Reading Music: A lost art?

In this modern era in which every house hold has a computer or two, on the internet you can pretty much find a dumbed down version of everything. Recently I have been looking at learning the guitar by using only chords. Basically this is done in rather a crude manner. A guitar fret board is drawn on a web page using hyphens and a letter representing a specific note is drawn on this ‘fret board’ indicating where you must place your finger whilst strumming.

After having tuned my new guitar using a simple online tuner (all you need is a computer with a microphone) , I set off and started strumming whilst holding the guitar string in the place indicated and eventually after messing about for 20 minutes I actually recognised the sounds coming out of my guitar as the song I was trying to play. You do have to kind of jiggle about with the speed at which you are doing It as if you do it too slow or too fast it will not sound right.

I messed about with a couple of days I started showing off to my friends look I can play the guitar, but was I just a monkey seeing and then doing? Is this any real kind of skill? Is it really a skill to tune a guitar using a computer and not your ear? Had I actually learned anything or was I just going through the motions of something I had memorised?

If you think that a real musician knows his instrument so well, he can tune it without help from technology, he instinctively knows where all the notes are just by the feel of it, without having to count frets and of course hand him any piece of sheet music be it Jessie J sheet music or EltonJohn Sheet music and they can recreate it just like the artist intended, and not because they have memorised it, but because the musical scores are another language a canvas for musicians to appreciate even if they aren’t wielding their instrument.


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