Monday, September 15, 2008

Musical Joke

I subscribe to a magazine called The Fretboard Journal. Great pictures, in-depth articles, a quarterly that is pretty much the top of the line for looks and content. Current issue has a piece where one well-known and young musician interviews another well-known and older one, and in it is a musical joke I hadn't heard before.

If you are a guitar player, you will probably think it's funny:

Q: How do you stop a classical musician from playing?
A: You take away his sheet music.

Q: How do you stop a guitarist from playing?
A: You put sheet music in front of him ...

(While I don't explain jokes, generally, and this one isn't really what you'd call too smart for the room, it does require that you know a bit about how things work in the musical world. Most guitarists outside the classical and jazz realms don't read music. Most rock and blues players can't. I can't sight-read, though given enough time, I can go through and with much labor figure out standard notation. I'd rather not. If I wanted to be a session player or work in an orchestra, I'd have to learn, since I'm not going there, life is too short.

Not being able to read music is not necessarily a problem -- it depends.

None of the Beatles could. They did all right.

Ray Charles, on the other hand, could read, even though he was blind.)


steve-vh said...

Same for Drummers. We play it and the good ones can notate it back out for the mags, ect but they don't play their original parts from sheet music usually (cepting maybe Neil Peart of Rush, who writes the parts for the other members too)

If they did, they'd have terrible "feel".
Then again, you can usually tell the self taught drummer by his sound. Example; Styx's John Panozzo

Now, can you explain "feel"?

Steve Perry said...

Um. What you are looking to cop when you are fourteen in the back seat with your first date ... ?