Can you read music?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by AaronVonRock, Feb 2, 2014.


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Can you read music?

  1. Yes

    213 vote(s)
    78.9%
  2. No

    57 vote(s)
    21.1%
  1. AaronVonRock

    AaronVonRock

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Location:
    Bangkok
    Simple "Yes" or "No" question. I cannot.
  2. Art Araya

    Art Araya Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Location:
    Palm Coast, FL
    Yes. Its not as hard as it seems.
  3. cnltb

    cnltb

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
  4. Oddly

    Oddly Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Tabs, yes but not 'proper' music.
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  6. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    Both Bass and treble clef. Can read treble clef more fluidly though since I just do it more often.
  7. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
  8. Dellers

    Dellers

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Location:
    Norway
    Yes and no. Sax, yes. Bass and guitar, no.
  9. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    Yes. Learnt when I was learning bass. It's given me some really cool gigs over the years.
  10. Kmonk

    Kmonk

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Fender and Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
  11. bass_case

    bass_case Used Register Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Yes, but I'm not much of a sight reader
  12. markjsmithbass

    markjsmithbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Location:
    Leeds & Isle Of Wight, UK
    Yes. And Art's right. It's not as hard most non-reading bass player seem to think. More than that, it opens up a whole world to you both musically and literally. Musically, it does much more for you than simple reading of notes. Your general understanding of music and the instrument improves and you also gain access to hundreds of gigs (many of them very easy but well paid) where reading is a main prerequisite. Without trying to sound too smug, the ability to sight read has pretty much allowed me to travel to every corner of the globe and places I never dreamed I'd visit. Yes, all the other areas of playing are important in getting a gig but sight reading is a skill that's pretty easy to work on and sets you apart from so many other players.
  13. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    I can relate. The ability to read music took me from Australia to Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Russia, and Germany in one year. As a 19-year-old barely one year out of high school, that was pretty cool. And as you say, it can also score you some really easy, but well-paying gigs (e.g. musicals and stage shows).
  14. halfjackson

    halfjackson Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
  15. PoorePlaysBass

    PoorePlaysBass

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Location:
    Cumberland Gap/Cookeville, TN
    Yes, but not as well as I'd like to. Can't quite sight read bass clef, really have to think about treble.
  16. beobass

    beobass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Location:
    CT
  17. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    Huntington WV
    Learned to read treble clef in the school band program, playing clarinet and tenor sax. Taught myself to read bass clef, when I taught myself to play electric bass.

    +1 to others' comments. It's well worth the effort.

    And I'll add another benefit: learning to read syncopated rhythms sharpens your sense of time and phrasing.
  18. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    Yes I think it is important to at least be able to read Treble clef.

    I have learned to Tenor clef too but I'm very slow on it
  19. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Non Serviam Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Location:
    Scotia NY
    Yes. I am self-taught, but early on learned to count and read the rhythms, although I used the tab crutch for the pitches for many years. About 5 years ago, I decided to learn to walk a bass line through jazz changes, and went to the store to find a book. There were two books on the subject, one with tabs, and one (Ed Friedland's) without. I decided to get the one without and challenge myself. After that I bought Rich Appleman's "Reading Contemporary Electric Bass", which has some good exercises.

    I play exclusively in DIY originals bands, and for the most part, I can't say the ability to read has had much payoff in that world. It's nice to be able to write charts for my keyboard player, but I'm way better at bass clef than treble, so it's still slow going when I do.

    But in the final analysis, I've always been of the philosophy that it's better to know something than to not know it.
  20. Jefff

    Jefff Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Location:
    Chicago
    Yes, but rather slowly.

    I don't practice it enough.
  21. MrTaff

    MrTaff

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    Yes, I sight read bass clef, my treble clef reading needs a lot more work but I can't even remember the last time I was asked to read treble clef.

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