Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star (Guitar Lesson)


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Jim Deeming

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

In this lesson Jim Deeming uses the classic song "Twinkle,Twinkle Little Star" as a music reading exercise.

Taught by Jim Deeming in Music Reading seriesLength: 11:06Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (06:12) Reading Music Exercise Skills Check-up

Welcome back to the Reading Music series with Jim Deeming! Jim begins lesson 7 with a quick recap of where he left off in the last lesson of the series.

-At this point, Jim has covered all of the natural notes in first location. You must know the location of all notes in this position and how each note is notated on the staff. You must also feel comfortable with the basic reading exercises that Jim has presented in previous lessons.

-You must be able to play the C major scale in first position. This scale involves all of the natural notes in first position.

Practice this scale in time with a metronome. Say each note name out loud as you play it. Combining brain functions will enable you to learn and remember this material quicker. This process will also improve your retention of new material.

Lesson Goals

In the current lesson, past materials are now applied to your first song - "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." Your reading skills will be tested as you play the song from the written score. Also, you will improve your rhythm skills by playing along with a metronome. Finally, Jim will use this melody as an opportunity to address basic right hand mechanics.

Learning "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"

When learning any new piece of music it is always good to work through the following steps:

1. Note the official title.

2. Note the composer.

This is a traditional song. No composer is listed.

3. Note the time signature.

"Twinkle..." is played in 4/4 or common time. Each measure is comprised of four beats. In this signature, the quarter note is counted as the beat.

4. Note the key signature.

This song is played in the key of G major. Jim will explain this key signature in upcoming lessons.

Note: Open the document entitled "Reading Practice 1." This document is listed under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

No Tablature Allowed!

Print out the the written score to "Twinkle." Then, cover up the tablature lines with pieces of scrap paper. Do not look at the tablature unless you absolutely cannot discern where a certain note should be played. Also, do not use your ears to guide you to the correct notes. Ear training is very important, but it is not the goal of this lesson.

Practice Time

Pause the lesson video and practice the melody line along with a metronome. When working on something new, it is always a good idea to begin at a very slow tempo such as 60 beats per minute. Once you have mastered the melody at this tempo, return to the lesson video and play along it along with Jim at 05:18. Then, gradually increase the tempo of the metronome until you reach the tempo at which the song is typically performed.
Chapter 2: (01:27) Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star Breaking Down the Rhythm

This melody is comprised of quarter notes and half notes. Remember that a quarter note receives one beat. It is written with a solid note head and a stem. Half notes receive two beats. They are written with an empty note head and a stem. When you encounter measures that combine these rhythms, count the rhythm out loud. Then, go back and say the name of each note as you play through the melody.
Chapter 3: (01:04) Fast Tempo and Alternate Picking Pause the lesson video. Continue to practice the melody to "Twinkle." As you perfect the melody at a given metronome setting, bump the tempo up by a couple of beats per minute. Once you can successfully play through the melody at 76 beats per minute, return to the lesson video and play along with Jim in this scene.
Chapter 4: (02:20) Final Thoughts Alternate Picking

In the previous scenes, Jim played "Twinkle" at a slow tempo using all downstrokes. Playing solely with downstrokes is rather practical at slow tempos. However, when playing melodies at faster tempos, alternate picking may need to be applied in order to play in time with a smooth legato sound.

As you work through "Twinkle," apply alternate picking to groups of consecutive quarter notes. For example, beats 1 and 3 of the first measure should be played with down strokes. Beats 2 and 4 should be played with upstrokes. In the following measure, beats 1 and 3 are once again plucked with downstrokes. Beat 2 is played with an upstroke. This picking pattern repeats throughout the remainder of the melody.

Final Thoughts

Make sure that you master all of the materials presented in this lesson before moving on to the next lesson. Jim will elaborate on these concepts in the next installment pertaining to "Twinkle."


Video Subtitles / Captions





Supplemental Learning Material

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Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


LouisvsLouisvs replied on January 17th, 2014

Thanks a ton for this helpfull series it helped me alot to understand the relationswhip between the notes on the staff toward the fretboard, now i feel like i understand the guitar better.

joseefjoseef replied on November 26th, 2010

Hey I passed my twinkle twinkle recital with flying colors...whoo hooo, great lessons Jim...great for those who've forgotten how to read music after 30 years without playing an instrument too.

thexxonexxandxxonlythexxonexxandxxonly replied on March 4th, 2009

I never thought I would live the day when I played Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, but it really helped with my timing and the note names. Thanks and keep up with the great lessons.

Music Reading

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Reading music and rhythm is the foundation for anyone serious about music. In order to understand the theory necessary to progress as a player, a basic understanding of how to read music and how to read rhythms is necessary.



Lesson 1

Basic Notes and Theory

Understanding notes, intervals, and scales is key to music reading. Jim proves a beginner crash course on these subjects.

Length: 18:53 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 2

Basic Music Reading

Jim covers basic music concepts such as the staff, time signatures, clefs, measures, note duration, and note representation.

Length: 16:25 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

The First Two Strings

Jim covers the first two strings in this lesson. He explains where the natural notes are located on the fretboard and how they appear on the staff.

Length: 17:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

The Third and Fourth Strings

Jim covers the third and fourth strings. He explains where the natural notes are located on the fretboard and how they appear on the staff.

Length: 11:43 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

The Fifth and Sixth Strings

Jim covers the fifth and sixth strings. He explains where the natural notes are located on the fretboard and how they appear on the staff.

Length: 11:34 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 6

Symbols, Timing, and Notes

Jim Deeming explains more music symbols in this lesson. He also introduces 3/4 time and eighth notes.

Length: 10:25 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 7

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

In this lesson Jim Deeming uses the classic song "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" as a music reading exercise.

Length: 11:06 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

The Low Strings

In this lesson Jim takes the song "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and plays it on the lower strings. This is an excellent exercise for reading and memorizing these notes.

Length: 5:39 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Echo

Jim Deeming teaches a music reading exercise entitled "Echo." This fun, play-along lesson is a perfect way to hone your reading and counting skills.

Length: 18:03 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only

About Jim Deeming View Full Biography Jim Deeming got his first guitar when he was only six years old. His Dad was taking fingerpicking lessons, and Jim wanted to be just like him. The Mel Bay books didn't last very long before he strapped on a thumb pick and added the Chet part to Red River Valley so it sounded better.

Most of Jim's early learning was by ear. With unlimited access to his Dad's collection of Chet Atkins albums, he spent countless hours decoding his favorite songs. They were never "right" until they sounded just like Chet. Around the age of 12, Jim heard Jerry Reed for the first time and just knew he had to be able to make that "Alabama Wild Man" sound. The styles of Chet & Jerry always have been a big influence on his playing.

More recently he has pursued arrangements by Tommy Emmanuel and Doyle Dykes, in addition to creating some of his own and writing originals.

Jim has performed in front of a variety of audiences, including concerts, competitions, weddings and the like, but playing at church has always been a mainstay. Whether playing in worship bands or guitar solos, gospel music is deep in his roots and is also the driving theme behind his debut CD release, titled "First Fruits".

Jim has been playing for about 38 years. He also has taught private lessons in the past but believes JamPlay.com is an exciting and better venue with many advantages over the traditional method of weekly 30 minute sessions.

Jim lives in Berthoud, Colorado with his wife, Linda, and their four children. Although he still has a "day job", he is actively performing and is already back in the studio working on the next CD. If you wonder how he finds time, look no further than the back seat of his truck where he keeps a "travel guitar" to take advantage of any practice or song-writing opportunities he can get.

The opening song you hear in Jim's introductory JamPlay video is called, "A Pick In My Pocket". It's an original tune, written in memory of Jim's father who told him early on he should always keep a pick in his pocket in case he ever met Chet Atkins and got the chance to play for him. That song is slated to be the title track for his next CD, which will feature several more originals plus some of his favorite covers of Chet and Jerry arrangements.

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