Re: "Blues Harmonica Collection" fake book
> I have to agree with the injunction to LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN. I
> personally have not found it worth my time to learn to read music,
> because I have to "hear" something in my head before I can play it,
> and it's quite difficult to pick up the feel of a rhythm from written
> notation (this may be, in fact probably is, a very personal thing). I
> use my own harp notation to remember what I've played, but that only
> works for things I've already played. I have never been able to pick
> up something new just by reading it.
Ken is right. To read or not to read is a personal thing, as is every
aspect of music. Many excellent musicians do not read music. Even though
I can read music, I usually learn a song by ear before I write it out. What
I get from the ability to read is a broader musical horizon, and a starting
point for understanding the music I want to play. I should point out that,
I attempt to play jazz, in addition to blues. Music reading is pretty much
essential for playing jazz. It sounds to me like Ken has invented his own
musical language, rather than use standard notation. Whatever works best
for each individual. Music should be fun.
> As far as tablature, what I meant earlier was that it is very useful
> when you're listening to a record and saying "How did he DO that??"
> Good tablature can answer those questions -- there's a book on Sonny
> Terry's harp playing that is an excellent example of this.
I agree that tablature is useful. In fact, when I write out music for the
diatonic, I write the tab along with it. I also read the Sonny Terry book.
It's probably the same one. It came with a record, which helped a lot.
To me, though that book, and Sonny's playing, illustrates that sometimes
neither listening nor reading is enough. I didn't really know how Sonny
was getting those sounds until I saw him play on video tape. His hand
movements were something I had to see. (The video I found is "Rev. Gary
Davis & Sonny Terry" from Yazoo's Masters of the Country Blues series.)
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