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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. Played the Wizard in the pit not too long ago. The score is not too difficult. Good fun tunes and show...Break a leg.
  2. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    If I remember correctly, it's primarily a two beat pattern that's identical 70% of the time. By reading beats 1 & 3, you'll know where to play it. You'll still have to read the other 30%.
  3. Yes, Bass clef and treble clef. read charts, don't read much lately with the bands I'm in currently.
    Reading contemporary electric bass rhythms by Rich Appleman is a great book to bone up
    on your reading skills.
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
  5. 2behead


    Mar 8, 2011
    Yes, sort of....... Not well enough to play along but I can learn a song from it.
  6. True enough. It was a stupid comparison on my part.
  7. slipitin

    slipitin Guest

    Jul 26, 2002
    Sight read (as in reading music like you are reading a book for the first time and automatically play) no, and that is real reading of music so no I can't. If you give me a couple of days I can learn something from written music... but that's not the same.
  8. deste


    Sep 14, 2009
    Bologna, Italy, Europe
    Endorsing Artist: GullanskyLab pickups
    Yes, and it's worth the effort.
    You may live without it, but with it life it's MUCH better.
  9. FunkyBassRiddim


    Feb 14, 2014
    I have a question, it may have already been answered I'm not sure.

    I'm working on my theory now. I'm doing the theory on piano but I also play guitar and bass. I started guitar at 12 and learned the physical part of playing, was playing cover songs using tabs.

    For the past two years I've gotten into MIDI composition, always been on the theory with that but just recently decided to take it to another level. I'm comfortable playing scales and chords and such on the piano, what is the best way for me to transfer that knowledge to bass and guitar?

    Learn the note names along with their number in whatever key, learn their functions well, and then learn where the notes are placed throughout the fretboard on each instrument right? I've been in a bad habit of just memorizing positions on the piano without REALLY knowing the note names. Just because on the computer the piano plays every instrument. So I'm wanting to get back towards more real instrumentation and trying to take my practice/theory beyond just putting it in MIDI and editing it to actually knowing how to play it.

    I'm just trying to think ahead because I want to be able to play every instrument just by using my theory. I'm assuming the best way to do that is have the names of the notes ingrained in your mind which comes through practice right?

    What advice can you experienced theorists give someone with beginner to intermediate theory knowledge working on the piano to transferring my jamability on the piano/keys to any other instrument?

    *I know other instruments have their nuances. Like guitar has slides and bends and chicki chicki's and harmonics and . . . .

    So I'm not talking about that as much as theory, songwriting/structure, etc.

    Also, since I've learned the theory and picked my guitar back up, I can already play along with songs and play by ear WAY BETTER than I ever could. I can also make up some good melodies and have a few progressions I've found. Thing is I don't know what I'm doing though because I don't know what notes I am playing. So that's what's got me thinking that will unlock a lot of things for me. Let me know if I'm on the right track.

    Oh and as far as reading music what I know right now are the EGBDF lines and the spaces are FACE and I forget what note equals what count and stuff. But it won't be totally greek to me when I get back to it. I'm willing to practice until I can site read. When I was a lot younger in middle school I was in a guitar class and could do some very light sight reading at slow tempos but I think we were sight reading using tab.
  10. I think the necessity of sight reading music is going to be different for every player. If you are 16 years old and you plan to go to university to study jazz... you need to learn and practice sight reading every day. You probably won't get into a good program without having a basic command of music theory and decent sight reading skills.

    If you make bread by playing in a wedding band, you should have and maintain sharp reading skills. This will help you eat. Eating is good.

    If you are on the wrong side of 40, work outside the music field and play on the weekends in blues, jam, and modern rock cover bands then sight reading may not be on the top of your list of things to get done in your limited practice time.

    I won't say that sight reading isn't important or valuable... but I wonder about it's priority for some players. :bassist:
  11. I think you should know what every note is, whether it's a guitar, bass or piano. There was actually a good thread about the subject a while back http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f22/fastest-way-memorize-fretboard-1045054/

    The way I basically learned (on guitar), was to start with one note (C for example), and play it on every string on the first 12 frets (after 12 it just repeats itself anyway). Then do the same thing with G, and keep going. I just did this with one note for a few minutes at the start of practice until I could pick it out anywhere on any string, and in a couple of months I just knew the fretboard automatically. If you know it on guitar, obviously you'll know the bass as well. Basically the way Mugre described it on the other thread.

    Some people print out charts of fretboards, or learn by playing scales, but it doesn't matter how you learn it, it's just important that you do. It's not a hard thing to learn, but it's vital to know it.

  12. FunkyBassRiddim


    Feb 14, 2014
    Thanks for that thread I'm headed there now.
  13. Shovel


    Jun 4, 2013
    I'm learning. I cannot read treble clef, only bass clef. I'm still trying to work on learning chords and intervals though.
  14. ChatDaddy


    Jan 3, 2014
    Monroe, NY
    I can sight read treble clef (I started as a trumpet player). When I started I took lessons, but I was really converting notes instead of learning to read. After yearsss of playing by ear, I decided two years ago that I really wanted to read bass clef. I got a teacher and he put me back into the Mel Bay book and within a few months I was reading fairly well. I still can't sight read in bass clef, but that was never my goal, it has definitely expanded my playing.
  15. There's quite a few threads on the subject with some very good information, so it might be worth searching some of them out if you have the time. I hope you find a method that works for you, as it's one of those "breakthrough" things you can learn that makes everything else so much easier.

    All the best,
  16. FunkyBassRiddim


    Feb 14, 2014
    Haha yeah, I know exactly what you mean as far as breakthroughs that make music easier. I love them. That's how the roller coaster of music theory has been for me lol.

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