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Is it bad that I can't read sheet music?

63 Posts
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New Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 1

Hi there,

Definitely not. It requires practice and knowledge to read perfect sheet music. Written music is a language that has been developing for thousands of years, and even the music we read today has been around for over 300 years. Music notation is the representation of sound with symbols, from basic notations for pitch, duration, and timing, to more advanced descriptions of expression, timbre, and even special effects.

New Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 2

It is not bad that you can not read sheet music. You do not need to in any way... but it has its benefits. It looks harder than it actually is and once you get over the learning curve it can help a great deal when you want to learn other instruments. Many of the greats do not read sheet music. As long as you are having fun and accomplishing what you want to, then thats all that matters. :D

Rooster Smith
Eminent Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 14

Hi, I've been playing for about 7 years now and basically I can't read sheet notation. I've never had a single lesson, which is why I've never "needed" to. I'd consider myself to be quite good on guitar, I know about scales/modes and such and can quite happily improvise to the majority of music genres. I started reading tabs, which in a way looking back feels slightly limited to that of sheet music, because obviously it doesn't teach you about timing. But lately I tend not to use tabs, instead playing by ear. I'd much rather create my own rendition of a particular song where I want to on the neck. The only question is, is it bad that I can't read sheet music? I guess I could learn, but do I really need to? 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?

Nah, you're good buddy. YOu have to set your own goals and it doesn't sound like you need to. As long as you're happy with what you can do.

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