#1
i learned how to read tempo from using guitar pro. very self explanatory and easy to learn if you use guitar pro alot and play back and compare the notation. I cannot read musical notation, just quarter notes, rests, triplets, etc.....

are there some notable guitarists that don't even know what a quarter note is or a 4/4 time signature?


on a somewhat related note, can you learn flamenco, classical, and jazz without knowing hot to read musical notation but tab but can understand tempo and scales?
#2
It runs full spectrum. Plenty of amazing guitarists that can sight read anything. Plenty also that can't read a lick and learn mostly by ear, and everything in between. Use the tools at your disposal.

If you want to do studio session work, learn to read.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#3
Of course there are but it Doesn't matter.

The question you SHOULD be asking is:

Why would I limit myself like that?

Why wouldn't you learn? You won't get worse.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#4
Listen to Jet, he speaks truth. Dont be lazy, hard work now will pay massive dividends later.

And if you really want to learn classical and jazz, RIF, reading is fundamental. My classical guitar professor at college told me once if you can sight read really well, there is plenty of work on broadway, in theatre, and studio work.

I didnt listen, now I am an Electrician instead of a full-time musician. "but Eddie Van Halen cant read music!" Yeah, but there is only one Eddie VanHalen. If you aren't him you need every tool possible in your toolbox to be a great musician.

Then again what the hell do I know!
#5
Thanks; I take being a professional very seriously! (Much to the chagrin of everyone, including the MT try-hards haha)

And yes, if you can read well the theatre/session world will beat a path to your door.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#7
All good guitarists technically know what a 4/4 time signature or a quarter note is (I mean, they can play music that uses them and they can count to four). But some may not be able to name it or read it. So if you tell them to play quarter notes, they may not know what that means. They may not be thinking in terms of time signatures or quarter/eight/whatever notes.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#8
Of course you can play anything even if you don't know how to read at all. Playing classical isn't rocket science.

And jazz? Of course you can. AFAIK, it's not usually even properly notated. The genre leaves a lot of room for improv.

That being said, knowing how to read is VERY useful, but you can play any genre without knowing how to read. Especially if you have a good ear.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Sep 13, 2014,
#9
^ I agree. But reading music is pretty much required if you want to play in a classical orchestra. But if you just play alone, you don't need to be able to read music regardless of the genre if you have a good ear.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#10
Quote by MaggaraMarine
^ I agree. But reading music is pretty much required if you want to play in a classical orchestra. But if you just play alone, you don't need to be able to read music regardless of the genre if you have a good ear.

Yeah, true. I didn't consider that in my post.

I'd encourage everyone to read. It has improved my overall musicianship and I've started to prefer using notation programs too.
#11
Also, to comment on Jazz:

While it is an improvisatory genre, no guitarist would last 5 minutes in a modern big band or vocal gig without the ability to read.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#12
the paradox of some that take the time to learn chord shapes and note for note solos and yet feel that learning how to read (and learn theory) will somehow limit/alter their ability to play - just baffles me to no end..

as jet penguin said "..why would you limit yourself like that.."


wolf
#14
Pfft I've been playing for two years and still can't read chords or time sigs, it's all ear and motivation, I heard somewhere that Hendrix couldn't read sheet music, but correct me if I'm wrong.
#15
Quote by dylandempsey6
Pfft I've been playing for two years and still can't read chords or time sigs, it's all ear and motivation, I heard somewhere that Hendrix couldn't read sheet music, but correct me if I'm wrong.

nah I'm pretty sure most blues musicians couldn't read sheet music.

In fact, and I might be wrong here, but I doubt that most blues musicians (early blues musicians) knew really any theory, considering that the genre pretty much originated from slaves with no education at all.
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#16
Quote by Jet Penguin
Thanks; I take being a professional very seriously! (Much to the chagrin of everyone, including the MT try-hards haha)


Yes your professional attitude astounds me.


Otherwise I agree, that having the ability to read music keeps certain paths open - usually jazz, classical and theatre gigs. However outside of these genres it's pretty uncommon to come across sheet music.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#17
You really don't need sheet music for rock. Rock is so riff/chord based that you don't really do anything with sheet music. Of course learning to read sheet music doesn't hurt but for some it may be waste of time - they don't actually need the skill for anything. It of course depends on what you want to do. If you only want to rock, you will most likely never need to learn to read sheet music. But I think if you want to be versatile, knowing how to read music is a good skill.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#18
Musicians who can read sheet music are much easier to work with. You can communicate with them, comment on their playing or suggest that they play something much easier and faster than an illiterate.
If they can't read and you want them to play something, you have to learn their part, show it to them, wait for them to figure out what you're playing, memorise it and THEN learn it. Instead of just reading it and playing it. The amount of time wasted can be massive. And I'm talking about a rock band setting.
#19
^^^ I dunno. Both approaches have their pros and cons. Someone could say that you are spending time writing down the part correctly when you could just show the other guy the part instead.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#20
Alan, you know I like to mess with people. I wasn't claiming any pretentiousness or insult.

I'm not THAT much of a jerk; If I was I certainly didn't meant to be and I apologize.

Besides I'm probably the biggest MT try-hard there is!

And I dunno, even in rock/pop, if you get to the pro level you need to read; there's no escape. All those anonymous people you see on TV backing up bands and tracking shred guitar on sessions can probably read at least halfway decently.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Last edited by Jet Penguin at Sep 14, 2014,
#21
Certainly one could learn classical guitar/flamenco style without being able to read music. But out of all the styles of guitar one could learn, I think that's the one where being able to read sheet music is the most important, and it is something I would recommend someone practice, if that is their goal.
#22
Quote by AlanHB
^^^ I dunno. Both approaches have their pros and cons. Someone could say that you are spending time writing down the part correctly when you could just show the other guy the part instead.

Fair enough. I find it easier to communicate more rhythmically complex stuff through the written medium, but having a good ear is really important too!
#23
Sheet music is to communicate. You can learn any music without any notation.

Just like a child learns to talk at an early age, he needs to learn to read and write before he can communicate concepts when needed in a later point in time, or when talking is not an option.

Same with music. If you get asked for a gig the next day, but you can't practice or meet up with the band, you need to learn the music on your own, this is done through sheet music most often for classical and jazz music.

Good ears are vital for making music, or else you play by memory, and you might miss out on groove and subtle dynamics which are almost never fully written out (this would also be nigh impossible due to the sheer amount of consciously made micro differences in some players/pieces).

It would be a soccer player not really knowing where the ball will end up after he kicks it, or a cook not being able to know how far a steak has cooked by touch.

To stretch it further..

A cook could use a timer, but maybe one day he gets a steak that is bigger than usual, then his timers are worth shit. Just like if u have a good ear, and you hear an unfamiliar chord (Change) you can at least pick out the individual notes and hang on those, if not knowing certain melodic devices too use.

Populary, people will judge your music on what they hear, so it's the logical thing to also judge with your own ears, playing the same 'field'.

It is what it is.

A small nugget.. Today I discussed with a friend, his daughter uses his ipad to search things on google, but she can't read or write since she's 4 years old, but she uses Siri (apple's voice control).

We argued that if more stuff continues to get vocally controlled, reading and writing development of children could be set back, flawed or even neglected.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

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Who's Andy Timmons??
Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Sep 14, 2014,
#24
Quote by dylandempsey6
Pfft I've been playing for two years and still can't read chords or time sigs, it's all ear and motivation.

Good for you. I don't see how this benefits you, though. Honestly.


Prove me wrong, though.
#25
Quote by AlanHB
^^^ I dunno. Both approaches have their pros and cons. Someone could say that you are spending time writing down the part correctly when you could just show the other guy the part instead.


...and unless he memorized it really quickly, chances are he forgot it the moment he left the practice space. Whereas if he wrote it down, he could take it home and practice if need be.

At least, this is my experience. If you only need to play it right then and there, fine; show it to me, hope I get it right when I play it back, record it, and move on. But having to learn a bunch of songs really quickly on my own time? Imma write it down, because I'm an old man and my memory is going.