#1
So, I don't read music. I kind of understand which notes go where, what the clefs are, the diff. b/w whole, half, quarter, rest. So if I had to, I could take a piece of music notation and figure out what the notes are, how to play them. But would be really slow and would not be much fun (I think).

I have thought a number of times to work on my ability to read traditional music notation. It seems like there might be some value if I ever wanted to write songs professionally, collaborate with musicians who don't play guitar and who do read music, etc. But, you know, that value is all kind of abstract, and it still does not seem like a "fun" exercise, so it is one of those things I just ever get around to.

But last night it suddenly occurred to me... What if, when you learn to read music, you can literally hear it in your head as you are reading the sheet music? As if you could read through a book of songs on sheet music and "hear" them as if you were listening to a CD? As it stands now, if I have not heard a song before, and I have the music for it (tablature mainly) I have to play it to see if I like it... but if I actually could "hear" it by looking at it, that would seem to allow me to look through a lot of music without picking up my guitar for stuff I like.

I don't know...is that what "reading music" really means? That you hear it in your mind as you look at the music notation? If so, that seems much deeper, and more exciting, prospect than what I thought before (which is just that you get really fast at knowing the right notes to play and how to play them when you read them, but you still do need to actually play them through to "hear" if they work together).

Ken
Bernie Sanders for President!
#2
That is why we learn to read.

In college a prof would give us a score and we'd have to figure out what song it was.

The ability to hear what you see is invaluable.

You nailed it.

Can you recognize this?
#3
Nope, no clue from looking at it.

I don't know why, being on the planet 45 years, studying guitar and music theory over 2 years, I still just had the notion that reading music meant knowing as a physical process how to play your instrument, not that you would look at the music and mentally "hear" the music without even needing an instrument. Those seem to be two very different concepts. Sort of like, the difference between reading a new recipe and learning how to cook the food, versus reading a recipe and knowing before you cook it what the food will taste like.

I recall a couple scenes in Amadeus where Saliere is looking at sheet music that Mozart wrote and you can tell from his expression (and the music playing in the background) that he is truly "hearing" it as if it were being played. I kind of thought that, sure, that might be a skill some one might attain after a lifetime of study / mastery, like Beethoven being able to compose even after turning deaf.

Is it then sort of a two-step process, like at first you are learning to play what is written (eyes translated to movements) meanwhile your ears are sort of witnessing the correlation and then, over time, that sounds start to pop into your head from memory without having to actually play them?

I'll probably try incorporating at least 10-15 min of sight reading into my practice each day. And how long does it take to get to that stage? Is that considered an advanced level of sight-reading that takes years of practice?

Ken
Bernie Sanders for President!
Last edited by krm27 at Mar 13, 2014,
#4
sweet child o mine?
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#5
Yeah, that's what ear training is. Go to Amazon and get a sight singing book, spend a few minutes with it each day, and you'll get to where the sounds become pretty easy to "hear" by looking.


(I can solfege through that thing example, but I'm afraid I don't recognize it)

edit: Ohhh
#6
in your face cdgraves. where's your music theory now?


seriously, though, it just came to me somehow. At first I thought it was star wars but then the rhythm didn't match. I think it was the rhythm that gave it away to me, i shudder to think what my music reading would be like had i not played drums (and it's nothing to write home about as it is)



EDIT: also I'm not certain it actually is scom. I'd better go check. EDIT: yeah I think it is scom. online piano keyboard ftw
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Mar 13, 2014,
#8
looks like sweet child o mine to me, too.

"the blue ball flew over the white fence onto the dying grass on the other side."

did reading that sentence produce a relatively clear mental image? did you have to stop and think about any of it?

that's the endgame of reading music -- just like the endgame of reading text.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#11
Now imagine a day where someone hands you a score and you can hear it even though you don't know the tune.
Makes you a more valuable asset to the band.

It's like reading a book. Brain food.
#12
Quote by Dave_Mc
in your face cdgraves. where's your music theory now?



It's written in the wrong key up there, btw, it's in Db.
Last edited by cdgraves at Mar 13, 2014,
#13
Quote by cdgraves
It's written in the wrong key up there, btw... GnR plays it in Gb, the riff starts on the 5th.

A) Written for violins.
B) That is called transposition

That is the beauty of the notation. No matter what key you can recognize the song and hear it in the key you choose.


The fifth? What? Fifth String? Fifth fret? I am not following.
By the way if you like slash the tech I use also services slashs guitars - as well as many other big names.


His derrig getting a new nut etc.
#14
Quote by krm27

I don't know...is that what "reading music" really means? That you hear it in your mind as you look at the music notation? If so, that seems much deeper, and more exciting, prospect than what I thought before (which is just that you get really fast at knowing the right notes to play and how to play them when you read them, but you still do need to actually play them through to "hear" if they work together).

Ken


Reading music means reading music. Hearing what you read is a different skill, and you might equate that with fluency in reading, but I reckon it's separate.

You're right, it is both deeper and more exciting, and it's the reason that professional musicians are able to make decisions on phrasing/articulation etc. (even if it's just a guess) before they've heard a piece. The other upside of learning to read music fluently is it gives you a mental platform to visualise what you are hearing (or just thinking about), as well as hear what you are visualising. It takes a lot of time to get to be that natural that you don't even think about it, but it's worth it. If you get confident enough at it, you stop seeing notes and you see (and hear) shapes and gestures instead.
#15
I think, after a time, when you've had exposure to reading and playing what you read, you will tend to get at least some idea of what it might sound like, but its a matter of exposing yourself to pitch collections and keys and reading repeatedly, and staturation. So, I'd say it's a byproduct of reading and the level of experience and time spent doing so.

Best,

Sean
#18
Quote by macashmack
Yea. A lot composers write full symphonies just from mind to paper.

And a lot of them use pianos to help them compose and to make sure that it's sounding how they think it should in their heads.
#19
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
And a lot of them use pianos to help them compose and to make sure that it's sounding how they think it should in their heads.

Of course. Like most things, it depends on the individual.
#21
yes...reading music allows you to "hear" it...take a scale passage...you can hear it before you play it..when you know the sounds of intervals in all octaves..and rhythmic variations..you begin to hear it as you read it...

when you first begin to read...you go slow and play one or two notes at a time...with practice and time you begin to read and play a bar at a time and so on...if you get proficient you can read two or more bars ahead of what your playing

i have met studio guys that could sing(solfeggio) the lines before they play them..a skill worth developing..

play well

wolf
Last edited by wolflen at Mar 14, 2014,
#22
Quote by wolflen
yes...reading music allows you to "hear" it...take a scale passage...you can hear it before you play it..when you know the sounds of intervals in all octaves..and rhythmic variations..you begin to hear it as you read it...

when you first begin to read...you go slow and play one or two notes at a time...with practice and time you begin to read and play a bar at a time and so on...if you get proficient you can read two or more bars ahead of what your playing

i have met studio guys that could sing(solfeggio) the lines before they play them..a skill worth developing..

play well

wolf

Also - if you can sing it, you can play it.
If the notes are correctly in your head you have the ability to play the piece.
#23
Quote by AngryHatter
Winner.




Luck, pretty much. Somehow it just came to me. You could do another 10 of those and I wouldn't have a clue.

Quote by cdgraves
It's written in the wrong key up there, btw, it's in Db.


Good spot. (I was only joking anyway, fwiw, as I said, it was luck. I'm normally pretty rubbish at this type of thing )

Didn't affect my ability to recognise it, as angry hatter said, I don't have perfect pitch so I was just using relative pitch. Or more accurately, taking a look at the rough intervals between the notes, and the rhythm, and taking an educated guess as to what it might be.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#24
I usually have an idea of how a new melody will sound like before I play it when I read music. And I could figure it out just by singing, but that would require a bit more time.

I almost instantly recognized Sweet Child O' Mine just by looking at the notation. I didn't even need to start singing it, I just looked at the jumps.

I have been playing the trumpet for over ten years and have been reading notation all the time so it's pretty basic stuff to me. But I still don't instantly hear the melody in my head when I see it, unless I know the melody and can recognize it by looking at it.
Quote by AlanHB
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Mar 14, 2014,
#25
Quote by Dave_Mc


Luck, pretty much. Somehow it just came to me. You could do another 10 of those and I wouldn't have a clue.


Good spot. (I was only joking anyway, fwiw, as I said, it was luck. I'm normally pretty rubbish at this type of thing )


Oh yes I know, hence the facetiously nitpicky reply.

I actually dislike GnR, so there's probably some sort of mental obstacle to recognizing anything of their's on sight. Probably need to get over that, as I have to learn Sweet Child for my cover band this weekend!
#27
^

Quote by MaggaraMarine
But I still don't instantly hear the melody in my head when I see it, unless I know the melody and can recognize it by looking at it.


yeah pretty much. I can sort of make a stab at it from looking at the notation, but it's not like reading text or anything like that, it's a very rough guess which may or may not be right.

Quote by cdgraves
Oh yes I know, hence the facetiously nitpicky reply.

I actually dislike GnR, so there's probably some sort of mental obstacle to recognizing anything of their's on sight. Probably need to get over that, as I have to learn Sweet Child for my cover band this weekend!


no worries

I like gnr but i've kind of got slightly sick of their more famous songs which the rock channels here play all the time...
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?