#1
I know a ton of chords but I can't play guitar off sheet music and I don't know how to play notes on it. Can I stil become a really good guitar player?
#2
Yes, you can.

Your ability to play a musical instrument is about listening and playing. The more you practice the better you will get.

An inability to read sheet music won't stop someone from being a great musician. Knowing the names of the notes is not essential either.

The most important thing is learning the sounds your instrument makes, learning how to control your instrument to make the sounds you want it to make, and learning to hear the relationships between sounds.

Learning the names of those notes on the guitar is a pretty good thing to do though and will only help you.
#3
Quote by grantisboss
I know a ton of chords but I can't play guitar off sheet music and I don't know how to play notes on it. Can I stil become a really good guitar player?


well..define "really good" compared to who..how do you know a "ton of chords" if you don't know the notes?? do you know the chords for the blues in Bb?

why would you limit yourself from not learning music..theory/harmony and the fretboard..

erroll garner wrote "misty" and could play jazz piano at a very high level..he admitted he did not read music..but he knew theory-active or passive..should you have the talent to go beyond the necessity to read or learn theory etc..continue on your current path .. I wish you well

wolf
#4
As they ^ said, knowing the notes and reading sheet music aren't exactly mandatory, but they can be helpful. To me (for guitar) knowing the notes on the fretboard is much more helpful than reading sheet music. It's helpful for communicating with others (if they know the notes as well) because instead of saying 5th fret then 7th fret on the G string then 6th fret on the B string, etc. you can just say C, D, F, etc. and it works. It's especially helpful when explaining something to someone playing a different instrument. It's also the foundation of the rest of music theory, whether it be scales, chord construction, whatever.

I've played with lots of people who don't really know the notes that are still really good players, there's just a bit of a language gap.
#5
Quote by 20Tigers
Yes, you can.

Your ability to play a musical instrument is about listening and playing. The more you practice the better you will get.

An inability to read sheet music won't stop someone from being a great musician. Knowing the names of the notes is not essential either.

The most important thing is learning the sounds your instrument makes, learning how to control your instrument to make the sounds you want it to make, and learning to hear the relationships between sounds.

Learning the names of those notes on the guitar is a pretty good thing to do though and will only help you.


Yeah I agree.

Also knowing the notes on the fretboard and being able to sight-read are two different skills.

I think the former is a requisite to becoming a good guitar player, not so much the latter.

But I would spend some time learning how to sight-read.. it is a running joke among musicians that guitar players do not possess the skills to read music.
#6
But I would spend some time learning how to sight-read.. it is a running joke among musicians that guitar players do not possess the skills to read music.

"..how do you get guitar players to stop playing..??...put sheet music in front of them!.."
#7
As a classically trained musician, here is my perspective on Music Theory.

Music Theory is a tool that helps facilitate melodies on the fretboard from your head. It also allows you to think of non-traditional melodies had you not learned Music Theory. Music Theory also allows you to improvise due to moral knowledge of the fretboard and their related scales and connected chords. This allows you to actively pick and choose good notes that sound well together, rather than just noodling around.

However, Music Theory is not necessary for good guitar playing. Music Theory can help boost average players to be better. Naturally good guitar players become even better. However, in the latter case, naturally good players will always be naturally good. Music Theory withstanding.

A note against Music Theory, on certain occasions, an overindulgence of Music Theory can limit you, making you think in certain manner. Provide you do not think in a musically linear perspective already.

So for most players, Music Theory is a excellent tool to boost our own personal playability.
#8
You need to know how to find your way around on the guitar. One easy thing to remember is that the pitches E,F are a semitone apart (adjacent frets on same string), as are B,C. The others are two semitones apart (so a one fret gap on same string). Burn that into your brain.

So, on bass string (E), open string (fret "0") is E, and so F must be fret 1. G is 2 semitones above F, so at fret 3. And so on. This ends up with E again at the 12th fret, so F is at 13th, G at 15th ...

Treble E string is same as above.

Just learn one string at a time, and use the above (E,F and B,C) to help reinforce your memory.

You can then apply octave patterns to find any of these anywhere else.

Here is the pattern, using F. This pattern just slides along the neck. For E, slide it back one fret. For G, slide it up 2 frets.



I can read sheet music very very slowly, but I do understand theory. And I can play well enough. Applied theory is an amazing source of musical ideas.

cheers, Jerry
#9
Quote by 20Tigers
Yes, you can.

Your ability to play a musical instrument is about listening and playing. The more you practice the better you will get.

An inability to read sheet music won't stop someone from being a great musician. Knowing the names of the notes is not essential either.

The most important thing is learning the sounds your instrument makes, learning how to control your instrument to make the sounds you want it to make, and learning to hear the relationships between sounds.

Learning the names of those notes on the guitar is a pretty good thing to do though and will only help you.

All of this said, I still think TS would be better off studying the concepts asked about in his OP. There really is no reason (other than laziness) to not learn about theory, harmony, notes, how to read sheet music, etc.
#10
Well there are other reasons. They may not be good enough reasons in your book but they may be perfectly legitimate in someone else's.

Some people are just not label and note people. They might find studying ,memorization, and learning things like note names and how to read sheet music difficult. They may be quite put off by the whole thing. Instead they may find listening and imitating and experimenting and listening to be a much more beneficial use of their limited time.

Can you really make a sweeping judgment of others people because the path they think is best for them is not the one you think is best for everyone?