Quick Links

This Day in Music History

Music Education @ DataDragon.com

Music Education Forums

Maintain Your Forum Information

Bernadette Peters - Broadway's Best

Sudoku (take a break for a puzzle!)

Topic: i really need advice
From the Music Questions forum.

Post a reply or begin a new topic.

View other threads or jump to a different forum.

Go to page: Next or 1, 2 
AuthorTopic:   i really need advice
Anonymous Poster

From Internet Network:

posted: 3/20/2005 at 3:28:28 AM ET
View Anonymous's profile  Edit/Delete this message  Reply with a quote  

okay- reading the "late bloomers" thread made me feel a little better, but the thing is- is that- i am only 18 and will be going to college in the fall. i love music so much, but have never excelled in it because, i have never been able to read music. It seems so complicated to me, i envy all of you that understand it!! i sang and played the french horn by ear growing up. i've gotten so frustrated in the past- attempting to learn, so i thought maybe i could ignore my love for music- but i just can't! it just keeps coming back... Do i just need a really good music teacher? or am i just someone that can't do it? its not that i want to be famous or anything- i would like to play the guitar... its something i feel that i need to do for myself... i write tonz of lyrics, but the music is all in my head...i just love music so much- i wana be able to understand it completely... really connect with it....but sometimes it feels hopeless- i feel so lost!
i know that all of this must sound really silly to a group of musicians- who know what they're doing- does anyone understand where i'm coming from? its kinda hard for me to describe all of it- i feel kinda silly doing this- but plz give me any thoughts and advice- i really need it!
thanks so much.

Anonymous Poster

From Internet Network:

posted: 3/20/2005 at 7:20:47 AM ET
View Anonymous's profile  Edit/Delete this message  Reply with a quote  

You mention Guitar..perhaps that may be the place to start? Most Guitar instruction books (the Progressive range, for one) feature a chart of notes on the fretboard listing which fret and string they are on, and all in crotchets. Because this is just the treble part and covers a small range, the concept of notes seems to make sense.
Worth a try, I think.

Registered User

posted: 3/20/2005 at 9:48:22 AM ET
View suzyq's profile  Get suzyq's email address  Edit/Delete this message  Reply with a quote  


Your ability to play by ear is a gift, but I understand your desire to read and understand music.

I think you should find a good teacher, learning to sight read is not easy, but important to learn. I'm finally beginning to sight-read, amd I have a way to go, but without my teacher the notes would look like cute squiggles.

You'll get there, it's a skill you really want to learn, find a good teacher.

Registered User

posted: 3/20/2005 at 4:14:27 PM ET
View maintube's profile  Get maintube's email address  Edit/Delete this message  Reply with a quote  

Suzy is dead-on correct. Seek the advice of a music teacher.

Registered User

posted: 3/20/2005 at 4:53:01 PM ET
View mags's profile  Get mags's email address  Edit/Delete this message  Reply with a quote  

Now...I hear a sense of panic and confusion in your question. You need to sit down as I did with a 'nice' music teacher...and start from the beginning as I did. I didn't know a single thing about music...not one iota......but its amazing how I've came on. Don't race ahead of yourself.....take your time...ask and re ask the same questions...I always do...some I forget frequently...but I always ask again. The only stupid question is the one thats not asked. I am not an experienced musician.....please...keep smiling...and remember.. the great wall of China started with one brick. Cheers, Mgt x

Registered User

Winnipeg, Canada

posted: 3/21/2005 at 3:51:24 PM ET
View toonz's profile  Get toonz's email address  Edit/Delete this message  Reply with a quote  

Wow. I am speechless. If anyone understands where you are coming from it is me. I have felt exactly the same way forever. As a child growing up "music" was how I played. I listened to music. I played on our piano by ear. I made up songs and sang them to family and friends. I didn't realize it and I am sorry that my parents didn't realize that that was how I was "hard wired".
I never learned how to read music growing up. I felt I couldn't do it because it just seemed too hard. I understand now that because my brain had an understanding for music, I felt that learning how to read music should have come easily for me. When it didn't come easily I thought perhaps I wasn't meant to learn music. It was that type of thinking that made me put too much pressure on myself when trying to learn. Don't wait until you are 40 years old like I was to come to the realization that you CAN learn to read music but that you have to WORK at it like everybody and everything else. I was always afraid of the failure. Don't do that to yourself.
I have been taking guitar lessons for over a year now. (Yes, I too had this NEED to learn the guitar). It has been the best thing I have ever done for myself. One of the most rewarding things that ever happened to me was when I took one of the songs that was playing in my head and I decided to see if I could actually write it down. I showed it to my teacher because I needed help in naming some of the chords. I swear to you when he was able to play what I wrote down (he was able to play the chords and the Melody together. I can't do that yet), I felt like I had died and gone to heaven.
I am finally learning how to read and write the language that I have known and understood in my head for so long. I have always created beautiful music in my head but it is only now that I have been able to do anything with those songs other than forget about them. What a gift.
My advice? Yes, get a good guitar teacher. Needing and learning from a teacher is nothing to be ashamed of. They have the ability to teach you more than what a book can. A book can't answer all those questions that will pop up into your head. Nor can it push you to try harder, force you to have to play in front of someone or in my case help you to get the music that is in your head, down onto paper.
I know this has nothing to do with wanting to be a star. It is an inner need. I totally get that. Quit trying to ignore it and stop thinking that it should come to you easily without the work. If I can do it, you can do it. I promise you that if this is something you really want to work at like the rest of us do, you wont be disappointed. I can tell from your letter that this is something you need to do. Go for it and good luck.

Registered User

North Coast NSW, Australia

posted: 3/21/2005 at 5:36:22 PM ET
View Pete's profile  Get Pete's email address  Edit/Delete this message  Reply with a quote  

I agree with toonz, if you really want to do it it's far easier than you think, and as a guitar teacher who also teachs music theory in a school there is nothing more rewarding than when it ""clicks"' and suddenly all those dots and squiggles make sense.
The best idea is to limit the range of notes, guitar is fine for this, and play something that you know and like.
I had a class of 13/14 year olds learning to read notes yesterday and we used the ringtone on one of the kids mobile phones..I wrote the notes up on the board, explained how the 'sharps and flats worked and in 20 minutes they were playing it back to me on guitars and keyboards. It's really easy.

Anonymous Poster

From Internet Network:

posted: 3/22/2005 at 4:45:01 PM ET
View Anonymous's profile  Edit/Delete this message  Reply with a quote  

Thanks so much to all of you! ur replies mean alot to me. you're all very inspiring and when it comes to music- i don't get alot of that! so thank you so much and its great to know that i'm not alone.

Page 1 of 2
Go to page: Next or 1, 2 

Do you think this topic is inappropriate? Vote it down. After a thread receives a certain amount of negative votes it will be automatically locked.

Please contact us with any concerns you might have.
Site Design/Implementation copyright (©) 1999-2003 by Kevin Lux. Our privacy statement.
Please email with any news updates or pictures you may have.