Will Reading Music Make Me a Better Guitarist?

Did you know many guitarists can’t read music? I suspect that if they learned how, they would double their abilities. I know that it’s true for me. I have proven that being able to read music has given me a huge advantage over and over again when learning songs, composing and being asked to play for various events. So, let’s have a think about how music reading could give your playing a huge boost!

Why Can’t Most Guitarists Read Music?

One of the great things about guitar is that you can get a long way just knowing shapes and patterns. For example when you learn the Am chord you know it’s this shape you’ve memorised once, long ago. Now whenever you’re required to play Am, you’ll often resort to that shape. And you can memorise lots of chords, scales and even songs, till eventually you look like a skilled guitar player. In fact I know some very good guitarists who still can’t read music.

So one of the reason lots of players can’t read music is that they can kind of get by without it.

But to me, it’s like they’re “painting by numbers”. You know what I mean? You can paint this amazing picture if you apply the right colour to the specific numbers. But, that’s not the same as drawing and colouring the picture all by yourself.

Is Reading Music Hard?

I’ve taught hundreds of people, and when I first started out, I taught them TAB and used Chord Diagrams to explain things. My students picked up the skills quickly, and sounded good. But when it came to teaching them how to read music, I was kind of afraid that it would be too hard for them or too boring. Especially if I switched to music reading after they could already play a bit.

But, when I taught students music from the beginning it came easy to them.
I have a feeling it was because they didn’t know any better. They just accepted it and got stuck into it.
Along the way I had to tweak how I taught it so I only gave the right amount of information in each lesson, but once I got that right they found it easy.

I don’t believe reading music is hard. You just need to have an open mind to learn it and appreciate that it takes time, just like learning to read the words and letters that make up this post.

How Will Reading Music Make Me Better?

Now, for the record, I’m not against TAB. But I truly believe people who can read music and play what they see on the guitar gain a very deep and profound understanding, which leads to greater command of the instrument. Let’s look at some examples.

  • Reading music makes us think in notes, not numbers (guitar awareness)
  • Reading music teaches us rhythm
  • Reading music teaches us theory
  • Reading music means we can play music written for other instruments
  • Reading music means we can write music and other instruments will understand it
  • Reading music helps with improvising

How Can I Learn To Read Music In A Fun Way?

This is exactly why I created the guitar skills courses at www.zacpughguitarcourses.com

I want to teach people how to read music and play cool sounding songs while they do it. I want you to be able to see all the notes on the fret board, have a solid understanding of rhythm, have an awesome foundation to build you music knowledge on and be able to fully speak the language. I want you to learn guitar in a much deeper and richer way. Who knows what untapped potential is waiting inside of you, it could be amazing!

My own playing sky rocketed once I learned this. I’m sure yours will to.

Check out www.zacpughguitarcourses.com and invest in your skills.

How would reading music help you? Please comment below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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