Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Posts 51 to 100 of 146
  1. #51

    User Info Menu

    My favorite bach for sightreading is barry galbraith's transcriptions of the two part inventions:

    https://www.amazon.com/Barry-Galbrai.../dp/1562240412

    it has way more in common with jazz guitar than CG arrangements of same, which are a lot of times gonna stay in a lower position, etc.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

    User Info Menu

    Take a look at David Oakes “Music Reading for Guitar The Complete Method”. It has graded studies and explains how to navigate a score. Best is that unlike classical guitar, it starts you out reading at the fifth fret.

    I highly recommend it for the beginner.

  4. #53

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    Graded material for big band guitar? Hmmm.

    What do high school jazz band leaders utilize? Not that it would be "graded" as such, but should be less challenging then college charts.

    For that matter, where does one get the college charts?

    The band directors know where to get that stuff, but I don't.
    Publishers actually assign a difficulty level to the arrangements in their catalogs from very easy to advanced, and everything in between. Online catalogs usually have a sample of the score, plus an audio sample to listen to.

    Basie-Straight Ahead by Sammy Nestico| J.W. Pepper Sheet Music

  5. #54

    User Info Menu

    Nice, thanks cosmic!

  6. #55

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickB View Post
    Take a look at David Oakes “Music Reading for Guitar The Complete Method”. It has graded studies and explains how to navigate a score. Best is that unlike classical guitar, it starts you out reading at the fifth fret.

    I highly recommend it for the beginner.
    I will Patrick, might be great for students

  7. #56

    User Info Menu

    I've had this book for awhile and use it occasionally for ideas.

    I second Christian's suggestion about studying rhythm.

    Why Learn Standard Notation?-515iggqiikl-_sy346_-jpg
    "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing." - Socrates
    “Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.” - Alan Wilson Watts

  8. #57
    Either because they (the teachers) couldn’t read, or, more likely, because they thought you’d quit (if “forced” to read).
    I was taught to read 50 years ago and I constantly still thank that man.
    I learned to read on clarinet.
    You could probably do quite a few things - actually many things - without reading or writing English, but there are many useful things you couldn’t do.
    i was going to suggest, as an example, leaving a note on somebody’s door but of course that doesn’t apply any more. The illiterate would just take out his iPhone.

    I met a guy on Craigslist. For a couple of years now we meet and read duets. Sometimes we use Real Book. One of us plays the chords. The other reads the melody. I read it in different positions. This helps with knowing the fingerboard, which helps with improvisation.

  9. #58

    User Info Menu

    I would ask, what is the plus side of not learning standard notation?

  10. #59
    My notes:
    SN=Standard Notation

    A> Imagine some magic pill: You bought it from Amazon $9.99. You swallowed it and you could read like Bill Evans or Segovia.
    Would you swallow it?
    Assuming (almost) everybody would (see B below) the following question emerges (to me):
    IS IT WORTH THE STUDY?
    I want to say - one who continues to study reading SN - the answer is YES. But ......, I FIND IT HARD - BUT REWARDING - A CONTINUING CHALLENGE!!!

    - I find it exhilarating (knowing my instrument, like the big boys)
    - It reminds me I also need to read RHYTHMS!
    - I can read duets
    Honestly, I’m having a hard time articulating why I love it.
    I guess it’s “just” because I can relate to a piece of SN-written music in a deeper way. That’s empowering. (I know justification is vague).

    B> Will knowing SN steal your creativity/spontaneity?
    There are those who maintain “it will harm you, crush your creativity”.
    I’m not sure if that’s so. Seems unlikely to me.

    C>
    Is not knowing SN limiting?
    There’s a Dizzy Gillespie quote about a (Cuban?) trumpet player: “He can’t read a note of music but he can play his a$$ off”.
    Also, Glen Campbell, a respected guitarist couldn’t read.
    so maybe it isn’t limiting to everybody. NOT trying to be funny or callous: Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder can’t read, although they may have special Braille accommodations.

  11. #60

    User Info Menu

    I don't see how having more capabilities limits you. It's just another tool available to you, and you should use the best tool you have for the task at hand. Certainly there are musicians who can't read, now and in the past, but I wonder how much more they could have done if they could have read.

  12. #61
    The plus side of not learning?
    A lot of effort is not put forth.
    Investments, by their nature imply sacrifice or risk:
    > You go to the gym every day hoping to be strong and healthy. Takes time away from other things
    > You eat healthy. You sacrifice the significant pleasure of ice cream and chicken wings
    > You work for money. Time-consuming!!
    OK. I’ve probably annoyed some people already (as if they didn’t know such things!)
    Perhaps worth a reminder:
    Like any investment: The longer you get to enjoy the rewards, the better the investment.
    If I taught guitar, I’d have students reading from Day 1. My lessons, therefore would be most valuable to young students.

    I fear everything I’ve written here is painfully obvious. No disrespect intended.

  13. #62

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStudent View Post
    B> Will knowing SN steal your creativity/spontaneity? There are those who maintain “it will harm you, crush your creativity”. I’m not sure if that’s so. Seems unlikely to me.
    I totally agree with you on that. I said it here somewhere before: if your talent is so weak it needs that level of protection you should stop wasting your time with music. EG: it's pretty unlikely that someone with the talents of a Stephen King or a James Joyce has to avoid reading the morning paper for fear it might pollute his day's work.

    Not to say everyone has to read. I've known many wonderfully creative players on both sides of it.

  14. #63

    User Info Menu

    My experience was that I started reading from my first lesson.

    On the positive side, most of the gigs I get require reading. There are lots of players who can play rings around me, but they can't read. And, I enjoy the challenge of reading and the bands I play in.

    That said, I've often wondered if I'd be a better player if I'd had to rely completely on my ear. That side of things didn't come so easily and I was prone to gloss over it.

    My only advice is this. Reading will open up opportunities, but be sure not to neglect your ear.

  15. #64

    User Info Menu

    Eventually you might want to play with other people. Good players that can read can get through say a gig setlist in one rehearsal. No need to remember anything, it's all written down. Non readers would require how many rehearsals to do it? Or how many hours of preparation at home? .. ain't gonna happen

  16. #65

    User Info Menu

    Know what you read, but don’t read what you know.

    That summarizes my view about the topic. I presume that you have an acceptable knowledge in sight reading, but I don’t want you to be dependent on it.

    Sight reading is not the most important thing for me. Everyone shall have at least basic knowledge in standard notation and sight reading. That’s enough for me.

    Therefore, I feel that knowledge in music theory is far more necessary than sight reading. Jazz guitarists who don’t know music theory have a LOT of things to work on. It’s not a big deal if a jazz guitarist isn’t a skilled sight reader, but the person must have some kind of theoretical overview about what is going on. Jazz and music in general is based on theoretical building blocks. Therefore, it requires that we all have good theoretical skills. Everyone can’t or don’t want to be professors in music theory and sight reading, but we all shall have at least SOME knowledge about them. I don’t want to imagine what a horrible feeling it’ll be to talk about 2-5-1 chord progressions with a jazz guitarist who doesn’t know music theory!
    Last edited by Bbmaj7#5#9; 08-01-2019 at 07:56 PM.
    Have I found it yet? I said that but I didn’t knew it. Did I knew that I had found it yet? No, it wasn’t what I was looking for. Nevermind. Ok.

    -Pataphysical monologue based on Cartesian theory

  17. #66

    User Info Menu

    Why Learn Standard Notation?


    Why learn anything? Because it's useful. But no one says you have to.

  18. #67

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Alter View Post
    Eventually you might want to play with other people. Good players that can read can get through say a gig setlist in one rehearsal. No need to remember anything, it's all written down. Non readers would require how many rehearsals to do it? Or how many hours of preparation at home? .. ain't gonna happen
    I've had many gigs with no rehearsal. Including playing originals, with the charts distributed and, a moment later you're performing the tune. Good readers can do that, even with very poor quality charts. A high skill level required to take a handwritten, sloppy, chords-only chart of a tune you've never heard and play it behind a singer. If you get lost or the singer screws up the roadmap, you have to be able to find your place by knowing the sound of the chords in the chart. And you may have to do that even though you're the chord instrument!

    I've had another group of gigs where there's no rehearsal, but I get the charts to look over in advance.

    And, then, still another group where there is extensive rehearsal ,on lots of tunes and despite that, the leader still puts brand new material in front of the sidemen on a gig and you play it cold. I have never understood that mindset. I figure, why take a chance on performing something poorly when you have lots of rehearsed material in the book? But, it's happened a number of times.

  19. #68

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Bbmaj7#5#9 View Post
    Know what you read, but don’t read what you know.

    That summarizes my view about the topic. I presume that you have an acceptable knowledge in sight reading, but I don’t want you to be dependent on it.

    Sight reading is not the most important thing for me. Everyone shall have at least basic knowledge in standard notation and sight reading. That’s enough for me.

    Therefore, I feel that knowledge in music theory is far more necessary than sight reading. Jazz guitarists who don’t know music theory have a LOT of things to work on. It’s not a big deal if a jazz guitarist isn’t a skilled sight reader, but the person must have some kind of theoretical overview about what is going on. Jazz and music in general is based on theoretical building blocks. Therefore, it requires that we all have good theoretical skills. Everyone can’t or don’t want to be professors in music theory and sight reading, but we all shall have at least SOME knowledge about them. I don’t want to imagine what a horrible feeling it’ll be to talk about 2-5-1 chord progressions with a jazz guitarist who doesn’t know music theory!
    If one wants employment as a jazz guitarist you need either 1) a good repertoire (i.e. a few hundred) tunes or 2) good sight reading (staff notation and chords*). Or preferably both. You also need a good ear and good time.

    Theory is not important, unless you teach.

    It's rare I come across a situation where something needs to be theoretically explained to a professional musician, perhaps if I wrote more complicated music.

    Wether you lean 1 or 2 will shape what type of music you end up playing... 1's will tend to be more straight-ahead players, and often quite uninterested in music theory per se. The 2nd may be a lot more music theory literate depending on the gigs they play.

    Most jazz guitar players know more than enough theory anyway, because for better or worse that's how most of us learn to improvise, although they might not be able to communicate it clearly (which is much harder.)

    Theory itself is really a process of naming things... The real knowledge is intuitive.

    *depending on the music this may well imply a high level of theoretical knowledge.

  20. #69

    User Info Menu

    I probably have a quite different opinion about what sight reading really is. For me there’s a huge difference between reading and sight reading. All musicians must be able to read music. No matter what instrument you’re playing. It’s another question how long time you need to read. That was what I meant in my first reply to this thread.

    But for me sight reading is a completely different thing. It’s a bit like asking: ”Well, how fast must a person be able to read the whole alphabet”? I’ve even heard lecturers at musical academies saying this to me.

    I can’t remember any problems about getting the scores one or two weeks before a concert. Almost everytime the arranger has actually been very pleased about it. Who knows, rather a guitar player who know all songs to perfection than a nervous sight reader?
    Last edited by Bbmaj7#5#9; 08-02-2019 at 06:47 AM.
    Have I found it yet? I said that but I didn’t knew it. Did I knew that I had found it yet? No, it wasn’t what I was looking for. Nevermind. Ok.

    -Pataphysical monologue based on Cartesian theory

  21. #70

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post

    Theory itself is really a process of naming things... The real knowledge is intuitive.
    That was rather good :-)

  22. #71

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Bbmaj7#5#9 View Post
    I probably have a quite different opinion about what sight reading really is. For me there’s a huge difference between reading and sight reading. All musicians must be able to read music. No matter what instrument you’re playing. It’s another question how long time you need to read. That was what I meant in my first reply to this thread.

    But for me sight reading is a completely different thing. It’s a bit like asking: ”Well, how fast must a person be able to read the whole alphabet”? I’ve even heard lecturers at musical academies saying this to me.

    I can’t remember any problems about getting the scores one or two weeks before a concert. Almost everytime the arranger has actually been very pleased about it. Who knows, rather a guitar player who know all songs to perfection than a nervous sight reader?
    That’s a point you have these things starting with R in Sweden.... what’s the word again? Like when you play music but it’s just the musicians, and you can stop and fix things?

  23. #72

    User Info Menu

    I play in a band with 4 horns and another with 15 horns. And, rhythm section in each.

    Everybody else can look at a typical chart and play it, with few or no mistakes, the first time. This is a mix of pro and semi-pro players.

    If the chart is unusual in some way then the first read-through is likely to sound pretty rough, but that's the exception.

    Example: A tune nobody knew in 2/4. Except, in the outro there were three bars of 5/8, with the melody rewritten to accommodate it, then a return to 2/4 --- all twice. We had to slow that one down and loop it a couple of times.

    That's what a lot of musicians can do. All the horn players, the pianist and most bassists that we've had. Not too many guitarists though.

    Based on what I see going on in my area, I don't see how anybody is going to be successful as a poor or non-reader, even if you know hundreds of tunes. I just don't see those kind of gigs very often. Maybe I'm hanging out in the wrong places, but the jazz bands I see are playing arrangements most of the time. If they play a standard it's arranged, not just everybody playing a tune from memory.

  24. #73

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    That’s a point you have these things starting with R in Sweden.... what’s the word again? Like when you play music but it’s just the musicians, and you can stop and fix things?
    R+ehearsals=Maybe (or not at all)

    Nevermind
    Last edited by Bbmaj7#5#9; 08-02-2019 at 02:56 PM.
    Have I found it yet? I said that but I didn’t knew it. Did I knew that I had found it yet? No, it wasn’t what I was looking for. Nevermind. Ok.

    -Pataphysical monologue based on Cartesian theory

  25. #74

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Bbmaj7#5#9 View Post
    R+ehearsals=Maybe (or not at all)

    Nevermind
    Yes that’s it!

    People tell me those things are quite helpful.

  26. #75
    I’ve been thinking about this thread: “Why Learn Standard Notation?”
    Today it occurred to me .......
    Why? Because it is FUN.

    Mastery, to me, is fun - whether learning to ride a horse or speak another language or cook fish. It’s fun / rewarding / exhilarating!

    BTW: I don’t earn my living as a musician.

    There is often so much information in a sheet of music: The melody, the bass line, the harmony, rhythm, dynamics.

    I find it exhilirating to to be able to turn a sheet into music. To improve! Fun, rewarding. People do crossword puzzles for fun. Reading music has all that plus something sweet to hear.

    Fun is my main reason for my (continually) working at reading music.

  27. #76

    User Info Menu

    Learning standard notation could inspire you to one day play piano...too.
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  28. #77

    User Info Menu

    I recommend learning standard notation when you're young.

    Apparently, it's harder when you're older and you already know how to play. I don't really know why, but I've met a lot of guitarists in that situation. I often meet them in situations where everybody else can read -- so the non-reader often feels bad about it. They can play great, but they can't play the part on the chart.

  29. #78

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft View Post
    Not to say everyone has to read. I've known many wonderfully creative players on both sides of it.
    Absolutely true! There's definitely some very good guitarists who learn strictly by ear and that's all they do! That wasn't me at all. I took a semester or two of guitar classes in high school but I never kept up with the notation reading at all. In fact, I found it boring and way too much work for me. That said, I always wanted to learn how to read music so when I retired in 12/17 I found me a great instructor. I picked out a lady teacher as I didn't want to deal with anyone's ego getting in the way as I had already been through that years before with male guitar instructors. Bottom line is I got through Leavitt Modern Method book 1 and after that, I found that it made me into a much more confident player in every aspect of my musical life. It certainly worked for me!

  30. #79
    I emphatically agree with you.
    The study of reading is an “investment”. The earlier you invested, the bigger the profits. Amazon and Apple were once cheap stocks.
    And I’m sure even great readers are forever improving. So there’s another reason to learn young.

    I’ve noticed the same thing: Older guys refusing to learn to read. I suppose it’s the opposite thing: Whereas learning to read while young is a marvelous “investment”, learning while older might not seem worth the (significant) effort.

    I’m older. My first instrument was clarinet. I read.
    When I started guitar I sought out standard notation music. Apart from classical, I found little. I did learn chord diagrams but they rarely show good voicings.

    It has to do with playing alone. You can play, while alone, with recordings or sheet music. I sought out notation and found Chet Atkins, classical and Delta Blues transcriptions. For some reason I avoided tab. Transcriptions of Chet Atkins performances are wonderful. So are classical pieces. Har, but rewarding to me.

    2bornot2bop said learning notation could inspire me to learn piano. It has. I’ve started. It’s sloooooow-going.

    i think it’s fun to learn a piece from notation - like a puzzle that explodes in sound.

  31. #80

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStudent View Post
    2bornot2bop said learning notation could inspire me to learn piano. It has. I’ve started. It’s sloooooow-.
    I've been thinking about vibes, for after the arthritis makes guitar impossible.

  32. #81

    User Info Menu

    I never read a note of music until after I was forty years old. I can read fairly well now though Eb is still tough
    This topic comes up all the time in all types of music related forums. It's really actually a stupid question because
    the answer is so obvious.....reading standard notation gives you another advantage towards better musicianship.
    (assuming trying to advance your music skills is a goal)
    "6 strings this way and 12 frets that way and a world of mystery in between" Keith Richards on the guitar

  33. #82
    I had decided to not write this but ....

    I am aware of this “terrible” “to read or not to read” debate.

    Note: By “read”, I mean Standard Notation vs. tab. I think tab works best when you can hear the recording. Not sure.

    Hardly profound, but it occurs to me: “Who are we talking about?”.

    Studio musicians:
    I watched a terrific video: “The Making of Aja”, Steely Dan’s great record. It was either Dean Parks or Larry Carlton who said ”...excellent readers”. Apparently, Fagen and Becker would hand out “charts” (I assume “notation”). The players had to read very well, fast, accurately.

    Fred, down the street:
    Fred plays and croons “Imagine” on his Takamine. Belinda loves it and tells Monica and Stephanie of Fred’s gifts.

    Blues guitarists:
    Not sure Dwayne Allman, BB King or Robert Johnson could read.

    Classical guitarists:
    Yep

    “Solo guitarist (bed sitter) bend”
    Leo Kottke, Chet Atkins, Howard Morgan
    I Get transcriptions of their pieces, “master” them and incessantly thrill myself.

    ”Beatles cover band”
    Probably unnecessary. Tabs and recordings should be sufficient. Notation could be helpful for solos (Piccolo trumpet solo on Penny Lane)

    ”Guitar duets”
    I moved to a small town. I searched for and finally found the only other guy (it seems) within 100 miles who reads guitar music. We sit down and read these duets. (Bach, Brazilian folk songs, Paris Nights).
    Listeners have said it sounds beautiful. FUN!

    So, the value of learning to read depends on where you’re headed. (And amount of access to other musicians)

    An older guy: Do it for the satisfaction of it and to have fantastic repertiore. (In the old days, transcriptions were as rare as hen’s teeth.)

    A 25 year old in a SKA band: Maybe do it if/when you’re ready to “try out” for (other genres of) bands that use notation to teach songs.

    A kid: Do it.
    Learn theory. Knowledge of the fretboard, which reading promotes, will reveal theory. (Which promotes composition)
    Learn your instrument. Did you know that a G cowboy-chord grip has 2 Bs in it? Do you know what happens when you lower only one of those 2 Bs a semitone?
    Did you know that you can play a CMaj7 in many ways (voicings) on your instrument and they sound very different

    Having writtten this, I remember a quote from Dizzy Gillespie about a trumpet player he knew in Cuba: “He can’t read a note but he can play his ass off”.

    i can read but am a plodding player and may always be. But I love the guitar and it’s fruits. Glorious instrument.

    I’m sure I got lots of this wrong.
    Last edited by GuitarStudent; 08-12-2019 at 08:12 AM.

  34. #83

    User Info Menu

    The more ways you can think about music, the better a musician you will be.

    There's a point at which your skills cross-pollinate and synergize to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

    For example, knowledge of standard notation makes it easier to learn harmony. And knowledge of harmony makes it easier to read standard notation:

    • If the chart has a key signature, you recognize groups of notes on lines as one set of chords and groups of notes on spaces as another set of chords.
    • You know that any note without an accidental is in key, and any accidental is out-of-key.

    Thus, you are not reading note-to-note but reading context. These kinds of graphical hints make it always easier for me to read standard notation than to read tab.

  35. #84

    User Info Menu

    You have to have an astounding ear to substitute for the value of music sight reading skills.
    Sometimes this is what separates guitarists from being great musicians compared to other instruments.

    However....most good guitarists do get a complete handle on understanding music notation, understanding it is music's most valuable tool next to the ear.

  36. #85

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStudent View Post
    It’s sloooooow-going.
    Really? What are your goals and what study materials are you using?
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  37. #86
    The piano doesn’t get much attention yet.
    When I do practice, I play the 3rd and 7th of the chord with the right hand + the melody notes. (Like chord melody). I play the chord root with the left hand.

  38. #87

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStudent View Post
    The piano doesn’t get much attention yet.
    When I do practice, I play the 3rd and 7th of the chord with the right hand + the melody notes. (Like chord melody). I play the chord root with the left hand.
    Mark Levine's 'The Jazz Piano Book' begins players with 3 note voicings just like what you're already doing.
    Like guitar, piano has grips (voicings) too. Within a couple of months, or sooner, of practicing closed voicings, 4 note chords that include extensions, around the Cycle you'll have those in your hands without having to think about them. Also practice these voicings in both hands simultaneously, without the root, for at some point you'll want to improvise with your right hand while comping with your left. That's why it's important to program both your left and right hands simultaneously.

    Try Abersold's ii-V7-I book, Volume 2, cycling voicings through the Cycle. It comes with a rhythm section CD that grooves. You supply the piano. I've attached Abersold's free pdf handout below that near the end includes some beginning 4 note voicings. What you're doing is as good a place to begin as any. Always here to help when you're ready to take the next step.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  39. #88
    2beornot2bop,
    i see that you have replied - I haven’t read that reply yet. I want to first reply to your prior inquiry about “my piano goals” and “piano study materials”:

    My piano attraction may be in service of my guitar study. I don’t really envision being able to perform as a piano player. I would like to someday sight-read simple piano music.

    Roger Edison observed in ”Rhythm Guitar”: “It’s unfortunately all too easy to learn to play things on the guitar in a mechanical way without really understanding what you’re doing”. That sums up my (new) approach to the guitar.

    First I tried to ”forget chord diagrams/grips”. Diagrams seemed to “offend” my ability to sight-read Real Book tunes. I could muddle through them. I’d just pick ANY shape I knew/remembered for each chord. No finesse. No strategy.

    My gripe with learning via chord diagrams:
    Take, for example, the popular (in my circle), 5-string, chord diagram for Dm7 on fret 5: It has 2 A’s and a (low-to-high) note-order of R,5,b7,3,5. That sequence isn’t, to my knowledge, part of any chord system. I think it is common in chord diagrams because beginners can grip it.

    My overwhelmedness with this deluge of chaotic chords led to “logical” Shell Voicings: 1,x,b7,3,x. Somehow this stripping-down chords to bare-essentials (3,7) seemed essential to learning the guitar in an organized (“honest”) way.

    I now thought of the guitar as a “note instrument”, not a “chord instrument”. (I wanted to forget those chord diagrams!) There were notes and harmonies and interval placements (I.e. b7 is same fret 2 string up). These notes+harmonies created chords, often the ones in my chord-diagram memory.

    My (massive) problem was the (note) harmonies we’re scattered (like an artist who hurled paints at his canvas). Notes within the chord, including the root, were sometimes omitted, the note-sequences 7-3-5, 5-1-7 seemed infinite. Strings were skipped. I needed to get faster at finding notes (on the fretboard), remembering chord spellings in all keys and spatial relationships (3rd is 4 or 16 frets up or 8 frets down).

    So, to go where I wanted to go - to really know how to read, I had to revisit fundamentals (chord spellings, reading rhythms (my unwelcomed surprise weakness) and instant note recognition (which I already had on frets 0-5).

    Relearning alarm.

    So, the piano (which I’d just gotten) seemed another good tool for my studies / goals. It had a logical layout unlike the “mad” guitar layout. Reading piano music a side-benefit.

    Thats why I want to learn piano. I sort of need to. To move ahead in my guitar/“theory” learning.

  40. #89

    User Info Menu

    One thing is for certain. If you decide to commit to sight reading piano reading bass clef could also come in handy studying and playing bass. I took to playing James Jameson transcriptions, something I’d never considered before learning bass clef.

    Piano study is an advantage, an asset, to playing any additional instrument. All theory is easily accessible. Perhaps that’s why many music schools have piano class as a prerequisite no matter ones instrument.
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  41. #90

    User Info Menu

    Different players use grips in different ways.

    Apparently, Joe Pass, for example, based his improv on positions defined by grips. Other players do it different ways, apparently, quite commonly by scale/mode patterns or by simply knowing the notes they want. None of this approaches is likely to be completely uncontaminated by one or more of the other approaches.

    If you're reading a tune you've never played before at 200 bpm and you see an A#m7b5, I think it would be a rare player who doesn't need to think for a moment about what the chord tones are. Knowing a grip and where the root is within the grip is likely to be much faster.

    But, in the practice room and in performance at moderate tempos, you may very well want to be thinking about chord tones and voice leading in way that isn't particularly helped by your knowledge of grips.

    And then there's the issue of what they sound like. Some nights grips just sound harsh. Some nights my usual 3 and 7 on the D and G strings sound muddy. On those nights, I end up playing on the G and B strings. In that situation it helps to know the notes of the chords, which ones are moving and how you can voice them on the G and B strings. This happens because the sound of the band, the room, the gear etc all interact. Now and then, it sounds better than you're accustomed to, but usually it's the other way.

    More advantages of reading: I played a gig with a new band and no rehearsal a couple of days ago. They handed me a chart and counted the tune off. They were expecting rhythm guitar only, but, here and there, instead, I doubled the melody. Gives the band another texture. In the second set, they had me play the melody on a tune. I had to play that one by ear because the font on the chart was too small for me to read, but that isn't always the case.

  42. #91

    User Info Menu

    Vash,
    You'll never be able to play studio gigs where reading music from scores is essential. You'll never be able to sit in with a big band that plays from charts. You'll never get a gig with a small ensemble that plays tight arrangements from their "book." You'll never be able to write songs with a melody and accompaniment. You'll never be able to sub for another musician who's sick or can't make the gig. You'll always be limited as a player if you have to play with other musicians. As an example, Louis Armstrong was a self-taught "ear" musician until he played with Fate Marable's band where he was required to read music to continue his success. He did and the rest is history. "Playing by ear" was the norm by the old unschooled blues players and generations of Rockers. You will always be limited if you can't read music. It's your choice. Good playing . . . Marinero

  43. #92

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Bbmaj7#5#9 View Post
    Know what you read, but don’t read what you know.

    That summarizes my view about the topic. I presume that you have an acceptable knowledge in sight reading, but I don’t want you to be dependent on it.

    Sight reading is not the most important thing for me. Everyone shall have at least basic knowledge in standard notation and sight reading. That’s enough for me.

    Therefore, I feel that knowledge in music theory is far more necessary than sight reading. Jazz guitarists who don’t know music theory have a LOT of things to work on. It’s not a big deal if a jazz guitarist isn’t a skilled sight reader, but the person must have some kind of theoretical overview about what is going on. Jazz and music in general is based on theoretical building blocks. Therefore, it requires that we all have good theoretical skills. Everyone can’t or don’t want to be professors in music theory and sight reading, but we all shall have at least SOME knowledge about them. I don’t want to imagine what a horrible feeling it’ll be to talk about 2-5-1 chord progressions with a jazz guitarist who doesn’t know music theory!
    Well said; I've been trying to play jazz with a classical pianist for about 4 years. His sight reading ability is an 8 while mine would be a 3 but when it comes to playing jazz that ability isn't helping him much. I did purchase him the Aebersold Maiden Voyage CD as well as the full piano transcription of the piano backing track of comping and asked him to focus on Summer Time. Ok, we get together and he sounds like like the CD. Ok, but he learned little about jazz comping; E.g. when I ask him to use the CONCEPTS he must have picked up on from this,,,, well,,, he had little. I.e. he couldn't play similar chord voicing and comp (say over the starting passage of Dm), when I wanted to play other songs with him that had similar chord progressives (e.g. the II\V\I in F in the "B" part).

  44. #93

    User Info Menu

    This question comes up on every music forum I'm on. Why learn to read? Maybe because knowledge is always better than ignorance?

    I learned to read music when I was 13. I've been using that skill for 48 years. These days, when my memory is not what it used to be, I write out parts to make them easier to practice and remember.

    One of the things that is never mentioned is that for the vast majority of these great players that get trotted out as examples of why it's not necessary to read - First, most of us aren't in their league talent wise. Second, most of them played with other players who were tops in the field, which many of us don't get the opportunity to do. Third, most of them played full time - gigging every day for hours, which very few of us have the opportunity to do today.

    It's really simple - if you want to be the best you can be, you take advantage of every possible tool and opportunity that you can. If you want to play Mustang Sally with your drunken buddies at the local watering hole twice a year, then don't bother.

  45. #94

    User Info Menu

    Here's another reason. I was watching a Youtube "tutorial" by a guitarist. He took 12 minutes to show how to play a piece that could have been done with no explanation if he provided a link to the sheet music. Those things are annoying and aimed at "ear musicians." For me, they're a waste of time. Good playing . . . Marinero

  46. #95
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Very important get good at reading rhythms. Do a page or two of Bellson’s modern reading text a day at whatever speed you can manage, no stopping.
    I just bought this book.
    Please explain what you mean by “no stopping”.

  47. #96
    Learn them or ignore them, there are RULES governing music: ii V I comes to mind.
    Depiction is, for many, I assume, a learning aid. Standard notation depicts much.
    - If you want to see chord-spellings, standard notation depicts that (as do chord diagrams).
    - If you want to get good at rhythms, Standard notation seems indispensable. Does a substitute method even exist?
    - Standard notation shows Voicings. Cm7 can be played in many ways. Standard notation says “play it like this!”
    - And the other side of the coin is writing notation. Let’s say you toyed with Blue Bossa all day and found one set of voicings that were “best”. You could depict your choices using chord diagrams. But notation, perhaps with fingering suggestions and fret (position) suggestions is more flexible.

    What else does standard notation give?

    Maybe Tab exists, mostly, as a necessary substitute for notation. A skilled reader can pretty-much capture a tune with reading. (A skilled writer can write it fast.). “Capturing” can’t be done with tab. You need to hear it first. (19th century players couldn’t do that).

    It’s cool to learn a tune from notation and later hear the tune for the first time and discovery you pretty-much got it.

    I like to think that non-readers know the value of reading (and theory), and more would learn if it were easy (which it isn’t) but choose to focus elsewhere. Maybe not.

    Me? I’m itching to be (much) better. Ready piano is next on my list. I’ve found the “reading road” to be slow-going” but very picturesque.

    Reading, to me, is an “organizing” (and teaching) discipline.

    Having written all this, I’ll close with a contradictory quote from Dizzy Gillespie (about a trumpeter he knew in Cuba). “He can’t read a note but can play his ass off”. I CAN read (although not that well) but can’t play my ass off. But I’m optimistic.

  48. #97

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStudent View Post
    I just bought this book.
    Please explain what you mean by “no stopping”.
    Read it with a metronome and don’t stop if you make mistakes. Learn to recover.

  49. #98
    Thank you

  50. #99

    User Info Menu

    One thing about reading rhythms. Western notation is not a great system for writing down the syncopated rhythms of African Diaspora music.

    Such rhythms always look busy and sometimes baffling written down - but we are stuck with the system!

    The invisible barline rule is your friend. Allows you to read two beat phrases at a glance.

    Bellson starts by observing this rule and progressively writes out perfectly simple rhythms in increasingly tortuous and surreal ways.

    Sometimes parts are just hard to read and you have to read them anyway.

  51. #100

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    One thing about reading rhythms. Western notation is not a great system for writing down the syncopated rhythms of African Diaspora music.

    Such rhythms always look busy and sometimes baffling written down - but we are stuck with the system!

    The invisible barline rule is your friend. Allows you to read two beat phrases at a glance.

    Bellson starts by observing this rule and progressively writes out perfectly simple rhythms in increasingly tortuous and surreal ways.

    Sometimes parts are just hard to read and you have to read them anyway.
    Reading rhythms can be challenging. A couple of observations:

    When you begin, you're counting. But, as you progress, you start to recognize patterns in the notation and you start feeling where those things go in the bar. So, for example, there's a certain swing band hit on and-of-3. At first you count 1 2 3-and. Later, you know where it is by look and feel, without having to count. That can get you through longer passages of syncopated hits that would be hard to count. I would say, once you decode something, try to scat sing a drum fill that lands on the right place for your chord. That is, get away from counting numbers in your head as quickly as you can.

    There are different ways to write the same passage in standard notation. Things are much easier to read if the downbeats are shown, particularly halfway through the bar, e.g. on 3 in 4/4. So, if beat 3, say, is the second half of a quarter note that started on and-of-two, the right way to present it is as two tied eighths. So, the downbeat of 3 is visually apparent. If it's not written that way and you're struggling, it not entirely your fault.

    Getting good at this is a matter of repetition. Probably helps to begin in 4th grade. I strongly recommend reading with a horn section if you can find a horn band that voices guitar as a kind of extra horn. Having to play in a section with guys who can actually read may be humiliating the first time you try it, but it's maybe the fastest way to improve.