Chart Reading Master Class IV

Here you’re learning more about reading the charts which you’ll see in a professional or academic situation. Encountering one little symbol or indication which is new to you can really throw you off or possibly derail your performance. Study these terms and indications and you’ll feel confident and reassured when reading charts.

Example 1: The Rasguedo (pronounced “ra-HAY-o”)

wizrasImage21021198RASGUEDO (ras.) : A Spanish or Flamenco term indicating a slow, broken strum. The correct execution of the Rasguedo is usually done with an opening motion of the hand (point & click the illustration).
In an academic or professional band a slow scrape of the pick across the strings will do the job nicely.



Example 2: Segue

SEGUE: Segue means to continue on to the next song, piece or movement without stopping. Be on the lookout for this one if you play in a ‘pit band’ (like the bands that provide the accompaniment for Broadway style musicals).

Example 3: Crescendo & Decrescendo

CRESCENDO: Crescendo means to get louder, a gradual increase in volume. Growing.

DECRESCENDO: Decrescendo means to get softer, a gradual decrease in volume.

DIMINUENDO: Means the same as Decrescendo. For purposes of consistency use Crescendo and Decrescendo.


clickhearGR2Crescendo and Decrescendo markings can be shaped like wedges or as straight dotted lines. A wedge shape crescendo is used for changes in volume which occur quickly, like 1 or 2 measures. The straight line style crescendo markings are used for changes in volume which occur over several measures, a section or passage.


Example 4: 8va & 8vb

8va: Play one octave higher than written. (15va means two octaves higher)
8vb: Play one octave lower than written. (15vb means two octaves lower)


Example 5: Key Signatures

KEY SIGNATURES: When you look at a new piece of music for the first time, determine the Key Signature. After your first read determine whether it is a Major or minor key.
If you need more work on Key Signatures and Major and minor keys (written in red), study the Music Theory lessons of this course. Your purpose here is to review, memorize and perfect your ability to name and recognize Key Signatures. We highly recommend writing them down, on music writing paper until you know them as well as you know your phone number.


Studying and learning these Chart Reading Master Classes means you’re going the extra mile. It means you want to be an informed, competent musician, the kind of person who inspires confidence in band leaders and other players. Confidence and ability are a function of preparation. exclusive!!!
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