Learn to read sheet music on the guitar. iReadGuitar has twelve modules to introduce you to the sixty-module iReadGuitar Pro sight-reading course.
It's for guitarists of all styles.
You'll learn to read ahead - a vital professional skill, and you'll come to understand what musical symbols mean and how they work.
By the end of the iReadGuitar sampler you'll know if you want to continue to the full iReadGuitar Pro course.
By the end of the iReadGuitar Pro course you'll be able to make sense of real musical notation as found in regular sheet music.
The iReadGuitar Pro course has sixty sections. Each section teaches only one new musical element at a time. A new musical element can be a note, rhythm, key signature, time signature, rest, accidental or tie. For each new musical element there are four musical exercises to practice it with.
The information screen is the first part of each section. You see a new musical element on screen, with its explanation. When you're ready you swipe left - the first bar of the first musical exercise appears. It's static and shows the treble clef, the key signature (sharps or flats or nothing), the time signature (24, 34, 44, 38 or 68), the notes in the first bar, the tempo down button – 5 bpm slower per tap, the tempo up button – 5 bpm faster per tap, the number of that section and the number of the exercise in that section.
When you're ready to play you tap the screen. The tempo buttons, the section number and the number of the workout disappear and the 'slide-show' starts. You hear drumstick clicks which count you in. You don't play yet!
The second bar replaces the first bar and the musical accompaniment begins. You play the first bar while reading the notes in the second bar. You are already learning to read ahead!
When the second bar is replaced by the third bar you play the second bar while reading the third bar. You continue like this to the end of the workout.
Reading ahead like this gives you time to think and to plan fingerings. Don't worry! There are clear instructions at the beginning of the course which explain the read-ahead process in very practical detail.
The accompaniments are all on the beat. They are chords or single notes, and give a solid reassuring basis to play along with. They are played on piano and will keep you in time and add to your enjoyment.
The course embodies the three principles of efficient sight-reading:
1. Read ahead. It gives you time to think and to plan fingerings. The 'slide-show' format of the exercises makes it possible to learn to do this.
2. Don't name the notes. When the new element is a new note you are not told its name. You don't need to know its name in order to read it efficiently.
3. Keep your eyes on the score. You maximize the time available for processing the symbols. You improve your proprioception - in this case knowing where your fingers are on the fretboard without having to look.
You study at your own pace, controlling the tempo of the exercises and reviewing them as often as you want.
As you work through the course the elements you have already learned reappear in the music again and again, supporting the latest element. When the new element is a new note you are not told its name. You don't need to know its name in order to read it efficiently. This way you can't fall into the bad habit of naming the note as you come to it. The process should be 'see the symbol, play the sound', not 'see the symbol, name the note, play the sound'.
At first the melodies are extremely simple. As you learn more and more notes they become more complex. It's just like a touch-typing course where you don't immediately produce proper words and sentences. You have to wait until you've learned enough letters.