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  1. #151

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    Quote Originally Posted by lukmanohnz
    Difficult? AYFKM? It’s f*$&ing torture. But dammit I’m 59 years old and I am going to learn to sight read if it’s the last thing I do on the guitar. This is after 45 years of playing, and only having started learning to sight read on guitar in earnest this year. But I wasn’t consistent in integrating it into my practice routine until a few weeks ago, and I can see now how important it is to do it consistently every. single. f*$&ing. day. I am doing it mostly to get the entire fingerboard memorized cold. I know I will be a better, more well rounded guitarist if I can read standard notation. I am a tab junkie. I am also eager to play some Bach. I know there’s some Bach that’s tabbed out, but I think it would be amazing to be able to look at a Bach minuet in standard notation and actually be able to turn that into music.
    Just to be clear. I didn't mean knowing the notes on the fretboard when I said it's a specialized skill not applicable to all musicians. I consider that a core skill to be able to name places one puts their finger on their instrument. Aside from the practical usefulness of being able to communicate musical ideas and being able to read music written for other instruments (or even more serious guitar sources), it allows you to engage your whole brain into conquering music and train your ears better. It's how one can fully immerse into music.

    That said sight reading is not knowing the notes on the fretboard. Memorizing the fretboard, even making it a second nature is not even scratching the surface of sight reading.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 04-16-2020 at 10:38 AM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #152

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    Originally Posted by ccroft
    Guitarists the Most Ignorant?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzism
    What are you trying to say with this one liner, that all guitarists sightreading problems are down to ignorance?
    Nope. That's a link to another long post on this forum about the musicianship of guitarists. I copied the URL out of that tab and pasted into the reply field. Untouched by human hands!

    I wrote a couple lines and then did the link paste. When I previewed it I thought it kinda funny, and better without my input so I deleted that.

    I think pretty much everything that can be said about our musicianship or lack of it is covered in these 2 threads.

    FWIW, the only really good sight-readers I've worked with are horn players. One note and all that. I find that drummers and guitarists are on pretty equal footing in this regard. IE not that great at it. Or pretty good at it if it's a simple part.

  4. #153

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    Some people talk about reading and sight-reading as two different things.

    Apparently, to some, "sight-reading" is being able to read so well that you can sub in a big band and play charts you've never seen.

    Then, "reading" is being able to decode what's on the page in a less demanding environment.

    When I couldn't "sight-read" I minimized this distinction. With more experience (a lot of it unpleasant), I've come to appreciate why it is discussed this way.

    Learning to sight-read requires not just being able to read and find the notes, but to read rather complicated rhythms in chunks -- that is, without having to count or to otherwise puzzle them out. To take a trivial example, if you see a half rest and an eighth rest, you're going to feel the hit on and-of-3 without any thought. And, a good sight-reader may use that 2.5 beat rest to move his eyes to the right and "pre-read" what's coming up. He's looking for what the rhythms coming up are and he's also looking for notes that may be too high or too low for where his hand is on the fingerboard. And, if he finds some, he's going to figure out how to reposition his hand, without missing any notes. He may have to think about fingerings and, in some cases, he's going to be thinking about what he can safely omit (better to leave stuff out than play it badly).

    Slightly more complicated, say you see dotted quarter, eighth tied to quarter, quarter. You recognize it like it's a picture, not a series of symbols, you immediately know it's the 3 side of 3-2 clave (or however you think about that phrase); you know that rhythm and you don't have to think any further. You can then move your attention for the duration of that bar to whatever is coming up -- while you hands play the figure without you.

    I don't know any way to develop that skill apart from just spending a lot of time doing it.

    And, when I say "he", I mean "s/he".
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 04-17-2020 at 09:04 PM.

  5. #154

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    Unfortunately for most guitarists, other musicians start learning this shit in public school band when they are 10 years old. They learn to read the rhythms by playing all those silly little kiddie ditties in unison until it is soaked into their sponge-like little minds. After a couple years of that, they learn to recognize and feel all the different combinations....and may I say....rhythmic notation has its own special logic that ultimately make it easier to recognize...and this makes it so hard for novice musican/transposer/composers to notate the rhythm properly.

    Sometime a phrase needs to have a single pitch written as a quarter tied to an eigth versus a dotted quarter, because it helps set up patterns that need to be recognized. Novices don't know this and think you use the most economical notation possible, but it ultimately won't express the rhythm to real sight readers.

    I make this sound complex, because it kind of is when untrained musicians try to start reading as an adult and don't think you have to start from square one by playing HOT CROSS BUNS and such to learn how to read rhythms.
    Last edited by cosmic gumbo; 04-18-2020 at 08:46 AM.

  6. #155

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    I have found this book particularly helpful. The pace of skill development is good (for my brain, anyway) and I appreciate the inclusion of rhythmic-only studies very helpful. He gives a chapter or two of pitch study, then switches to rhythmic study, then when he returns to pitch study he incorporates the rhythmic skills just covered. So it stair-steps the student forward. I am interspersing work in this book with practice using this iOS app. The combination has been steadily moving my sight reading ability forward. My teacher is also giving me a daily reading study of ~8 bars of random music from arpeggio or melodic practice material. Those have accidentals, much more syncopation and wander far from the small zones of comfort I have. I suck at all of it. But I am going to persist.

  7. #156

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Some people talk about reading and sight-reading as two different things.

    Apparently, to some, "sight-reading" is being able to read so well that you can sub in a big band and play charts you've never seen.

    Then, "reading" is being able to decode what's on the page in a less demanding environment.

    When I couldn't "sight-read" I minimized this distinction. With more experience (a lot of it unpleasant), I've come to appreciate why it is discussed this way.

    Learning to sight-read requires not just being able to read and find the notes, but to read rather complicated rhythms in chunks -- that is, without having to count or to otherwise puzzle them out. To take a trivial example, if you see a half rest and an eighth rest, you're going to feel the hit on and-of-3 without any thought. And, a good sight-reader may use that 2.5 beat rest to move his eyes to the right and "pre-read" what's coming up. He's looking for what the rhythms coming up are and he's also looking for notes that may be too high or too low for where his hand is on the fingerboard. And, if he finds some, he's going to figure out how to reposition his hand, without missing any notes. He may have to think about fingerings and, in some cases, he's going to be thinking about what he can safely omit (better to leave stuff out than play it badly).

    Slightly more complicated, say you see dotted quarter, eighth tied to quarter, quarter. You recognize it like it's a picture, not a series of symbols, you immediately know it's the 3 side of 3-2 clave (or however you think about that phrase); you know that rhythm and you don't have to think any further. You can then move your attention for the duration of that bar to whatever is coming up -- while you hands play the figure without you.

    I don't know any way to develop that skill apart from just spending a lot of time doing it.

    And, when I say "he", I mean "s/he".
    Yes, to all of the above. I have always been able to read music in the slow/decoding sense. But have never gotten to the point of being able to just play rhythmically intricate/syncopated music from the page without pauses and stumbles. The times when I've gotten closer to being able to do that have all been when I was doing a lot of reading. But I don't have professional or academic pressures to get better, and learning melodies mostly by ear is faster, so that's what I do.

    I learned to read on recorder at around age 6-7. When I got to guitar later I had no trouble with the concept of reading or learning where the notes were on the fretboard (which has always seemed obvious to me, and I don't really get why people struggle with it), but rhythms and chords (on the staff) always threw me. My ears were better so that's what I used (even when I briefly studied classical guitar -- I pretended to read while memorizing what the teacher played). I never learned tab (never saw the need or value), so that's not a factor in my (non)reading.

    I think the OP question is misstated. While I do think there are aspects of the guitar the make reading more challenging (especially that you have to plan out where to play a note in based on what comes before and after), I think that the players who actually need to read fluently because of the music they play, their gigs, or their studies do so. The ones who don't have to don't.

    John

  8. #157

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    I agree with John A. agreeing with RP!

    I started reading on violin at around 9 years old so reading notes is in my blood. Switched to guitar around 14, but this is like '68 or something so sticking it to the man included dropping classical and playing blues. Didn't read anything for a few years until I started playing jazz. Dealing with syncopation was the hardest part.

    The point of all this is that someone recommended Rhythmic Training by Rober Starer, which is really only about that. You get to the point where you start recognizing phrasings up to a bar or 2 long quite quickly, which as RP points out gives you time to consider other issues.

    Further to this, use it or lose it! I got quite good at reading but stopped playing for about 15 years. I'm not what I used to be. Got the old book out, but I just don't have the fire in my belly at this age to work it like I did when I had a music career.

  9. #158

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    Quote Originally Posted by GodinFan
    I'd have to agree.

    As someone who is a very good sight reader on woodwinds, I've been able transfer much of that to guitar. It's just a matter of sitting down and doing it.

    There's no reason for guitar players to be musical illiterates.
    Musical illiterates? this is just rude, tell it to Wes
    maybe you learned to read well, BECAUSE YOU PLAYED WOODWINDS?????
    As guitarists, reading is not our #1 concern... and you can have a perfectly good career without being a great sight reader
    compare that to violin, woodwinds even piano... your first lesson was sitting with sheet music in front of you? mine was learning to play the blues.... i'm happy because it was fun for me

  10. #159

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    Quote Originally Posted by patshep
    Musical illiterates? this is just rude, tell it to Wes
    maybe you learned to read well, BECAUSE YOU PLAYED WOODWINDS?????
    As guitarists, reading is not our #1 concern... and you can have a perfectly good career without being a great sight reader
    compare that to violin, woodwinds even piano... your first lesson was sitting with sheet music in front of you? mine was learning to play the blues.... i'm happy because it was fun for me
    Wes knew the chords he was playing, and could talk to other musicians about them. He was a poor sight reader, but not musically illiterate.

  11. #160

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    The fact that Wes was a poor sight reader is no excuse for us lesser Gods not to be good at it!

    But of course everyone knows that guitar players are generally better looking than woodwind players, so they will get the job anyway, whether they can sight read or not.....

  12. #161

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    Nevermind sight reading, apparently possessing even an elementary sense of harmony and time is not necessary for guitarist to be sought after:


    Average listener is either too dump or don't give a shit about music. And that's the listener most guitarists try to appeal to.