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Learning to Play the Guitar - Part 1 Different Note Symbols and Time Signatures in Staff Notation
Learning to play the guitar can be a daunting task. Music is generally something that is hard to learn how to make and string instruments are especially so. The guitar it self can seem especially daunting because of it's 6 six strings.
Now, I am going to help you get that whole reading music part of playing the guitar down. In this article I will explain the different types of notes as well as how to understand time signatures. I will start out with a brief explanation of the cleft that the Guitar is normally played in.
Treble clef is also sometimes called G clef and is the main clef that you will be playing your guitar in. Take some time to memorize all of the notes of Treble clef bellow and learn to recognize the symbol on the first line as that signifies Treble Clef.
Right after the treble symbol you will usually see the time signature. The most common time signature you will find is 4/4 which means there are four fourth notes per measure.
The bottom number is the note you will use and the top number is the number of those notes per measure. So for example 10/16 would mean there are ten sixteenth notes per measure.
The Whole Note
The whole note is the longest note in Staff Notation. It is one whole beat. In 4/4 timing there would be one whole note for each section.
The Half Note
The half note is half of one beat. In 4/4 timing there would be two half notes for each section.
The Quarter Note
The quarter note is one fourth of a beat. In 4/4 timing there would be four Quarter notes per section. This is also the most common note in music meant for beginners.
The Eighth Note
The eighth note is one eighth of a beat. In 4/4 timing there would be eight eighth notes per section. Each group of four eighth notes gets linked together by one bar at the top while single eighth notes have a single flag.
The Sixteenth Note
The sixteenth note is one sixteenth of a beat. In 4/4 time there would be sixteen sixteenth notes per section. Groups of four sixteenth notes are linked together by two bars and single sixteenth notes have two flags.
The Whole Rest
The whole rest signifies your not playing for one whole beat. In 4/4 time there would be one Whole Rest per section.
The Half Rest
The half rest symbolizes resting for one half of a beat. In 4/4 time there would be two half rest to a section.
The Quarter Rest
The quarter rest symbolizes resting for one fourth of a beat. For example if 4/4 time there would be four Quarter Rests per section.
The Eighth Rest
The eighth rest symbolizes resting for one eighth of a beat. For example in 4/4 time there would be eight eighth rests per section.
The Sixteenth Rest
The sixteenth rest symbolizes resting for one sixteenth of a beat. For example in 4/4 time there would be sixteen sixteenth rest per section.