A "RANDOM" function?

• Dec 12, 2013 - 07:19

Lately I've been practicing reading on my guitar and just don't find instruction books or sheet music to be the most efficient teaching tools for reading. I've been creating random "music" notation that's technically friendly for the guitar (not a lot of crazy string skipping, staying in certain positions, etc.) Large pieces that are random equal never becoming familiar with the music, so you're always actually reading. I do this with chords and single note patterns.

Reading practice books have actually been published that are pretty much based on this idea, but they are limited and tell you things like "Don't practice this two days in a row", so you won't accidentally memorize the material.

What would help me to create exercises for reading practice would be to select bars that I've created and then have the ability to distribute them randomly for however many number of bars I want. For example I make 25 bars of different chords, copy them, and a function pastes them in random order 1,000 times.

The files I've made like this have really helped me with reading in the first few positions and have actually helped me learn chords very well. But they are very tedious to make manually.

Thanks for your consideration.


In reply to by Mr. Russ

I read your first post and was wondering what you meant by 'random'. Traditional western music has some constraints - like rhythm, meter, harmony - so it is not truly 'random'.

The url you referenced - http://www.practicesightreading.com/create.php - apparently notates rhythm. Of all the characteristics of music, rhythm is perhaps the 'most' random as it does not primarily deal with consonance/dissonance, melodic contour, and other facets of composition.
Generating random rhythms within a meter (like 4/4) seems to me to be a good start for learning timing.

When it comes to musical pitches, how random do you want it? You mention: 'not a lot of crazy string skipping, staying in certain positions, etc.'
So, it is not truly 'random' - nor would anyone want it to be, I imagine. Perhaps by 'random' you mean unfamiliar music - but still 'music'.

There is a treasure trove out there such that you should not have to generate your own 'random' music.

As I have no idea what style you prefer:
In the public domain there are etudes and exercises galore for sight reading - check out classical guitar composers like Carcassi, or Fernando Sor. Even though you may play plectrum style guitar, you can use their single note exercices - completely unfamiliar to you - but composed within the constraints of 'staying in certain positions, etc'.

Get a fake book full of songs you never heard - so they will seem 'random'. :-)

For chord - melody style sightreading, there are guitar sites where players post their arrangements in notation and/or tablature.


In reply to by Mr. Russ

maybe you also want to try the https://github.com/kspgh/sight-reading-trainer ?
it is a plugin for version 3.x of musescore (see https://musescore.org). It does not work for the latest version of musescore, simply because writing plugin's has changed very much and I did not have the time to adopt/transform to the latest version. But you can have the latest and an older 3.x version in parallel on your computer if you like to use musescore.
the sight-reading-trainer plugin, allows you to create as many random notes as you like.
At least for the simple things it should work. You may create just quarter notes between C1 to C2 without any rests in the speed of your choice, for example.

in this short video I show how it looks like and how it works:
BR, Karsten

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