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Problem with non-reading Advise:


Dr. Ellwood

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OK, It just happened again! and I am NOT going to ignore it again... Someone again in a post told a beginner that reading standard notation on guitar is NOT necessary and is only just a nice thing to learn! I do not want to start a fire storm here but...I think it is unfair for guys to tell BEGINNERS reading is not necessary to be a good guitarist..IT IS required to be a COMPLETE guitarist and MUSICIAN!! and if we tell beginners reading is not necessary isn't it ALSO fair to tell them what they will NOT be able to do down the road in their playing careers!
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Originally posted by ellwood:

OK, It just happened again! and I am NOT going to ignore it again... Someone again in a post told a beginner that reading standard notation on guitar is NOT necessary and is only just a nice thing to learn! I do not want to start a fire storm here but...I think it is unfair for guys to tell BEGINNERS reading is not necessary to be a good guitarist..IT IS required to be a COMPLETE guitarist and MUSICIAN!! and if we tell beginners reading is not necessary isn't it ALSO fair to tell them what they will NOT be able to do down the road in their playing careers!

Yep. I've seen people tell beginners that, and that there is no reason to learn any music theory, and I even saw one post where an beginner was advised that he didn't need to know what # and b mean because he's never going to see those "chords" in rock music. I've also seen people tell beginners that using a metronome for practice was "completely unecessary".

 

I think all of that is just things that people who can't read, don't know theory, and can't keep time say just to make themselves feel better about it. Sort of "If I never bothered to do it, it must be unecessary." or..."Nooooo...don't learn that! You'll be a better player than me!".

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

~Paris Hilton

 

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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Just to play devils advocate, while I agree it is a nice thing to be able to do...it CAN be a drawback in some styles IF too much weight is placed on it.

 

I've known guys that when you took away their sheetmusic could not for the life of them "jam", known guys that whether they could read sheetmusic or not...could not jam, and all other permutations including folks that could read sheetmusic and could jam, play, improvise.

 

I know for myself, I read too slowly for it to be of much use, and I pick up by ear (having played for 34 years) much quicker than by anything else including by someone showing me. I know from my experience I like TAB much better, but even there, on a complex fingerstyle piece, if I am too used to reading it...take away my TAB and I have trouble playing it, if I learned it in TAB.

 

Point isn't you are wrong, or right, or the other guy that gave that advice. If a beginner plays for a while they cease being beginners. At some point it is natural that a guitarist make his own choices...so if at that point reading is deemed important by the person, they will put in the time and learn it.

 

It would be more accurate to tell a beginner, "many people get LOTS more out of music when they can read, others decide it isn't as important for them...you will have to make up your mind, and may change opinion of it later. Do what feels right"

 

Because there could be an awful lot of budding guitarists that get turned OFF by feeling they HAVE to learn to read music.

 

Just another opinion.

====================================================

Check out my original music at

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/jacker

 

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice,

but not in practice."

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Yep, well you are correct Sasq. I am going on a mission to post oppostie opinions to those everytime I see it happen. It is just not fair to council a new player to side step their education in music because the poster did or some famous guitar player some where does not happen to read! It simply does not matter if a famous player doesn't read, that fact will not help anyone. Oh and additionally a TEACHER that teaches TAB ...IS NOT a teacher! in my opinion.
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Originally posted by BluesWithoutBlame:

Just to play devils advocate, while I agree it is a nice thing to be able to do...it CAN be a drawback in some styles IF too much weight is placed on it.

 

I've known guys that when you took away their sheetmusic could not for the life of them "jam", known guys that whether they could read sheetmusic or not...could not jam, and all other permutations including folks that could read sheetmusic and could jam, play, improvise.

 

I know for myself, I read too slowly for it to be of much use, and I pick up by ear (having played for 34 years) much quicker than by anything else including by someone showing me. I know from my experience I like TAB much better, but even there, on a complex fingerstyle piece, if I am too used to reading it...take away my TAB and I have trouble playing it, if I learned it in TAB.

 

Point isn't you are wrong, or right, or the other guy that gave that advice. If a beginner plays for a while they cease being beginners. At some point it is natural that a guitarist make his own choices...so if at that point reading is deemed important by the person, they will put in the time and learn it.

 

It would be more accurate to tell a beginner, "many people get LOTS more out of music when they can read, others decide it isn't as important for them...you will have to make up your mind, and may change opinion of it later. Do what feels right"

 

Because there could be an awful lot of budding guitarists that get turned OFF by feeling they HAVE to learn to read music.

 

Just another opinion.

I dunno...I just don't see how learning MORE can possibly be detrimental. If a person can't improvise, they just can't improvise. They need to spend some time learning the basics of what scale degrees can be played over what chord changes. I think that probably learning theory would be a HUGE help in understanding that.

 

Nobody HAS to learn theory or reading. It all depends on how good they want to be. There are lots of really good players that don't read music. There are also lots of really good players that can't explain theory to you (I'm betting they have a working knowledge, but just don't know the nomenclature). However, I think these players would be better yet if they did have those skills.

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

~Paris Hilton

 

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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Originally posted by Sasquatch51:

I dunno...I just don't see how learning MORE can possibly be detrimental. If a person can't improvise, they just can't improvise.

Well, yes. Reading music is just that. Reading music.

 

Just because you can read a book it doesn't mean you can improvise a story, does it? Same thing with reading music.

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Originally posted by ellwood:

Yep, well you are correct Sasq. I am going on a mission to post oppostie opinions to those everytime I see it happen. It is just not fair to council a new player to side step their education in music because the poster did or some famous guitar player some where does not happen to read! It simply does not matter if a famous player doesn't read, that fact will not help anyone. Oh and additionally a TEACHER that teaches TAB ...IS NOT a teacher! in my opinion.

You seem pretty inflexible about this.

I wrote giving a little more balanced viewpoint. Reading is not where music comes from. It comes from fingers on strings, that are plucked, strummed, etc.

 

Music is made to be heard. I am not saying reading is useless, or even not "needed" per se. In some styles it is needed more than others though. That's just how it is.

 

Failure to take that into account, I think it does a huge disservice just as big to tell a beginner he MUST learn to read music.

 

The most important thing about learning music, is the passion for it. IF being this narrow-minded squashes someones' passion, how can it be a good thing? There is much to be gained from reading music.

 

But you guys seem to want to set up straw men, where you can pretend folks that don't read "can't tell a # from a b, or know what it means".

 

The music staff is primarily made for piano. It actually is a little unnatural to use it for guitar, since unlike TAB it doesn't tell you which position (without notation anyway) of the notes are to be played, etc. Notation has much finer ability to tell you about the timing than TAB does though.

 

It's an artificial method, just as words on a page are artificial methods for reproducing speech, but music came first. Instruments came first.

 

In Blues, I think you get a lot more out of listening hard, thinking hard about the relationships between notes, and mimicing. A lot of it comes from bending, and vibrato, and things that you simply have to work on. I'm not sure how much reading music would help in the beginning for a guy that wants to learn.

 

But hey, if someone wants to learn to read, it can only help. It can only be an asset, IF they don't think reading is the main thing. The main thing is playing form the heart, inventing, playing the perfect note, or phrase NOW, in the song, as you are playing.

 

Reading in the context of improvisation...not all that helpful, except as to learning what others have done.

 

In other words...maybe you could ligten up a little? Someone gives that advice, instead of condemning them, let the beginner know that there is a whole world of information about music and playing to be gained from reading. That it is easier to learn reading from the start, than later. But...again, a musician (and I can call someone a musician even if they can't read notes, or well...that's another thing, to what degree have you decided one must be able to read? Sight reading? If they take to long are they not as good a musician?) will seek out what they need. If they hit a creative wall, they might find out that reading is essential.

 

Then again...no matter how much you want to discredit it, there are and have been some fantastic musicians that have contributed tons to the music world that couldn't read music at all.

====================================================

Check out my original music at

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/jacker

 

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice,

but not in practice."

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Originally posted by Kramer Ferrington III.:

Originally posted by Sasquatch51:

I dunno...I just don't see how learning MORE can possibly be detrimental. If a person can't improvise, they just can't improvise.

Well, yes. Reading music is just that. Reading music.

 

Just because you can read a book it doesn't mean you can improvise a story, does it? Same thing with reading music.

Exactly. It's two different things.

 

 

By the way....off-topic note. I'm actually starting my second novel this week. It took me a long time to read the first one.

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

~Paris Hilton

 

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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Preface: I believe it is necessary to be able to read music.

 

Originally posted by ellwood:

I think it is unfair for guys to tell BEGINNERS reading is not necessary to be a good guitarist..IT IS required to be a COMPLETE guitarist and MUSICIAN!!

That's two different things you are comparing. One can be a good player without reading sheet music.

 

BUUUUUUUUUUUUUT, if you can't read music, you are severely limited in your musical ability. Imagine color-blind painter.

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ellwood,

 

it is possible that people play the guitar for fun, not for monetary gain, career progression, or to be a "musician."

 

if some kid wants to play Green Day songs and sing along, he doesn't need to read music. there is no harm in that.

 

you must have never taught music as a profession, because you would have lost a lot of students with that goofy logic.

 

even some giants like Wes Montgomery, and Django Reinhardt couldn't read music. i'd love to see you tell them that they are not "musicians" :rolleyes:

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Originally posted by Kramer Ferrington III.:

Originally posted by Sasquatch51:

I dunno...I just don't see how learning MORE can possibly be detrimental. If a person can't improvise, they just can't improvise.

Well, yes. Reading music is just that. Reading music.

 

Just because you can read a book it doesn't mean you can improvise a story, does it? Same thing with reading music.

Well said.

 

Really well put!

 

Another small thing. Usually these "rules about what you need" apply to the hoi palloi...the masses. In general, yeah, get into specifics and I do believe someone could end up being inhibited by putting too much emphasis on reading. It is an exchange of ideas, musical ideas that is the point of reading. Knowing the technical aspects of music theory is also a big help, but it is putting a system in place where the main idea is to go outside the rules, but also know when and feel how.

 

No different than a guy showing you "if you play THIS when I play this CHORD...listen to how it sounds..." etc. It's an exchange of information.

 

And it is an aural medium.

====================================================

Check out my original music at

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/jacker

 

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice,

but not in practice."

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Originally posted by BluesWithoutBlame:

Failure to take that into account, I think it does a huge disservice just as big to tell a beginner he MUST learn to read music.

Well, kinda.

 

If the guy was taking up any other instrument (trumpet, say), the teacher would think nothing of starting him on sight reading from the first lesson. Or piano: the idea of learning piano without recourse to sheet music is pretty whacky too.

 

So all in all, it's not like you're asking beginners to climb Everest (with a Toyota strapped on their backs).

 

Learning to read is a pretty normal part of learning most instruments and it can only help.

 

If, afterwards, you choose to play by ear, fine. Who's stopping you?

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Originally posted by Billster:

Preface: I believe it is necessary to be able to read music.

 

Originally posted by ellwood:

I think it is unfair for guys to tell BEGINNERS reading is not necessary to be a good guitarist..IT IS required to be a COMPLETE guitarist and MUSICIAN!!

That's two different things you are comparing. One can be a good player without reading sheet music.

 

BUUUUUUUUUUUUUT, if you can't read music, you are severely limited in your musical ability. Imagine color-blind painter.

Not a good analogy. I can imagine a DEAF painter just fine, as easy as imagining a blind musician.

 

Oh wait...there have been SOME of them haven't there?

====================================================

Check out my original music at

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/jacker

 

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice,

but not in practice."

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i've got one for you Ellwood:

 

You must quit posting until you have mastered the grammar of the English language. You are not an English speaking person because you can not spell properly and habitually utilize poor sentence structure.

 

We have decided that grammar is necessary, and no one should be allowed to use our language until they have shown competence with it.

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Originally posted by Funk Jazz:

i've got one for you Ellwood:

 

You must quit posting until you have mastered the grammar of the English language. You are not an English speaking person because you can not spell properly and habitually utilize poor sentence structure.

 

We have decided that grammar is necessary, and no one should be allowed to use our language until they have shown competence with it.

Hey' he's only posting for fun. It's not like he's a professional writer... :wave:
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Originally posted by BluesWithoutBlame:

In general, yeah, get into specifics and I do believe someone could end up being inhibited by putting too much emphasis on reading.

I think reading tends to encourage a mentality where people don't listen. It's pretty chronic with classical music players. They have their little "map" the score, and as long as they're in tune they don't have to look where they're going. As soon as you ask them to jam, they sound like shit because they've never learned to step back and really hear what they are doing.

 

BUT

I've seen that happen with people that sing in choirs. And lots of them don't actually read music.

 

So I don't think it's the reading that's the problem. It's the (mechanical?) mentality it encourages, where all you have to do is follow your own little bit of the score and everything will turn out ok.

 

So learn to read. By all means. But learn to hear as well. I'm mentally "hearing" myself speak as I type. People should arrive at the same level when reading, ie hear what you're about to play.

 

But that's something to take up with students, it's nothing that's implicitly wrong with musical notation.

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Originally posted by Kramer Ferrington III.:

Originally posted by BluesWithoutBlame:

Failure to take that into account, I think it does a huge disservice just as big to tell a beginner he MUST learn to read music.

Well, kinda.

 

If the guy was taking up any other instrument (trumpet, say), the teacher would think nothing of starting him on sight reading from the first lesson. Or piano: the idea of learning piano without recourse to sheet music is pretty whacky too.

 

So all in all, it's not like you're asking beginners to climb Everest (with a Toyota strapped on their backs).

 

Learning to read is a pretty normal part of learning most instruments and it can only help.

 

If, afterwards, you choose to play by ear, fine. Who's stopping you?

Well...apparently the "read music police" :)

 

Yeah, that's a point. I learned to read actually from the first. As a 12 year old I dreamt of being a guitarist. Literally. I woke up and KNEW I had to have a guitar.

 

I begged and pleaded, and eventually got a rental guitar, and lessons. I had to learn the notes in relation to the guitar. I learned the C major scale. It wouldn't have been as bad maybe if the teacher wasn't teaching me "On Top of Old Smokey" and other stuff I had no interest in. I learned that much, dropped it from dissapointment, not at the "work" but that I knew it was going in the wrong direction.

 

Year later I decided I'd teach myself. It helped me pick out melodys from a Bob Dylan book, I never was great at chords. Then I started simply playing along with B. B. Kings' "Live at the Regal" and feeling guilty...like I was stealing. This couldn't be the PROPER way to learn.

 

36 years later, I still love practicing, I do it almost too much. I play mostly by ear for electric stuff, mostly ear and TAB for acoustic fingerstyle. I discover principles all the time, I discover new things from learning other stuff off of CD's.

 

I can still read, slowly. It is the least effecient method for me to learn something.

 

That's just me. But I always remember that oppressive feeling having to plink out, learning to read music.

 

Otherwise, I love reading books, reading is great. And I admire people that can sight read, and all. But I play just fine, I play well. I can play what I would like to hear being played. It maybe is a longer road, but the road is the thing once you get past a point of competence. You never learn it all, and more important than learning a LOT, seems to me is learning what you do know WELL.

====================================================

Check out my original music at

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/jacker

 

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice,

but not in practice."

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Originally posted by Billster:

Originally posted by BluesWithoutBlame:

Originally posted by Billster:

Imagine color-blind painter.

Not a good analogy.
So you tell the color-blnd painter you want a blue house, it turns out yellow, and that's OK? :wave:
Has no bearing on this. It's an innacurate analogy. A person that cannot read can still hear if they are learning an instrument. They don't hear any worse than anyone else. They are not analogous to a painter that is color-blind...if you insist on pusing THAT analogy it would be about someone learning music that is "tone-deaf" that is the analogy to painters being "color-blind". It means nothing.

 

A direct analogy would be as I said...someone learning to paint that is deaf. Just as a someone musically illiterate cannot receive extra instruction through organs that have no other impact on the task at hand, a deaf beginning painter cannot avail themself of an instructor telling them about color.

 

But, I imagine they could still learn to be wonderful painters.

 

Just as a musician that is blind could learn to be a great musician (and I am aware there is braille music, but it is the main point I am making).

====================================================

Check out my original music at

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/jacker

 

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice,

but not in practice."

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Originally posted by BluesWithoutBlame:

Yeah, that's a point. I learned to read actually from the first.

Same here. I learnt trumpet first and then recorder (this was at school) and all that was based on sheet music.

 

Sheet music could do with some updates though. There's no real way of explaining that you need to use that really weird synth patch you invented last night, for example. It presupposes a set of defined, orchestral instruments. Not sure how it deals with things like tapping and harmonics and so on either. I imagine there must be some way of describing them?

 

 

Originally posted by BluesWithoutBlame:

I begged and pleaded, and eventually got a rental guitar,

A rental guitar?

 

 

Originally posted by BluesWithoutBlame:

and lessons. I had to learn the notes in relation to the guitar. I learned the C major scale. It wouldn't have been as bad maybe if the teacher wasn't teaching me "On Top of Old Smokey" and other stuff I had no interest in.

yeah, I remember the guitar books from when I was a kid and they were a real drag. Silent Night, On Top Of Old Smoky, Skip To My Lou... :bor:
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A lot will depend on the type of music you are going to focus on.

 

Lets face it...for basic blues/R&R....you ain't gonna' miss much if you don't dig into any theory!

But it doesn't hurt to understand it, either.

 

My early years were spent taking lessons...learning theory...practicing scales...and reading/playing written classical music.

I did this for both piano and guitar...though I didn't get much into classical music on the guitar.

 

And even during one of my collage semesters when I decided to switch majors form pre-med to music...and they hit me with nothing but theory...theory...theory!

 

 

I walked away from the music major at the end of one semester! Not because I couldnt understand/learn it...but because that's not where my head was at the time.

Heck...I wanted to play R&R/blues...and theory and classes seemed to just get in the way!

 

So...these days...I use my knowledge theory intermittently, while writing/recording...

...but for the most part...I just use my ears, and I play.

 

But I'm not disappointed that I had that theory thrown at me when I was younger...because it helps from time to time!

 

Its good for every beginnerbut you can get to a point later on where you may not make much use of itespecially if you have some natural playing talent that can carry you.

If you plan on arranging/producing anything in the studioor even writing basic songs

then get some theory under your belt.

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Some music is high art (baroque, classical, romantic, jazz, etc.), where learning to read music is essential to group performance. You can't sit in with the NY Philharmonic and play second violin "by ear" on one of Beethoven's symphonies. In popular music, your intuitive interaction with other musicians is more important. I would argue, that if you at all concerned about playing rock and roll "note-for-note", then you don't understand rock and roll. Same goes for the blues, country, etc.
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Originally posted by jrob:

Some music is high art (baroque, classical, romantic, jazz, etc.), where learning to read music is essential to group performance. You can't sit in with the NY Philharmonic and play second violin "by ear" on one of Beethoven's symphonies. In popular music, your intuitive interaction with other musicians is more important. I would argue, that if you at all concerned about playing rock and roll "note-for-note", then you don't understand rock and roll. Same goes for the blues, country, etc.

:thu:

 

That's the same point I was making...

...it depends on the music.

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by Kramer Ferrington III.:

Originally posted by BluesWithoutBlame:

Failure to take that into account, I think it does a huge disservice just as big to tell a beginner he MUST learn to read music.

Well, kinda.

 

If the guy was taking up any other instrument (trumpet, say), the teacher would think nothing of starting him on sight reading from the first lesson. Or piano: the idea of learning piano without recourse to sheet music is pretty whacky too.

 

So all in all, it's not like you're asking beginners to climb Everest (with a Toyota strapped on their backs).

 

Learning to read is a pretty normal part of learning most instruments and it can only help.

 

If, afterwards, you choose to play by ear, fine. Who's stopping you?

Well...apparently the "read music police" :)

 

Yeah, that's a point. I learned to read actually from the first. As a 12 year old I dreamt of being a guitarist. Literally. I woke up and KNEW I had to have a guitar.

 

I begged and pleaded, and eventually got a rental guitar, and lessons. I had to learn the notes in relation to the guitar. I learned the C major scale. It wouldn't have been as bad maybe if the teacher wasn't teaching me "On Top of Old Smokey" and other stuff I had no interest in. I learned that much, dropped it from dissapointment, not at the "work" but that I knew it was going in the wrong direction.

 

Year later I decided I'd teach myself. It helped me pick out melodys from a Bob Dylan book, I never was great at chords. Then I started simply playing along with B. B. Kings' "Live at the Regal" and feeling guilty...like I was stealing. This couldn't be the PROPER way to learn.

 

36 years later, I still love practicing, I do it almost too much. I play mostly by ear for electric stuff, mostly ear and TAB for acoustic fingerstyle. I discover principles all the time, I discover new things from learning other stuff off of CD's.

 

I can still read, slowly. It is the least effecient method for me to learn something.

 

That's just me. But I always remember that oppressive feeling having to plink out, learning to read music.

 

Otherwise, I love reading books, reading is great. And I admire people that can sight read, and all. But I play just fine, I play well. I can play what I would like to hear being played. It maybe is a longer road, but the road is the thing once you get past a point of competence. You never learn it all, and more important than learning a LOT, seems to me is learning what you do know WELL.

====================================================

Check out my original music at

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/jacker

 

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice,

but not in practice."

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Originally posted by BluesWithoutBlame:

I know for myself, I read too slowly for it to be of much use, and I pick up by ear (having played for 34 years) much quicker than by anything else including by someone showing me.

You wouldn't be saying that if you were on some jobs which i have been on. There ain't no way you could just "ear out" some of the charts I've run across.

 

Originally posted by BluesWithoutBlame:

It would be more accurate to tell a beginner, "many people get LOTS more out of music when they can read, others decide it isn't as important for them...you will have to make up your mind, and may change opinion of it later. Do what feels right"

No, it would be more accurate to tell a beginner,

"Those who decide not to learn how to read limit themselves to who they can play with and limit their job possibilities. Many guys can play great, who do not read, but they are limited to playing with a certain pool of players and to playing only certain gigs. Should you want to advance your understanding of how music actually works, so you can come up with fresh ideas, learning to read will give you access to more advanced instructional materials in order to further your musicianship.

Should you choose not to learn how to read, you may regret it later when you will have to tell other musicians you can't cut the gig because you don't read."

 

Originally posted by BluesWithoutBlame:

Because there could be an awful lot of budding guitarists that get turned OFF by feeling they HAVE to learn to read music.

Well, there are alot of kids who are turned off by having to take their Flinstone vitamins or having to eat their Broccoli and spinach also. So do you just let them have dessert?

 

However, reading music isn't 100% "doing something you don't want to do, but it's good for you anyway/spinach/broccolli, etc . . "

 

It is so rewarding to pick up some Bach, Mozart, or Brahms

music and play through it and cop it w/o the audio. It is even more rewarding when the melodies are under your fingers and it comes out in your improv w/o even thinking about it.

 

Now don't get me wrong, here. Copping stuff by ear IS MORE IMPORTANT than copping stuff by reading.

What I mean is that one should prioritize their copping stuff of of CD's, etc. . .

However, one should also be developing their reading on the backburnerduring their practice week when they are copping by ear also.

 

This segues into your point about readers who can't jam vs. jammers who don't read as well as ones who do both.

The ones who just read/no jam (herein, RNJ) limit themselves and the ones who just play/no read (herein, PNR). The ones who do both are able to play anywhere, any time, with anyone.

 

So in your post where you said it would be accurate to tell a young gun "Just decide what you 'feel' is right" is a message of underachievement. You are telling them to limit themselves at the onset.

 

Here's some of my Frequent scenarios:

"Hendrix didn't read music"

 

Answer, "your not Hendrix"

 

This next premise is more in regards to theory rather than note reading (although the two sometimes run concurrently)

 

Some of my friends who PNR will absolutley knock your socks off at a blues or rock jam. However, when the stage lights come off, and the smoke settles, and fans patting them on the back saying they great are not around;

these friends tell me they have stagnated.

 

Yeah, they've copped all the SRV, Hendrix, Santana, etc . . .

but they've come to the end of themselves.

They want to move on to Robben Ford or Larry carlton, and when they cop some of the stuff, they have no idea how those riffs apply to the respective chord/key center and are limited to just playing that ONE lick in ONE place on the neck over that ONE song".

 

So, since they have not studied the theory, they cannot apply those copped riffs over OTHER songs, in OTHER parts of the neck, over OTHER chords, in OTHER keys.

 

Since they have elected to have dessert instead of incorporating the broccoli and spinach into their diet, they have developed a bad discipline and have put themselves further and further into a box as they get older.

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Sometimes it's interesting to see alternative sheetmusic.

 

Back in the middle ages, people sat around a table to sing, so the sheet music was on square bits of paper and printed along the four edges of the square so everyone could see their part :D

 

But there's all sorts of attempts to create sheet music which specifically tells the player to improvise or whatever. I don't think that's what ellwood meant though. ;)

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