For many people, learning an instrument consists of tinkering with it until pleasing sounds are achieved or a familiar song can be picked out. That method of learning by ear is one way to play an instrument, but the use of sheet music takes musicianship to the next level. Regardless of your instrument, the use of sheet music will open up scores of new songs and a whole world of next level musical benefits.
Improve Your Musical Versatility
Once you learn to read music, the opportunities that present themselves are nearly limitless. You will be able to play a wide range of musical styles from country and rock to jazz and classical. Having the notes and rhythms written out for you enables you to play nearly anything. Whether your instrument is a piano, guitar, flute, or even your own voice, the use of sheet music opens up a world of styles and techniques.
Increase Your Repertoire
While many musicians can learn songs by ear, the use of sheet music speeds up the process. You can increase the number of pieces in your repertoire very quickly by reading music, where your access to a variety of songs and styles is virtually unlimited. Having a song documented on a page improves your ability to recall it, where just a glance at the first few notes is often enough to refresh your memory and allow you to play an entire piece.
When you learn to read music, you will also create the ability to write music. The notes on the
lines and spaces of a musical staff create a unique language, and once you become literate you
can communicate your own musical compositions.
Perform With Others
If you plan to perform in an ensemble or band, it is important for all members of the group to work with the same rhythm in the same key. Using sheet music is the easiest way for all the musicians in the group to play the same notes and melodies synchronously.
It is very unusual for someone to learn a song perfectly by ear; generally that type of playing is more of an estimation of chords and melody. The use of sheet music helps to improve the accuracy when learning a new song. The notes and key signatures in a written score dictate the exact melody, rhythm, and appropriate key to play for the specific song. The dynamics of the piece are also communicated to indicate the speed and volume levels in different parts of the piece, helping with the musician’s artistic expression of the song.
Understand Music Theory
The use of sheet music opens up the world of music theory. Learning to decipher the language in written music will help with an understanding of all aspects of music, including intervals, chord progressions, scales, and harmonic and melodic theories. The improved knowledge of these subtle song components will result in you becoming a more accomplished musician and a more sophisticated consumer of music.