#1
Ive just been into theory lately, and ive got it figured how the keys in the piano translate into the sheet and whats the difference between clefs and so on(i assume i got the hang of it)

But ive always heard how learning to read sheet music is a drag and it takes years?(some people say months.. dunno - pretty vague) and from what ive read recently it seems like a subject that you can master in a week - or is it?

Again i am just assuming. I know its silly to measure how much time it takes to optain musical expertise since everyone learn so differently, yet still - how much will i be required in time and energy in order to learn to read notation?
#2
Honestly you can learn and understand the basics (chord constructions, keys, scales, simple harmony) in a week. Maybe you can't apply it that quickly, but you can easily learn and memorize the concepts within a week. Learning "everything" however, will of course take years. I say everything in quotes because there's really no such thing.
#3
Learning to sight read music is an ongoing endeavour; it isn't something you either can or cannot do but rather something you can always get better at.

To get it to where you can learn songs from notation (albeit not quickly) could be done in a handful of weeks. It also depends on where you are in knowledge of the guitar. If you know the fingerboard exceptionally well already then learning to read from sheets will go much faster than if you do not.
#4
So if I gave you a sheet of piano music, and asked you to play it from beginning to end, properly, with all of the correct accents and everything, you could do it?

It's all in the application, I'm sure the people you've heard who have said it takes years to master are talking about sight reading, reading new music and playing it as you go for the first time.
#5
As said, there's a difference between reading music and sight reading a part. To sightread fluently takes a long time, however to just understand the concept and conventions of notation can be done relatively quickly.
#6
So what youre saying that sight reading and notation highly depends on the knowlage of layout of my instrument?

So those people that it took them "years" actually took years to gain fluent with their instrument chord and pitch layout and gain good hearing, rather than be fluent in "just notation".

Am i correct?
#7
Yes, that's a very big part of it. If you know your instrument then reading from notation feels natural.
#8
I deleted my original post in here because I just saw that I wrote it while struggling to keep my eyes open and it made no sense in response to your question. New answer.

Honestly, I think learning to sight read music on a guitar might be the hardest thing you ever do related to guitar. It's easy to learn all of the rules and mechanics of music notation. You can honestly do that in an hour. But being able to actually sight read and use those rules you in any kind of timely manner, 99% of guitarists never actually learn how to do. I'm not saying you shouldn't, it would be fantastic if you did. The only advice I can give is if you're dead set on learning to sight read, then quit reading tabs instantly. I would use guitar pro, and only look at the tab far enough to determine the right key of the song (because most tabbers don't set the key on their guitar pro files) and hide the tabs and show the sheet music.
#9
Quote by Standarduser
Ive just been into theory lately, and ive got it figured how the keys in the piano translate into the sheet and whats the difference between clefs and so on(i assume i got the hang of it)

But ive always heard how learning to read sheet music is a drag and it takes years?(some people say months.. dunno - pretty vague) and from what ive read recently it seems like a subject that you can master in a week - or is it?

Again i am just assuming. I know its silly to measure how much time it takes to optain musical expertise since everyone learn so differently, yet still - how much will i be required in time and energy in order to learn to read notation?

Not really answering your question, but this artice is brilliant. Particularly the section on Psychology and Professional Use.

Also, this part stood out for me,

"Beauchamp asserts it is better to sense and know where the note is than what the note is. The performer doesn't have time to think of the note name and translate it to a position, and the non-scientific note name doesn't indicate the octave to be played".
Last edited by mdc at Sep 30, 2011,
#10
That's exactly how it is as a fluent sight-reader. You see the note and you know what it sounds like so you hit the sound rather than the note. This also affords the advantage of better interpretation because you aren't hitting a number, a position, or even a note, but a rather a tone that means something to the ear.
#11
Quote by Standarduser
how much will i be required in time and energy in order to learn to read notation?


Well, part of the problem is that there are many definitions of "read notation."

For example, can I put something in front of you, and have you sing (or play) it cold, first read-through? With no mistakes and good feeling?

Yeah, that's going to take a while.

On the other hand, if you just want to get to a place where you can figure out what the music says, so that you can then play it, that's not going to take you very long at all.

Between those two things is a huge amount of space, however.