The short answer is no. Plenty of guitar players, like myself don’t [have to] read music to be good guitar players. I can read tab, very basic musical notation, which includes timing signatures. In fact, reading music might be a deterrent to my creative juices. If you take a few minutes to examine the online guitar lessons reviewed-video and DVD, then consider which medium is more appropriate for your learning style, the course will teach how to read tab early in the program. To sight Read musical notation is an option, if you are interested later in the learning process.
The long answer gets back to my concern that beginner guitarists think they have to read music early on in the learn guitar process. It’s just not true. At the maximum, learn your guitar scales and a few easy guitar chords to begin with. The theory of why is not at all important in the beginning.
Here is my theory.
Reading music is a Discipline all by itself. It is a totally separate specialty. The process of learning how to hold a guitar and establishing the basics in a manner as to not develop bad habits is enough to start with. So the majority of the courses recommended are either video guitar lessons, or DVD guitar lessons. The lessons have printed music available as part of the course in tablature, so that music reading skills aren’t necessary.
Burdening a new student with the theory of music is a total waste of time and a deterrent to the early guitar learning process. As an unusual comparison, I taught lots of people how to rebuild automotive transmissions at my repair shop. Not once did I teach a drop of theory, yet almost every person I taught became an excellent technician. So, it’s not always necessary to know how something operates to know how to assemble and dissemble, or play the guitar.
There are a few properly executed exercises and warm up techniques, which need to be learned by both the right hand and the left hand to coordinate your fingers while learning your “Specific” technique.
Do you believe this? The right guitar teacher can teach a smart kid an easy guitar song in one hour. It is essential to learn the mandatory guitar chords. However, find Guitar Chords for Children and People with Small Hands here. They sound great and are very easy to play. Read how I did this below.
I recently taught a 10 year old girl how to strum the chords to a song called “Firework” in less than an hour. A song I had not heard of until then. She is a smart girl with an aptitude for music. She played the song for me on a CD first, and then I found the tab for free on my computer and printed it up. That way I had the chords for us. Within an hour, her young mind soaked up the 4 easy guitar chords [G, Am, Em, C], and learned the finger positions for the easy chords I taught her. [Easy chords because she has small hands]. And we could then strum the chords while we sang the words. I even wrote the 4 chords down in tab or tablature, although I’ll bet that nice supple young mind remembers them.
It’s pointless to force theory on a new guitar player when gratification is so easy to come by, as in the above example, and thus promote the learning process. She had a ball, I enjoyed myself, and in short, it was fun. At a later date, she can learn to site read music [musical notation] on her schedule.
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