Well, my first post in the new year. I'm definitely not going to let this be another post about me whining about how depressed I am. This post has a pretty strong point to make.
It all started when I was talking with Abhishek Pohankar on google talk after my squash game yesterday. He has recently started playing Sitar. Although not Ravi shankar or Anoushka Shankar level, I still wanted to hear him play. (Because I'm a good friend and because I admire the things other people do which I can't) But I was in the college and didn't have skype. So we were talking about how it is important for someone learning a musical instrument to know to read music notations.
Now I am a big advocate of 'if you want to do something, do it right, do it from the basics, don't leave anything out.' But Abhishek believes one doesn't need to be able to read music notations to play an instrument. His ideology is, if he keeps messing around with the instrument enough, he will be able to successfully imitate a sound, chord, or music. Okay, that's a start.. but where are you gonna get with that?
The way to explain it would be to think about learning a language.. let's say French. Unless one knows the alphabet, he cannot spell words or write sentences. Neither can he read anything written in French. Imagine someone who doesn't know the French alphabet, and has only been imitating words he has heard spoken by other people. The words are like little sounds a musical instrument makes.. and the sentences, a series of these sounds put together in a way so as to sound pleasant/meaningful.
Unless someone has been properly taught the language, his pronunciation could be a little off. The way he's putting a sentence together, might not make perfect grammatical sense. Sure he could repeat something he has heard spoken by someone else, but he can't express his own feelings. When others are confused about what he actually said, he can't even write it down for anyone to read and understand what he's trying to speak. That is not a very pleasant situation to be in.
Hence, I rest my case. If I were to start learning a musical instrument, EVER, I would want to start with the basics. Like I want to do with everything. There! First sensible, post of 2009. completed 5 days after it actually took place. phew!