#1
I'm fairly new to guitar, I started playing maybe three or so years ago, but I stopped shortly afterwards and only started playing again a couple months ago. The guitar I started on three years back was an acoustic, I recently bought a Squier Stratocaster and a Vox DA5, so now that you know how experience I am, I'll ask my question.

I have eight years of experience with the piano, so I know how to read music well, and what it means in relation to a piano's keyboard. I can, obviously, also read guitar music, but what I can't do is get an idea of what it means on a fretboard. I do know many basic chords by their chord names, so imagine any "standard guitar chords" poster on the wall of a guitar teachers room... yeah, those are pretty much all I know off the top of my head.

So, over the last couple of months, I've been visiting this site, looking up tabs of popular songs that I find catchy and learning and memorizing them. I can play Fat Lip by Sum 41, Like a Stone by Audioslave, and Bombtrack by Rage Against the Machine entirely from memory, as well as a handful of riffs from songs I'm working on at the moment (basically my whole "favorite tab" list here on this site).

My question is, if I want to continue playing rock-style guitar as a hobby and even potentially as a carreer someday (I know it's unrealistic but it's not good to doubt yourself), will I need to learn how to read music written the standard way (by read I mean understand, I know what it says already), or can I just stick to tabs and and memorizing chords? And, what do the majority rock guitarists do, like you guys? Thanks in advance for the answer, and sorry for the read being so lengthy.
Last edited by JoeBender at Mar 21, 2007,
#2
The Beatles were famous for not being able to read music.
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#3
Many very famous rock guitarists (and even a few jazz) ones never new how to read music.

Beatles and Les Paul being the only on the top if my head


So, basically don't worry about it. Unless you're going to become a session player it's not all that helpful. But in you're case since you already have a lot of knowledge in music theory (from piano) you should learn how to read music for guitar. It's a big pain in the ass to do it, but it doesn't take "that" long, and it'll help you not only deal with other musicians better but it'd make you a better player.
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#4
I guess I should put some time into that then... I was just worried that I'd have to halt my entire practice routine that I described above in order to make time to learn how to understand standard guitar music notation.

I'll pursue this at the same time as learning tabs then, because I do have several beginners guitar books buried somewhere that help with it. Anyway, I'm glad it's not such a big deal, that's a huge weight off of my shoulders. Like I said though, it'll be part of my practice routine.

Thanks for the answers you guys, this helped a lot.
#5
Quote by JoeBender
I guess I should put some time into that then... I was just worried that I'd have to halt my entire practice routine that I described above in order to make time to learn how to understand standard guitar music notation.

I'll pursue this at the same time as learning tabs then, because I do have several beginners guitar books buried somewhere that help with it. Anyway, I'm glad it's not such a big deal, that's a huge weight off of my shoulders. Like I said though, it'll be part of my practice routine.

Thanks for the answers you guys, this helped a lot.


actually it is a big deal and is far superior to tab. Dont be lazy because the other people in this thread are. Tab is limiting, it can only tell you the note to play. Music tells you the timing and the note, also it gives you more of an idea about dynamics in the piece. Other instruments dont use tab, piano, saxaphone, violin. So if you think you cant communicate very well with these musicians if you jam with them. Also you can play other music for iother instruments. Muisc is superior. Im sick of lazy people saying its not useful.
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#6
Quote by radiantmoon
actually it is a big deal and is far superior to tab. Dont be lazy because the other people in this thread are. Tab is limiting, it can only tell you the note to play. Music tells you the timing and the note, also it gives you more of an idea about dynamics in the piece. Other instruments dont use tab, piano, saxaphone, violin. So if you think you cant communicate very well with these musicians if you jam with them. Also you can play other music for iother instruments. Muisc is superior. Im sick of lazy people saying its not useful.


Heh, I know it's useful, I was just trying to get an idea of how common it was for other guitarists like me to know how to understand guitar music. But yeah... I realize it's importance and all, I do read music for piano and all, so don't go nuts on me here.
#7
sorry, i was going nuts at the people who said you dont really use it. Guitarists and bass players are the only musicians who use tab, and its a lazy way to learn in my opinion.
radiantmoon is the toughest person I know. He inflects a sense of impending doom upon any who look upon his stone-chiseled face. The children run out of fear, while the men run for they know that the stories are true.