Learning to read sheet music doesn't happen in a week, much less a day. Maybe the easiest songs and ones that you can learn by ear, but reading music takes time.
First thing you should notice on the music is the 5 lines (staff) with a Trebble Clef on it. Treble Clefs are used for female voices. ( the thing that sort of looks like a cursive s or &)
The backwards "c" thing is called a Bass Clef. This is used for male voices.
The staff lines are filled with notes. The higher the note, the higher the pitch. The lower the note, the lower the pitch.
On the staff, there are letter names for each line and space. The order is your basic first 7 letters of the alphabet, and then you repeat. ABCDEFG is the order
Ignoring the sharp signs (#), the time signature (3/4) tells you how many beats are in a measure. Just look at the top number and leave the bottom alone. In this example, there are 3 beats.
Bar lines section off a measure.
The next step is learning flats an sharps. This is the most time taking step that has the most questions of all. I'm will try to make it simple. Please refer back to this page for help.
Flats and sharps tell you what key you're in and affects the music greatly. The key can change the song from major to miner or the other way around. The two easiest keys are F and G.
Before we get to learning them, the order of sharps and flats are- Sharps: BEADGCF Flats: FCGDAEB A way to remember the orders are (the ways my choir teacher taught me)...
Flats-Fat Cats Go Down Alleys Eating Babies Sharps-BEAD Go Catch Flies You only have to remember one because they are the same order, just reverse. You could use anything to remember it.
This is the basic order of the notes (click to enlarge and zoom out to make sure you see all letters). If you are singing, the sharps and flats will affect where your "do" is.
You will notice that as you add on sharps/ flats they start to make a line of triangles. Do NOT think that they are forming parallelograms, it will mess you up.
Sharps mean that you are making the key higher, flats mean that you are lowering it. The two basic keys, F and G are made with one flat (F)/ one sharp(G).
In this picture you can see that it is in the key of F, there are 4 beats in a measure, and a two beat rest. The only flat that is in the key of F is on the B line. (This is just music common sense.)
For a rest there is no sound and it is just beats of silence. A rest still must be counted as a beat in the time signature. It takes up space in the measure.
This may be one of the most questionable parts, but there isn't much reason for key of F only having one flat on the B LINE. There IS a reason for almost all the other keys except for F and C (flat).
This is the key of G. There IS reason to why the sharp is on the F line, sharping the F. The sharps method is...
1) Look at where the sharp is 2) identify what note it rests on 3) GO UP ONE NOTE (using your order of sharps) 4) whatever note you landed on IS the key you are in. *if you go 1 up from F, it is G*
There is not a reason like this for F or C. Well, there may be one that the maker of music created that you may learn in music theory. (Please comment if you know).
The key of C has absolutely NO FLATS OR SHARPS. You may also learn that on music theory (I'm not in it).
If you've gotten a little confused along the way here is a refresher. To find the notes on a line, the order is ABCDEFG repeat. It does not go to H. A starts on the second space, B is the line up, etc
No matter what, abcdefg & repeat will always be in the same order. The key signature (sharps/flats) moves the notes/pitches up and down the set of 5 lines. They stay in the same order.
Now that you know how to use keys signatures and figure out notes, let's move onto the actual notes. There are several different types of notes. Notes are what fill the measures and tell the pitch.
A quarter note is worth a 1 whole beat in a measure.
This is what a half note looks like. It is worth 2 beats and is bigger than a whole note.
An eighth note is half of a quarter note and is smaller. You might get this confused with an actual half note. A half note is not half the length, it is double.
Eighth notes that are paired look like this. When you are counting the rhythm, you will count the second one as an "and".
A quarter rest is 1 while beat of nothing. Just like the quarter note, except no sound.
This is the basic structure of the notes. Hopefully this will help you understand a bit more.
The whole note looks a little funny but it is worth 4 beats. It completes a while measure.
I could get into more details but then this guide would be way too long. I hope you understand the basic rhythm, keys, notes, etc.
I am not a professional so feedback is welcomed! I am ready for any improvement!
- Sheet music (easy for beginners)