Why you should read music.
by Mike Donovan
you read music?
Now, before you start running the other direction, please hear
me out. Ive noticed through the years that, for various
reasons, many drummers prefer not to learn how to read. They either
think that it will take too long or that it will be inevitably
too hard. Folks, its not really that bad. I repeat, ITS
NOT THAT BAD! Shoot, compared to learning a foreign language
or something, its a walk in the park!!
1996, I wanted to come off the road. I knew that this might possibly
mean stepping back into the real world job-wise so
I taught myself to type in preparation for a "decent"
job in the workplace. I knew that computers were now dominant
in our society and if I was going to compete, Id better
learn to do something more than hunt and peck. I now,
6 years later, type 683,000 words per minute (or something like
you say, .. "Hey, 'I hunt and peck' and I have a job at Microsoft
as 'Systems Analyst IT Engineer blah, blah,..'. Well OK, so it
does happen that some real smart people make out just fine 'hunting
and pecking'. But let's step back into the music world for a minute.
Can you imagine yourself at a Dave Mathews Band audition and they
throw a chart in front of you to read? What will you do, ask them
if they have it in 'tab' format?
say, "Learn to Read. Dont get caught up
in that crap about.. Well, Buddy Rich didnt read
or "Dennis doesnt read
etc. Its a
cop-out! Those guys are (were) exceptions to the rule. You need
to have a firm understanding of basic rhythmic theory (and harmony
if possible) to compete in this highly competitive field. You
cant afford to be second best. You must have all your bases
covered because if you don't, there are 50 other drummers standing
by ready to take your place. (Actually, there are 500 drummers
standing by ready to take your place. :)
not be "great" at playing drums rather than "mediocre".
It's so much more fulfilling. Reading will give you the tools
to get to that next level. You'll not only have a better understanding
of what you're playing but you'll be able to execute this knowledge
into a better performance overall.
signing up with a private teacher and letting them help you learn
how to read. Once you get the ball off the ground and rolling,
its not really that bad. It just takes a little bit of courage
and determination to get started and, with a little stick-to-itiveness,
youll be reading in no time. I promise.
Reasons You Should Learn to Read Music:
It builds confidence in your ability and
allows you to 'understand' what you're playing.
You'll be able to teach yourself anything out of
a book or magazine ..anytime, anywhere.
You can supplement your income by teaching others.
There are great gigs to be had out there but some of them
require that you read at least a little bit.
You can communicate intelligently with other
musicians using standardized musical language.
When learning new songs, you can write out drum charts for
yourself quickly and more efficiently. This saves valuable
You can program sequencers in step mode.
It is easier to learn musical concepts as well as other
instruments with a fundamental knowledge of basic theory.
Most studio work, show work and more challenging styles
such as jazz and fusion, require reading.
You'll find that many higher caliber players read music.
This may give you an opportunity to play on their level.
MORE LESSONS AND TIPS ON READING MUSIC...Visit
the "Drum Lesson Database" with
500 "Free" LESSONS!
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