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How to Read Sheet Music


How to Read Sheet Music. By a twelve-year-old— [beep] By someone not qualified to talk about sheet music. Let’s start with the staff. This is a staff. This symbol at the beginning tells you which clef to play. There are two main clefs: the low one and the high one. There are also some more obscure clefs that you’ll never be told about. The two main clefs, treble and bass, are connected by a middle note we call C. You’ll find that a lot of music stuff is based around C, except tuning; that’s based around A. Unless you play in a band and it’s based on the note right above A. That is, assuming you play an instrument that calls notes what they actually are. Instruments that call notes what they actually are include these, while instruments that don’t call notes what they actually are include these. Notes are found on the lines and spaces of the staff. They all sound different. You can put them together to sound nice. [Dissonant notes play] This is a whole note. Sometimes it gets four beats, sometimes it doesn’t. This is a half note, it gets half the length of the whole note. A quarter note gets half the length of that, while an eighth note gets half the length of that. This pattern continues on for a bit, so you can make notes as short as you please. For example, the two-hundred-and-fifty-sixth note, or demisemihemidemisemiquaver. You’ll find that information very useful. Now that you know the notes and rhythms, it’s time to move on to the important stuff and figure out what all these symbols mean. So let’s just go through them. This reminds you when to breathe… in case you forget to breathe. Stop playing, contemplate, and continue playing. This is easy. This is not. Counting to five has never been more difficult. You were never informed of this. Meh. Be soft. Softer. Don’t even bother. Meh. Be loud. Louder. Don’t even bother. Play loud, and then don’t. Play loud… …and then don’t. If you’re reading this, it’s already too late. So you go back when… no, wait… dooloolooloolooloolooloolooloolooloolooloo This is only fun when playing trombone. …and is also the only fun thing about playing trombone. You should probably stop staring at the paper. Like a solo, but everyone gets credit. You’re unimportant. You’re… very unimportant. At least you’re playing. You thought it was over. Someone’s playing the wrong note. Just… stop. [Dissonant keysmash over and over again]

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