Non-Readers Info Page

Don’t know how to read standard “Staff” music notation as of yet?  Not sure you are even interested in such a thing?  Heard, and fear, that learning to read can “suck the soul out of your playing”?… then the info and links below are just for you!


    1. Reading Sucks the Soul out of your playingTrue or false?  It’s FALSE of course!  Nothing can take the soul of your playing away!  …unless you give it away by focusing too much on anything but the sound you are making, and the feeling it gives you and others!  Have you ever heard anyone argue that learning to read these very words turns you into a zombie?  Of course not! …that said, this does not mean that you can not take either reading music, or words, too far and distract yourself from being present in life, or music.  What you do with a skill is up to you.  Reading music is a great learning tool.  Use it as that, and keep it in perspective; put the tool “away” when you are done with it, and you’ll be fine… I guarantee that it will not turn you into a zombie and make you want to eat your bandmates flesh!!  ;~)
    2. Not interested in learning to read?  That’s OK.  No one can rightly say that you MUST learn to read “music” to be a good musician… especially these days, as there are too many good musicians in the world who can’t read a lick!  …it just might be a little slower process for you to learn on your own, but you can still do it.  FJI materials try to address your needs wherever we can.  Here’s how:
    3. The EZ compromise: Our Note Name/Finger Number & Fiddler’s Tab “lyric” lines in many of our music charts, also have the staff music notation above them… now don’t worry, I’m not trying to trick you into learning to read!… but the ONE thing that is completely missing from note name or tab systems in HOW LONG TO HOLD EACH NOTE… better known as RHYTHMAs you can learn elsewhere in FJI lessons, rhythm is the MOST important element of music!  The only real way to learn the rhythm on a song that is new to you (without knowing how to read) is by hearing someone else play it for you first… This is also why I try, wherever I can, to have audio tracks and video of myself playing it for you too, but I ask: might it not be an interesting skill to consider developing, where you would be able to teach a new tune to YOURSELFThis is entirely possible WITHOUT having to learn how to officially read staff notation if you only learn to glean the rhythmic portion from the staff notation.  Hint: it is not any where near as hard as you are probably thinking it is!… for the most part it is just very simple math (twice as fast, or half as slow), and if you know just three of the easiest rhythmic values, you can read most songs with no problem!  Click here to learn how to do this one simple thing.
    4. If you’ve checked out C above: consider taking it one step further and give reading a try for a week or two… there are only about 16 or 17 notes to visually learn that cover about 99% of all violin music… that’s only about 1 or 2 a day!… they will never change for the rest of your life!.. once you know them, that’s it!  Read here about recommended “method” books that make it easy.


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