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Can you read music?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Frettage, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Yes, I can read musical notation.

    263 vote(s)
  2. No, I can only read tab.

    41 vote(s)
  3. I can't understand either one.

    7 vote(s)
  1. nice
  2. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Musical notation, yes. Tabs, never tried.
  3. TL5


    Jun 27, 2005
    My sight reading is rusty (crusted over and would need a day or two soaking in WD40 to loosen up). I read charts (nashville numbers, chord charts) regularly.
    It's the TAB that I have sit down and fiddle with to figure out.
    Given the choice of notation/Tab, I'll take notation every time.
  4. standupright


    Jul 7, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    Brownchicken Browncow
    four clefs?
  5. I can read.
    But it's very very slow..
  6. Rudreax


    Jun 14, 2008
    New York, NY
    Most likely Treble, Bass, Alto, and Tenor.

    In case you don't know them, here's Alto:


    And here's Tenor:


    Both are essential C clefs moved to different positions. There are other clefs but I'd assume this is what the guy meant.

    EDIT: There's also the neutral clef that some percussionists use:

  7. rosanne


    Sep 30, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    I've tried to learn drum notation but to little avail.
  8. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
  9. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Midtown Guitars Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    i played tuba 7 years prior to playing bass.
    i could read bass clef.
    once i figured out the notes on bass, i applied them to music notation.

    i learned tab first, then cord charts, then i experimented with actual sheet music.
  10. I can read. Barely.

    I started off on Euphonium so I could read treble, then when I switched to bass I have to think long and hard about what I'm doing when it comes to bass clef. I still need to put in a LOT of work
  11. Flyingaero


    Jan 12, 2010
    I can read music....just not the bass clef
  12. tahoebass92


    Nov 22, 2009
    i learned to read by experience. I walked into a situation where it was required, so I basically taught myself. However, now I'm working with a teacher to help my rhythm reading skills :bassist:
  13. Elrend


    Feb 24, 2008
    I can read both bass and treble clef, but not very well. I'm mostly an ear-player (probably being that I play largely improvisational music.)
  14. i find that the stuff thats divisible goes pretty good but the more out there phrases ie triplets tied inside other triplet groups and more complex groupings are just impossible to count out....did you hit a wall/plateau at that point and if so how did you manage to get past....
  15. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Read the notes, decipher the rhythm, slowly.
  16. distortedbass93


    Nov 22, 2009
    I can read sheet music but I suck at tabs

  17. Yep: treble, alto (slowly anyway), bass and neutral (drum) clef.

    I play instruments which use all these clefs.
  18. Show-off!:spit: Off to the stereotype thread with you!

    I can read bass clef BTW.
  19. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    I can read. I can sight-read (not Jaco transcriptions, but just about anything I'd have to do in the real world). I can improvise. I can play by ear and know a crapload of tunes (mostly alot of jazz standards and classic rock, pop, funk, motown, and r&b). Keeps me working. University of Miami baby. :smug:
  20. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I think that reading is a skill like any other, in a couple of ways. First, it improves with practice, and gets weaker if it's not practiced. Second, no matter how good you get, there's another level to work on trying to reach.

    I am a better reader when I have been playing regularly with a big band. But if I go into a big band gig without having done it for a while, then I stumble. While I call myself fluent, there are still kinds of passages that are difficult for me, and bassists who are better at it.

    Presently I am working on my treble clef sight reading, and completely on a lark, am trying to learn a relatively easy twelve-tone composition for flute that was written in the 1960's. Now that's some reading, because there are very few familiar patterns. I also have "Chord Studies for Trombone" and am using it to get my cello chops back.

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