Poll: Can you read music?
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View poll results: Can you read music?
Yes
81 59%
No
12 9%
I am currently learning
38 28%
I don't care to know
7 5%
Voters: 138.
Page 1 of 3
#1
I'm forming a new alliance: The Musically Literate Alliance.

It's basicly for people who are able to read music.

There are a lot of people out there that shred, and can do all these amazing things, but if you gave them a simple peice of sheet music, they wouldn't be able to play it.

Just wondering how many people can read music.
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#2
I can. Hooray for me.

Quote by E V H 5150
There are a lot of people out there that shred, and can do all these amazing things, but if you gave them a simple peice of sheet music, they wouldn't be able to play it.

Don't get your logic here though, there are a hell of a lot more people who can't do anything "amazing" and can't read music. You're making it look like shredding makes one less likely to be able to read music. Pah.
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#3
Quote by Resiliance
I can. Hooray for me.


Don't get your logic here though, there are a hell of a lot more people who can't do anything "amazing" and can't read music. You're making it look like shredding makes on less likely to be able to read music. Pah.


You've got me wrong. I'm only stating that there are a lot of people trying to do advanced stuff without knowing the basics. I happen to know that a lot of the greatest guitarists who are known for their ability also know a great deal about music theory, scales, and the such. But there are also a lot of people who pick up a guitar, and all they do is learn to shred before they even learn the most basic chords (E, A, G, D, C).
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#4
I can.
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#5
Sounds a tad bit too elitist for me. I pass.


Besides, being able to read music isn't really all that admirable of an accomplishment. I mean, hell, any fourth grader who takes violin lessons can read sheet music.
#7
Quote by yawn
Sounds a tad bit too elitist for me. I pass.


Besides, being able to read music isn't really all that admirable of an accomplishment. I mean, hell, any fourth grader who takes violin lessons can read sheet music.


But how many people out there actually take their time to learn it? Knowing how to read music is much more universal than, say, tabs. Of course, playing a trumpet song there's the key difference when on a guitar or piano. But there's so much more you can do with being able to read music. It's not about being better than anybody. It's about knowing the basics before going on to advanced stuff. Not many people are going to try and drive in a rally race before they know how to drive on the streets. Why can't the same logic apply to musical instruments?
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#8
Ya I can read music. Thats how I played guitar for the first year. And now Im in jazz band with guitar so i have to be able to read it.
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#9
Quote by E V H 5150
But how many people out there actually take their time to learn it? Knowing how to read music is much more universal than, say, tabs. Of course, playing a trumpet song there's the key difference when on a guitar or piano. But there's so much more you can do with being able to read music. It's not about being better than anybody. It's about knowing the basics before going on to advanced stuff. Not many people are going to try and drive in a rally race before they know how to drive on the streets. Why can't the same logic apply to musical instruments?
Anyone who plays an instrument in school can read standard notation.

What I meant by it not being that "admirable", was - if anything - there should be a club celebrating something that involves a higher level than just seeing notes and identifying where they are on an instrument. Like, have an "Alliance of People Who Can Write Four-Voice Textures With a Given Cantus Firmus", or something like that...
#10
You made a bad comparison there, see, you NEED to know how to drive a car before you can actually race, while in guitar, you don't need to be able to read sheet music to actually play the guitar. I however, do not know how to read sheet music, so what? Does that make me a bad guitarist because I can't read sheet music?
#11
Quote by yawn
Anyone who plays an instrument in school can read standard notation.

What I meant by it not being that "admirable", was - if anything - there should be a club celebrating something that involves a higher level than just seeing notes and identifying where they are on an instrument. Like, have an "Alliance of People Who Can Write Four-Voice Textures With a Given Cantus Firmus", or something like that...


Understood.

Just one thing:

In my school there are 3 band levels (besides Jazz). One for all freshmen, one for the best as picked by the director, and one for the rest. I'm in the last category. And some kid who sits next to me has been playing trumpet as long as I have (4 years), and he can't read music. He plays every single note wrong. IT'S HIGH SCHOOL BAND!

That's really not a rebuttle (or however it's spelled) to your statement. I can agree with you, now that you're more explained. Despite the fact it's an "alliance", not a "club". But technicalities aren't anything. Maybe multi-instrumentalism?
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Last edited by E V H 5150 at Feb 11, 2007,
#12
Quote by kevinw
You made a bad comparison there, see, you NEED to know how to drive a car before you can actually race, while in guitar, you don't need to be able to read sheet music to actually play the guitar. I however, do not know how to read sheet music, so what? Does that make me a bad guitarist because I can't read sheet music?


The driving comparison was all I could think of. Street driving is basic, whereas racing is more advanced driving, hence the comparison. I'm not saying anybody's bad because they can't read music.
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#13
I can, but it takes me a bit.
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#14
No I can't, but if people are able to write good songs whenever they desire to, why bother?
#15
i can. but i can only use it when i play trumpet. i cant look at something for guitar and play it cause i dont know all the notes on the fret board yet.
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#16
haha! i can.

but i didnt at the begining of the school year.. im a music major at the local college, and i was surprised after the first semester at how well the teachings (which were all for piano) helped me become a better guitarist. after each week of work, i would take what i learnt and apply it to guitar. then i asked the band instructor (not in a skool band.. not even in a band at all) how to apply reading music to the guitar easier, and he gave me a lil phamplet..
easy as hell
#17
I can't. It wouldn't really help me alot knowing it. I'd like to know, but I'm not going to make it a point to learn it.
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#19
I can but ive been playing and trumpet for... ages so id have to be pretty bad not too... but imo general theory is much more important than reading music, and teaching yourself theory is the best way really, cos you really know it, its not something: "I'll play these notes over this cos apparently it sounds good". If you see what I mean? hmmm
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Last edited by foxboxes at Feb 11, 2007,
#21
Quote by foxboxes
I can but ive been playing and trumpet for... ages so id have to be pretty bad not too... but imo general theory is much more important than reading music, and teaching yourself theory is the best way really, cos you really know it, its not something: "I'll play these notes over this cos apparently it sounds good". If you see what I mean? hmmm


Um...

No, I'd say taking a class would be the best way.
#22
I can read the bass clef...
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#23
i can read it not for guitar though. hard to explain
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#24
I can read simple stuff( like, eighth note stuff, still need practice with them triplets) verrrry slowly. Just started practicing reading like crazy a little while ago. Not too good at it, but getting better!
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#25
I can. I understand the benefits to it, and feel a bit sorry for people who consider music a big part of their lives yet don't learn to read music.

Regardless, what is the point of this? It's purely ego driven, no? What, are we going to talk about how nice it is that we can read music?
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#26
i put currently learning..i can read it fluently for saxophone and piano, but for guitar it doesnt come as fluent. I can get itk, but it takes a little more time.
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#28
I played alto sax for a while and picked up alot of music knowledge before picking up the git.

But after I picked up guitar I learned alot more than I had before, all thanks to UG. Huzzah.
#29
I can understand it, but I cant play along with it.

I dont really feel a particular need to learn, although I probably will at some point. I just learn the staff because it goes hand in hand with learning theory... but guitar lines up with it so oddly that I dont really feel like learning it. I still get the concept from it.
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#30
I know everything there is to know about reading musical notation (I believe). Only problem is, I'm not too fluent with sight-reading! Takes me a bit to play right off the bat. I'm learning to play on sight with my keyboard, with simple songs in C.
#31
Quote by nightwind
I can. I understand the benefits to it


I can read music, as I have played piano for years. But I find tablature to be a much more effective means of communication for guitar. For example, it shows the position and string to play on, so you get the exact timbre and more efficient fingering, whereas standard notation might just say 'B'.

So please post the benefits to standard notation, as I dont see how it is superior to tab for guitar.
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#32
Quote by Ænimus Prime
I can read music, as I have played piano for years. But I find tablature to be a much more effective means of communication for guitar. For example, it shows the position and string to play on, so you get the exact timbre and more efficient fingering, whereas standard notation might just say 'B'.

So please post the benefits to standard notation, as I dont see how it is superior to tab for guitar.
Well, although this isn't really isn't a factor most of the time, you can usually play a piece of music using standard notation without having ever heard it before. With tab, you'd usually have to have heard it before to know the rhythm.
#33
Quote by E V H 5150
I happen to know that a lot of the greatest guitarists who are known for their ability also know a great deal about music theory, scales, and the such. .


Define "greatest guitarists"

Because if you're talking rock, or blues, the above statement is incorrect.

Kind of a strange statement for you to make, given your sig... don't you know anything about Eddie?
#34
Quote by guitarviz
Define "greatest guitarists"

Because if you're talking rock, or blues, the above statement is incorrect.

Kind of a strange statement for you to make, given your sig... don't you know anything about Eddie?
Erm...wrong. A few exceptions like Hendrix and EVH don't set the norm. Most well-known rock/blues guitarists have at the very least had a great deal of understanding with scales.
#35
Quote by yawn
Well, although this isn't really isn't a factor most of the time, you can usually play a piece of music using standard notation without having ever heard it before. With tab, you'd usually have to have heard it before to know the rhythm.


Fair point, internet tab can be very dodgy, timing-wise. But this is mostly due to the laziness of tabbers, it doesn't take much to type an e, s, or q above the notes.

I guess another advantage of standard notation is that other musicians can read it. But for me, I don't feel the need to use it for guitar.
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#36
a few exceptions like Hendrix, EVH, SRV, Page, Gilmour, Angus, Dimebag, Keith, Clapton.. c'mon dude, read your magazine interviews. A lot of them of them are very limited in their knowledge of theory.

and since this whole thread started about reading music, let me my favorite question: show me a picture of one of the great rock guitarists reading music. Its easy enough to find pictures of the great jazz classical etc guitarists reading, why do you never see pics of rock guitarists reading? Answer: because most of them don't, they play by ear. They play brilliantly, they are able to play subconsciously what most of us wish we could play consciously, but they don't read music, and or if they do (e.g. Yngwie, Randy, Satch) they don't really use it.

Most forms of popular music, from blues to rock to country to flamenco, have always usually been played by ear.
#37
Quote by guitarviz
a few exceptions like Hendrix, EVH, SRV, Page, Gilmour, Angus, Dimebag, Keith, Clapton.. c'mon dude, read your magazine interviews. A lot of them of them are very limited in their knowledge of theory.

and since this whole thread started about reading music, let me my favorite question: show me a picture of one of the great rock guitarists reading music. Its easy enough to find pictures of the great jazz classical etc guitarists reading, why do you never see pics of rock guitarists reading? Answer: because most of them don't, they play by ear. They play brilliantly, they are able to play subconsciously what most of us wish we could play consciously, but they don't read music, and or if they do (e.g. Yngwie, Randy, Satch) they don't really use it.

Most forms of popular music, from blues to rock to country to flamenco, have always usually been played by ear.
One question.


Why the hell would any musician have a picture taken of them reading sheet music?

That doesn't really give off the "rock 'n roll" image, ya know?

Besides, playing solos using scales is utilizing theory, and it's pretty damn impossible to "subconsciously" hit all the right notes just by "feeling". They've still got to study up to make sure they know which notes will work with the backing chords and which won't.


Edit: Well, of course they won't be playing music while reading sheet music. That'd be sight-reading, and that's pretty damn hard. You can still create music according to theory-based application, without having to sight-read new material.
Last edited by yawn at Feb 12, 2007,
#38
and when I say Yngwie etc don't use it I mean they don't read while they play.

I'm not dissing theory, its helpful, I know my share.

But having played for 35 years and jammed with many many players.. I can say flatly that real-world experience is more valueable then ivory-tower theory...
#39
I can, but I'm too lazy to apply it to guitar. Why make it harder when I have tabs? I'll use them if i can't find a tab though. i can play fur Elise on guitar =)
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#40
Quote by abcdboy
I can, but I'm too lazy to apply it to guitar. Why make it harder when I have tabs? I'll use them if i can't find a tab though. i can play fur Elise on guitar =)
Even though there's a tab for Fur Elise...
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