#1
Hey, everyone. So earlier I was thinking of some stuff that I think would really make a world of difference in guitar players.(Dedicated to the idea at least)

Now, most people when they start taking lessons they learn to put their index, pinky and ring fingers here and there. Then a couple of weeks later they start to learn tabs. That's all good and well, and it's a quick way to get down to business.

But what about a better way that may start out slower but in time greatly affect one's playing to a level beyond what the average 1 year guitar player can play at? Sure, it would be very boring at first, but in time pay off. Only a few students would be willing, but that would be how you would find who has it in them to do the "extra mile" in the first place right? They guy who will go home and practice what you give them?

Well, earlier I was thinking the treble clef is commonly easier to read than the bass(I'll come back to this soon). And most guitarists use tabs rather than sheet music. (And some can't even read music) Would it not benefit the new, wanna-be-great guitar player more to teach them to read music rather than just tabs? Why not even throw out tabs?

Granted, their start is going to be slow. As time progresses though, if taught and practiced properly the student may be able to move much faster or at least have more musicianship to help them far greater than your average tab reading guitarist in the future musical career they may possess or aspire. (So I think. This is all theory)

Now, back to the treble and bass clefs. Naturally it seems people have more trouble reading the bass clef rather than the treble. Why? The treble is uses much more often. Would it not benefit people to start off learning the bass clef first and use it more first than the treble? (It doesn't matter AS much on guitar, but it very well may in future situations one may come across)

Now, all this given of make the student if he's willing use sheet music rather than tabs. What all is beneficial at least in this theory? A better ear for music, more advanced when it comes to their musicianship (More than likely) than those who solely rely on tabs and more possibilities. They could learn the fretboard much easier. It could make the guitarists venture on into intervals, scales, modes etc. much easier.

Now, this is all a theory I came up with earlier. Thank you for those who take time to read this. But does anyone agree that this method of teaching from the start to read music would be much more highly beneficial than those who teach tab? I mean, to me, I think the possibilities of the benefits here could be endless. Any input?
#2
honestly, it has no benefit. The guitar is structured very differently from other instruments, and because of this, it's extremely hard to figure out how to play songs on guitar with sheet music. I can speak from experience; I tried teaching myself at first using a book that listed everything as standard sheet music. And no matter how much I busted my ass to learn the stuff in the book, it really didn't benefit me once I started taking lessons. Sure I could read sheet music, but doing so at first gave me no technical or intellectual advantages over other guitar players who start out with tab
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#3
Quote by prsrulz91
honestly, it has no benefit. The guitar is structured very differently from other instruments, and because of this, it's extremely hard to figure out how to play songs on guitar with sheet music. I can speak from experience; I tried teaching myself at first using a book that listed everything as standard sheet music. And no matter how much I busted my ass to learn the stuff in the book, it really didn't benefit me once I started taking lessons. Sure I could read sheet music, but doing so at first gave me no technical or intellectual advantages over other guitar players who start out with tab


Exactly. The trouble with guitar is that, unlike most instruments, it has up to 6 different places (on a six string guitar) to play the same note of the same pitch. Which makes it very time consuming to learn a song from sheet music, making it inferior to tab.

For guitarists who ONLY play guitar, it's not a help to read music. If you play other instruments, it is a help.

And yes, I can read sheet music
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Last edited by pigeonmafia at Sep 12, 2009,
#4
Quote by pigeonmafia
Exactly. The trouble with guitar is that, unlike most instruments, it has up to 6 different places (on a six string guitar) to play the same note of the same pitch. Which makes it very time consuming to learn a song from sheet music, making it inferior to tab.

For guitarists who ONLY play guitar, it's not a help to read music. If you play other instruments, it is a help.

And yes, I can read sheet music


This is the best way to put it, so thanks for condensing my wall of text
btw I approve of your alexi laiho fanaticism
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#6
Quote by prsrulz91
This is the best way to put it, so thanks for condensing my wall of text
btw I approve of your alexi laiho fanaticism


Np lol

And I think you're the only person who hasn't called me crazy for likeing Bodom as much as I do


Quote by koslack
It depends on the goal of the student. If they want to learn to play rock, sheet music is not going to help, necessarily. If they want to play jazz/classical, it'll be a great boon. If they want to eventually go to university for a degree in music, and then become a pro, it's an absolute must.


Yes, if you want to get a degree in music and take it from there you need it, but just from a learning guitar point of view, it doesn't really help.
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#7
Quote by Christian Davis
Now, most people when they start taking lessons they learn to put their index, pinky and ring fingers here and there. Then a couple of weeks later they start to learn tabs. That's all good and well, and it's a quick way to get down to business.


Exactly. Getting tangible results builds confidence, which is probably the most important thing for a beginner.

Well, earlier I was thinking the treble clef is commonly easier to read than the bass(I'll come back to this soon). And most guitarists use tabs rather than sheet music. (And some can't even read music) Would it not benefit the new, wanna-be-great guitar player more to teach them to read music rather than just tabs? Why not even throw out tabs?

Granted, their start is going to be slow. As time progresses though, if taught and practiced properly the student may be able to move much faster or at least have more musicianship to help them far greater than your average tab reading guitarist in the future musical career they may possess or aspire. (So I think. This is all theory)


Learning how to read sheet music is standard in the learning processes of most instruments except guitar. Like previous posters have said, TAB is superior to standard notation for guitar, though if you want your guitar piece to be played on a saxophone, you pretty much need standard. Plus tab is far easier for a beginner to learn, bringing us back to the issue of confidence.

Now, back to the treble and bass clefs. Naturally it seems people have more trouble reading the bass clef rather than the treble. Why? The treble is uses much more often. Would it not benefit people to start off learning the bass clef first and use it more first than the treble? (It doesn't matter AS much on guitar, but it very well may in future situations one may come across)


There are very few opportunities for using the bass clef with guitar, as all the notes on a standard tuned six string can be written on the treble clef without much trouble. Also I don't think bass clef is harder, it only seems that way to a person who has learned treble, then forgotten what it was like to be a beginner. It is simply different.
Also, if you're going to be working with other instruments very often, then the other clefs should be learned anyway.

Now, all this given of make the student if he's willing use sheet music rather than tabs. What all is beneficial at least in this theory? A better ear for music, more advanced when it comes to their musicianship (More than likely) than those who solely rely on tabs and more possibilities. They could learn the fretboard much easier. It could make the guitarists venture on into intervals, scales, modes etc. much easier.


Totally agree. But this stuff would completely overwhelm a beginner who just wants to play Jack Johnson at parties to get chicks; heck it would most likely overwhelm someone who's serious about music. Even though it would be beneficial to learn this stuff early, it's not as efficient as learning it later when the student knows why he's learning it and he's prepared put the work into it. Confidence, motivation, and having fun are just as important (if not more!) as the actual material being learned.
#8
Thanks for the input, guys.

@Which ones pink

Yeah, I realise that the bass clef has very few opportunities to be used for the guitar. I was mainly talking about music in general. I guess I should have clarified.

As some above posters mentioned about musical degrees. That's actually what sparked my whole idea of this was that I was talking to my admissions counselor at MI yesterday about the bachelor's program and how he said it was very advanced and some of the things necessary.

So my theory has been shot down and proven wrong. Thank you all and with this you've helped better my understanding of guitar. I have a very high classical piano background really for some added words. (Finally started playing again a couple weeks ago after a 3 year hiatus of only guitar..yeah, I know, I was stupid)
#9
well ultimate guitar is popular and its full of tabs ,
you or your students can download powertab which is a free program and then write their own tabs.
tabs were used in renaissance music for the lute so they have been around for 100's of years .

saying that ....
following tab has many flaws :

1: sometimes the fingering isnt actually the easiest or most accurate way to play the song .

2: rhythm is a nightmare to read in tab , ask a person who just reads tab what the difference is between 4 quavers , and say 2 semiquavers and a dotted quaver followed by a semiquaver , and it would probally not make much sense to them .

3: phrasing is very hard to notate well in tab, and is a key element in making the music sound "musicial"

i use tabs ,powertab , but i also use standard notation , its not that hard to read .
you can place the tab code underneath the notes I.E :

B:5 B:8 e:5

or you can introduce the classical symbols for fingering .

V (position )
(2) 1,4 (1) 1
#10
Quote by ibanez1511
2: rhythm is a nightmare to read in tab , ask a person who just reads tab what the difference is between 4 quavers , and say 2 semiquavers and a dotted quaver followed by a semiquaver , and it would probally not make much sense to them .



Ah, now, I think all begginers should be able to read and understand note lengths (it's what I'm doing with mine atm) as a priority. Either as letters above a tab, or the note symbol in programs like powertab/guitarpro
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#11
Quote by Christian Davis
Would it not benefit the new, wanna-be-great guitar player more to teach them to read music rather than just tabs? Why not even throw out tabs?


Well, teaching them to read music, assuming their willing/interested is definitely a good thing. Throwing out tabs?...... Why? If they are reading stand notation, reading the tabs can't hurt. It can't hurt anyway..... It's just another form of notation.... a very useful notation for learning guitar riffs & solos.

Quote by Christian Davis

Granted, their start is going to be slow. As time progresses though, if taught and practiced properly the student may be able to move much faster or at least have more musicianship to help them far greater than your average tab reading guitarist in the future musical career they may possess or aspire. (So I think. This is all theory)


Well, that sounds good but it's idealistic, not realistic. There certainly are benefits to those that can read music, but if you force it on a student, you may end turning them off from music which IMO is a bad thing. I've had lots of students not want to read music at the beginning, but then as they progress, they often come to me on their own and ask to be taught standard notation. I find they do much better when they decide for themselves it's what they want..... or are at least willing to put in the effort.

It's always good to try and start them off with it..... but you have to assess the student.... it's not necessarily right for everyone.

Quote by Christian Davis

Now, back to the treble and bass clefs. Naturally it seems people have more trouble reading the bass clef rather than the treble. Why? The treble is uses much more often. Would it not benefit people to start off learning the bass clef first and use it more first than the treble? (It doesn't matter AS much on guitar, but it very well may in future situations one may come across)


Absolutely not. Start with the clef that they are actually going to be reading/practicing everyday. Starting a student off on Bass clef would be as effective as starting them off alto clef or tenor clef..... I mean guitarists generally have a hard time reading those also..... there is a reason for that......that reason is something worth considering.

Quote by Christian Davis

Now, all this given of make the student if he's willing use sheet music rather than tabs. What all is beneficial at least in this theory? A better ear for music, more advanced when it comes to their musicianship (More than likely) than those who solely rely on tabs and more possibilities. They could learn the fretboard much easier. It could make the guitarists venture on into intervals, scales, modes etc. much easier.


I think you have the wrong idea with this "sheet music rather than tabs" attitude. I see this as an elitist / idealistic approach, that is well meaning, but short sighted.

Quote by Christian Davis

Now, this is all a theory I came up with earlier. Thank you for those who take time to read this. But does anyone agree that this method of teaching from the start to read music would be much more highly beneficial than those who teach tab? I mean, to me, I think the possibilities of the benefits here could be endless. Any input?



Teaching them to read music.... yes... very good

not allowing them to read tab....... I don't see the benefit. You would just be depriving them of something that is useful.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Sep 12, 2009,
#12
You won't hear any arguments from me about the importance of reading standard notation. It's a must for being able to read note durations, and theory makes a lot more sense when you can read standard notation.

That said, I think your method is a bit too much, too soon, for beginners. For a beginner, the best thing to do is to start with something easy and fun. Take learning to ride a bike. You get your 5 or 6 year old a little bike with training wheels, and let them ride around on the grass, have fun, fall down a few times, get back on, try again. Learning to ride a bike would not be as fun, or as effective, if the young student had to first learn about the details of the biomechanics that go into riding a bike!
Once you've made some progress, it's a lot easier to loop back around and work on gaining a more thorough knowledge, because now your student knows why this stuff is important, and can apply it more.
I think the best approach is to teach the practical and theory sides in parallel - ie. teach the practical, but keep refering and tying it into the theoretical. For example, you might say, "play the 6th string, 5th fret, that's an A, then the 7th fret, still on the 6th string, that's a B". Gradually, you'd refer less to the fret numbers and more to the note names. At this point, you could start introducing standard notation, because your student is beginning to get comfortable thinking in terms of notes on the fretboard rather than fret numbers.
#13
Quote by prsrulz91
honestly, it has no benefit. The guitar is structured very differently from other instruments, and because of this, it's extremely hard to figure out how to play songs on guitar with sheet music. I can speak from experience; I tried teaching myself at first using a book that listed everything as standard sheet music. And no matter how much I busted my ass to learn the stuff in the book, it really didn't benefit me once I started taking lessons. Sure I could read sheet music, but doing so at first gave me no technical or intellectual advantages over other guitar players who start out with tab


I really disagree that sight reading for guitar is useless.

Sight reading lets you read music, which can be used if you ever go on to play in an orchestra extra or a different instrument!

It helps you to learn the notes of the guitar with ease over time.

You can understand rhythm, effects like speed up etc.

Also helps ear training a lot more.

Benefits for auditioning for established bands or guitar colleges?

Theres probably more that I don't realise but yeah. I've only just started learning sight reading and these are the benefits that have already been highlighted by me from learning this.
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#14
I think guitar players limit themselves by not being able to read/understand music notation. Knowing how to read music doesn't necessarily mean being able to see a complicated piece of music and being able to play it at tempo the first try, but there is a wealth of information out there on music theory and improvisation written by non-guitarists that you will never understand if you don't learn to read music. Anything from learning jazz songs out of a fake book, to reading Mark Levine's Jazz Theory book and getting something out of it, to reading information about improv written by sax players, pianists, etc, or learning classical pieces from sheet music all require some basic level of reading music notation. Any guitarist who ignores this is limiting his potential as a musician. Even if you never plan to rely exclusively on being able to read music, there's still value in acquiring the skill. It's worth the effort.
#15
to all those saying TAB is superior to standard notation, how many of you can sight read a tab of a song you've never heard with people you've never played with and have it sound rehearsed and good? Im guessing none of you because TAB makes that more or less impossible.
It is completely possible to do this with standard notation. moreover, if you tell a player of any other instrument "im playing 3 on the a string, then 2 on the d string then back to 3" they will have no idea what your talking about. If your playing shred alone in your room, tab is superior, however if your playing anything with other musicians that you havent played before or playing with musicians that are not guitarists standard notation is superior because it facilitates easy comunication between musicians. If you practice reading effectivly (all over the neck) it is in everyway superior and i agree guitarists should learn this when they begin, especially because the guitar is technically much easier then most other instruments (being that once in tune, intonation and tone production is very easy).
#16
Why not write the tabs with the rythm written in above (the same way it's written in sheet music.)
I can read sheet music but i prefer GP because it has both tabs and sheet.
I use the tabs for the notes, and recommended fingering, and sheet for rythm.
and we write in treble clef ecause it's more used.( i don't think I've ever had to play guitar on the bass clef.)
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