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n85ae

 

Posts: 840
Joined: Sep. 7 2006
 

Reading Music 

Once in a while sharing something, just because of a feeling of accomplishment.

Decided to learn to read music a year ago, and now a year later I can actually
do it. So refreshing to not be dependent on TAB, highly recommend it. Big
pain figuring out where the notes are but well worth it.

I know, probably doesn't mean much to some :)

Jeff
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 2 2016 1:22:00
 
Leñador

Posts: 5229
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Reading Music (in reply to n85ae

That's pretty cool!
I can read but very slowly, when I get sheet music I scribe it to tab and use the sheet music for rhythm reference. I'd love to be able to just sight read quickly though. It's on my to do list. Lol

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 2 2016 1:30:38
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3046
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: Reading Music (in reply to Leñador

quote:

I can read but very slowly, when I get sheet music I scribe it to tab and use the sheet music for rhythm reference. I'd love to be able to just sight read quickly though. It's on my to do list. Lol


Same here.

One thing that always makes me quit halfway through is the fact that I've always been an intervals guy, not a pitches guy... which means that if you've always had that intervalic "by numbers" way of listening/playing/transposing, sheet music will make you feel slow in the head.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 2 2016 2:12:04
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2837
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Reading Music (in reply to n85ae

Congratulation n85ae, on acquiring a valuable skill.

When I was a kid trumpet player I was a fluent sight reader and transposed at sight, since trumpet parts up to the 19th century were usually for an instrument in some odd key other than the standard B-flat trumpet of the 20 century.

That is to say, when you see a "c" written on the page and play the note with no valves on the most common modern trumpet, it really sounds as B-flat. Up to the 19th century, before there were valves, trumpeters had a few different horns, and they had pieces of pipe to add to the ones they had to change the pitch.

So in a Brahms symphony you might be issued a part marked, "Trumpet in E." When the part said "c" it was supposed to sound as "e". To get concert "e" on a B-flat trumpet you have to play f#. So you learned to transpose at sight.

On guitar I can sight read, but much more slowly. By the time I can play the piece I usually have it memorized.

There are fluent sight readers on guitar. In 2000 there was an international guitar festival in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Wolfgang Lendle had with him the manuscript score of his "Carmen Fantasy," based on tunes from the Bizet opera. He was discussing getting it published with a well known publisher.

Eliot Fisk was one of the headline performers. One afternoon I passed by the luthiers' display area and heard two guitarists ripping through tunes from "Carmen." I joined the assembled small audience. Eliot and Wolfgang were seated in chairs with a couple of guitars borrowed from the luthiers' display. Wolfgang's score was spread out on the floor in front of them. Eliot was zipping through the piece at flank speed. Once in a while he would paint himself into a fingering corner, stop and laugh, then start over with different fingering, zooming right along.

He could read faster than I could play.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 2 2016 2:40:10
 
DavRom

 

Posts: 310
Joined: Jul. 16 2015
From: De camino a Sevilla

RE: Reading Music (in reply to n85ae

Congrats!

In the months That I have been learning flamenco I have found tabs by far prevail over traditional notation. I wish more people used Notation because I hate I mean I really hate tabs
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 2 2016 9:58:41
 
drhildr

 

Posts: 66
Joined: Feb. 1 2016
 

RE: Reading Music (in reply to n85ae

Is there a particular "method" you would recommend?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 2 2016 11:57:49
 
El Kiko

Posts: 2697
Joined: Jun. 7 2010
From: The South Ireland

RE: Reading Music (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Many instruments are transposing instruments ... trumpets ,
saxophones in Eb and Bb alto and tenor ....
But it doesnt matter to the player as you just play what you see what comes out is what it is ..for you its just relative , meaning if you play one sax you can play them all even though they all transpose to different pitches ..

anyway dont forget the guitar is also a transposing instrument ....!
people forget this ..as it is an octave out ..so C is still C but not the same one as , say the middle C on the piano ...


Written music , on a staff will always be better than TAB , which is incomplete in information...it reminds me of early lute music ..many examples of which you can see on line ..
but it doesnt give the value of the notes .,
Although many here say ,", i can read TAB really quick and play all these tunes ."..all well and good , but if you heard it ..or played it before ..then your not really sight reading ...merely using it to re-enforce what you have already learned ..
technically , you can only sight read a piece once ..

it took me while to get into the way of sight reading and you have to force yourself to read ahead , to avoid any upcomming surprises...

But ..it was my job for years ..thats what you get paid for in studios etc ... time is money ...you get the music , you play it ..you get paid ....
if you cant ,,someone else can ..and they get paid instead...

Guitarists have always been bad sight readers, i think its maybe just more of a visual thing ...
not many other instruments have this problem ...Like you , Richard , when you got your first trumpet ..it probably came with a book ..that had written music in it ..scales ..tunes etc ...
your first guitar book ...if you had one , probably didnt ...it probably had little pics of chords with dots marked on a fretboard.....


oh well....

Anyway keep at it n85ae ... its worth the effort

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 2 2016 12:06:25
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3046
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: Reading Music (in reply to El Kiko

quote:

it doesnt give the value of the notes


I never understood why so many people say this. TAB does have note values, unless you don't write them or have them turned off in the TAB software.



Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 2 2016 12:20:10
 
sig

 

Posts: 296
Joined: Nov. 7 2007
From: Wisconsin

RE: Reading Music (in reply to n85ae

Jeff, that's a great accomplishment. It seems guitar players in general lack this skill. I have done some work attempting to learn how to read and while I can manage it, I can't sight read worth a damn. I spent some time a few years ago learning the fretboard and that was a tremendous help. Its a skill I continue to practice.
Sig--
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 2 2016 14:33:14
 
n85ae

 

Posts: 840
Joined: Sep. 7 2006
 

RE: Reading Music (in reply to n85ae

I just picked up the "A Modern Method for Guitar", and started slowly working
at the exercises. I'm not that fast, but at least I can do it. I would never say I can
sit and play a sheet of music at sight, but I can at least read it, and find the notes
and know when and for how long to play them. Once I figure out a piece of
music, then I can play through it by sight.

I'm not the greatest guitar player in the world anyway, but reading was a big
challenge that I wanted to take on.

Jeff
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 2 2016 21:07:01
 
El Kiko

Posts: 2697
Joined: Jun. 7 2010
From: The South Ireland

RE: Reading Music (in reply to Sr. Martins

some points

Most TAB ive seen doesnt have that ...

The second bar in your example is unclear as to rhythm

You have to look at and combine 2 separate elements as oppose to one .

TAB as is is exclusive to the guitar , so you cannot read music written for the other musicians ..instruments violins, sax , trumpet , bass etc ..

seems limiting

why not just learn the system that has been developed for ages for just that reason , and fit in with everyone else

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 2 2016 21:18:08
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3046
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: Reading Music (in reply to El Kiko

I don't see what's unclear.. 1+1+2

Stems can be longer to hit the numbers, just like noteheads on sheetmusic. It's an option you have in software but if you're handwriting, in that case you can make it exactly like sheet music but have numbers and strings instead of noteheads... or whatever you like.

You combine 2 elements as much as you do with sheetmusic.

I read TAB to play keys, I don't think that's an issue. It's all a matter of what you're used to.


I am ok with whatever, I usually don't have to read anything.

Just wanted to clear up that misconception about TAB not having duration... after 2 decades of playing guitar I still see that "untruth" everywhere. I guess it's something that just caught on.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 2 2016 21:44:17
 
El Kiko

Posts: 2697
Joined: Jun. 7 2010
From: The South Ireland

RE: Reading Music (in reply to Sr. Martins

I just never saw the necessity to invent a system when there is a perfectly good universal one already ,,

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 2 2016 23:13:54
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3046
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: Reading Music (in reply to El Kiko

quote:

I just never saw the necessity to invent a system when there is a perfectly good universal one already


TAB came before the now traditional notation.

Anyways, I wasn't debating that. Just saying that it seems very weird that the main complaint everyone has about TAB is something that will only be missing if you don't write it. Same thing would happen with sheet music if you just wrote the dots.

edit: BTW, notation is far from perfectly good (specially since we got into 12 equal tones), it just happens that it would be difficult to implement one of the better alternatives as a standard at this point.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 2 2016 23:23:32
 
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1653
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: Reading Music (in reply to Sr. Martins

quote:

it seems very weird that the main complaint everyone has about TAB is something that will only be missing if you don't write it


Indeed. Even the earliest lute music had time-indications — had to have, since there were no recordings or YouTube videos.

Perhaps I’m over-severe, but tab without time-indications has always seemed to me lazy, or incompetent, or both.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 3 2016 17:07:48
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11760
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Reading Music (in reply to Sr. Martins

Being able to visualize the contour of the music at a glance is helpful for sight reading or following a score, which standard notation is superior for. Unfortunately guitar music more often requires special fingerings which for learning can be overlooked with out a VERY busy score, or simple tab UNDERNEATH the standard notation. Tab is superior in that sense for specific fingerings, where as standard notation is better for an overview. For music such as flamenco or a Bach Fugue arranged for guitar, I would consider tabs superior (if allowed only one option). For sight reading a jazz standard head and chord chart, standard notes are far superior.

Classical guitar tries to be part of the classical world, so embraces the standard notation and downplays the advantages of tab...that is no good. Reading on keyboard or horns where you have ONE place to play middle C is not the same as for guitar where you can have 4 or 5 places to play a single note. Other string instruments also have this problem, except as mainly ensemble instruments also only have to play one note at a time usually. Guitar/lute which is vertical instrument most of the time (chords, multi voices more like keyboard) does well with two staves, also like keyboard music (bass and treble clef left and right hand normally), it's just that the other stave could be the Tab to clarify positions and fingerings required for a special sound rather than allow interpretations.

I agree about rhythm problems that Rui points to are bogus...but...I must add that rhythm problems are simply typical for all but percussionists. Look at most flamenco guitars transcriptions and the timing issues they include regardless of standard notes or tabs.
Ricardo

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 3 2016 18:10:20
 
DavRom

 

Posts: 310
Joined: Jul. 16 2015
From: De camino a Sevilla

RE: Reading Music (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

Classical guitar tries to be part of the classical world, so embraces the standard notation and downplays the advantages of tab...that is no good.


i don't see how tab can in any way be superior to traditional when learning a Bach fugue (or otherwise)

classical guitar fingerings differ depending on who you're talking to. Segovia was notoriously dictatorial about his way of doing things...just ask John Williams

like all art, it's a matter of interpretation, so tab is no help except to depict some particular individual's idea of what the music should sound like

for myself, i've never learned anything for which i didn't change some fingering here or there from the edition i was using (Segovia would have kicked me out the door)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 3 2016 23:11:38
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11760
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Reading Music (in reply to DavRom

quote:

ORIGINAL: DavRom

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

Classical guitar tries to be part of the classical world, so embraces the standard notation and downplays the advantages of tab...that is no good.


i don't see how tab can in any way be superior to traditional when learning a Bach fugue (or otherwise)

classical guitar fingerings differ depending on who you're talking to. Segovia was notoriously dictatorial about his way of doing things...just ask John Williams

like all art, it's a matter of interpretation, so tab is no help except to depict some particular individual's idea of what the music should sound like

for myself, i've never learned anything for which i didn't change some fingering here or there from the edition i was using (Segovia would have kicked me out the door)


You already know Segovia would kick you out the door, but do you have a clue why? As I tried to point out, there is a REASON to use a specific fingering over another in certain specific cases. This info can be quite more efficiently conveyed with simple tablature than with a busy scribbling in the score. Not everything in the world of art is open to personal interpretive choice. Compas for example. Chord voicing might be another. Fugue voicing could be another. Etc.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2016 2:39:44
 
DavRom

 

Posts: 310
Joined: Jul. 16 2015
From: De camino a Sevilla

RE: Reading Music (in reply to n85ae

you assume too much Ricardo (about me in this case)

go check out what Williams has to say about the matter

and yeah i got a clue, but you don't get it
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2016 4:09:05
 
chester

Posts: 760
Joined: Oct. 29 2010
 

RE: Reading Music (in reply to n85ae

quote:

ORIGINAL: n85ae

Once in a while sharing something, just because of a feeling of accomplishment.

Decided to learn to read music a year ago, and now a year later I can actually
do it. So refreshing to not be dependent on TAB, highly recommend it. Big
pain figuring out where the notes are but well worth it.

I know, probably doesn't mean much to some :)

Jeff


Hey congrats! It gets even easier - think how much progress you'll make in FIVE years! (Maybe not sight reading a bach fugue but still...)

I'll never forget all those times staring back and forth at the guitar and the sheet music, wondering where's that damn C#.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2016 6:24:53
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11760
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Reading Music (in reply to DavRom

Never mind

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2016 6:30:06
 
Cloth Ears

 

Posts: 152
Joined: Apr. 26 2005
 

RE: Reading Music (in reply to n85ae

Bespoke fingerings can sometimes be impossible, due to the longer scale length of the modern classical guitar.

Having just re- bespoke Aguados Rondo Op.2 No.3, I have changed much of the fingerings, so even if he did use a 'lutenist style' TAB in tandem with the score, it would just be a burden.

I don't believe anyone could sight read this piece convincingly anyway. It took me a long time to get my head around it.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2016 8:16:37
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3046
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: Reading Music (in reply to chester



Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2016 12:28:13
 
Goldwinghai

Posts: 184
Joined: Mar. 17 2015
From: Virginia USA

RE: Reading Music (in reply to n85ae

I like to have both notation and tab when learning new piece, especially the difficult pieces like Paco Pena's En Las Cuevas or La Romeria. I read notation but use tab to help with fingering. Without tab it would take me much longer.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2016 15:01:11
 
n85ae

 

Posts: 840
Joined: Sep. 7 2006
 

RE: Reading Music (in reply to chester

Clip on tuner helps with this part a lot!

Jeff

quote:

I'll never forget all those times staring back and forth at the guitar and the sheet music, wondering where's that damn C#
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2016 17:18:44
 
Cervantes

 

Posts: 440
Joined: Jun. 14 2014
From: Encinitas, CA USA

RE: Reading Music (in reply to n85ae

I grew up playing clarinet and saxophone and learned to read music from a very young age. I knew instantly where every single note on the instrument was. I have always been frustrated by guitar depending on tabs, not know what note I am playing or where notes are on the guitar. Once I started playing flamenco, technique became the most important thing and I let go of having to read or know where notes are. But I think eventually I will be able to do that. But I think of how my youth was wasted not playing guitar of some type. A friend that a grew up did play guitar his whole life and now he is the best classical guitarist in the area. Oh well, I have the rest of my life to make up for it.

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Ah well, there was a fantastic passion there, in my case anyway. I discovered flamenco
very early on. It grips you in a way that you can't get away - Paco Pena
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2016 23:24:02
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3046
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: Reading Music (in reply to Cervantes

quote:

I have always been frustrated by guitar depending on tabs, not know what note I am playing or where notes are on the guitar.


Your argument makes no sense at all.


TAB - Don't have to read notes and don't have to know where they are on the guitar.

"Traditional" Notation - You have to know the notes and know where they are on the guitar.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2016 23:43:28
 
n85ae

 

Posts: 840
Joined: Sep. 7 2006
 

RE: Reading Music (in reply to n85ae

Tab I believe does lead to frustration. Because you feel limited if it's all you
know ...

Learning to play with traditional notation on a guitar, is probably more difficult
than other instruments, which explains the popularity of Tab. It's just that when you want to learn something from another instrument, or something not written
in Tab and it's all you know you're stuck.

It's what led to me getting frustrated, so I just started diligently working
on learning. It's not easy, and I'm still not fast, but at least I can do it now.
Really the clip-on tuner helps, I can turn it on and if I'm having a hard time
locating the elusive C#, it tells me.


Jeff
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2016 0:34:36
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3046
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: Reading Music (in reply to n85ae

quote:

Tab I believe does lead to frustration. Because you feel limited if it's all you
know ...


For people that only read (TAB, notation, etc) and play, I don't see how much of a big deal that can be. If you don't know music theory, the end result and general apprecitiation will be marginally the same.

For people who grasp theory, even listening to something will light up the dots in their mind.


Bottom line: Sheet music is NOT music theory, it's just notation. If that makes you feel smarter about your sight readings, forget about it.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2016 1:29:15
 
n85ae

 

Posts: 840
Joined: Sep. 7 2006
 

RE: Reading Music (in reply to n85ae

It's sort of a silly argument right? You can play the guitar and not know theory,
tab, notation, etc ... Or for that matter even know how to tune the guitar .... BUT
the more you know, the more you can do.

Nobody has to learn any of it, for me I was feeling good since I had finally learned
how to read music.

That's the nice thing about the Foro, any subject can become an argument :)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2016 3:12:41
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