Here are some very basic rudiments. I will add to these later. When I started playing, my parents gave me a book and the first 4 pages were Rudiments and Theory of Music.... Well, without a teacher I hadn't a clue so I put the book away. This page is an attempt to simplify. The basic beginner questions are "What are the notes?" and "How long do I count them?"
Today.... what are the notes?....
If you play acoustic or electric guitar rather than bass, your music is written in treble clef. (More later on bass notes).
The Treble Clef looks like a very ornate and curly "G".
This is because that is exactly what it is - a curly G!
It is called a "clef" because clef is the French word for "key".
A "clef" is the key to unlocking note names!
It almost makes a rifle sight around the second line from the bottom doesn't it?
It makes that note into a G.
Here are the notes on the lines:
Teachers often tell you to use a phrase to remember these, such as:
Every Good Boy Deserves Football
Every Green Bus Drives Faster
Thinking of a funny one often helps even more though ;-) Do you see how the first letter of each word spells the note on a line, one at a time?
And here are the notes on the spaces:
Notice how it spells the word FACE?
When you want to "spell" a note it doesn't matter whether the tail of the "tadpole" goes up or down.
It doesn't matter whether the head is black or white.
What matters is the LINE or SPACE where the head is.....
All these notes go in order E F G A B C D E F there are others above and below that we can learn about later. And of course there are those bass notes....
This is the second really big question about theory. Here I shall give you one or two ideas about how to recognise and how to count different types of notes, but first - the Story of the Tadpoles - in musical form....
Now, for those of a nervous disposition or those who lack a sense of humour, please go straight back to your Rudiments Primer!
For the brave or foolhardy, here is the fun version of simple note values....
Once upon a time there was a frog, and the frog had babies.... they were Frogspawn and of course they had no tails so they drifted VERY slowly along:
Then one day, as always happens in time, the Frogspawn hatched into Tadpoles. At first they were pale and weak and could not swim fast, but they did have tails so at least they could move!
As the Tadpoles slowly swum about in the sunny pond they grew and became healthy and tanned. They could now swim faster and raced along....
Until finally they were so happy they joined tails and spun wildly round and round as fast as they could (for now )!
Now that might be a very silly story, but it gets the point across quite nicely.
Meanwhile notice how they all sit on that second line? They are ALL Gs. The shape of a note does not affect its name or sound, only its length!
Finally, no lesson on note values would be complete without you hearing the length of those notes to compare them. (For those really in the know, this is is 100 bpm, which means 100 quarter notes to the minute - or 25 semibreves, 50 minims, 200 quavers etc.)