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Is Reading Music Important?

Reading music is very important to classical guitarists, but many other guitarists don't learn to read music. This is caused by the steep learning curve on reading, and by the lack of good standard notation sheet music for popular music. Many guitarists learn songs by ear or by tab instead.

Sheet Music vs Tab

Tab is very easy to read and takes very little practice, but it has some drawbacks. For one thing, tab does not include rhythm or dynamics. For this reason, you have to listen to the song first and figure that stuff out before you read. Furthermore, an experienced reader can tell what patterns (e.g. arpeggios) the music has in it just by glancing at the notation.

Open Strings

Top Three Strings

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Bottom Three Strings

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