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Learn to read sheet music and forget about tablature - here is why
||Reading sheet music can be very intimidating for a beginning guitarist. It is, after all, a brand new language composed of a lot of symbols that are new and alien. But Reading sheet music is a must for anyone who wants to be a serious guitarist and it will take your guitar playing well beyond anything that TAB will show you. Tablature is a crutch. It will only teach you how to play songs and compositions by rote. It is true that with Tab you will learn how to play a piece of music but in the process you are missing some of the real things that music, and being a musician are all about.
What is the goal of a guitarist?
Playing pieces of music is not the only goal of a guitarist. Growth in
both technical ability and creativity are just as important. When you
learn a piece of music by TAB you experience a certain amount of growth
but as you master the piece your growth quickly levels off. You have learned
the piece and you practice it only to keep it sharp. When you learn a
piece of music with traditional sheet music you are not just learning
the notes you are also learning another language. This exercising of your
mind makes you more flexible, more capable, and more creative. With time
and practice you recognize keys, chords, progressions and whole host of
things you would never see with TAB.
Advantages of Reading Sheet music
Hearing the music -As your skill develops and your ears sharpen you will
be able to pick up a piece of written sheet music and actually hear the
notes without playing the guitar. It is a language that you have learned.
For some this ability comes quickly and for others it takes years of practice.
Creativity - Learning a language exercises a new part of your
brain. Everyday, as you apply yourself to learning this new language you
will grow. And this growth promotes your creativity. You are given many
more tools to work with and apply to your music composition and you gain
a broader, and more colorful, understanding of music.
Sight Reading - As you develop your skill in reading sheet music
you will gain the ability to pick up a piece of music that you have never
seen before and play it from sight. This ability makes you a competent
musician and accelerates your ability to add pieces to your repertoire.
Breadth of Repertoire - Does your taste in guitar music deviate
from the mainstream? It can be very difficult to find tablature for pieces
that are not mainstream. But you can always find the sheet music. It is
the language of music.
Cross-pollination with other instruments - If you have heard a
piece of music written for another instrument; like the piano, bass guitar,
cello, or anything else where would you find guitar tab for it? If you
are able to read sheet music you can get a copy of the music, understand
it, and transcribe it for your guitar. This holds true for sub-genres
of guitar. There is an enormous amount of music available to guitarists
that are not written in tab. Music like classical guitar, flamenco, Spanish
and progressive/experimental. Reading sheet music gives you instant access
to all these flavors of guitar.
The Ultimate Reward
As a guitar player, or aspiring guitar player, you know that it is not
something that you study for a few weeks and are done. Playing guitar
is a life long pursuit and learning tablature is just a short cut that
enables you to play some songs. But learning to read sheet music is a
skill that will have a more profound impact on your experience with the
guitar and with the music. It will make you a better, more creative, and
more capable player. It will enrich your experience with the guitar and
with the music in ways that tab never can.
Sight Reading for the Classical Guitar
This book for the classical guitar has been compiled to improve sight reading, an often neglected aspect of musicianship.
With the guitar, musical components (scales, chords, arpeggios, etc.) may often be played in various positions. While this is one of the reasons that the instrument produces such colorful and interesting timbres, it also contributes to the difficulties of sight reading. It is important to develop facility in reading, recognizing the notes, as well as the bar positions in which to play them, the fingerings, the rhythmic patterns, and any markings if interpretation (dynamics, phrasing, articulation, etc.).
This book provides an orderly and systematic approach to the study of sight reading, based upon standards for sight reading for the classical guitar found in respected schools around the world.