Can you really not read music?

Rock Salad

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Slightly ot: does anyone know of an app or something for writing staff music to pdf or whatever? To be able to share transcription and ideas electronically
 

blue-onyx

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Here's a chart i read down cold last night for a rehearsal. tempo was about 130bpm. I never saw this one before but it is a blues, and relatively straightforward and fairly easy (difficulty level maybe 3 out of 5). Reading this means getting all the breaks in the 1st 12 bars, the half time shuffle thing at letter I, fills and 8 bar solo at letter O and all the hits at the end. All in all fairly simple as far as these things go. Getting about 20 sec. to look this over, then playing it down perfectly is what a good big band drummer needs to read every gig. This is your job.
For those who say they can't read. Like, do you mean you can't read fast or not at all? I started piano lessons at 6, so I have been reading music almost as long as I've been reading English. To not be able to is almost incomprehensible to me. And for drums, it's just rhythm. You don't even have to know the notes on the staff. It's not complicated at all. Black note with one stem is a quarter note. two notes connected with a single line are twice as fast. Two notes connected with two lines are twice as fast as that. Now you know half of it. I know it's not necessary, but man does it make things easier to learn.
 

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TonyVazquez

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I tried learning to read music back when I was in Jr High School taking drum lessons.
The class only taught snare drum and we were learning to play rudiments,
you know, stuff like "para-diddle, diddle-diddle".
The notations we used were piano notes. Long story short, I wanted to learn
how to play a full drum kit. I had lost patience, and dropped out of the class.

If I had stuck with it I'd probably be making a living as a studio or session musician.
Oh well.

I cannot sight-read music, at least nothing beyond 16th notes in 4/4.
Over 35 years of drumming off and on, and I can only play by ear and feels.
I rely more on what the guitarist is strumming or picking, for me to find the
dynamics and pockets, and then I write my drum parts from there.
I try to do that within a few minutes, because the bassist needs beats
to get grounded and I don't wanna leave him or her hanging.

I've often played with drum machines (the Yamaha RX5, and Alesis SR16)
so that I could learn to read music by watching the displayed LED measures,
and I couldn't even learn from that!
I guess I'm too old and too impatient to learn some new tricks.

If you place any sheet music in front of me, it looks foreign to my eyes....

Kenshiro (Fist Of The North Star) strikes an opponent's pressure points
and seconds later the opponent literally explodes, lol...

...My eyes and head would explode if you were to place
THIS in front of me... :toothy10: :eek:

deathmetalsheetmusic.jpg
 

Gregdc

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Being able to read will definitely get you through the door to most big sessions, but there are still some big UK session players who cant read.

Karl Brazil (Robbie Williams/Feeder/James Blunt)
Steve Barney (Annie Lennox/Anastacia/Paul Carrack)
Eddy Thrower (Lower Than Atlantis/Busted)

Read somewhere that Dennis Chambers didn't either, but I'm sure that could be completely wrong.

These are the ones off the top of my head, I'm sure there are many more.
 

bigbonzo

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I tried learning to read music back when I was in Jr High School taking drum lessons.
The class only taught snare drum and we were learning to play rudiments,
you know, stuff like "para-diddle, diddle-diddle".
The notations we used were piano notes. Long story short, I wanted to learn
how to play a full drum kit. I had lost patience, and dropped out of the class.

If I had stuck with it I'd probably be making a living as a studio or session musician.
Oh well.

I cannot sight-read music, at least nothing beyond 16th notes in 4/4.
Over 35 years of drumming off and on, and I can only play by ear and feels.
I rely more on what the guitarist is strumming or picking, for me to find the
dynamics and pockets, and then I write my drum parts from there.
I try to do that within a few minutes, because the bassist needs beats
to get grounded and I don't wanna leave him or her hanging.

I've often played with drum machines (the Yamaha RX5, and Alesis SR16)
so that I could learn to read music by watching the displayed LED measures,
and I couldn't even learn from that!
I guess I'm too old and too impatient to learn some new tricks.

If you place any sheet music in front of me, it looks foreign to my eyes....

Kenshiro (Fist Of The North Star) strikes an opponent's pressure points
and seconds later the opponent literally explodes, lol...

...My eyes and head would explode if you were to place
THIS in front of me... :toothy10: :eek:

View attachment 466083
I wonder....could this actually be played?
 

TonyVazquez

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I wonder....could this actually be played?
Beats me (pun intended, LOL)... give it a tap and see what it sounds like.
Just watch out for those blast-beats. :toothy10:

I've seen metal musician friends share that sheet on Facebook as a funny meme
with notes scribbled all over it to make fun of the deathmetal genre.
I enjoy deathmetal as I enjoy any Rock genre, so that's just a comedy relief.
 

bigbonzo

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Beats me (pun intended, LOL)... give it a tap and see what it sounds like.
Just watch out for those blast-beats. :toothy10:

I've seen metal musician friends share that sheet on Facebook as a funny meme
with notes scribbled all over it to make fun of the deathmetal genre.
I enjoy deathmetal as I enjoy any Rock genre, so that's just a comedy relief.
I actually like some death metal too.
 
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heythere

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I can read music but I need to work at it. I am good at it when I read new music everyday. If I get away from reading for awhile I get out of the groove. Like the saying goes. "If you don't use it, you lose it."
 

Slingwig26

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Sure, I can read. Learned at a very young age from school concert band and all through high school jazz band. Btw, in jazz band, my instructor always said for the drummer to follow the lead trumpet chart to know where to put the accents. Lesson learned.
 

hardbat

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I use MuseScore for writing lead sheets and big band scores. It's also great for classical music. It also works for drum charts and drumset notation. MuseScore is an open source free alternative to Finale or Sibelius. There are probably simpler tools if you just want to write rhythms or drumset parts.
 

blue-onyx

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I tried learning to read music back when I was in Jr High School taking drum lessons.
The class only taught snare drum and we were learning to play rudiments,
you know, stuff like "para-diddle, diddle-diddle".
The notations we used were piano notes. Long story short, I wanted to learn
how to play a full drum kit. I had lost patience, and dropped out of the class.

If I had stuck with it I'd probably be making a living as a studio or session musician.
Oh well.

I cannot sight-read music, at least nothing beyond 16th notes in 4/4.
Over 35 years of drumming off and on, and I can only play by ear and feels.
I rely more on what the guitarist is strumming or picking, for me to find the
dynamics and pockets, and then I write my drum parts from there.
I try to do that within a few minutes, because the bassist needs beats
to get grounded and I don't wanna leave him or her hanging.

I've often played with drum machines (the Yamaha RX5, and Alesis SR16)
so that I could learn to read music by watching the displayed LED measures,
and I couldn't even learn from that!
I guess I'm too old and too impatient to learn some new tricks.

If you place any sheet music in front of me, it looks foreign to my eyes....

Kenshiro (Fist Of The North Star) strikes an opponent's pressure points
and seconds later the opponent literally explodes, lol...

...My eyes and head would explode if you were to place
THIS in front of me... :toothy10: :eek:

View attachment 466083
That is just a stupid lame joke. For an actual drum chart see my post of oct. 20.
 

michaelocalypse

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I'll add that counting music is an added mind bender considering the parts of the whole number/beat come after it, not before it. The rough crutch I used to vaguely get around that was mentally starting to read at 4 (assuming 4/4) and pretending it was 0. After that it's somewhat relative.

What was the question, if I may ask?
Yes, please. This could be helpful for anyone thinking of teaching, or learning for that matter.
"How do I know how fast to play?"
I didn't know to ask what the tempo was. My worry, seeing clusters of notes together, is that I wouldn't be fast enough to play those when I got to them if I started too fast.
The reply was always given is, "Just play. 1-2-3-go."

I always ended up playing along by watching the teachers' hands and mimicking them. In one teacher's defense, he was going to figure out a way to teach me, but I switched schools. My lessons teacher never figured out that I couldn't read and was playing everything by mimicking and from memory. My last teacher didn't care because he had too much on his plate and knew I could listen to the recording once and nail it.
 


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