[Read all about songwriting, and become a better songwriter at: ”The Essential Secrets of Songwriting“]
If you can’t read music, you’re missing out on a fantastic opportunity to open your mind. It never ceases to amaze me how many people have the attitude that reading music stifles creativity. Stifles creativity?! Have you ever heard of an author who can’t read the language they’re writing in? In the literary world, reading is a necessity; it’s an assumed skill.
For those who would say, “Reading music prevents me from thinking creatively,” I can only respond by saying that this is a rather silly opinion. Reading music no more prevents you from using your musical imagination than reading words prevents a novelist from being creative. Musical notation gives you an opportunity to examine another composer’s music, to find out why it sounds the way it does. It allows you to compare one writer’s music with another’s, and ultimately to apply what you’ve learned to your own music.
If you don’t read music, you have unknowingly stunted your own growth as a musician. If you’re a songwriter, you’re going to discover a new burst of imagination by learning how to get music down onto paper.
I know many of you are ready to list off all the musicians who have done very well even though they can’t read a note of music. That’s irrelevant, in my opinion. There are some who have found great success while being musically illiterate, but who knows how far they could have gone if they had learned to put their music into notation.
So do yourself a favour: start learning how to read and write music, and you’ll discover an enhancement to your creative powers you never thought possible.