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  1. #1

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    This is a reoccurring question on the Telecaster forum: "can you read music?" And plenty of rock and blues guitarists can't read music (standard notation). I was wondering if any jazz guitarists can't. I'm not judging, just wondering if anyone here can not read music.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Yes I can read, but don't sightreading anymore, that takes daily practice I don't have time for these days. I would say most working jazz guitarist read and it they don't they have amazing ears and memory to make up for it.

  4. #3

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    I can, but I don't think I'm great at it...i practice sight reading often, and throw sme unfamiliar syncopations at me or a lot of notes above the staff, and I'm sweatin' like a hooker at mass.

  5. #4

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    yes I read....started when I was 8.....now 65.....

    you miss so much when you can't read...

    time on the instrument

  6. #5

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    Yes, I can read.

  7. #6

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    I can read , but I,m stuck mainly on first position .

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by M-ster
    Yes, I can read.
    Yes, I can read but I don't need to read when I play.

  9. #8

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    This would be good as a poll. Can we still do polls?

    I can read. I'm trying to get good at sight reading. Sight reading practice is the first thing I do every day.

  10. #9

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    I'm glad someone started this thread. I've been working hard on sight reading. My knowledge of the fret board is good but I'm haveing problems reading on more up tempo tunes. I believe the proper method is to look a measure ahead. Is this something that just takes time to prefect or is there some material that can help? A good example would be "Half Nelson". It would be great if an accomplished reader or a studio musician would chime in here.


    Randy

  11. #10

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    I can read. It's a good idea to play something unfamilar slowly at first if it's difficult.

    Up tempo stuff will get easier the better you get at reading without having to think "where's that note?" (or how do I play that rythmic figure?) And the more expierence you get will help you find the best postion or strings to play on.

    Just gotta keep on doin' it!

  12. #11

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    [ QUOTE=$originalposter]{$pagetext}[/QUOTE]

    i can read, one of the most rewarding things i did was to learn. remember being amazed that music could actually be written down! that was 15 yrs ago. has made me lots of money too in the meantime

  13. #12

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    take it slowly...

    open position first...

    then 1st position...then 2nd position....etc...

    it's not a race...with tenacity you will succeed...

    the old Mel Bay Modern Guitar Method (in 7 volumes)...is what I have all my students start on to learn to read the music notation...

    then when you know the notes use violin studies or clarinet studies or flute studies...old time fiddle tunes..etc...

    their is much printed music on the net now days...enough for all of us...

    do give it a try...and do it first because it's on your advanced list...

    I always play what I can not play so as I may learn....Picasso

    time on the instrument..

  14. #13

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    open position first...

    then 1st position...then 2nd position....etc...
    I've wondered if it might not be better to *not* learn open position first. Say start with the key of G in second position.

  15. #14

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    Pierre Richard

    Quote ["then when you know the notes use violin studies or clarinet studies or flute studies...old time fiddle tunes..etc..."]

    Years ago, mid 60s, I was told to to practice with a claranet book - Klose'. I might find this and start studies from this book. I remember it having lots of scale practice.

    I have no problem with finding the notes from 3rd to 7th positions. Just reading ahead on uptempo tunes.

    I also agree with forgetting the first position. Start at the 3rd.

    Randy

  16. #15

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    Yes, I can read music and regret not learning it sooner.

  17. #16

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    [ QUOTE=$originalposter]{$pagetext}[/QUOTE]

    I can read and have had people hand me piano charts and other instruments' parts, and I can get by OK. Sitting in on big band work will make you realize how little consideration is given to guitars, so get with the program, Sister. (quote from "The Bad Lieutenant").

  18. #17

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    Anyone else find it funny that the OP is asking who can't read, and only people who can read are answering? ;o) Anyways, by far the best single music thing I have ever learned. College would have been a total waste of time, if it were not for the fact that I did learn how to read music there.

    Having some experience reading on piano, voice & trumpet, I would say unequivocally, guitar is the hardest instrument to read on. This is caused by the overlapping notes caused by the same note being on up to 5 different strings. Coupled with the many unnatural and awkward finger positions, guitar is uniquely difficult to read on. These limitations are balanced out somewhat by the fact that as guitarists, we get more chicks.

    Anyways, personally I don't think sightreading speed is important, just being able to read and quickly find the correct (or optimal) position / set of strings to play on is more important than pure speed.

    Randy, the secret to reading the more uptempo tunes is: you read them slowly. Note & rhythm accuracy far outweigh speed, when learning a new piece of music.

    I consider myself a good reader because I can tackle anything I decide I want to learn. But I can't sight read blazing fast. But I can take a couple pages of advanced sheet music and learn & memorize it in one or two days, that's good enough for me. I know some people like to practice their sightreading to try and get faster at it, but honestly I think good sight reading skills are just a side effect of learning many pieces, slowly. Practicing sight reading just to get faster at it is the wrong approach imo. Choose pieces that you like and want to learn, choose pieces that will challenge your musicianship & show you new things to inspire your creativity.

  19. #18

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    I can read slowly but that is an improvement over a few years ago. I purposely avoid tab now.

  20. #19

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    [ QUOTE=$originalposter]{$pagetext}[/QUOTE]

    Let's consider my answer as withdrawn as I spread enough misinformation in the world as it is, and I did not answer who can not read, and I dont wanna mis- answer.

  21. #20

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    Sight reading (Reading through on first tries)

    Basic standards, yes, the more curveballs the slower I have to go.

    Bebop - can't get it on the first try, classical guitar stuff, nope.

    I'm sure if I were doing gigs 5x a week that required reading I would be at a very different place with it. I started getting serious about reading later in lyfe and haven't done many gigs where I've had to read notation.

  22. #21

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    Almost every day. I do studio work. Post some examples of charts (music) on my blog from time to time like here...

    Pro Guitar Secrets: Reading in the Studio

    And here...

    Pro Guitar Secrets: Reading in the Studio

    And one more...

    Pro Guitar Secrets: Reading in the Studio

    Have stacks of charts and will try to do more posts on this subject soon.

  23. #22

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    Sorry I double posted here
    Last edited by ChrisDowning; 01-08-2013 at 04:32 AM.

  24. #23

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    Yes - the more you read the more you read ahead like you do when reading text. If you think about it logically, as most people can read text, most people could read music to a very high standard. Unfortunately, unlike orchestral musicians doing something like eight hours of reading a day (two three hour reheasals and performances) in our guitar environment we get rusty, or never reach much of a standard.

    Try working through the Leavitt, Mel Bay or Noad stuff and then get into the habit of writing your musical ideas in notation. At that point you will disciver a huge array of jazz material written in standard notation to practice on.

    The only plectrum exams that force you into reading from Grade 6 and above, is the new Trinity/Guildhall one - link here - http://www.trinitycollege.co.uk/resource/?id=4694 RGT, Trinity Rock and Pop, Rockschool, all allow you to get to Grade Eight without reading, just working from TAB. Which is a bit like saying, so long as it doesn't say English in the title, you can do all your other GCSEs and A levels with being able to read.

    Last thought - don't try to be a solo session player, pit player or freelance, without being able to read. I've heard way to many cringeingly embarrassing stories over the years.

  25. #24

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    slightly off topic...but it's useful to read bass clef, and near essential to read treble clef at concert pitch as well as guitar pitch...and then it's fun to see what you can do slopping through piano scores...

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by randalljazz
    slightly off topic...but it's useful to read bass clef, and near essential to read treble clef at concert pitch as well as guitar pitch...and then it's fun to see what you can do slopping through piano scores...
    Yep - it should be quite an easy gig for a reading guitar player to do some straightforward bass playing occasionally. Not improvising, but reading off the page in the bass clef should be possible.