Can you really not read music?

bpaluzzi

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Not sure what you mean by bad notation. The Bellson book is the gold standard rhythm reading method. I do recommend going through it with a qualified teacher, however.

PS: the Syncopation book may be more practical for learning the typical kinds of figures to be found in swing drum charts. But, there is more to rhythm reading than drum charts. The Bellson book includes those kinds of syncopated figures and more.
I'm not a fan of the Bellson book, at all.

It's just pages of rhythms, with no explanation -- concepts like ties are introduced without any explanation, then used in ways that would never be used in a real chart. Multiple 16th note ties chained together is not something you'll ever see. It introduces many more problems than it solves.

And many, many, MANY engraving problems. Non-standard beaming of notes. Oddly-written rhythms. Bars of 5 randomly introduced by mistake.

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It's a bad book, imo.

And as for it being a "gold standard" -- I've taught at the university and high school level, and I've _never_ seen it included on any curriculum.
 
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jhall

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I started by playing along the records and then later found a private teacher and came up through the music education program at school and into college.
Reading was certainly required in the band programs but advantage I found from it was the ability to transcribe.
Over my career I have had to read charts but the majority of the time the greatest benefit (side) has been the ability for me to listen to something and create an accurate chart.
If a session provides a chart that’s great, then I can follow the progression and make notations that indicate any rhythmic specifics. If there isn’t a chart, when listening to the demo I’m able to scratch out what’s needed take and put from the producer or other musicians and not have to remember anything, as it is written down. This allows me to focus on making it feel good and making musical decisions but not at the cost of playing accurately.
If I’m subbing for someone and they give me 90 minutes to three hours worth of material, I can make charts from the original recordings or a board mix and I have a greater likelihood of doing a great job versus having to remember it all, or worse, not being eligible for the gig.
For me, the advantage of reading and transcribing is only as valuable as my Ability to use it successfully for the music/bandleader/producer.
 

Tubwompus

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I started by playing along the records and then later found a private teacher and came up through the music education program at school and into college.
Reading was certainly required in the band programs but advantage I found from it was the ability to transcribe.
Over my career I have had to read charts but the majority of the time the greatest benefit (side) has been the ability for me to listen to something and create an accurate chart.
If a session provides a chart that’s great, then I can follow the progression and make notations that indicate any rhythmic specifics. If there isn’t a chart, when listening to the demo I’m able to scratch out what’s needed take and put from the producer or other musicians and not have to remember anything, as it is written down. This allows me to focus on making it feel good and making musical decisions but not at the cost of playing accurately.
If I’m subbing for someone and they give me 90 minutes to three hours worth of material, I can make charts from the original recordings or a board mix and I have a greater likelihood of doing a great job versus having to remember it all, or worse, not being eligible for the gig.
For me, the advantage of reading and transcribing is only as valuable as my Ability to use it successfully for the music/bandleader/producer.
Dude, stop reading my mind.
This has also been my experience exactly.
 

Matched Gripper

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I detail it in the link in my last comment. There's a lot of stuff like this that's strictly intended to create reading problems:


View attachment 560125
View attachment 560126
View attachment 560127

Nobody writes like that. I guess they're trying to train people to read absolute fly s*t, but it makes it pretty useless to me as a practice book.




There's a lot missing from Syncopation-- I use it along with regular snare drum books-- Mitchell Peters, Podemski, Goldenberg.
I think the point is to show that the same figure can be notated in different ways.
 

Matched Gripper

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I'm not a fan of the Bellson book, at all.

It's just pages of rhythms, with no explanation -- concepts like ties are introduced without any explanation, then used in ways that would never be used in a real chart. Multiple 16th note ties chained together is not something you'll ever see. It introduces many more problems than it solves.

And many, many, MANY engraving problems. Non-standard beaming of notes. Oddly-written rhythms. Bars of 5 randomly introduced by mistake.

View attachment 560128 View attachment 560129 View attachment 560130 View attachment 560131 View attachment 560132

It's a bad book, imo.

And as for it being a "gold standard" -- I've taught at the university and high school level, and I've _never_ seen it included on any curriculum.
It was a required method when I was in college. That was a long time ago, but, IMO, it was a challenging and very helpful method. It is also intended for all instruments, not just drums and percussion.
 

ocgvictoria

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I detail it in the link in my last comment. There's a lot of stuff like this that's strictly intended to create reading problems:


View attachment 560125
View attachment 560126
View attachment 560127

Nobody writes like that. I guess they're trying to train people to read absolute fly s*t, but it makes it pretty useless to me as a practice book.




There's a lot missing from Syncopation-- I use it along with regular snare drum books-- Mitchell Peters, Podemski, Goldenberg.

Never used the Bellson book, but whenever I come across some weird drum notation, my first look was at the Dodge Drum Chart. If it wasn’t printed in the Dodge chart there was usually something close to it and by checking the stickings column, you could figure out how it was supposed to be played.

0590347E-E1B8-4837-935B-DCA9866948C2.jpeg
 
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DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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I'm a singer... Whaddya think? Of course I can't read!!!

I'm also a wanabe drummer so there you have it: double whammy...

Somebody has got to be the embodiment of the clichés and stereotypes. Happy to represent on both fronts.
:icon_lol:

Well I'm not 100% illiterate but close to it. Wich is a bit embarassing for a career musician who's father was a rather erudite piano player. With, in fact, pretty much a whole familly of music scholars (brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, grand-parents etc..)

You know what's saddest? Is that I usually have a quite spectacular memory for everything I'm even remotely interested in and a real facility at academic learning (had the grades to be valedictorian, but skipped waaaayyyyy too many classes). But for some weird reason, music theory has never stuck with me beyond learning just enough chords to accompany myself on some not-too-complex folk, rock, pop and country songs that I "wrote".

And here by writing I mean coming up with words and a melody over chords and singin' them through a cassette, dictaphone, computer or cell phone before forgetting it... Not actually charting it.

I know the basic note values and can find a C on a staff. So, gun to my head, I could find my way around a very simple chart (albeit extremely slowly and with a high-ish margin of error).

I want to remedy this state of affair though. And I will... My godmother gives theory lessons and I've been meaning to spend more time with her since the sweet ole gal ain't gettin' any younger. Weekly Skype lessons might just be the thing...
 

ppfd

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I usta could read music!

I took lessons many many years ago and studied out of books so I did ok. I can still recognize the simple time sigs and notes. A few of the rudiments I know from just doing them, the obvious paradiddles, flams, single double stroke rolls. I guess the best way to put where I'm at now is kind of like learning basic words from another language.

So with the internet, You Tube, on line sites like drumeo. Could one relearn how to read music, time signatures and patterns?
 

Tornado

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I usta could read music!

I took lessons many many years ago and studied out of books so I did ok. I can still recognize the simple time sigs and notes. A few of the rudiments I know from just doing them, the obvious paradiddles, flams, single double stroke rolls. I guess the best way to put where I'm at now is kind of like learning basic words from another language.

So with the internet, You Tube, on line sites like drumeo. Could one relearn how to read music, time signatures and patterns?

I think you'd re-learn it quickly just by opening up one of those old books.
 

mydadisjr

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I played/read clarinet as a kid (didn't like it, quit as soon as I could) but the music reading always stuck with me. When I was 18 I took one semester of private concert snare lessons during my first semester in college. (see book below!)

I always kept up on my snare reading, played in the local concert band on and off and I still practice some solo snare material at home. It feels good to get a call now and then from the local band director guy who asks me to fill in as a "ringer" on snare or drum set for their next concert.

Here's one I am working on now... got some tricky 16th triplets going on!

I enjoy reading. Keeps the cobwebs outta the old brain.

DSC_0062 (2).JPG




Haskell_Harr_Bk_1.jpg
 
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ocgvictoria

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I'm a singer... Whaddya think? Of course I can't read!!!

I'm also a wanabe drummer so there you have it: double whammy...

Somebody has got to be the embodiment of the clichés and stereotypes. Happy to represent on both fronts.
:icon_lol:

Well I'm not 100% illiterate but close to it. Wich is a bit embarassing for a career musician who's father was a rather erudite piano player. With, in fact, pretty much a whole familly of music scholars (brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, grand-parents etc..)

You know what's saddest? Is that I usually have a quite spectacular memory for everything I'm even remotely interested in and a real facility at academic learning (had the grades to be valedictorian, but skipped waaaayyyyy too many classes). But for some weird reason, music theory has never stuck with me beyond learning just enough chords to accompany myself on some not-too-complex folk, rock, pop and country songs that I "wrote".

And here by writing I mean coming up with words and a melody over chords and singin' them through a cassette, dictaphone, computer or cell phone before forgetting it... Not actually charting it.

I know the basic note values and can find a C on a staff. So, gun to my head, I could find my way around a very simple chart (albeit extremely slowly and with a high-ish margin of error).

I want to remedy this state of affair though. And I will... My godmother gives theory lessons and I've been meaning to spend more time with her since the sweet ole gal ain't gettin' any younger. Weekly Skype lessons might just be the thing...
Definitely take advantage of any free resources. And ask your godmother to introduce you to site singing; very challenging but it will improve every aspect of your musicianship. It sounds like you will have no problem learning to read music. You know Mel Torme was not only a singer, but an enthusiastic drummer too!
 
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I can sight read a snare drum line, but not drum set music. When it’s all on different lines I can’t comprehend it in time. I can decipher it and learn to play it, just not on the fly the first time.
 


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