I Really Miss Written Music

sax4blues

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It was so easy. Everybody started together, all the chords and voicing lined up, breaks, dynamics, phrasing; it just happened, together. Playing violin/clarinet/saxophone in school band from 4th grade through high school and then community jazz big band, everything just seemed to flow.

Today I'm working through a song for church tomorrow, typical chord sheet style I've used for 15 years since taking up guitar. Sitting listening to a recording over and over trying to figure out the timing for chord changes. But the bigger issue will be tomorrow when eight people have slightly varying interpretations. It always works out, but once in a while it would be nice to just see a measure with notes and rests.
 

loco gringo

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I am working on reading for guitar, again. I learned to read music starting in 5th grade, played saxophone. At 15, I started taking guitar lessons, Mel Bay 1 through 3 or maybe 4. I don't know if I ever read music for guitar after that. I doubt it. I'm 60 now, and want to be able to sight read again.
 

Killing Floor

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Can you suggest it, is it appropriate in your situation? Can everyone in your group hang? It sure makes things easy when everyone is on the same page. Ooh, see what I did there? But I can read and I have worked with a lot of people who cannot so that's why I ask. Can everyone in your group keep up?
 

sax4blues

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Chord sheets is the way it’s done and I accept that. I can’t sight read for guitar but I can slow read to learn a song. There is one keyboard player who finds the written music, but then it sometimes creates problems when the collective strays from the score and she gets frustrated.
 

hnryclay

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Not familiar at all with contemporary christian music, so I cannot be sure, but wouldn't there be a source you could purchase these songs from? I would imagine that churches are still a dominant player in the sheet music industry.

It does make a lot of sense to see the rhythm written out. Of course it really only helps if the rest of the band/orchestra can read as well.
 

Harry Styron

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I went to a couple of symphony concerts in the past two weeks, a part of the local Taneycomo Festival Orchestra program. Fifty to seventy musicians, most of them playing in regional symphonies and teaching at colleges, assemble in Branson for two weeks each June and play together, often for the first time.

As I listened to Dvorak's Eighth Symphony I marveled at the value of written music and orchestration that allows such complex and beautiful music to be played, even by people who don't speak the same languages.

I'm one of the lucky ones. I learned to read music about the same time I learned to read words, and I've managed to not forget how.

Obviously, much of the world's great music is not written, and there is great joy in playing and singing with others without written music.
 
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bebopbrain

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I practice easy etudes by Sigmund Hering, intended for brass players. I try to do these single note melodies both finger style and on slide.

If you are a so-so reader, this is a way to get back into it.
 

boop

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At the very least, tab/chord charts should be denoted with measures and timing notation like normal sheet music, I can't read music, but I can count.
 

trapdoor2

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I learned to sight read Cello and Viola in my 50s with a string orchestra. What a great thing! I took piano lessons as a kid but the whole sight-reading thing never took. I have been digitizing and arrange sheet music since my 30s but it wasn't until I joined the orchestra that it finally happened. No interpretation, that's the conductor's job.

Now if I could just sight-read for the banjo I'd be set (I do sight-read Tab, just not notation).
 

pippoman

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It was so easy. Everybody started together, all the chords and voicing lined up, breaks, dynamics, phrasing; it just happened, together. Playing violin/clarinet/saxophone in school band from 4th grade through high school and then community jazz big band, everything just seemed to flow.

Today I'm working through a song for church tomorrow, typical chord sheet style I've used for 15 years since taking up guitar. Sitting listening to a recording over and over trying to figure out the timing for chord changes. But the bigger issue will be tomorrow when eight people have slightly varying interpretations. It always works out, but once in a while it would be nice to just see a measure with notes and rests.
At least you know how. I asked my parents for guitar lessons growing up because I wanted to learn how to sight read, but because I was doing well playing by ear they decided instead to let my sister take piano lessons. 55 years later she remembers nothing, but I’m still playing regularly. My parents were great providers, but there was little money to spare and none to waste, so I understood. They asked why I wanted to learn and I told them I wanted to be a session player and almost nobody got hired without learning to read. I don’t think they took me seriously. Now I have no time to do that; I tried for several weeks but realized it would take years to get proficient and that’s an unrealistic goal. Isn’t that the way it goes?
 

hnryclay

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At least you know how. I asked my parents for guitar lessons growing up because I wanted to learn how to sight read, but because I was doing well playing by ear they decided instead to let my sister take piano lessons. 55 years later she remembers nothing, but I’m still playing regularly. My parents were great providers, but there was little money to spare and none to waste, so I understood. They asked why I wanted to learn and I told them I wanted to be a session player and almost nobody got hired without learning to read. I don’t think they took me seriously. Now I have no time to do that; I tried for several weeks but realized it would take years to get proficient and that’s an unrealistic goal. Isn’t that the way it goes?
 

hnryclay

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It really wouldnt take years if you are already profecient at playing. I bet you could learn all the notes in a month or so, and grab chords in well less than a year. If you already know your scales all over the neck your just putting a symbol to a spot. True sight reading as in playing concert music without seeing it in real time mistake free would take years, but basic playing that most people think is sight reading would not.
 

pippoman

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It really wouldnt take years if you are already profecient at playing. I bet you could learn all the notes in a month or so, and grab chords in well less than a year. If you already know your scales all over the neck your just putting a symbol to a spot. True sight reading as in playing concert music without seeing it in real time mistake free would take years, but basic playing that most people think is sight reading would not.
You’re right, and I did learn all the notes, but I was slow. I stayed on top of it for several weeks, spending a half hour to an hour practicing, and even started getting to chords. When I realized where I was vs. where I wanted to be, that is, being able to play a song I’d never heard in correct time simply by reading a chart, I decided I could learn much more quickly using my ears than my eyes. I envy sight readers and will likely apply myself to it again in the near future when I actually have some free time. For now I’m finding it challenging just to find a half hour to an hour a day to just play. I would, however, encourage young, serious musicians living at home to stay the course and actually learn to read charts while they have the time and energy.
 




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