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The Sick Moon

Reading Music

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Taken from here!

 

 

 

The best musicians I know can't read a note of music.

Dave Grohl cannot read sheet music, plays by ear.

 

Can it be true? The best musicians can't read music? And why Dave Grohl to emphasise the point? He strikes me as being a rather mediocre player. I might have gone with this chap who claims not to read music. But I don't think I believe him!

 

http://youtu.be/zMi2mCe7CKg

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I call bullshit on people who say "I can't read music" and are 'quite good', they claim not to know any theory, that is also rubbish, ofc they do, they just cannot talk the major/minor/augmented/diminished talk, it is in their heads though. You cannot play an instrument (to a reasonable standard0 and be devoid of musical knowledge.

 

Who is Dave Grohl anyway?

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He said that the best musicians he knows can't read music. I don't see how you can prove otherwise. Had he said the best musicians in the world then you might be able to build a case.

 

I can sight read sheet music but I know better musicians who can't. While I'm sure you're looking for some way of boasting what an awesome keyboarder (heh) you are and you're professionally enraged by his anecdotal claim, you're just going to have to accept it as his view and swallow your butthurt.

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Who is Dave Grohl anyway?

 

He's the guitarist in the Foo Fighters. Are you really an awesome keyboarder?

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Probably better known as drummer in Nirvana, though.

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I wonder if it might be more fair to further define the musician? And to separate the musicians? Perhaps readers of music are much better able to play other composers' music and non readers are better able to play their own compositions? As I write I suspect it's a weak notion. I bet the best musicians can both read music, and play without written music.

 

Edit - no, I've changed my mind, a lot of virtuosic jazz folk don't read music. But perhaps they just use their unique stylistic talents to great adaptable effect? Who knows!

Edited by The Sick Moon

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Are you really an awesome keyboarder?

 

 

 

No, but I have an offspring who is :) About the jazz folk, they do know music as if they don't, really? Consider it...it wouldn't be cool to say "ah yeah I got my grade 6 theory" in Ronnie Scotts back in the olden days. People create an image, its just not possible for them not to know music, even if they do not know the correct words for it all, they'll know what notes to play & when.

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Are you really an awesome keyboarder?

 

 

 

No, but I have an offspring who is smile.png About the jazz folk, they do know music as if they don't, really? Consider it...it wouldn't be cool to say "ah yeah I got my grade 6 theory" in Ronnie Scotts back in the olden days. People create an image, its just not possible for them not to know music, even if they do not know the correct words for it all, they'll know what notes to play & when.

 

 

Oh, ans must be mixing you both up! How do you explain this fellow?

 

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Did he just get up one day and start playing the piano like that or did he practice and practice for ages? If you practice enough you just 'know' music, sometimes theory gets in the way, I don't know. I enjoy the challenge of remembering theory stuff, its a bit like a job, if you do it all the time (while you're playing) it becomes second nature, the more I play the more natural the theory becomes, or something like that.

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Did he just get up one day and start playing the piano like that or did he practice and practice for ages?

 

I don't know, I was sort of joking really! Some people just seem to be a bit special.

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There's a difference between reading music and playing by sight. I can read music, in that I can work out from the dots and lines what notes should be played and for how long, but unless the music is particularly easy (about grade 1 standard) I can't just play it straight off. Some can, and I envy them, but they often have other weaknesses such as a poor memory or an inability to play by ear.

 

The best musicians, whether they can read music well or not, will certainly understand the language of music in terms of the theory, even if they don't know the exact formal terminology. Allan Holdsworth (guitarist in the OP) may not read music - the stuff he plays is not written down in any case - but he will have an encyclopaedic knowledge of scale patterns, and which scales go with which chords etc. The jazzers all do that, which is another facet of musicality.

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Beck wrote an album, and then didn't bother to record it, instead releasing it as 'sheet music'.

 

Beck’s latest album comes in an almost-forgotten form—twenty songs existing only as individual pieces of sheet music, never before released or recorded. Complete with full-color, heyday-of-home-play-inspired art for each song and a lavishly produced hardcover carrying case, Song Reader is an experiment in what an album can be at the end of 2012—an alternative that enlists the listener in the tone of every track, and that’s as visually absorbing as a dozen gatefold LPs put together.

 

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Back to Allan Holdsworth. The guy's clearly amazing. I saw him live many years ago and, as I'm not a jazzist, quickly got bored with his rapid noodling. But, since this thread started yesterday I've YouTubed him a bit, and I think this video demonstrates that whereas he may not read music, he knows his stuff.

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