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Why cant we all read?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Jpeachbass, Dec 3, 2010.


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  1. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    Tampa
    I know you are, but what am I?
    and about those benefits???
     
  2. sqadan

    sqadan

    Oct 29, 2010
    Philly Area
    I'm new here... so please be gentle!

    Some history...

    In school I played the trumpet and learned how to sight read and could pretty much sit down and play anything. In high school I started playing the drums in a rock band and have been playing the drums, and gigging regularly with some short gaps for about 20 years. 12 years ago I took some lessons and started playing the guitar to broaden my musical horizons / better understand what my fellow bandmates were up to. I mostly play guitar for my own benefit, for home recording, and on the occasional jam. I recently started "teaching" myself bass - and really have the bug to go back and learn sight reading again. I have not read since my brass days so I have totally lost it as a skill - and never learned how to apply it to the drums or guitar. Since I'd actually like to work as a bass player at some point in the future - I've decided to at least learn some rudimentary reading skills... I figure it can only help.

    That said - I can totally understand why some people shy away from reading - many people get swept up into playing out, jamming etc... and quickly develop their ear - but never encounter a reason to read. That was certainly the story in my case... but now that I have some time (my kids are older, my wife has her jewelry business) I can get down to the task of learning to sight read again and apply it to the bass.

    I do agree though that some of the 'tude on this board (calling people who can't read "hobbyist" etc...) is a little demeaning. I certainly think of myself as a musician. I think that might be why some are getting a tad defensive. I have seen similar threads on drummerworld and everyone says the same things.

    Learning to read is certainly a desirable skill, and it can only help you in your musical endeavors. But many players get along just fine without it - just a fact of life.
     
  3. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Read the words slowly for content:"Sorry but being able to read does not enable you to play ANYTHING. And it does not mean you get more work".

    It actually is very insightful because it considers what's actually being discussed. Since you disagree, you must think that if anyone can read they can play ANYTHING. That is just plain silly. If you think about it of course. I'm sure Frank Zappa's auditions must've been rough for Frank... since eveyone who came in that could read could play ANYTHING he wrote.

    You WILL get more work if you can read? I love the complete ignorance of real life in that statement. No matter where you are, no matter what you do, if you read you WILL get more work.

    ROFLMAO.
    :D

    Reading does not necessarily correlate with performance ability. Why is that simple statement bouncing off of so many heads?
    :meh:

    And one more time. I can read music. But that doesn't lock me into your mindset.
    :meh:

    Is it a form of communication? Yes or no? And by form of communication, I'm not asking if it's one you like.

    I love this place. There was a specific reason I brought up tab and you apparently don't have a clue about it. But why that get in the way of yet another misguided rant.
    :hyper:

    Yes, they could be better... but they could also not. Disagree?

    I'm not against reading. Perhaps if you would actually read for content vs. ire you'd understand that.

    Would only an idiot assume I said that when I clearly didn't? No need to answer.
    :cool:

    In fact, who in this thread suggesteda good road to take would be avoiding learning? I don't recall that. You apparently think you read it somewhere.
     
  4. You don't need the oral skills to read your tax statment out loud. Lets see how well you do if you don't know how to read it.

    Lots of songwriters do not perform the music they write, mostly because they cannot do it well, however, that goes both ways and the person who CAN perform it, unless they can read, cannot write.

    Sure, even a blind pig finds a truffle from time to time just like hacks sometimes stumble upon a decent song or a hook to entertain the masses but consider this:

    Turn the lights out in a room and throw darts randomly at a board. your bound to get one or two on target but that is a pretty hit or miss method and a poor way to go about playing darts. You certainly cannot advance past the abilities of those who play with the lights on.

    In the musical world, do you want to stumble around in the dark or play with the lights on?

    What I have to question is the guy against the wall who is trying to defend AGAINST someone turning on the switch for others? Brad, what do you have against OTHERS learning to read so much that you are online here arguing against it.

    And, ya, I also what to know the benifits of NOT learning to read so I can compair it against the large list of reasons why a player should.

    -eSmith.
     
  5. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    Tampa
    I know you are, but what am I?
    I don't believe any readers here have called non-readers "hobbyists." Some non-readers here have described themselves as "hobbyists," a term I don't like to use about any bass players, because that word makes me think of someone who does paint-by-numbers or something. But I digress.

    It's one thing to shy away from reading, and confess that it's difficult. It can be. It's another to rail against the value of learning how to read music.

    The question remains: What are the benefits of NOT reading? Anyone?
     
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Too fine a point was the issue I had with it:cool:. As far as what most non-readers use I have no way of knowing. What are you basing it on?

    I typically do not read for the music I perform. I know many bassists on the same circuit who do the same. In my case I typically don't even pick up my instrument to learn it.

    We don't use tab. So in my world, ears are used rather than tab.
     
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    that's an invention of your own mind. the mysteries of music will open up to you in a big way if you learn it, but you still have to practice it on your instrument. but if you do, i guarantee it will help have a much greater understanding of how music is made. i don't see how that can be debated.

    listen brad, i like you very much. but your "devil's advocate for everything" act is really getting old and tired. it would be much better if you actually believed the stuff you argue, but i think you just see an argument and pick the side of insanity just to wind people up.

    took me three nonsense words to say what it takes you a series of long posts to do!

    BAM! that was a good one!

    :D

    so about those benefits of not reading...you believe you don't need it so much, give us some benefits.
     
  8. sqadan

    sqadan

    Oct 29, 2010
    Philly Area
    I don't think anyone can answer that - I don't see any benefit to NOT having a particular tool or skill that is freely available to all.

    Maybe I misunderstood the hobbyist talk - but that always kind of irks me... people who play music and devote a portion of their life to it are musicians in my book... regardless of skill level. I guess I would think of it more in terms of amateur vs. professional.
     
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Why would there need to be a benefit to not doing so? If things are working for the individual...?


    What you see as railing against the value of learning how to read I see as people simply stating what has worked for them. Most of the anticipated and stereotypical "responses like "it'll make my playing suffer" or things of that ilk have been brought up by reading proponents. I'd guess so they could then complain about people saying things they did not say in this thread.
    :D
     
  10. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    Tampa
    I know you are, but what am I?
    The downside of being a "devil's advocate" here -- arguing against the value of reading music, just for the sake of arguing, when one really knows better -- is that some players here, particularly the younger ones, will take that argument at face value.

    And they'll think that what THAT GUY says here about how reading music really isn't that worthwhile must be true, because THAT GUY is such a solid player, etc.

    For those younger readers, please take note of the fact that NOBODY has come up with a list of the benefits of NOT learning to read music.

    Why? Because there are none.
     
  11. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    Tampa
    I know you are, but what am I?
    So then you DO believe that there is value in learning to read music, and that it can be useful for any musician?
     
  12. No, it isn't, it is totally incomplete, if you have never heard a song before you cannot get the information required to play it properly out of tab. It is unacceptable as a form of communication and is shorthand only for those who already know what is trying to be said.

    Ya I do, I completely disagree that READING would BE THE CAUSE of them NOT being better off. People might be in bad shape and also know how to read but it is not the reading that caused it. You don't even try to make sense do you?

    Well, You clearly think there are two sides and you clearly identify "THEY" as being people who are "Pro Reading Side". That Kinda makes you the other side and if that isn't clear enough, just go re-read your posts yourself.

    You clearly stated it here:


    I didn't assume anything, any educated person reading this can see your arguments all are slanted toward convincing others that reading is not an important skill for a musician. Your flat out wrong. But you don't seem to get it.

    You keep telling everyone to read your words but you are splitting hairs so much I don't think you understand what you've said anymore.

    Lets look at a prime example here:

    Do you see that you are trying to say that "IF" things are not equal, "IF" The Reader is incompentant as a player and "IF" (lot's of big if's everywhere) the non-reader is some great performer... then bla bla bla......

    The reality is, two guys are equal in every other way, the Reader WILL get the jobs over the non-reader. If your statment above meant anything at all you wouldn't have to put a dozen pre-qualifiers in front of it.

    Sloppy debating tactics for sure. Your leaving some pretty big holes in your side of it. I'm sure we could load an 810 cab through some of them.

    -eSmith.
     
  13. Yes, that's obvious

    What I observe in the world, of course. Same as you, obviously....

    So you don't practice then? Is that another thing to recommend against? (yes, sarcasm). If that works for you, fine.

    Whatever. Jimmy is right, as far as I can see now, you're trolling. This is just getting pointless and tiresome...
     
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    i'm still waiting to hear the benefits of not reading.
     
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Wow, read much?
    :D

    It's not an invention, it's what people have actually said. I quoted them several times. On rare occassions they even address the hyperbole. More often than not they don't. People are unequivocably stating what WILL happen if you learn to read. They are stating what the results WILL be. That is likely a piss poor choice of words on their part but no one put them in their mouths.
    :D

    What's getting old is the inabilty of so many to work within the common language on this forum. If you're not guaranteeing a result, don't speak in terms that specifically guarantee a result. How hard is that?

    Pretty damn, apparently.
    :D

    I've specifically and repeatedly stated the value I see in learnign how to read. I've mentioned my reading history and ability. Yet so many readers can't seem to comprehend those words. I've specifically called people on over the top statements they've made because they simply don't hold water by any standard. And despite the fact that people continue to do this, acoording to them there's no actual problem in what they're saying, "I" am playing devil's advocate.

    Bull.

    I like you too, Jimmy, I can always count on you to go over the top in your edicts. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't point out that I think you can learn to write in a more cogent fashion, saying what you mean minus the hyperbole. I think you could learn to do that. Why you refuse to is a mystery. But hell, it's entertaining.
    :cool:

    I stand by everything I've said as my personal POV on this subject.

    According to how you read, I'd have to agree.

    It's no funky chicken but that'll do, pig... that'll do.
    :D

    so about those benefits of not reading...you believe you don't need it so much, give us some benefits.[/QUOTE]
     
  16. 6401703g69.
     
  17. Learning to read standard notation must be a personal desire. After all, original Folk songs and tunes have always been passed down from generation to generation without the sheet music. I would not have expected otherwise, given the social values accorded to it by the class system. In fact, I see that there is no excuse for any Middle-Class European urbanite/suburbanite to be musically illiterate. If bricklayers & Architects cannot read a plan and drawings, then who is going to trust the finished product.
    Much influence amongst the world's youth during my lifetime is derived from The Blues, a simple way of self-entertainment by cotton-field slaves, who wished to express their personal woes at the time off the cuff.As wit other Folk traditions all over the world, this was passed down the generations. Improvisation and jamming over a familiar ground made writing unnecessary.
    Classically trained musicians go through grades and courses and it is essential to be able to sight-read. Other musicians also learn to sight read - without diplomas or degrees like in Brass Bands where I began. There is rank snobbery by Classically trained musicians about non-readers, mind you, many of them cannot write a grocery list, let alone a lyric for songwriting.
    Each individual develops different skills at different speeds. This is true in general life as well as the Arts. I know I have been a "cloth-eared" bassist for a longtime but I did a helluva lot of work when young as a bassist. I am a chordologist for guitar these days and like to play solid electric guitar - sight reading many melodies from Folk, Xmas carols, standards etc. Then I play acoustically and continue playing bass on my own. Chord charts are a quick way of getting things right for "rhythm guitar" and bass when recording. It depends on the nature and level of the job and personal desire.
    4 strings and the Bass Clef should not be a deterrent either.
     
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    My apologizes for acknowledging your statement and agreeing with you.
    :D

    Sorry for asking. Too impertinent?

    Did I say I don't practice?

    Wow. Now I'm recommending against practice AND reading. All without actually having to write those sentiments.

    Reading (words) isn't fundamental, it's apparently much harder than it seems.

    Yes, you would need to think that.
    :D
     
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Have I not said that over and over again?
     
  20. Like reading the word "sarcasm" in my post?
     

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