Q. What do the different levels indicate on the sight reading material?
A. There are four levels used to grade difficulty level on The Fluent Guitarist. They roughly correspond with the following criteria:
- First position only, limited or no polyphony, and few to no accidentals, rhythmic differential of 2 or less.
- One position only, simple polyphony, some use of accidentals, rhythmic differential of 3 or less.
- Occasional shifts, regular polyphony, rhythmic differential of 4 or less.
- Extensive shifts, regular polyphony, rhythmic differential of 5 or more.
Q. So what's a rhythmic differential?
A. It's a tool we use to measure how complex a piece of music rhythmically. A piece with only quarter notes would have a rhythmic differential of 1, as would a piece with only eighth notes. A piece with quarter notes and eighth notes would be a rhythmic differential of 2, and a piece with quarter notes, eighth notes, and sixteenth notes would get a differential of 3. Note that if a piece had only whole notes and 64th notes, it would have a differential of 7.