Learning how to read music notes for singing can be a daunting task, but if I could encourage you to do anything to improve your musicality and increase your value in paid situations, it would be to learn to read music and to understand music theory. There are many online classes that are very good, or you could take theory from a good piano teacher and take piano lessons while you are at it. I know of many private teachers that focus on music theory. Junior colleges and universities offer classes that will really get you going.
I realize that there is a current attitude about just being natural and feeling the music. While I am all about authenticity, expression, and emotion, I believe that there is a problem with laziness among some of our young musicians that is disguised as arrogance. I have so many young singers and players that really have no idea about the notes or chord structures in the songs they sing, play, and write. They often can’t even tell me what key they are playing in or the names of the basic chords. They can only speak in numbers, if even that. I was trying to talk to a young worship leader last weekend about a wrong chord that he was playing during the worship set and he had no idea what I was talking about. The rest of the band are true, educated musicians, and while we were of course very graceful, it was embarrassing for everyone.
Recently I was singing on a recording session with some fairly famous singers, and it did not go well because the music was difficult and none of them could read notes. We had to sing it line by line, teaching them as we went, which took forever, costing precious studio time. I have encouraged them time and time again to learn some music theory, but they say it’s too hard and they are fine without it, or that they wish they had stuck with it while they were in school. I keep encouraging them to go ahead and learn now. Maybe they will. It would open many more doors for them as singers.
I would encourage every singer to educate themselves in music theory and to learn to play at least one instrument well so that they can be a musician in the band, not just a singer. I say that as one singer to another, because too often the players don’t consider singers to be musicians. So surprise them! Become a great musician as well as a great singer!
My theory training began with piano lessons when I was in the first grade and continued through graduate school. My kids didn’t start theory until college, and they are now excellent musicians, making a living in music. I tell you this because it is never too late to start, and it will only help you to be so much better at your craft. If you want to be a musician, then go all out! Learn to read music for singing and playing and learn to understand how the chords work together. It will open up a whole new world of music!!! Take your FREE LESSON today!
Go for it!! It’s so much fun!!!