Who reads music?

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by NowEarThis, Sep 11, 2021.

My music reading is

  1. Very proficient

    11 vote(s)
  2. I'm ok with it

    33 vote(s)
  3. Not good

    21 vote(s)
  4. Never bothered to learn

    14 vote(s)
  1. Jeff67

    Jeff67 Country Gent

    Nov 3, 2019
    Crockett, Texas
    Standard notation gives me a headache... TAB makes more sense to me.
  2. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    And I find it just the opposite. I see Tab as a fingering guide, but not much else.
    Electrosynthesis, Jeff67 and hcsterg like this.
  3. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    Oh, I forgot to mention : I vaguely read tabs :confused:, and at best just like @Synchro wrote... :D

  4. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    Well, surprisingly not... I escaped that learning - for the best or the worse !
    My wife did, but nearly as you @JeffreyLeePierre , she forgot everything...

    JeffreyLeePierre likes this.
  5. Bob Perrone

    Bob Perrone Gretschie

    Mar 7, 2017
    allentown, pa
    My teacher who groomed me for about ten years insisted that I learn to read music. I was proficient at it but, of course, as time went by and I used it less and less as my teacher developed my ears very well I hardly ever use notation now. It's his fault (lol) - the latter years of my training always included sessions where I had to sit in a another room and tell him what notes or chords he was playing just by my ear.
    Electrosynthesis and MrWookiee like this.
  6. afire

    afire Country Gent

    My music reading is the equivalent of hunt-and-peck typing.
  7. JeffreyLeePierre

    JeffreyLeePierre Country Gent

    Looking at the poll results (so far), we're on a pretty literate forum.
    I'm part of the 17% who didn't bother and I feel ashamed...
  8. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    But that’s not so bad. Even hunt & peck reading is pretty useful.

    Reading is a matter of keeping in practice, so if you don’t read often, you will not be able to read as fluently as if you read every day. I’m pretty decent at reading, but get rusty if I don’t have occasion to read. If I practice for a few hours it comes right back. Even when I’m out of practice, just being able to decipher a measure or two comes in very handy.
  9. gtttrrr

    gtttrrr Country Gent

    Dec 7, 2011
    United States
    I read *about music* very well. Does that count?
    Runamok, JeffreyLeePierre and dlew919 like this.
  10. gtttrrr

    gtttrrr Country Gent

    Dec 7, 2011
    United States
    +1 on this, can dechiper it, but VERY SLOWLY….Tab is way easier
  11. dlew919

    dlew919 Country Gent

    Jul 18, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    I'm somewhere between 'I'm ok' and 'not good'.

    Nashville chart? I'm. very proficient. Chord chart? Very Proficient. Lead Sheet, Proficient. Script? Eh, not a sight reader, let's put it that way.
  12. flip

    flip Gretschie

    Jun 22, 2020
    Manchester UK
    I'll back you on that. I learnt to play in dance bands from 60s to 90s and could read chord parts at sight including bars (measures) with more than four chord changes in them. Playing later in country bands gave me reasonable proficiency at soloing.
    On the other hand my wife plays an alto sax, reads staff music very quickly including some very tricky pieces (second alto parts often contain more tricky fingering than the first parts she tells me) but she hates to solo.
    Shows it's worth learning and practising as widely as possible.
    MrWookiee likes this.
  13. flip

    flip Gretschie

    Jun 22, 2020
    Manchester UK
    Same as typing for me! I'd got adequately fast with two or four fingers I could never manage to learn touch typing. If only...
  14. HypotenusLuvTriangle

    HypotenusLuvTriangle Country Gent

    Oct 27, 2010
    Whittier, Ca
    So... as a Tuba player for 20 years, a singer for 35 years, and a piano player for like... 5 years, you bet your patoot that I can read music.
    As a guitar player I avoid reading traditional music instead focusing on tabs with musical notation. I just don't find music sheets helpful when playing guitar because of the fact that you can play the same note on different parts of the fretboard and the ability to play chords in different ways. Very early on, like, as a teenage, I noticed this and pretty much kicked musical notation to the curb for guitar. Its just not efficient in my mind. I like tabs that have musical notation and chord charts. I can visualize the fretboard seeing the notes written in tab.
  15. GlenP

    GlenP Country Gent

    Jul 23, 2019
    I tried Rocksmith for a bit, and their view of the fretboard is totally confusing at first. It is like a tablature, but from behind a transparent guitar. If you are holding the guitar in front of you, and the neck was transparent, you are looking at the fret board from the back. Fret numbers approach you towards the appropriate string and fret location, but low-E string is on top instead of on bottom like conventional tablature, more like a mirror image. If you are accustomed to looking at an instructors guitar then this is totally confusing to you, unless your instructor is left handed and you are right handed. I was going to use Rocksmith to learn bass but kind of gave up on it, it was too foreign for me, but a total beginner might be able to take well to it. Also, they really turn the gain up on your guitar, I don't know how to adjust that default setting.

    This is an E chord, wrap your brain around that for a second.
    Screen Shot 2021-09-14 at 9.28.26 AM.png
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021
    MrWookiee likes this.
  16. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    I learned to play classical guitar many years ago and as such, learned music. I was pretty proficient at it for a while but this stuff doesn't stick. So I voted "okay at it".
  17. giffenf

    giffenf Synchromatic

    Oct 26, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I learned to read music as part of learning to play the guitar. Alfred's books 1-6, Mel Bay 1-4 or so (Mel Bay was harder), and the Aaron Shearer and Mel Bay classical books, supervised by a teacher who taught me theory. At 14, I was a pretty decent sight reader. But rock n roll didn't need that kind of expertise, for the most part (except the theory knowledge, that made figuring out the chord progressions much easier), and I let it slip. Singing in choirs and now barbershop quartets as a baritone, I've learned to read bass clef, which has been most helpful, but my sight-reading ain't what it used to be. I'm reminded of that every week at jazz-band rehearsal, where an actual 14-year-old kid sits next to me and not only does he know more chords than I do, he can sight read better than I can. Before the band went on hiatus during Covid lockdown, I used to have to tell him what some of the notes on the staff were. But, having nothing better to do in that idle time, he made great strides in his reading skills. So now each Tuesday night is an exercise not only in playing jazz, but also in self-esteem maintenance.
  18. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Oct 18, 2015
    I am able to write down melody-lines and I always keep a small booklet with me to memorize stuff.

    I can write some cheat-leads for keyboard, vocals and bass if needed and it helped me a lot of times to bring my ideas across to bandmembers.
    Knowing some theory helped me a lot to make the transition fom piano to (self-tought) guitar.
    MrWookiee likes this.
  19. Butch Ammon

    Butch Ammon Gretschie

    Jan 3, 2016
    Richmond, VA
    I've been a trumpet player since 4th grade. Yes, I can read both treble clef and bass clef. Been that way ever since school band all those decades ago, and it stayed with me. Once you "get it" it stays with you like another language like Spanish or French, etc....
    MrWookiee likes this.
  20. Rusty Chops

    Rusty Chops Electromatic

    Sep 8, 2021
    Redding, CA
    Standard music notation as written for guitar: I’m slightly below above average on sight reading.
    If it has lots of accidentals, watch me crash and burn.
    Runamok likes this.
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