Instruction main page

Instruction for learning the music of Dear Old Illinois is available by following the links above. The instruction is geared for beginners, those who have never attempted to read written music notation. The instruction is specific to the music of Dear Old Illinois but most of it is probably applicable to general use. The philosophy of teaching by example is followed; text is heavily supported by images and MIDI sound clips.

Links to instruction pages are outlined in green as above. In the row below are the red-outlined navigational links to pages outside the instruction section. Each instruction page has a link back to this page, "Instruction" in the lower (red) row.

Instruction falls into three categories:

Guitar: This section covers the fingerings of all accompaniment chords used in the book, accompaniment picking patterns for each, and the use of the capo. Familiarity with the notes of the staff is helpful and is encouraged. Beyond that, knowledge of written music and/or the ability to read are optional.

Fiddle: The intent of this section is to enable those who have never attempted to read music to learn. It is given as specific to the fiddle, but this is also the place for singers who are looking to learn the melodies of songs from written notation. Among the topics covered are scales, time and pitch of notes, first and second endings, ornaments, and pickup notes. Also included is a page where beginners can try out their newly acquired ability to read music by learning a fiddle tune.

General: A bit of basic music theory is given for those who are interested in the mechanics of music. Studying and understanding this section will provide a head start for tackling the other sections.