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11 hours ago, Geek99 said:

You could teach yourself - it’s not hard 

With respect, that's dog's danglies...

For you maybe, but for me it's probably the most difficult mental skill I've ever attempted to acquire.

Without willy waving, I'm pretty good at abstract, technical skills - maths, engineering, GIS, computer programming, including assembly language. I make a living as a consultant in an expert field, edit a popular specialist magazine and have written several books.

Three things I struggle with - chess, Connect 4 and reading music. The two games I just make stupid mistakes in by looking right through what's in front on me; I'm sure it's a strong analogue to music because I simply cannot decode the positions of the notes except by painstakingly working them out one by one. I can vaguely follow a simple melody by looking and seeing if the notes go up or down by a little bit or a lot. I can relate their values to durations fairly well - I could easily develop this skill with practice. But I can't relate them to pitch.

I think the main problem is my main skill set is 'seeing the wood despite the trees' and to read music it's the individual trees that matter.

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This is interesting, but its more of an education/teaching/training issue. Some people are able to self-learn quite successfully. Others need some amount of direction - a more formal course. There's a ton of resources online but its variable quality and some people just can't get their head round it, when its on the computer screen. 

So, there's other approaches such as books. Sit away from a computer screen, read a book and it could be better for you. 

And some will need tuition of some kind by a teacher/trainer.

And of course, there is the issue of age - young kids soak up knowledge like a sponge and find it easy and natural to learn. As you get older, it becomes more challenging mentally.

I am sure you could learn, but it might be you've just not discovered the way to learn. If you take the approach "I won't be able to, because ............" then you indeed might not, though.

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I think there's a difference between reading music and sight reading in that it's the difference between reading a book 'in your head' and 'reading aloud'

When adding the performative aspect there's two things you've got to do. I can rapidly 'work out' a phrase and then learn it, then next time i look at that phrase i 'remember' it and play it hardly reading it at all. That shortcut is what's stopping me sight reading because every time I reach a large pitch gap or 'tricky bit' I panic.

I'm working really hard at the moment at getting direct recall between the notes on the stave and where my fingers want to go for that note, otherwise I've got a two step process, figure out what the note is and then work out where it is on the bass.

basically this makes sure that if I ever change tunings I'm ruined :/

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1 minute ago, caitlin said:

 

basically this makes sure that if I ever change tunings I'm ruined :/

I've sight-read in alternate tunings such as DADG. Its possible, but requires some concentration! If you see yourself using alternate tunings, then tune into them more often than "once in a blue moon" (which ironically, is played in standard tuning) and get used to being in and out of them. 

Its like anything else - you are what you practice.

French Horn players do it all the time - when you play "stopped" horn, the thing goes up a semitone!

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10 minutes ago, paul_c2 said:

If you see yourself using alternate tunings

Heh, as a complete beginner I'd probably better get used to THIS one for a bit first. I wouldn't actually know where to start.

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1 hour ago, paul_c2 said:

I am sure you could learn, but it might be you've just not discovered the way to learn. If you take the approach "I won't be able to, because ............" then you indeed might not, though.

I take the approach "I've be taught formally in school with generic music and violin lessons for a year, I've spent 40 years having a go at learning on and off may times with various levels of seriousness and taken singing formal lessons for a year as an adult where I pretended to be reading and still couldn't read something as complex as Claire de la Lune, so I'm probably a hopeless case".

Interestingly I did an online test from Classic FM, where you had to identify classical music from the score, with multiple choice answers. The typical score was 4/14 and I got 9. I found it quite easy to match a song from its rhythm, and dynamics, but I think there was only one where I made any attempt to match the melody to the score.

If I can read rhythm but not pitch after all the effort over the years I'm sure it's not just laziness...

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2 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

If I can read rhythm but not pitch after all the effort over the years I'm sure it's not just laziness...

Nope, it just turns out you're a drummer after all :D

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6 minutes ago, caitlin said:

Nope, it just turns out you're a drummer after all :D

The irony is my music teacher said I had the best relative pitch of anyone she;'d ever taught. I could sing a long song unaccompanied and the last note would always be spot on.

Last night our guitarist sang a bass riff for me and I played it straight off.

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7 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

With respect, that's dog's danglies...

For you maybe, but for me it's probably the most difficult mental skill I've ever attempted to acquire.

Without willy waving, I'm pretty good at abstract, technical skills - maths, engineering, GIS, computer programming, including assembly language. I make a living as a consultant in an expert field, edit a popular specialist magazine and have written several books.

Three things I struggle with - chess, Connect 4 and reading music. The two games I just make stupid mistakes in by looking right through what's in front on me; I'm sure it's a strong analogue to music because I simply cannot decode the positions of the notes except by painstakingly working them out one by one. I can vaguely follow a simple melody by looking and seeing if the notes go up or down by a little bit or a lot. I can relate their values to durations fairly well - I could easily develop this skill with practice. But I can't relate them to pitch.

I think the main problem is my main skill set is 'seeing the wood despite the trees' and to read music it's the individual trees that matter.

I’m not naturally musical and I’m not super intelligent. You can get a reasonable grasp on most subjects given enough time and an appropriate bite sized chunk approach 

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On 17/10/2019 at 16:02, Geek99 said:

I’m not naturally musical and I’m not super intelligent. You can get a reasonable grasp on most subjects given enough time and an appropriate bite sized chunk approach 

Tell that to a dyslexic...

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On 17/10/2019 at 09:24, paul_c2 said:

This is interesting, but its more of an education/teaching/training issue. ............And some will need tuition of some kind by a teacher/trainer................. might be you've just not discovered the way to learn. 

As said before, its a training issue. Teaching dyslexic students requires a more considered approach but is entirely possible, indeed professional teachers do it every day. I am not sure how old you are but its possible that previous teachers simply weren't that good; and/or dyslexia wasn't recognised (widely) in the past. 

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So in summary to the OP's question:

  • Some consider it essential and can already do so. 
  • Some consider it desirable and can do so.
  • Some consider it desirable and would like to be able to it. There are probably enough of these for the OP to make money from videos showing how to do it. Or at least having fun making the video
  • Some consider it desirable, but have found it impossible. There may be medical reasons for this.
  • Some consider it unnecessary and/or really don't want to do it, but wouldn't stop anyone else doing it
  • The DUP don't think anyone should ever do it.

What was the question again?

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1 hour ago, Richard R said:

So in summary to the OP's question:

  • Some consider it essential and can already do so. 
  • Some consider it desirable and can do so.
  • Some consider it desirable and would like to be able to it. There are probably enough of these for the OP to make money from videos showing how to do it. Or at least having fun making the video
  • Some consider it desirable, but have found it impossible. There may be medical reasons for this.
  • Some consider it unnecessary and/or really don't want to do it, but wouldn't stop anyone else doing it
  • The DUP don't think anyone should ever do it.

What was the question again?

Nice summary, thank-you!!!  
 

Very funny too!

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1 hour ago, caitlin said:

Can you lick your own elbow?

Did you know that someone can bite the skin on your elbow, and you won’t feel pain?!  Get someone to bite your elbow....   

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15 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Tell that to a dyslexic...

I have, my friend, a metallurgist, is fine as long as he takes things slowly 

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On 18/10/2019 at 22:10, Stub Mandrel said:

Tell that to a dyslexic...

I am dyslexic and read music.  I was taught properly as a youngster when my  Ma made me endure piano lessons.  Then as a teenager I took up the guitar off my own bat, and despite having binned the piano lessons a few years before was able to see how it related to music written for piano.  Then as an adult in my 50's I've had to adapt again to learn to read stuff in the bass clef, but the memories are quickly flooding back and with a bit of reading around the topic I'm doing ok.

I wouldn't say I find it easy, but lessons at the right age from a patient and skilled teacher taught this dyslexic to read music moderately well

Conversely, I can't read tab to save my life.  I can see full well how it works but when I try my brain just won't grasp it.

Edited by Bassfinger
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Best thing i’ve ever done apart from picking up the bass in the first place is learning to read. It’s allowed me to earn a living as a musician, playing with a number of different shows/acts/genres, sometimes with very little notice. I would estimate that about 95% of the work I get has come from being able to read. 

There’s literally NO downside to being able to do it.

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9 hours ago, Higgie said:

Best thing i’ve ever done apart from picking up the bass in the first place is learning to read. It’s allowed me to earn a living as a musician, playing with a number of different shows/acts/genres, sometimes with very little notice. I would estimate that about 95% of the work I get has come from being able to read. 

There’s literally NO downside to being able to do it.

Very similar to me, and I agree that there is no downside to being able to read music.  My only caveat, is for someone learning, also work specially on developing your ear alongside learning to read. 

Edited by greghagger
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2 hours ago, greghagger said:

Very simple to me, and I agree that there is no downside to being able to read music.  My only caveat, is for someone learning, also work specially on developing your ear alongside learning to read. 

I am glad of this thread because I realise I am working exclusively on dot to finger placement and I should be doing some interval audio work or sutin, certainly attempting to explore the difference between a minor chord and major one and probably a bit of flat 5 and add7 add9 because my ears are crap.

What resources are there for this? She asks like a tragic noob, LOCK THE THREAD NOW :P

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1 hour ago, caitlin said:

I am glad of this thread because I realise I am working exclusively on dot to finger placement and I should be doing some interval audio work or sutin, certainly attempting to explore the difference between a minor chord and major one and probably a bit of flat 5 and add7 add9 because my ears are crap.

What resources are there for this? She asks like a tragic noob, LOCK THE THREAD NOW :P

I have a video lesson on how to play simple 3 note 7th chords. These can be really useful to help you hear different chord types and really start to learn how they sound.  
 

There is a PDF with the lesson, along with Tab too, so you should be able to get up and running quickly. 
 

This would be one approach to help you develop your ear. 

https://youtu.be/jzBvIKVKFI8

 

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I din't mean dyslexics can't read music; I meant that if you can't read music despite trying and teaching you may be facing similar issues to dyslexics. There's a word for it - dysmusia and  it's thought that even some pro musicians have it.

It's not linked to other aspects of musicality, although it might stop some people from getting into music.

I sincerely suspect that I may be affected.

21 hours ago, Bassfinger said:

Conversely, I can't read tab to save my life.  I can see full well how it works but when I try my brain just won't grasp it.

I suspect we are 'equal and opposite'!

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1 hour ago, caitlin said:

I am glad of this thread because I realise I am working exclusively on dot to finger placement and I should be doing some interval audio work or sutin, certainly attempting to explore the difference between a minor chord and major one and probably a bit of flat 5 and add7 add9 because my ears are crap.

LOL! Been practising playing guitar accompaniment to some of my brother and SIL's songs. I much improved one bit but it took google for me to prove what I suspected - I was adding in a 13th chord 🙂

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