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Thread: Reading music.....

  1. #1

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    Default Reading music.....

    How many of us read music, I've been reading music since day one of my lessons. I find it fun and a challenge. I like the idea of being able to put my hands on a music book and being able to play it .
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  2. #2

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    The only time I read music for drums was when I played the bass drum in school, and I wasn't even the drummer. I played bells, but was put on the bass drum. That was easy to read because it was only the notes for the bass drum, but I am curious to know if I could read simple drum music for a kit. I just play by ear.

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  3. #3

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    Played for decades now but never learned to read music. But then again I'm a retired newspaper reporter and editor and I never took typing. Go figure.
    A little late in the game but I kinda wish I'd done both now.
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  4. #4

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    I can read music. I started out playing trumpet in high school. I moved on to some tuba, baritone, very very little trombone, some french horn, then I switch to percussion. So I can read all that. I can also read tabs.

    Sheet music may take a while to read again....I haven't done it in forever.

  5. #5

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    I can read music, albeit very slowly and it takes a while for me to figure it out. I'm more confident with drum music, although I'm not quite at the point of being able to sight read perfectly yet!
    - Zack

  6. #6

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    I read.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff5550 View Post
    Played for decades now but never learned to read music. But then again I'm a retired newspaper reporter and editor and I never took typing. Go figure.
    A little late in the game but I kinda wish I'd done both now.
    Cliff, it's never too late to learn. I taught myself how to type a few years back and now I type correctly and "fast!"
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  7. #7

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    I started learning to read drum music back in 5th grade honors band. Then, jazz band in junior high thru high school. I'm 44 and still playing the drums, but haven't read much since school. I've been contemplating starting to take it up again for practice.
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  8. #8

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    I can read drum notation, but I'm not very good at sight reading. I can read through most standards, and most rock charts, but I won't play the written fills or anything.
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  9. #9

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    Yeah, reading fills is a beech! Reading single snare line stuff is relatively easy, been doing that since high school days, but reading multiple lines tests the brains of even great players. What's hard is reading one section where it's complex for the hands, easy for the feet and then switching it over, hands on autopilot, then start reading for the feet. Damn, that's hard.

    Anyone here do tuned percussion by the way?
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  10. #10

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    If you're serious about doing this for a living the chances are that you're shooting yourself in the foot choosing to neglect learning to read . Ok , you maybe able to get by without having this skill , but one day the phone'll ring and you'll have to turn a gig down because you can't read - or if certain people know that you can't the phone may not ring at all.

  11. #11

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    I read but only in school. Im good with snare and stuff but it takes me forever to figure out notes because I never learned.
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  12. #12

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    Yesterday I decided to look online for some sort of 'music reading tutorial crash course' sort of thing. Spent 4 hours reading up on it, then looked at some sheet music and it was completely different?



    Anyway, until I can afford lessons I doubt sheet music will be a huge inspiration/help to me.


  13. #13

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    I started when in high school many ,many moons ago. Ted Reed syncopation was the text book. Now Iam back into since about a year ago, this time we are usin Luies Bellson which I call the worse case scenario since some of the rhytm phrases in that book will not be on a regular musical chart but I think the point of that book is to make you recognize the phrase no matter how it is written, also we use the rhytm encyclopedia, both of them are about sincopation. Syncopation is very challenging and keep me very busy. In Latin music everything is about syncopation.

  14. #14

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    It was one of the first things I learned how to do, along with stick grip, and posture. I don't consider it entirely necessary if you're in a band that learns as they go, but if you're trying to get on an orchestra or a drumline- you better be able to. It's a good thing to learn, but the situation may or may not require you to ever use it.
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    I read music in school..long long ago..and after almost 40yrs of not reading..I'm afraid most of it is lost somewhere in my grey matter..the only counting in time I do now is to set pace for walking with my wife so we can get our mileage timed right. Geeez that sounds like an old dude talking..
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  16. #16

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    Being able to read can only make you better. Also, it sure beats the hell out of listening to a song 500 times trying to get that "I just can't tell what he's playing" part. Just sayin'.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    Being able to read can only make you better. Also, it sure beats the hell out of listening to a song 500 times trying to get that "I just can't tell what he's playing" part. Just sayin'.
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  18. #18

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    Only learnt a little in the last few months prior to finishing up my lessons. It was interesting and fun. It added more structure to my rudiments, which was lovely. Other than that I play from the heart. I can listen to songs and just play with, I play by ear.

    These days I would say musicians can benefit greatly by learning how to use Guitar Pro on the computer. In my last band, the rhythm guitarist would formulate the guitar and bass tracks and I would listen to that and come up with my own parts for the song. Where I didn't know how to add or change the parts, the Boss man would show me how to do this on the programme. Still don't have the complete hang of it but it really looks easy and I'm sure there are loads of help files.

    It's just very convenient - especially if you practice every weekend and forgot parts of the song hahaha!
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drums65 View Post
    How many of us read music, I've been reading music since day one of my lessons. I find it fun and a challenge. I like the idea of being able to put my hands on a music book and being able to play it .
    Nothing wrong with playing by ear, but I think to make a complete rounded drummer, reading and writing drum material is essencial. Especially if you plan on teaching down the road. You know that when teaching, there will be a point in time when your student is going to ask you about sheet music. My teacher really did'nt want to mess with sheet music, but I pushed him on it and he responded. So now, I can read and write drum music to a point. I can do the basics but it takes me a few minutes to write down beats.

    I'll pick it back up sometime and continue with it. It's very useful in the fact that if you come up with a beats, you can write them down for future use.

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  20. #20

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    I also learned to read when I first took snare drum lessons, but when I joined a drum corps and later took drum set lessons, we didn't use sheet music. I agree it's a great skill to have and is necessary for certain situations, but it won't always help you learn a drum part. It's hard to find sheet music for drum parts for rock music and if you do find it, chances are it was transcribed by someone who was not the drummer who originally created the part and likely is not 100% accurate anyway.


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    Quote Originally Posted by nubdrummer View Post
    I also learned to read when I first took snare drum lessons, but when I joined a drum corps and later took drum set lessons, we didn't use sheet music. I agree it's a great skill to have and is necessary for certain situations, but it won't always help you learn a drum part. It's hard to find sheet music for drum parts for rock music and if you do find it, chances are it was transcribed by someone who was not the drummer who originally created the part and likely is not 100% accurate anyway.
    It depends on the transcriber. Modern Drummer had and still have some really great transcribers, Michael Bettine (I don't think he still transcribes for them now) handled a lot of prog drummer scores, and one current guy, Joe Bergamini, a prog drumming guy himself, author and educator, is a legend when it comes to transcribing properly. Also Michael Lauren from DCI is a pretty damn accurate transcriber. But you are right, I have come across transcriptions that are way, way wrong too.
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  22. #22

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    I can read percussion sheet music but never that great at kit sheet music. The closest I ever got to that was when I played quints for 4 years (started in 8th grade playing in high school band), and then my senior year I moved to snare when I became section leader of the drumline. But I wasn't that hot at it then, I'm good enough to get me by. It may take me a second but I'll get it.
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  23. #23

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    I learnt how to read it when I first started playing and getting lessons. I haven't really had to read any sheet music in ages though, not since finishing a music degree a few years ago.

  24. #24

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    Imagine you had never learned to read words---everything in writing would be just jibberish. No books, road signs, advertising, etc. would make any sense. You could not teach yourself anything from written material. Life would be a lot harder and way less enriched. You could communicate because you learned to talk through imitation but your vocabulary would be very confined.

    Knowing how to read music opens up limitless possibilities to teach yourself---anything. It's a mathematical system that doesn't change rules midstream. The more you do it, the better you get. You will move from reading individual notes to groups of notes that you will recognize immediately---ie: the jazz ride pattern. The same way you learned to read words=== individual letters are grouped in a specific way that you learn to recognize and understand. New groups of notes become easy to understand because of the time signature system---the trick is getting your body to physically execute what is written. That's where practicing pays off. Repetition, repetition, repetition.

    Oh. I've been reading music since the age of 5 from piano lessons. I look at a written piece of music and hear it in my head. Playing drums while sight-reading, not so much. I have to play it slowly at first and then bring it up to speed, depending on the difficulty of the piece and how many of those familiar groupings I see. But I can learn any beat, fill, independence phrase or ostinato, etc. because I can read. I add the feel and expression to create what I hope is enjoyable art, whether playing in a band or solo, the most satisfying aspect of playing any instrument IMHO.

    It's not that hard, guys, and it will open up entire libraries of possibilities for you. No instructor necessary.

    Peace out, m8's!

    Strider

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strider View Post
    "Knowing how to read music opens up limitless possibilities to teach yourself---anything. It's a mathematical system that doesn't change rules midstream. The more you do it, the better you get. You will move from reading individual notes to groups of notes that you will recognize immediately---ie: the jazz ride pattern. The same way you learned to read words=== individual letters are grouped in a specific way that you learn to recognize and understand. New groups of notes become easy to understand because of the time signature system---the trick is getting your body to physically execute what is written. That's where practicing pays off. Repetition, repetition, repetition....."


    Strider
    Words of the wise, Strider, very well put, that's what I always try to impress on students. I get them all to read, whether doing simple charts and exercises to some brain-busting material (which challenges me as well, because I have to demonstrate it too). Also as a tutor, I can quickly scan over in their notes what we've done in the previous week or month and see what new thing we can tackle, such as time signatures, placing rudiments around the set, arrangements of tunes, shuffles, accent exercises, hand/foot co-ordination, etc. And for myself, well, because I still keep working on percussion, with a few percussion instruments there simply isn't the right instructor around to learn with, so I do have to get through some books and videos.
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