How Do You Read Notes? Being able to read music is one great skill that you will be able to treasure for the rest of your life. It’s a good skill to acquire to be successful in the music industry as it takes a lot of effort and perseverance to help yourself or another artist who struggles with it. Some artists are great players but not all of them were able to read music.

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It is hard if you think about it, but the whole application and process to read music can be broken down into these categories, pitch recognition, locating the notes in their placement, figuring out the perfect rhythm.

Location of the Notes

Learning the notes on the musical stave is the first step in reading music. The stave is composed of the five-line and four spaces and each line and space represents a different note. A quick tip is to remember a mnemonics with the phrase, “Every Good Boy Deserves Football” and the spaces with, “space spells FACE”. Another thing to consider is knowing the notes on the fretboard, it is important to not rely on the tab too much otherwise you’ll never learn some bits that means you can read any music.

Pitch Recognition

When you read a word on a paper, you instantly associate it with its rightful meaning. This is a process when you’re a kid learning a new word. To be able to read well and learn the notes on a guitar just by plain sight, you need to learn how to recognize the dots and lines present in different music sheets as if you’re reading a word from a dictionary.

Music notation works as if you’re imagining a graphical view of the pitch against time. Starting from left to right, you can consider this as time moving forward at a constant pace that is governed by tempo. And the height of the note on the horizontal lines represents the pitch. Each line and space is a set, a consistent note which always denotes the same pitch.

Rhythm Recognition

One of the disadvantages of using tabs instead of standard notation is that it never tells you how to do the rhythm properly. The only thing that you can do is to listen to the music over and over again and learn the rhythm by ear. Some advanced tabs even use symbols to show the rhythm of the songs.

As a good practice, it is always a good idea to try and learn the rhythm by ear as transcribing songs by ear has its benefits.


Reading musical notes was never an easy task. A lot of musicians do encounter issues and had to hire other people to do it for them. It is the same as learning a new language and eventually your progress will be slow at the start but soon you will reap what you sow.

One important pointer is to choose songs that are within your level. Find an easy one and start from there and eventually when you improved, go to the next level. This does require quite a bit of patience. Before you know it, you’ll be reading notes like a pro.

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