Re: [Harp-L] learning to read music

christopher lee wrote:
<I am a newbie who is learning to play harmonica (with a teacher) after
<carrying one around for over twenty years.  I have little-to-no
<musical background, and am interested in learning to read music while
<I am learning harp.  I realize -- having done a search of the Harp-l
<archives -- that whether or not to learn music is somewhat
<contentious. I realize that it is not necessary, but I am interested
<in learning, and was wondering if anyone had advice about books or
<ways to learn music while simultaneously studying harp.

It's only contentious for people who haven't done it. Everyone I know who's learned to read music is glad they did.

The best way to learn it is to get your hands on some beginners' sight reading books, and put in 15-30 minutes a day on those books.  Reading along with someone else is really helpful too, like on 2-part music--you help to keep each other in line.  Finally, make sure when you read to go slowly enough to play the part correctly. Eventually you'll pick up speed.

You might find that learning a little chord theory, and the scales that go with chords, helps you to make more sense out of the music you're reading.  It's a different set of skills, might be more immediately important than reading if you're trying to play blues, folks, etc.   

Regards, Richard Hunter

author, "Jazz Harp" 
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