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How to challange yourself


kwalker201

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Never learned to read those fly specks and hen scratches although I now wish I had. Pretty much I learned to play by ear. There was not much choice when I was starting out so I tried to copy what I heard on records and asked questions of every guitar player I ran into. Mostly I would walk around humming a tune to myself until I had it firmly lodged in my head. To challenge myself though all I need to do is pick any Lonnie Johnson or Curley Weaver solo and try to pull it off. Very humbling but with every attempt I seem to learn something new.

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I used to read music back in the 60's for a couple years, but where my interests were pulling me just didn't demand it, so I forgot about it for the most part. Now, for the last 30+ years, I've haven't even glanced at it. I'll jack-around with some tab once in a while, but usually I'll look at it to give myself a clue about how a certain riff might be done. Then I'll duplicate what I can of the riff and what I have trouble with I'll do in my own way. Tab is great at times to get started, but I usually end-up doing my own thing.............As far as reading music goes, I imagine it would have benefitted me immensely years ago to stay with it when I first started. Had I stayed with it, I would more likely have learned in a logical manner the things I'm still picking-up in bits and pieces. I know that many excellent musicians don't read much music, but I imagine that staying in a structured learning system would have really helped me. I learned from books and playing "Little Brown Jug" and stuff I couldn't stand. I should have stuck with it, in hindsight. However, I don't know if I would kept my interest alive.

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I used to read music back in the 60's for a couple years, but where my interests were pulling me just didn't demand it, so I forgot about it for the most part. Now, for the last 30+ years, I've haven't even glanced at it. I'll jack-around with some tab once in a while, but usually I'll look at it to give myself a clue about how a certain riff might be done. Then I'll duplicate what I can of the riff and what I have trouble with I'll do in my own way. Tab is great at times to get started, but I usually end-up doing my own thing.............As far as reading music goes, I imagine it would have benefitted me immensely years ago to stay with it when I first started. Had I stayed with it, I would more likely have learned in a logical manner the things I'm still picking-up in bits and pieces. I know that many excellent musicians don't read much music, but I imagine that staying in a structured learning system would have really helped me. I learned from books and playing "Little Brown Jug" and stuff I couldn't stand. I should have stuck with it, in hindsight. However, I don't know if I would kept my interest alive.

 

 

I read music way back in 6th and 7th grade band and that was it. I just play by ear till it sounds right [rolleyes]

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Saw an interesting interview with James Taylor and Yo Yo Ma about the ways they approach music and they touched on this.

 

 

I will say, even though James Taylor claims he can't read music, I'd bet he knows a lot of theory.

 

Can't read a lick of music myself.

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I read music. My mother played piano and father played banjo mandolin, and though they were no help at all with guitar, there was always some creativity about. It is way easier to learn music than learn that thing called guitar! What you do with it is the thing.

 

I learned in dribs and drabs from the beginning with an old school guitar teacher and sat down and taught myself the rest. It is fairly irrelevant in this day and age for guitar playing, but GUITAR TAB - that is the thing. Ironically, you need to know some basic music to read TAB better.

 

So, to torture those around me, I play the melody line in the music from the "Classic Country Book For Easy Guitar". I may just play it through my amp late at night to annoy the people next door.

 

Some of the tunes include: Act Naturally * Cold, Cold Heart * Could I Have This Dance * Crazy * Daddy Sang Bass * D-I-V-O-R-C-E * El Paso * Folsom Prison Blues * The Gambler * Heartaches by the Number * I Fall to Pieces * I'm Not Lisa * King of the Road * Kiss an Angel Good Mornin' * Lucille * Mississippi Woman * Rocky Top * Sixteen Tons * Son-of-a-Preacher Man * When Two Worlds Collide * Will the Circle Be Unbroken * You Needed Me * more.

 

"I Fall To Pieces" played twice through my amp could be quite a statement, kind of like Nero fiddling while Rome burned! :blink: :blink: :blink:

 

 

I may just have bought the book because there is a D28 on the cover....

 

http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/The-Classic-Country-Book-Easy-Guitar-sheet-music/2971178?d=sem_sidecar&popup=false&d=sem_sidecar&popup=false&country_code=AUS&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&scid=scplp9291193&mkwid=s|pcrid|89601884182&kw=&gclid=CKSe0IzAjMsCFQyZvAodRtsGqQ

 

 

 

But seriously, sheet music originally was for communication between people who were far away in distance..and now in time. Way easier for flute and stuff like that, even piano is straight at it. Guitar has notes repeated all over the shop, so TAB is better. You can learn tunes without being there with the writer, but you can play along in a quartet without having to memorise the whole Concerto!

 

Well worth teaching yourself the rudiments of music and then for guitar: TABs! But just find your own level.

 

 

BluesKing777.

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I always liked classical guitar pieces, and the sound of nylon string guitars (even my cheap Yamaha C-40). A while ago, I decided to learn to read music and play some of these pieces rather than use tabs, which I use for country blues and old jazz standards on my Gibson. I am on the grade 3 level book of the Ontario Royal Conservatory of Music Guitar series. It is a great way to challenge yourself and keep trying new things. I am currently saving up for a Spanish made Alhambra 5P guitar that I will buy from the 12th Fret in Toronto (great shop, btw).

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I play by ear. I can't read music or tabs, although I do remember elementary school music (every good boy does fine, and F A C E). Whatever guitar bass or piano I know is just from ear.

I learn by listening, and watching you tube. For example, grunt did a version of a Mark Knopfler song months back, Get Lucky, and I wanted to learn it badly. I found a YouTube of an Israeli kid playing the song, and watched it about fifty times.

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I like the visual thing a lot. Can't read notes, but tab is OK if all else fails - which is rarely. Norman Blake says reading music helps you learn from older books and such, but I'd prefer to listen closely and watch when possible.

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I started music theory a few months ago and it includes reading musical notation. I find the concepts rather challenging and interesting. Haven't used tabs since I started.

 

Best part for me is the music tutor putting a short piece I've not seen before (maybe 45 to 50 bars) in front of me by a composer I've not heard and asking me to play and then attempt to dissect into themes and phrases. Only spend about 10 minutes doing it and it's close to the lesson's end.

 

Not after speed but just as an exercise for all four fingers on the fretting hand and some thought. A lot of fun I find.

 

I'm 64 by the way, so I do not consider age is an impediment to doing new things.

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Snip...........

 

So, to torture those around me, I play the melody line in the music from the "Classic Country Book For Easy Guitar". I may just play it through my amp late at night to annoy the people next door.

 

Snip......

 

BluesKing777.

 

You ain't doing it right. Wait until they have a huge party, to which you are not invited, then at 8 am the next morning while they are sleeping off the hangover, set up your Marshall DSL100H on high gain hooked up to a couple of 2 x 12 cabs, plug in a Strat or LP and let it rip!

 

Funny about the view of a number of musicians. Likely many do not read music or know theory but then there are the Jack Bruce's who, at the age of 16, won a scholarship to a conservatory to study the cello. A wonderful bass player in my opinion.

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I am sure that when you learn by ear you learn more about the guitar and music in general. But reading tabs is quite easy and it goes much faster to learn a new song with it, especially if it is a "complicated" song and that you are not used to learn by ear. Youtube helps a lot as you actually see enough of what the player is doing to guess what chords and all...

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