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Can you read music?

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

  1. Yes

    217 vote(s)
  2. No

    58 vote(s)
  1. vmabus


    Nov 1, 2013
    Wow! Treble clef has always been a mystery to me...
  2. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Yes. Can sight read bass.
    Getting better at treble now that I'm learning piano.
    Back in college got to where I could sight read treble having to deal with it for a couple of hours every day.
    2ยข = highly recommend learning to read treble clef seeing as 90% of the musical world speaks in this notation.
  3. Zephrant


    Dec 10, 2013
    Spokane, WA
    Yes for piano, not yet on bass. I know the notes and symbols, but can't yet translate them on the fly to frets and strings.
    But working on it with the Hal Lenard's book.
  4. soulman969

    soulman969 Banned

    Oct 6, 2011
    Englewood, Colorado
    Only if it's printed in English. :p
  5. Pearly Gator

    Pearly Gator

    Dec 10, 2005
    Yes. I can work with anything.

    Chords & notes over lyrics.
  6. Me exactly^^^

    I'm afraid I'm much weaker in bass clef. And, I can't read cords - i.e. I can't look at the notes on a staff and recognize any chord.
    (alright, I'll admit I can recognize C Major).
  7. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I'm in a transition period. I can read, just not very quickly yet. But I've only been on/off practicing it for about a month. One of my goals is to get good at bass clef in the next three months. Treble clef after that.
  8. Please tell me you're 50.

  9. Milk


    Sep 16, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    I'm actually surprised at the numbers. 80%? Id have thought it would be more like 60-40. My gf tried to teach me (she doesn't play anything and she can read music...shameful...well not that fast or anything but still) some time last year but i knew i wouldn't keep with it. It has very little uses for me i'm afraid. I don't play other people's music, all i wanna play is songs i've written, i guess you could say well i could transcribe the parts for other people, but tabs and a recording to listen to will do the job just as well. If i could see a use to it i might bother, as it is...i mean odds are i'd learn it and then wouldn't use it ever and forget it.
  10. Nope. You don't forget it. As others have said, if you don't use it frequently, you can lose your sight-reading ability (the ability to just look at a piece of music and immediately play it as written, as fluidly as one can pickup a book and read out loud), but you don't forget your understanding of where notes are on the staff, and, probably more importantly, you don't forget what all the symbols mean: sixteenth-note, quarter-note, half-note, whole-note, whole-rest, half-rest, triplets, dotted notes, repeats, flats, sharps, and all the dynamic symbols: fermatas, crescendos, de-crescendo, staccato, accents, etc.. IME, once you've got that stuff, you've got it for life.
  11. anyfink


    Mar 22, 2013
    I can read music of both bass and treble clefs and transpose. I also know the mathematical theory side of music and its use in scales and modes that these were derived from. More importantly, I am able to read complex music timing which I personally feel is where most sight readers become unstuck. Learning to play drums many years ago helped me understand that.
  12. ShonenCello


    Sep 21, 2011
    Started reading Treble clef as a child (violin).
    Even years later I read Bass clef as treble first, then convert to bass clef.
    I hope I shake that stupid habit at some point.
  13. KeddyLee


    Nov 12, 2013
    I voted no. I cannot read music. I can translate music if I needed to but never had the need or desire. If the only way someone could communicate a part was with sheet music I could slowly get it. That to me is not reading music. I learn everything by ear.
  14. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I'm not sure if that last bit is in any way at all relevant to the question.

    To answer the OP, yes, I can read. Most of my gigs couldn't be played by a non-reader.

    And yes, I love it, too. :D
  15. Boris62


    Nov 7, 2012
    Yes. Treble and bass. It's easy. You just have to do it every day and commit to never looking at tab again! Also it's worth noting the difference between sight reading and sight playing.
  16. I was a couple of years older, but the same is true for me. I went from playing in pub bands in Brisbane to playing gigs in Europe, Asia and eventually The States. I've also done stage musicals and session work, which you simply can't do unless you can read music. I played on "The Voice" (Australia); another gig which I could not have got unless I could read music.

    There's many jobs in which you simply can't get hired if you don't read music. It really is a lot easier than many people think, and it opens up a huge range of possibilities that just aren't available if you can't read.
  17. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Knowing how to read can help you write. It opens up a whole new world of rhythmic and harmonic possibilities if you know the theory behind written music. It's also an excellent way to teach your music to other musicians so you can play it in a band. It's the fastest way to learn a song.
  18. bnolsen


    Jan 30, 2014
    denver area
    Way back in college when i was playing viola da gamba I was playing and sight reading 4 different clefs and three different instruments (bass, tenor, alto). The string spacing the same between the instruments, bass and alto shared same strings, tenor was between. Senior year we played some ravenscroft from copies of the originals which kicked me up three more clefs. I had been primary bass playing in that consort for 2 years but got bored since the other parts seemed to get to have more fun.

    My biggest challenge which I've been working on the past couple of years is to learn too play by ear. I found that picking up ocarina has helped a ton with my ear. And for composing music you need to be able to play by your own ear as well.
  19. ThomasG


    Jul 20, 2007
    San Diego, CA
  20. chris stopa

    chris stopa

    Feb 8, 2011
    I learned how to play and read piano at age 7 and continued playing for 4 years. Picked up up drums in marching band and learned to read drum music. Same for valve bugle. Then learned to play and read guitar music and recorder music.

    Have played bass since 1967, many years full time professionally, and am not really proficient at reading bass music. Never needed it.

    As long as I could read the chart chords and knew where each note was on my bass, I had all I needed.

    I play mostly by ear and noticed that practicing scales helped me automatically add to my riffs and melody.
    I also know basic chord and music theory.

    Don't get me wrong. I tried several times to read bass music and got to the point where I could read it although at a slower rate than the actual song pace,but since I never kept it up, most of it has slipped away.

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