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  #1  
Old 11-23-2013, 10:00 PM
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Default Learning to read music..?

Do you guys think it's really worth it? In some cases I don't really see the need to, but then again.. I'm terribly lazy
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  #2  
Old 11-23-2013, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

Do you need to? Nope. Is it really really helpful? Yes! Is it hard? Nope! So why not do it?Trust me, the sooner the better. You don't have to be a pro at it either for it to help you. Just being able to figure out drum parts using notation is a huge plus.
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  #3  
Old 11-23-2013, 11:30 PM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

It's pretty crucial if you want to go far and be a complete player. I was a terrible drummer/percussionist for many years but I could sight-read music, being a classically trained pianist.. Then there were/are others who are phenomenal drummers but can't read a lick. It really pays off in the end, though.
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  #4  
Old 11-24-2013, 01:27 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

I can almost guarantee you that in life you probably will not find something easier to learn that will help you as much as reading rhythms

you could literally learn to read in two days if you wanted to ..... or less

nothing to it

the benefits highly outweigh the cost
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  #5  
Old 11-24-2013, 01:38 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

This topic used to come up a lot, but it's been a while since we had this thread.

Yes, reading is very helpful.

No, I've somehow never ended up in a situation where I got handed a chart (not sure why, just never did), but reading it still helpful when looking at beats and transcriptions in magazines and books. If I have an idea when I'm no where near a drum kit, I can write it down and read it later. If need to learn a song, it can be helpful to write out any tricky parts.

And I could not write and program music if I didn't know how to read it.
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  #6  
Old 11-24-2013, 01:50 AM
banshees nut banshees nut is offline
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

I have spent 20 years as a purely classical musician involved with performing and accompanying etc. As a musician I have met many people who cannot read it very well and come up with all sorts of excuses why, and always have a limit. At the end of the day being able to read and write/understand the music has been essential and being able to read music in your head with no instrument the way we read a book has always made musical life easier.

However...I have really enjoyed the last year, learning drums myself and not looking at a note, I have abandoned melody and harmony completely lol! Playing completely instinctively.

Seriously though........although I am not reading the drumparts I am quite sure a lot of stuff has been compartmentalising itself in my head in patterns through all the years of musical reading and patterns and I wouldn't be surprised if once I get comfortable and confident with the physical side I end up on occasions sight reading parts if asked to by bands for pieces I don't know.

What I am saying is, if you are comfortable with your drumming, learning to read music will always be an advantage, in my opinion any language (including music) although passes by ear, the ability to read and write once fluent will always be an advantage and if you can play/drum instinctively by ear but also by reading, the it is the best of both worlds.
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:56 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

Basic chart reading is a massive help... If you struggle with some rhythms its understandable, but learning the 'roadmap' and structure of a chart is best skill you can have
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  #8  
Old 11-25-2013, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

Imagine how hard it would be to learn information if you couldn't read the written word?

Everything would have to be passed down aurally and you would need to remember it.

There are 2 types of reading really. There is sight reading fly poo at 20 ft and then there is reading for comprehension.

Sight Reading isn't a skill you need unless you want to do pit work, orchestral work or films etc. It also takes years of hard practice to get your sight reading chops up and you only get those by reading lots!


The second level of reading is the level everyone should get to as it allows you to grow as a musician. If you can read a little bit (enough to work things out) then every book, magazine, online lesson is there for you to absorb and that can only make you a better player.

This exact explanation is what i give to students who come to me. Reading to a level that you can teach yourself is never a bad thing.



I also explain the following which means they can learn anything written down.



In order to read music you need to know 3 things

The value of the note (1/4, 1/8th etc and recognize them) this is done by how they look...which never changes between instruments. An 1/8 note always has one tail/flag.

Next you need to remember how to count them....which never changes between instruments.

3rd you need to know where those notes are played....which does change. Most drum books have keys at the start which tell you what is there.



With those 3 things you can read anything ever written on any instrument....you may not be able to play it right away but you can understand it.

D
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  #9  
Old 11-25-2013, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

I grew up playing wind instruments and so the idea of not learning to read wasn't an option for me. And as opposed to DED, I *have* been in the circumstance where someone handed me sheet music to read. In one of these circumstances (theater gig) I watched another musician get sacked on the spot for being a lousy reader.

You can get through life not learning to read, but honestly, there's no reason to resist learning it, and so many good reasons to learn how. You're probably going to invent your own tab or shorthand anyways, and if you can read tab, you can read music.
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  #10  
Old 11-26-2013, 02:09 AM
Grolubao Grolubao is offline
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Major View Post
Imagine how hard it would be to learn information if you could read the written word?

Everything would have to be passed down aurally and you would need to remember it.

There are 2 types of reading really. There is sight reading fly poo at 20 ft and then there is reading for comprehension.

Sight Reading isn't a skill you need unless you want to do pit work, orchestral work or films etc. It also takes years of hard practice to get your sight reading chops up and you only get those by reading lots!


The second level of reading is the level everyone should get to as it allows you to grow as a musician. If you can read a little bit (enough to work things out) then every book, magazine, online lesson is there for you to absorb and that can only make you a better player.

This exact explanation is what i give to students who come to me. Reading to a level that you can teach yourself is never a bad thing.



I also explain the following which means they can learn anything written down.



In order to read music you need to know 3 things

The value of the note (1/4, 1/8th etc and recognize them) this is done by how they look...which never changes between instruments. An 1/8 note always has one tail/flag.

Next you need to remember how to count them....which never changes between instruments.

3rd you need to know where those notes are played....which does change. Most drum books have keys at the start which tell you what is there.



With those 3 things you can read anything ever written on any instrument....you may not be able to play it right away but you can understand it.

D
It really boils down to this
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  #11  
Old 11-26-2013, 06:41 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

I started learning to play drums with reading, I can't imagine learning nearly as fast if i didn't read. It doesn't even take that long to learn to read drums, what will really make the reading go fast is to have a sticking method to go with the reading.
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  #12  
Old 11-26-2013, 01:30 PM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

I'd love to read. Old dog/new tricks. My eyes just tend to glaze over with it all. Just can't seem to find the right teacher/method/books or whatever.

Actually my angst at traditional notation (which is despised by even major classical composers) caused me to develop my own number system, but it only works for me and has its flaws, to be sure.
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  #13  
Old 11-26-2013, 03:21 PM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

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Originally Posted by NikIsBigMeech View Post
Do you guys think it's really worth it? In some cases I don't really see the need to, but then again.. I'm terribly lazy
Its like the alphabet, you can speak before you can read it, learning to read it however allows you to learn more. I can read music but I have not had to while playing in years. Looking in modern drummer they have transcriptions and im able to read whats going on and its kind of cool actually. either way, you can still play.
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  #14  
Old 12-09-2013, 04:54 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

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Originally Posted by The Old Hyde View Post
Its like the alphabet, you can speak before you can read it, learning to read it however allows you to learn more. I can read music but I have not had to while playing in years. Looking in modern drummer they have transcriptions and im able to read whats going on and its kind of cool actually. either way, you can still play.
This is a really unique way of putting it, I like that. I don't know if I'll ever put in the time to learn but it'd be nice. Maybe when I'm older things like this will seem more interesting
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:59 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
...
You can get through life not learning to read, but honestly, there's no reason to resist learning it, and so many good reasons to learn how. You're probably going to invent your own tab or shorthand anyways, and if you can read tab, you can read music.
And then, right on cue...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsinhisheart View Post
...
Actually my angst at traditional notation (which is despised by even major classical composers) caused me to develop my own number system, but it only works for me and has its flaws, to be sure.
Music notation, like any other form of notation, even the one you're reading now, is imperfect. And while it is possible that you will invent a better one, it's way more likely that you won't.

Get a teacher whose instruction includes drumming, or a drumming teacher specifically to teach you to read.

Learning to read music is going to way easier than any other substitute method to achieve the same result: a lazy man works twice as hard!
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  #16  
Old 12-09-2013, 06:00 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

Absolutely do not learn to read music; there are already too many drummers out there competing for work.

Go on living with your parents, playing your drums in your bedroom, and leave playing music to the musicians.
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  #17  
Old 12-09-2013, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

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Originally Posted by NikIsBigMeech View Post
I'm terribly lazy
IMO this is the only reason not to learn to read drum music :-)
(and BTW, drum music is arguably a simplified version of music notation anyway).

On the positive side: it's not that hard; you just have to start with the basics, and then go step by step. My 11 year old son can read basic drum charts. It took him about 10 minutes to get the basic idea, and how he's learning beats that I'm writing down for him. As your playing improves, your reading ability will improve along with your playing ability.

It's true that you can learn a lot without reading (e.g. from YouTube) but reading opens up a world of learning and new ideas.
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  #18  
Old 12-09-2013, 09:32 PM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

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Absolutely do not learn to read music; there are already too many drummers out there competing for work.

Go on living with your parents, playing your drums in your bedroom, and leave playing music to the musicians.
Yes, and get the hell of my lawn.
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  #19  
Old 12-09-2013, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

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Yes, and get the hell off my lawn.
Damn right.
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

No. Don't learn how to read music. That just takes all the fun out of it.
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  #21  
Old 12-10-2013, 06:38 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

I find that my students learn to read quickly because I make them write. Imagine trying to teach a 1st grader how to read without them ever writing anything. It's infinitely easier to input if you also know how to output.
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  #22  
Old 12-10-2013, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

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Originally Posted by BillBachman View Post
I find that my students learn to read quickly because I make them write. Imagine trying to teach a 1st grader how to read without them ever writing anything. It's infinitely easier to input if you also know how to output.
What an interesting idea.
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  #23  
Old 12-17-2013, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

I think it's unanimous. You heard from 2 excellent members highly credible educators: Anthony and Bill Bachman.

Reading is a great tool...
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  #24  
Old 12-17-2013, 04:04 PM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

First you learn to read. Then you read to learn.
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  #25  
Old 12-22-2013, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

It's funny because I posted this looking for arguments from both ends, but I just disregard anything going towards not learning to read. Hypocritical I guess

But as much as I'd like to learn, I'm just not dedicated enough right now. Unlike many of you, I'm a teenager and would rather party :D
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Old 12-22-2013, 12:32 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

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Originally Posted by NikIsBigMeech View Post
It's funny because I posted this looking for arguments from both ends, but I just disregard anything going towards not learning to read. Hypocritical I guess

But as much as I'd like to learn, I'm just not dedicated enough right now. Unlike many of you, I'm a teenager and would rather party :D
So, you don't want to use a metronome or learn to read music. Sounds like you are drumming for the ladies and not the music.

Amirite?
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  #27  
Old 12-22-2013, 12:38 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

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So, you don't want to use a metronome or learn to read music. Sounds like you are drumming for the ladies and not the music.

Amirite?
I'm honestly really offended by this

I've had a love for drumming ever since I was a little kid. Before I had a drum kit, I'd use buckets and different things around the house to make a "drum kit" to play. It's kinda my passion & I definitely never did it for "ladies".. never really had to ya feel

The laziness is what keeps me from learning to read, and metronomes are just annoying
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Old 12-22-2013, 12:54 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

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Originally Posted by NikIsBigMeech View Post
The laziness is what keeps me from learning to read, and metronomes are just annoying
That's your choice and that choice is totally fine. It's your journey and you can travel whatever road you choose to get there. That road might limit you in the future, it might not.....only time will tell. But if you started this topic looking for validation of those choices, then I reckon you're gonna find the chorus will be pretty light on.
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:12 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

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Originally Posted by NikIsBigMeech View Post
But as much as I'd like to learn
No. You don't want it badly enough.

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I'm a teenager and would rather party :D
So what is the point of this thread? You just answered your own question.
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  #30  
Old 12-22-2013, 01:23 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

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That's your choice and that choice is totally fine. It's your journey and you can travel whatever road you choose to get there. That road might limit you in the future, it might not.....only time will tell. But if you started this topic looking for validation of those choices, then I reckon you're gonna find the chorus will be pretty light on.
Perfect summary, as we've come to expect, J.

One thing I've noticed on web forums is that people try to program each other - there are sanctioned approaches in each peer group and if you run contrary to the accepted mores, pressure is applied to encourage people to "get with the program".

At DW the legit approach rules and most advice is pretty well what comes from serious music school ... meanwhile lackadaisical three-beers-and-rock-out drummers appear to be a large, somewhat cowed, rump on the forum.

No judgement either way, just observations.
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  #31  
Old 12-22-2013, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

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At DW the legit approach rules and most advice is pretty well what comes from serious music school ... meanwhile lackadaisical three-beers-and-rock-out drummers appear to be a large, somewhat cowed, rump on the forum.
Yep. As always, it just depends on what you want to do and how far you want to take it, G.

There's room for a drummer who can't read, just as there's room for a drummer who can't play to a click. But there's always a hell of a lot more room for those who can.

The key is not to piss and moan if one finds they start missing gigs where those skills are a requirement. You had your choice and you chose to do nothing about it. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone if you find your opportunities are more limited than someone who's better equipped.
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Old 12-22-2013, 03:17 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

Not that bitching and moaning is of much use in 99% of situations :) The decisions we make combine with chance to make our present.
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  #33  
Old 12-22-2013, 03:46 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

A metronome is not optional...driving a car without a speedometer is possible but not a good idea..same with practice sans metronome.

Reading music is not a bad thing no matter how you look at it. The actual requirement stems from what your goals are:

If you want to be in a local cover band or your own original band and do not want to be a session guy or professional musician, for instance on a cruise ship gig, then you do not need to read music. Today, the musician has a different set of rules than when many now famous musicians were "coming up". To make a living at music, you probably will have to engage in several different areas like teaching, film scores, session work, etc etc...and for those you will need to read. If you are serious about a career in music, then reading is required.
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  #34  
Old 12-22-2013, 04:34 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

It is not important until someone wants to pay you a bunch of money to play their music, and they hand you the sheets . . . .
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  #35  
Old 12-22-2013, 08:55 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

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It is not important until someone wants to pay you a bunch of money to play their music, and they hand you the sheets . . . .
It was pretty important when I was studying with a teacher -- and without a teacher -- from books, drumming magazines etc...
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  #36  
Old 12-22-2013, 09:12 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

I don't see how it can be important for a guitarist and not for a drummer. I think reading tabs is an essential skill at any level, beginner or pro.
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  #37  
Old 12-23-2013, 03:27 AM
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Default Re: Learning to read music..?

Do what you want, but let me ask you this: If you wanted to be a poet, would it make sense to want to be illiterate? It can be done (Homer was blind), and certainly in the past many storytellers memorized everything. However, you would greatly limit your sources of knowledge, your communications with others, and your ability to record your thoughts.
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