Sight Reading 101

Reading Exercises for Each String

These exercises are a good beginning in learning to read, and play music on your guitar. You will be taking one string at a time, and learning the notes that occur from open position up to the 17th fret. Generally, that is about as high up the fretboard you'll ever have to read.

How These Exercises are Set Up

Each of the following exercises will focus on one string.

At the top of each page, there will be a diagram showing how the notes, which occur on that string, appear on the staff.

Memorize what these notes look like and match them with their location on the fretboard. If you need to review the notes on the fretboard, at the bottom of each page there will be a link to the fretboard diagram that you just studied.

Then continue on to the following reading exercise, which is simply random notes (you won't find any great melodies here) that occur on the string that you are studying.

There is no implied tempo here or even any real rhythm you must follow. The main goal here, is to match the notes on the staff to the notes on your fretboard. However, as you become more comfortable with these exercises, try to keep a steady tempo that is comfortable for you, but forces you to keep moving. Always, while you are playing one note, try to look ahead at the next note so that you know what note is coming up, even before you have to play it.

Play through the exercise as many times as you can. The more you do it, the more thoroughly you'll know your fretboard and begin to understand written music.

Ok, on to the exercises!

Course Map:

Introduction | Course Directory | The Staff | Lines, Spaces and Ledger Lines | Flash Cards I: Learning the Notes | The Fret Board | Reading Exercises On Each String | Note and Rest Values | Time Signatures | Rhythm Exercises, Part I | Triplets and Dotted Notes & Rests | Rhythm Exercises, Part II | Flash Cards II: Rhythm Values | Ties | Rhythm Exercises, Part III | Simple Melodies | Course Conclusion

Glossary of Terms

Copyright 1999 T.A. Vieira, Jr.