play something new straight off i have found that consistent practice of sight reading makes it much much easier to learn new pieces.

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robin loops
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Re: Scores: seeing the notes, or only the patterns?

Post by robin loops » Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:13 pm

Yeah I prefer to use anthologies rather than progressive sight reading books. I usually use a book that is a level or two below pieces I'd normally work on and read from them. This has two main benefits: First it is a bit easier to read them and second the pieces don't require a lot of time to work through so it ads a lot of little works to my bag of tricks and is rewarding to have things that I can quickly play well. Another little benefit is that some of them contain simpler transcriptions of more advanced pieces. Example: I recently read a first position transcription of a Bach Gavotte (bwv995) in A minor that I used to play but had forgotten about, so I dug up a better transcription and am now working on that one.

As far as reading in different keys: It's also useful to select simple pieces (for sight reading practice) that are in the same key as more ambitious ones that you are tackling. You can also find things that have similar types of arpeggios and they then also serve as studies for the harder ones. Example: Malagueña is a very simple piece that can prepare right hand for learning Asturias... And on those lines (and off topic of sight reading) studies (even basic Giuliani 120 right hand studies) can be selected in the same manner...
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
-James-

yotamz

Re: Scores: seeing the notes, or only the patterns?

Post by yotamz » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:43 am

Cass -

I agree with the majority here that the pattern recognition is a good thing and is a more developed view of music than seeing the individual notes. I also understand what you mean by everything breaking down once the same music is presented with a different 'twist'. It seems as if you're relying heavily on muscle memory.

My suggestion is to concentrate on analyzing the music that you're playing. Think about the what chords are being implied and what the relationships between the chords are (roman numeral type stuff).

Doing that separates the music from the physical sensation of playing it and ultimately gives you freedom to play around with the music.

mpferreira

Re: Scores: seeing the notes, or only the patterns?

Post by mpferreira » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:51 pm

Cass Couvelas wrote: If ultimately it's patterns that do it for me - enable me to translate from the printed page to the fretboard - then why should I care? Does deconstruction back again actually matter?
Hi Cass

I'd say that reading music is not just translating dot patterns into a specific position of fingers on the fretboard. I's say that reading music has to do with being able to "hear" it in the mind, and also with the ability to grasp the "meaning" of it all. Such as "oh, this is phrase A, that is phrase B", etc. And I would say (guess) that, to get there, you need to get the notes' names first and build slowly.

The comparison with reading those passages where the letter had been shuffled seems innapropriate to me. Because, when we learn how to read, we do learn to form syllables one letter at a time. It takes months just to grasp the basics, and a few years to read long sentences fluently. And it's probably only after years of daily reading that we become capable of automatically understanding those shuffled passages.

Brunot

Re: Scores: seeing the notes, or only the patterns?

Post by Brunot » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:07 pm

I might digress a bit, but when I play a piece for I know well, be it from score or memory, it is always good for me to go over the score again after some time, paying attention to notes. I discovered a whole dimension of fingering problems or those 'weird sounding' notes that I just mistaken by 1 fret...

I mean, even if we read, we always make a few mistakes here and there, that's why I think it won't hurt to scan the score more thoroughly occasionally if we go by patterns.

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