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Old 01-06-2017, 07:49 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Tatamagouche Nova Scotia
Posts: 491

I'm going to say that being able to read music, and sight read charts, is almost irrelevant to playing jazz except in a few situations. For every icon who was highly educated musically (say Miles Davis) there is another guy who couldn't read music at all (Wes Montgomery, Django Reinhardt). But understanding harmony, by ear or by rote, is almost the root of jazz. That, and time sense - swing. On guitar, sight reading is complicated by the extreme variation of how to place notes on the fretboard to best effect - many notes have three or four places they can be played on the fretboard. Piano - one place per note. A friend of mine was completing a Masters degree in Guitar Performance - so a highly skilled and trained classical guitarist. In one blog post she complained about how guitarists always let the side down when asked to sight-read charts in a band setting. Later in the same post she commented on how she had transcribed a classical piece three months earlier and was now starting to get to grips with how to actually play it on the instrument. The dichotomy struck me - complaining about lack of sight reading expertise (in some of the most highly trained guitarists you will ever find) and needing three months to figure out how to play a piece that she transcribed.
Brian Evans
1935 Dobro model 25 resonator
1943 Paramount (made by Kay) mandolin
1946 Epiphone Zephyr electric archtop
1957 Hofner Senator archtop
1962 Gibson Melody Maker electric
1963 National Dynamic lap steel
1996 Landola jumbo
1998 Godin Artisan TC electric
2003 Epiphone SG electric
2010 GoldTone PBR-CA resonator
2015 Evans electric archtop
2016 Evans archtop

Last edited by MC5C; 01-07-2017 at 06:25 AM.
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