In response to Jacob Rice’s communication in GT269 regarding notation and if it is a waste of time, quite frankly this astounds me. I’m not suggesting that everybody should read the dots but why is he not interested in learning it for the rhythmic values at least? I started off as a tab reader and now, as I’m a session guitarist I have to rely on reading the notation. I’m not the best reader but I work daily on sight reading exercises as well as exercises for new techniques and new songs. Mr Rice says he listens to the playback when playing new material. He’s missing out completely on the beauty of playing something purely from reading it. Everybody has their own way of playing guitar and learning guitar. But I think to flat-out deny notation will deny his own progression. Reading tablature is objective whereas reading notation has more of a subjective approach when it comes to finding the shapes on your guitar, which is wonderful when you’re lost in that little world of playing. I hope one day he discovers the wonders of looking at music without hearing it and being able to play it. BTW, could you consider a study piece on Jerry’s Breakdown? That would be amazing! And maybe a John 5 bluegrass style study?
Hi Dave. Yes, it’s a no-brainer for GT to keep notation alongside tab. As you’d
probably have seen from our recent Session feature, the ability to read in the studio, at film sessions, on shows like The Voice and in the theatre, is becoming more and more vital. Some of our Session Heroes are a bit like you in that they use a combination of charts, notation and an experienced ear to get them by. Your main point – with which I totally agree and am so gutted that I can’t do – is that wonderful ability to open a score (just as one would open a novel that one’s never seen) and read and understand it from the page. As you say, it’s a thing of sheer beauty, and one that I know is being picked up by a greater number of guitarists than ever before. Regarding Jerry’s Breakdown and John 5, we don’t do actual transcriptions any more but studies on the techniques used is a great idea for both players and styles.
Jason Sidwell: insists on real music in all our mags