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#1
Before I start this thread, I'd like to establish one thing: I am an absolutely horrible sight-reader. I'm not even that good at reading sheet (I can read it, but it does take some time on my part).

Isn't it somewhat sad that there aren't very many skilled guitarists that can sight read? I was reading an interview with John Williams, and he put's it well:
Quote by John Williams
Guitarists are among the worst sight-readers I've come across. Julian Bream and I are both dead average sight-readers by orchestral standards, but among guitarists, we are outstanding! This is an area of the guitar that has been poorly taught up until recently.
My instructor was telling me about Williams, and he heard that sometimes if Williams plans to go to a guitar shop, they will give him sheet to a pretty difficult piece, and he will sight-read it there.

How amazing would it be to be capable of accurately playing a piece of music right in front of you, on your first attempt? I was reading about Chopin and Liszt. Basically, Chopin wrote some of the most difficult music for Piano, and his friend (later his rival), Franz Liszt sight-read some of his most difficult works nearly perfectly.

Anyways, any thoughts from you guys?
#2
Sight-reading is an absolutely horrible thing for me..
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#3
How do you make a good guitarist stop playing?......
..


....
?
put sheet music in front of them.

crappy joke haha
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#4
Quote by tremeloud
How do you make a good guitarist stop playing?......
..


....
?
put sheet music in front of them.

crappy joke haha
I actually got a good laugh out of that.
#5
a) the majority of guitars play rock/blues/etc... and are loltheorysuckstakesawayfrommyoriginality. (well alright, thats a bit exaggerated. But the music they play is easily available without sheet music or even if it is, without sightreading)
b) sightreading IS hard on guitar, compared to some other instruments
#6
for some reason It's really hard for me to sight-read with polytonal instruments (guitar, piano), but on violin and sax, it gets a lot easier.
#8
sight reading standard notation (which is what i assume this is in reference to) is nice to be able to do but it's not necessary...you can easily get a copy of any song that you want to play and play along with that until you get the timing and dynamics...before music was readily available it would have been a necessity for all guitarists but not anymore

and as said before...sight reading is difficult on guitar as you don't know the flow of the song and you would need to be able to change positions on the fretboard very rapidly...(i can't explain what i mean very well but maybe someone will understand what i'm saying)
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Last edited by RageAgainst... at Sep 14, 2007,
#10
Quote by seljer
a) the majority of guitars play rock/blues/etc... and are loltheorysuckstakesawayfrommyoriginality. (well alright, thats a bit exaggerated. But the music they play is easily available without sheet music or even if it is, without sightreading)
b) sightreading IS hard on guitar, compared to some other instruments


Okay point A was complete bull****...
#12
I learned guitar by sight reading so that's not a trouble for me, but yeah, most people can't read a music piece unless it's written with numbers...
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#13
I get dyslexic when ever i see notes
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#14
Quote by Jackolas
Okay point A was complete bull****...


most guitars are not session musicians or wedding cover bands or something that requires the ability to sight read


if you play blues you can get away with impro'ing literally 99% of songs
if you play rock or metal or something, even though you could learn to read sheet music, you really wouldn't need to sightread for your omgthrashmetal band. And tabs have made things too easy for guitarists
#15
i cant do it worth a ****... im still learning how to read music
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#16
Quote by seljer
most guitars are not session musicians or wedding cover bands or something that requires the ability to sight read


if you play blues you can get away with impro'ing literally 99% of songs
if you play rock or metal or something, even though you could learn to read sheet music, you really wouldn't need to sightread for your omgthrashmetal band. And tabs have made things too easy for guitarists
what's wrong with making something easier? there's nothing wrong with tabs, it makes the guitar a more accesible instrument to those who don't know much theory and can't read standard notation
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#18
yeah i can sight rread better on piano cause its all laid out in a line right in front of you =/
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#19
Quote by RageAgainst...
what's wrong with making something easier? there's nothing wrong with tabs, it makes the guitar a more accesible instrument to those who don't know much theory and can't read standard notation
Well, my take on tablature is that the concept is fine, but most tablature I encounter doesn't display nearly as much information on the piece as sheet music. I have seen tablature be a bit more explanatory, but that is on rare occassions. There's no way I could play some music accurately looking at the typical tablature I see all over the place, if I hadn't heard the music before.
#20
whats sight reading?
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#21
Quote by RageAgainst...
what's wrong with making something easier? there's nothing wrong with tabs, it makes the guitar a more accesible instrument to those who don't know much theory and can't read standard notation

never said there was anything wrong with making it easier

but since the thread is asking why guitarists can't sightread: if you play rock music, you can get rock music on tabs, and you can a TON of rock music on tabs...which means that you don't really have that much of an incentive to learn how to sight read
#22
Quote by JOEYPWNSU
whats sight reading?

playing music directly from written form (standard notation)

eg: someone puts a song that you've never heard in front of you and you can play it right on the first go
#23
Quote by JOEYPWNSU
whats sight reading?
Playing a piece (which often times you've never played before) with the sheet music right in front of you, without stopping and playing certain parts over. Simply just playing it accurately all the way through.
#24
Quote by The Madcap
Well, my take on tablature is that the concept is fine, but most tablature I encounter doesn't display nearly as much information on the piece as sheet music. I have seen tablature be a bit more explanatory, but that is on rare occassions. There's no way I could play some music accurately looking at the typical tablature I see all over the place, if I hadn't heard the music before.
\
this man is a genius, i agree 100% with you
i can sight read fairly fine on bass, because usually theres no chords to screw me up, but standard notation with guitar makes me want to go
i do prefer tabs usually though for guitar because i play classic rock and i havent come across any standard notation music for rock, but i like to pratice my orchestral peices on guitar when i bring it home from school
#25
ahhh.... i wish i could do that...
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#26
i used to read some stuff when i played the recorder in elementary school, and the tenor sax in gr.7, but since i took up guitar, i don't find the need for it since tabs are way easier. Especially when you want to know exactly how to play it, like what string to use and stuff like that. it's just easier . if i was playing piano or another instrument, i can easily learn cuz i'm smart like dat lawl
#28
guitar sight reading is hard, but i can do it, just usually not up to speed (it the tempo is a bit too fast for me or whatever)
#29
Quote by The Madcap
Well, my take on tablature is that the concept is fine, but most tablature I encounter doesn't display nearly as much information on the piece as sheet music. I have seen tablature be a bit more explanatory, but that is on rare occassions. There's no way I could play some music accurately looking at the typical tablature I see all over the place, if I hadn't heard the music before.
there are hybrid forms of tablature which mark the note lengths and other things that you just can't get from standard tabs...a lot of bluegrass is written that way
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#30
I think sight reading is very important to know. It helps alot because not every song is in tab. Like you madcap it takes me a while. I'm not sure how slow you are but unless theres sort of pattern i have to learn measure by measure. But i have to do it because im in the school jazz band.
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#31
sight reading was never my thing. i think i only got the passing mark in Grade 5 classical, but i started to get better then. of course when i went to a lesson when i was practicing sight reading, my guitar teacher just HAD to be sight reading the pieces from the new grade 8 books the guitar school had been sent yesterday, as i was entering. demoralising to say the least.

although, my guitar teacher did say that [classical] guitarists have it pretty bad (and i agree.) i mean, we're in exam situations with melody and bass notes to concentrate on AND every single note can be found in multiple different places on different strings, so we have to think about our left hand positioning all the time as well. whereas instruments like the flute, for example, play just melody and every note is found in 1 place and 1 place only (in the same exam situation.)

and thats my (rather stolen) take on sight reading but nevertheless... i'm always aspiring to some day sight reading difficult (looking) things.
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#32
garden speaks the truth...

i always use GP now as well...Tab + Standard Notation = Awesome
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#33
If you want to make it in the music industry in some way you HAVE yo be able to read/sight read music. Especialyl for things like session work.

However, tab is a more efficient and guitar centred way of learning. A proper tab will give you a better idea of how to play a piece than music, as the guitar covers so many octaves notation can often become impractical.

Both, i think, are neccesary for progression in guitar.

Anecdotal evidence right there:
Quote by Sol9989
sleast.

although, my guitar teacher did say that [classical] guitarists have it pretty bad (and i agree.) i mean, we're in exam situations with melody and bass notes to concentrate on AND every single note can be found in multiple different places on different strings, so we have to think about our left hand positioning all the time as well. whereas instruments like the flute, for example, play just melody and every note is found in 1 place and 1 place only (in the same exam situation.)



Don't listen to classical music snobs who believe that notation is the most important thing in the world for a guitarist and tab is meaningless. This always comes from people who don't play guitar and they're wrong.
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#34
I can sight read pretty much any sheet music than guitar/bass/ whatever well. I'm in school band, and my band teacher says I'm one of the most talented people there. I can sight read great on bells (I play bells/xylophone, and sometimes some aux percussion). I've never taken lessons on guitar, I'm self taught, so I can't read guitar sheet music well. I CAN, but not as smooth on bells. On bells, I can look at it, hum it through, then play it. Guitar would take a bit.
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#35
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#36
Madcap, out of interest, do you ahve Julian bream's "Guitarra - the guitar in spain" CD? It's fantastic, you should get it if you don't have it.
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#37
Quote by meh!

Don't listen to classical music snobs who believe that notation is the most important thing in the world for a guitarist and tab is meaningless. This always comes from people who don't play guitar and they're wrong.


and where did i say tab was meaningless exactly?
and where is your source saying i don't play guitar?
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#39
Quote by Sol9989
and where did i say tab was meaningless exactly?
and where is your source saying i don't play guitar?



...what?

..I didn't refer to anyone specifically, and if you dind't say that tab was meaningless (I haven't read your post...) then it quite obviosuly wans't reffering to you.

...lol

EDIT: wait man, no, I was using your psot as anectdotal evidence of the fact that notation is HARDER on guitar than on any other isntrument. And tab IS very benificial, lol
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#40
Quote by Sol9989
and where did i say tab was meaningless exactly?
and where is your source saying i don't play guitar?
i don't think his comments were adressed to you...he was simply referencing your story
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