Learning Music Theory Effectively

Learn Music Note Symbols

Posted by in Music Theory Rudiments

What does it take to learn music note symbols? In its simplest form all it takes is an open mind and a willingness to follow an easy structure of instruction.

Music Note Symbols

Music Note Symbols

The music note symbol is nothing more than a way to communicate information about tone and time.  Therefore music is a language and the notes are the alphabet to convey the words of the language.

Notes combine in sequences to form scales and chords, and in the music language these are building blocks for the words.

Why It’s Hard To Figure Out Music Note Symbol Meaning

So you may ask about how you can make sense of those circles, lines, flags, bars, and dots that show up in your sheet music.

It’s just a matter of taking a little time and reviewing the note symbolic relationships. However, in traditional music teaching there is a tendency to through a note symbol at you, tell you what it is make you play it with pitch and rhythm without ever giving you the entire picture of the alphabet.

That’s a lot like giving you the 6 letters of the alphabet and making up a few words and having you read a sentence. Then they’ll add a couple more letters to expand that sentence.

What happens is a slow process of trying to get your framework in place to be able to understand many words.

So the better approach is to learn all the letters of the alphabet and then start putting words together using the letters (notes) that you already know.

What Is The Real Purpose Of Learning Music Notes Symbols

The real idea behind reading and recognizing the note symbols is to be able to allow you to do more than read music, it is to give you a set of characters to convey information to you in the form of what tones to play and for how long.

That is when you see either a run of notes or a stacked group of notes you don’t have to read each individually you will see a pattern or other known collection of tones that you will understand in a larger sense so that it’s more like reading a book and telling of a story.

What this means is that you will begin to see phrases based on progressions of chords or scale tones. It will end up that you play and you express that group of various notes as an expression as if you are telling a story.

So the basic music note is just a way to allow you to communicate a bigger idea. If you were to describe how a dog was jumping and playing with a ball, you would think the words then write it out with the letters. 

Music allows you to do the same thing. You may progress through a melody or a chord passage and then be able to show that idea with the use of the note symbols in order for others to view it at a later date and play it. Or you may view what others have done and thus play their passage. The only intangible being the artist’s expression being a variable.  

How To Learn Music Note Symbols

It is our opinion that the best way to learn to read notes is by taking them head on in a direct and complete order. As well, you should understand the note theory away from your instrument. Yes, you’ll bring it back to your instrument, but first you need to learn this alphabet of note symbols prior to sitting at the instrument.

Both the music note lessons and the music notes workshop take this direct approach and we believe it to be one of the best ways to accelerate your music knowledge and begin to develop your skills.  

In considering what you need to learn, there are four areas that need to be mastered as quickly as possible in the initial stages of learning music. Those are note symbols, the master staff for note tones, note intervals, and basic rhythm.

Getting these area down cold will get you past the frustration of trying to learn to read notes and into reading music as you learn the keys, scales, and chords.

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