#1
My question is basically in the title.

I've been playing for around 6 years.
I know a great deal about music theory, scales, chord and what have you.

Would it help me grow much as a musician to learn to proficiently play sheet music on the guitar?

Or would my time be better spent training my ear, improving chops, etc.?
#2
Yes learning to read sheet music will help you big time. I think every one should do it. You can learn songs so much quicker and even play stuff you have never seen before.

You'll understand rhythm a bit better to I think.

If your ever short of cash and can sight read you can get some nicely paying session and theatre work, which people who cant read could do.

I think learning to read rhythm is more beneficial than the notes, but doing both are both very profitable.

The other thing is, it only takes a few weeks to learn to read the music, after that it is just a case of practising it to get it fluent. To get it fluent, just 10 minutes practice once or twice every day will do great, leaving plenty of free time to practice your chops and improvising etc.

I feel I have only touched the tip of the ice berg here to.


Work your way through the stuff in this books preview, it will help your rhythm, timing, counting and reading out a lot.

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Ja70qILQhoAC&printsec=frontcover&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

Good stuff for practice note reading and reading actual songs are every where on the net.

=)
Last edited by jkielq91 at Dec 27, 2011,
#3
Well, guess you could learn at least something about it. It could be helpful if you play with other musicians. But I don't think you should waste all of your time in learning sheet music, just take a look at them between your practices

These are just my opinions, maybe someone more experienced can tell you more...
#4
I think it's very much worth it.

A few of the most important things of it for me was.

1.You learn to think notes, rather than shapes or boxes.
2. You can learn stuff from other instruments and apply it to your own much easier.
3. Some styles just do not use tabs that much, for example jazz.
4. Improved understanding of timing.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#5
Quote by hockeydrunky
My question is basically in the title.

I've been playing for around 6 years.
I know a great deal about music theory, scales, chord and what have you.

Would it help me grow much as a musician to learn to proficiently play sheet music on the guitar?

Or would my time be better spent training my ear, improving chops, etc.?



When you say "sheet music on the guitar", are you saying that you can read sheet music you just haven't learned to translate this knowledge on guitar or you can't read sheet music and you want to learn it for guitar?

Anyway, if you can read other sheet music then guitar will be another weapon in your arsenal - just remember the octave transposition. It will also be handy to know how to write guitar rhythmic notation if you ever need it. (If you're into jazz it's pretty much the same a piano rhythmic notation). I think tabs are a great tool and they're easy to read from, but proper sheet music is...proper sheet music

If you can't read sheet music at all, then go for it. It may even help you to understand the rest of music theory better. I pretty much learned how to read music from classical guitar training and with that base knowledge (and a push or two in the right direction) I'm pretty sure that I can write decently for almost any instrument now. I've written music for saxophones, drums and piano before for school projects and I have no idea how to play any of those instruments.

tl;dr.
do it
#6
Depends on if you're encountering a lot of sheet music. If not, it's not worth it. If so, then it's worth it.

For me, I like to transpose a lot of stuff over from other instruments to guitar, so knowing how to read sheet music is a huge plus. I also do a lot of layered, complex composition, so that's been a useful skill, since most other instruments don't use guitar tablature.
#7
It really depends on your goals and the situations that you will find yourself in.

Personally, the answer is yes, but I'm a geek, tbh.
#8
I can't answer if it is worth it for you, but I keep thinking I should start reading sheet music more, if only so I can sight read from some music books I have that aren't in tab.

I played viola for 8 years as a kid in school so I can read music for that pretty well. Even now if I pick up the viola and pull out some sheet music for it, it is like reading a book. My fingers just know where to go when I see a certain note on the staff.

Guitar is different, though. I still have to stop to think about where the notes are on the guitar. It's not as fluid as reading a book for me.
#9
Yes, sight reading skills would be useful.

I'd like to add, at another level, that simply being able to read sheet music is useful, even when not playing. You can get lots of useful musical ideas to add to your conceptual toolkit by, say, being able to read classical piano pieces.
#10
Quote by hockeydrunky
My question is basically in the title.

I've been playing for around 6 years.
I know a great deal about music theory, scales, chord and what have you.

Would it help me grow much as a musician to learn to proficiently play sheet music on the guitar?

Or would my time be better spent training my ear, improving chops, etc.?

I've been improving my guitar reading for about two months and I'm really enjoying being able to play jazz standards straight from the sheets, usually without any wrong notes too, it's quite fantastic.
#11
I've been practising my reading for about two months and I can now read most of the jazz standards straight from the lead sheets, it's quite fantastic.
#12
Quote by hockeydrunky
My question is basically in the title.

I've been playing for around 6 years.
I know a great deal about music theory, scales, chord and what have you.

Would it help me grow much as a musician to learn to proficiently play sheet music on the guitar?

Or would my time be better spent training my ear, improving chops, etc.?
I've been practising my reading for about two months and I can now read most of the jazz standards straight from the lead sheets, it's quite fantastic.
#13
Depends what you want to do. If, as the above member indicates, you wish to learn jazz pieces directly from "lead sheets" (bare-bones melody with chord indications) or if you wish to learn pieces from commercial sheet music...
Or, if you have aspirations for studio work or orchestral situations (like Broadway pit musicians), then sure. Reading and sight-reading are valuable skills.
Bear in mind that much commercial sheet music is not produced for guitar players; it is transcribed by keyboard players for keyboard players.
Often the "sheet" will just provide a framework that you must then alter to be able to translate to the guitar.

If you are interested in various kinds of roots music; blues and bluegrass and folk and "Americana" and such..... Good luck finding any sheet music that will be even an approximation of what the guitar player is doing.
I'm sure someone could properly transcribe the Sun House version of "Death Letter", but you'd likely do better just listening and capturing the emotional flavor.
#15
It's never a bad idea to learn it, even if you don't think you'll have a practical application for it. You never know when you might want to know it.
#17
Yes do it. I can read rhythm much better than the notes, but it's usually accompanied with tab for guitar, so that's okay. But yes, it means you can play a song accurately without ever hearing it in your life. Of course that's a useful thing to be able to do!