Music Banter

Go Back   Music Banter > Artists Corner > Talk Instruments
Register Blogging Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Welcome to Music Banter Forum! Make sure to register - it's free and very quick! You have to register before you can post and participate in our discussions with over 70,000 other registered members. After you create your free account, you will be able to customize many options, you will have the full access to over 1,100,000 posts.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-26-2013, 11:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
Groupie
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Pac NW
Posts: 3
Default Please help: Music knowledge versus being able to make music?

Hi all I really need advice, opinions, expertise, etc. about music theory, the ability, to read music, notes, etc, and the necessity of that knowledge in being able to play instruments and make music in general.

Can someone play an instrument without being able to read music and without knowing in a technical way what they are playing?

A background to help answer the question: I have had music aspirations since I was young, wanted mostly to be a singer, then singer-songwriter but in a band. I wrote my first song lyrics to music I made in my head when I was around 10 years old. I continued to do the same throughout the years. I got an electric guitar when I was 16 and took some lessons. I learned the basics such as chords, some exercises, and some songs to play along with. The lessons were more than I could afford to continue doing and ended up stopping. My problem was I loved music, I loved singing and writing but didn't know how to perform the music I heard in my head to go along with what I was writing. After high school I took some college courses and took music theory. I was pretty bad at it, which was extremely disappointing. I was hoping that would help me understand music better to be able to play. The terminology alone would make my head spin. Notes, progressions, all of that, I didn't get it. I decided to try to get with other musicians and just sing what I wanted my songs to sound like hoping they could bring it to life with their knowledge of music and ability to play instruments and I could learn the rhythm guitar parts after. But when I did find people to share my stuff with and they tried to help create the song it never sounded the way I envisioned it and then it became only about the music they wanted to perform. I felt stuck and unmotivated.. So life went on and my aspirations fell by the wayside.
Flash forward and I am 31 now. I have had a renewed sense of getting back to music (well my passion for and wanting never really left, just new circumstances have motivated me again) and ideas for a slightly different goals then I did back then. But I find myself back in the same position. Actually worse then I was because I haven't practiced guitar in years. I have written new songs but again it is the lyrics and tune in my head, not the ability to actually make the music. I have been able to record singing words to the sound of what I want the music to be so I have that at least. But I want to be able to make my own music to create those songs so I can actually do something with them. I hear things like "it's in a note of G" or "sing a C note" and have no idea what the difference is or how to tell. I can sing but have no idea what notes I'm singing. I can't tell what note someone is playing on any instrument. I don't know what it means to play in a key or note. If it's in a G note do you play just that note?! All the things I would imagine you need to know in order to make music especially with other people I don't know. I just want to make music.

I hear about famous musicians who never learned to read music and some who taught themselves how to play guitar and other instruments. But is that realistic? And how do you do that? How can I get the music I want to make from my head and singing it to actually playing it?

(sorry this is long, just wanted to provide as much info to help understand the situation)
MusicInMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2013, 12:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
Mate, Spawn & Die
 
Janszoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Posts: 24,041
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicInMe View Post
Can someone play an instrument without being able to read music and without knowing in a technical way what they are playing?
Yes. People have done exactly that for as long as music has been around. That said, getting more educated about what you're doing certainly can't hurt.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by P A N View Post
i'm not gonna spend my life on music banter trying to convince people the earth is flat.
A Night in the Life of the Invisible Man

Time & Place

25 Albums You Should Hear Before the Moon Crashes into the Earth and We All Die


last.fm
Janszoon is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2013, 12:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
Groupie
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Pac NW
Posts: 3
Default

I would love to be one of those people that teaches themselves but I don't even know where to begin. Did they have prior music knowledge at all? How do I get a note in my head that I don't even know what it is to an instrument? I would love love love to get more educated about it. Problem is I don't know anyone personally that has that kind of knowledge. I also have no money to spare in any capacity to be able to do get lessons or pay for someone to teach me, but that's why I'm trying to figure out if I really need to know the technical things.
MusicInMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2013, 12:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
Groupie
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Pac NW
Posts: 3
Default

Also, is there an easy digital music system that you can play around on to help you get the sound you're looking for for beginners or something? Free or cheap preferably.
MusicInMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2013, 05:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
Groupie
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 8
Default

MusicInMe - you can find a ton of things on Youtube. Just type in "teach yourself to play guitar" or piano or whatever it is you're into. I will say that the easiest way to learn to read music and learn to play is on the piano. You can do that online too using a virtual piano. Check out buttonbass.com

Hope it helps.
Drak is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads



© 2003-2020 Advameg, Inc.