Adult Learners: Do You Need To Learn To Read Music To Play The Guitar?

There are many folks that decide at mid-life to learn to play the guitar. It’s something they’ve always wanted to do, and they may find themselves with a little extra time on their hands. But what turns a lot of them off is having to learn to read music. It’s tedious and requires a lot of practice time; but is it really essential for an adult learner to learn to read music? The answer is NO!!

Adult Learn To Read Music

Adult learners do not need to learn to read music to enjoy playing the guitar!

When teaching younger students the guitar, learning to read music is an important component of their lesson. These students may become more serious with their instrument academically, and the school jazz band, which many students end up joining, requires them to read music. And who knows… if they decide to make music their career, reading music is absolutely essential to them. So, we work reading into a younger student’s lesson plan. ┬áBut most adults simply want to learn to strum and play songs, and for this reading music is not important. You can play just about any song without having to learn to read music at all… not one note!
Adult Learners: Do You Need To Learn To Read Music To Play The Guitar?

Guitar great Eric Clapton… playing, not reading!

It may surprise you to know this, but many famous ‘rock stars’ and guitar icons cannot read a note of music! There is a long list of many famous guitarists who never learned

Learn To Read Music

Guitar great Jimi Hendrix didn’t read music!

to read: Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Slash, Angus Young; even Eddie Van Halen!

So, for adult learners, we focus on two key areas outside of reading music: chords, and strumming. Learning just three chords (C, D, and G) will allow you to play many, many classic rock songs: Brown Eyed Girl, I’m A Believer, Sweet Home Alabama, and many, many more! We work with adults to learn some chords, learn to strum, and begin to play songs as soon as possible; because for adult learners, playing songs is what it’s all about!
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