I just had this brilliant idea: How about going back to the original poster's original questions?
FishyBoy wrote:At some stage I would like to learn other instruments, the only other instrument I can play is the harmonica and I can sing, but I'd like to learn the sax and piano. Any advice?
Tab will not help you
on other instruments. Standard notation can be
a useful bridge.
You can be a great story-teller, a social success, and a fine public speaker all without knowing how to read and write English. But few people would see being illiterate as actually being an advantage.
Same with music. You can get by just fine with just your ear, chord sheets, etc. But I didn't find that learning notation was hard, and it gave me the ability to pick up any sheet music and read what it says. I find that both useful and interesting.
I'm still quite slow at reading unfamiliar music, but I don't need to be fast. I can take the time I need to work it out for whatever instrument I'm trying to play at the time. I found that a useful intermediate step was typing sheet music into a cheap notation program like Finale Notepad
. It was handy for hearing the computer play back whatever I typed in, and for making midi tracks. Typing in the notation helped me to recognise which note was on each line or space, and how long it played for. Not sure how much the licence is for Notepad but MuseScore
is apparently free.
The more I read the quicker I get. It's not essential, but I can't see any reason not to at least get the basics down.
PS. I'd rather have a really good ear than be a really fast reader. But it's not some kind of either/or choice - you can go for both. It a bit like being asked "Which would you rather have - plenty of sex, plenty of money or plenty of fun?" Uh, I'll go for the full set thanks.