How Not to make Music: Learn to Read (and Write) Music

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So you’ve been noodling for awhile, listening to good music and you really want to know how it’s played. Listening to other artists is inspiring, but you can’t read music and can’t figure out how to play the material! This is bad. Don’t do that (especially if you’re trying to write music). Writing music requires you to be able to read music. Learn both. Once you learn how to read music, you can begin to play pieces from the greats (like me).    

I started taking piano lessons because I kept having surges of inspiration without having the proper knowledge to transform my ideas into sounds outside of my own head. Luckily, I’m graced with perfect pitch (but it doesn’t help if I don’t know what to do with it). Now that I am re-learning how to read music, that skill is becoming more and more useful as I learn to translate thought into sound. If you find yourself, running into similar issues, go back to basics and build your knowledge of reading and writing music. Soon you’ll see notes pouring onto the page in front of you.

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Words and Photos by Max Rico.

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