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 Poll: Reading 

Would you be interested in learning to read music on the Stick?
Yes 79%  79%  [ 11 ]
Maybe 14%  14%  [ 2 ]
Knowledge is the work of the devil 7%  7%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 14

 Poll: Reading 
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Post Re: Poll: Reading
:D Ahhh

It's just literacy. I think literacy is a good thing (Just an opinion). I don't understand why people get it into their heads that just because someone knows how to read well, they are some sort of automaton, forever chained to the paper.... Reading, like ear-training and theory/harmony are critical skills in my opinion. (Taught in music schools all over the world pretty consistently, too for some odd reason...) I, for one am kicking myself for neglecting the reading aspect for the first couple of years, but hindsight is always 20/20...

Anyways, that's just my .002...

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Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:15 pm
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Post Re: Poll: Reading
I spent years learning to read, and did so almost every day from high-school through college. Now, unless I'm writing something, i rarely ever use the ability. I'm far more often reading chord charts or writing tabs for Tap Theory. Sure, I'll still use it if I'm learning something really hard but if I'm learning an arrangement of, say, a pop tune, I try and learn it by ear. Maybe I'll write it down, maybe not, but I'd rather work on my ear training. That is a much more useful skill to me, especially in a group setting.

I guess my point is, practice what you wind up using the most.

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Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:20 am
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Post Re: Poll: Reading
I have to agree with Randy (Mad Monk) on this (mostly). Knowing how to read music opens many, many doors. that said, it all depends on what kind of music you are interested in making. If you just want to rock, then learn your chords and makie sure you have some way to remember your licks and progressions.

Sight-reading two parts at a time, is very difficult, even on piano. It takes a lot of time, time that might be just as well spent learning "how to play".

It's a question of what your priorities are...

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Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:23 am
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Post Re: Poll: Reading
greg wrote:
I have to agree with Randy (Mad Monk) on this (mostly). Knowing how to read music opens many, many doors. that said, it all depends on what kind of music you are interested in making. If you just want to rock, then learn your chords and makie sure you have some way to remember your licks and progressions.

Sight-reading two parts at a time, is very difficult, even on piano. It takes a lot of time, time that might be just as well spent learning "how to play".

It's a question of what your priorities are...



:D Well, I am making a lot of headway on this, so nobody is going to change my mind. I hang with some pretty hardcore players, and they really advocate reading. I already spent 2 years learning "how to play" feeling like I got nowhere, so I am thinking another 2 years trying another approach is not going to hurt. I am not sure how being able to read well will affect what kind of music I intend to play? I have Greg Howard scores, Megadeth scores, Paganini scores, Slayer scores, Charlie Parker scores, Van Halen Scores, Nirvana Scores, Stevie Wonder scores and they all seem to have the same written language... Call me crazy, but understanding that language might make life a wee bit easier, especially dealing with multiple parts...

I guess it boils down to talent; some folks have a knack for playing and making music and it comes instantly easily, others have to work for it. I am not afraid to use every, and any tool at my disposal, but that's just me.

Doing my own thing, all good... :D

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Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:40 am
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Post Re: Poll: Reading
The_Afro_Circus wrote:
I spent years learning to read, and did so almost every day from high-school through college. Now, unless I'm writing something, i rarely ever use the ability. I'm far more often reading chord charts or writing tabs for Tap Theory. Sure, I'll still use it if I'm learning something really hard but if I'm learning an arrangement of, say, a pop tune, I try and learn it by ear. Maybe I'll write it down, maybe not, but I'd rather work on my ear training. That is a much more useful skill to me, especially in a group setting.

I guess my point is, practice what you wind up using the most.


Every, and any musical tool I can get my hands on that yields results is what I will use.

I spent a lot of time developing ear training and relative pitch in music school, aural skills are a big deal to be sure. I know my chords and scales, intervals, all that good stuff pretty good; it's hand independence that has been killing me, and reading seems to be an excellent gateway to developing that. (For me) A big part of music school was sight-reading for one's instrument, and I don't know of one music college/university that doesn't address it. Of course, ears first. But it seems disturbing to me that I can solfege most stuff better than I can "read" and play it on my main instrument. Even 20 years after completing that schooling... So yeah, I am going to rectify that. I read very well on guitar, and bass now and believe me that comes in handy... And yeah, it took a lot of work, but it's worth it to be able to play a 1/4 note triplet (All Of Me) or 8th note triplets over 8th notes (Del Mar) or tied notes with anticipations immediately upon seeing it, as opposed to spending a month on it throwing one's self at it until it's right-ish. But I never ever really played piano, That was actually my weakest class way back when (Basic Keyboards) and I really feel now like investing time in keyboard studies, particularly sightreading would have really helped my Stick playing out. Funny story, my keyboard skills have improved drastically due to Stick practice, and especially since I have been going whole hog with reading of late. Plus, I can transcribe/score anything. It would be nice to have the ability to play it back, both bass and treble side...

So yeah, I can learn a complete set list on guitar or bass in an evening, then go play them the next day. If I treat the Stick as just a guitar or a bass and only learn that one aspect, then yeah I can easily do that also. Put the two aspects together, and it could be months. Unacceptable to me. My goal? To transfer what I do on other instruments to the Stick with the same facility. Self accompaniment. Hear how I play guitar? THAT is what I want to do, only while self accompanying. A big job, to be sure. That "hands together" aspect needs to be studied.

But the two aspects together has been massively challenging. I have been lucky if I could learn a "Muzak" arrangement of a tune with just a melody and 10ths type arrangement and play it without crashing and burning even after months of working on it. Reading a tune down forces me to acknowledge visually where the trouble spots are, and if there are some difficult rhythmic anticipations I can easily isolate them, make an exercise of it, etc etc. Plus, getting familiar with the instrument... knowing what the notes are by name as WELL as by geometry. That's not a hindrance in my opinion...

That's just me, though. Everybody is different. I get that studying the dots on paper and what they mean is not appealing to everybody. I personally am committed to that as part of my practice routine. The gains I have made recently definitely reinforce this attitude. Not right for everyone, but I am pursuing it, it's working for me, so I am going to carry on. :D

P. Ublik Eneminumbawhun

I shall celebrate this thread by reading down Steve Adelson's "Tap Dance". It will be slow, but I will have experienced it in it's entirety...

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Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:37 am
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Post Re: Poll: Reading
Scott, if you want to shred while holding it down in your left hand, i think exercises based on that alone will be more helpful than something that touches on it but doesn't focus there. I found drummer rudiment books particularly helpful for putting my hands together. I would also do things like come up with a rudimentary left hand groove while running straight scales in various rhythmic divisions over it, among many other things. Reading music will be great for getting used to playing what it is you're reading, but it will be a long time and require a ton of exposure to different scenarios before you begin to gain any sort of improvisational freedom from it.

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Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:27 pm
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Post Re: Poll: Reading
i can't read nothing :shock:

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Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:39 pm
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Post Re: Poll: Reading
The_Afro_Circus wrote:
Scott, if you want to shred while holding it down in your left hand, i think exercises based on that alone will be more helpful than something that touches on it but doesn't focus there. I found drummer rudiment books particularly helpful for putting my hands together. I would also do things like come up with a rudimentary left hand groove while running straight scales in various rhythmic divisions over it, among many other things. Reading music will be great for getting used to playing what it is you're reading, but it will be a long time and require a ton of exposure to different scenarios before you begin to gain any sort of improvisational freedom from it.


Well, I have been doing JUST that for the last two years, and really haven't gotten anywhere.


And I am actually a pretty decent drummer already... (Learned that from a combination of reading and using those funny things on the side of my head...) I make up my own reading stuff, and make my own arrangements of tunes and work off of the Real Book. Then again, I am not just spending 10 minutes here and there, I am spending considerable time on this.

Today's noodling, trying to be creative on the fly... I set my stuff up and hit record, so it's not pretty. and while I acknowledge that it's quite terrible, I am trying to get both hands doing their thing as simultaneously as possible. Primitive I know, but I really feel like even though it's quite terrible, taking a stab at 1/4 note triplets and changing different tonalities on the fly, and 'making stuff up' with both hands simultaneously is a direct result of taking those ideas apart, isolating them and looking at it on paper. And yes I can do this sort of thing in any key. Equally terrible across the board. :D

I feel like working on reading really helped me get past a couple of major hurdles, and quickly. That's just me, though.


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Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:49 pm
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Post Re: Poll: Reading
Not bad!

If you're looking for more concepts to add to the arsenal, this old video of mine might be helpful.


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Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:39 pm
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Post Re: Poll: Reading
Forty years, six thousand instruments and not one solid reader.
There is something profoundly wrong with that.

Mad Monk.

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Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:55 pm
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