Learning to Sight-read on the Guitar

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In learning to sight-read on the guitar, you first select which playing position the music calls for and then scan the music's rhythm patterns and fretwork requirements, starting at a slow tempo and working your way up to speed. Build your sight-reading technique with this free video of acoustic guitar lessons.

Part of the Video Series: Acoustic Guitar Lessons
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Chay Alexander Wright, a guitarist in Los Angeles, California, and today we're going to learn to sight read on a guitar. Now first, you want to get yourself familiar with the position that you're going to play in, according to the music that you're about to sight read. And once you find that position; right here, I'm in fifth position for what we're about to read. And you want to scan the music first, get yourself familiar with the rhythms, so this piece has eighth note patterns, so you want to scan through that. Get yourself familiar with the rhythm. Boom. On one, two, and three, and four, and one, two, and three, and four, and that's the motif that's being used in this piece. And you want to make sure you're familiar with the positions, so that you can read the notes on the music and they line up accordingly to your finger, or how your fingers are on the fretboard. And you want to start everything off slowly. You want to learn everything at a very slow tempo, and then work your way up to a quicker tempo. And then, you can continue to choose harder or more complicated pieces to sight read to improve your sight reading. The more familiar or the more proficient you are at reading simpler or easier pieces. So, this piece, and also you want to keep in mind too, on guitar, that the bottom notes you're going to play with your thumb in this piece, and that will be the notes between E, A, and D. And then the upper notes, the melody, and the chords, you're going to play with your fingers. Your first finger and your second finger and your third finger in one of these bars depending on where the notes line up. So, we'll start here with this piece. A. I'm Chay Alexander Wright, and that's learning to sight read guitar.

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