Reply To: Notes or Chords?

Frontpage Forums Guitar Notes or Chords? Reply To: Notes or Chords?


I teach note reading first to my beginning middle school students, for two reasons. The first being that I want them to know that you can read music and play melodies on the guitar, that even though the perception that most people have is that guitars are good for strumming, it can be used for both purposes and music literacy/reading music is important for any and all instruments. The second reason is that I think it helps to develop some familiarity and comfort with the instrument before moving onto chords. By teaching notes in the first position on the first string, I can get students started playing and creating music fairly quickly. By the time students can play music on the first four strings (usually after about a month and a half, seeing them twice a week), they are comfortable holding the instrument and pressing their fingers into the fingerboard to get a good sound, and then are generally pretty ready to jump into chords. I spend about 15 minutes teaching them a few half chords just to get the idea, and then jump right in to a I-IV-V7 progression in the Key of D!