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At Downingtown Music Academy...We Speak the Common Tongue - Downingtown Music Academy Skip to content

At Downingtown Music Academy...We Speak the Common Tongue

By that I mean...staff music.  My classical music background has played a huge role in how I teach guitar. I firmly believe in the importance of learning staff for all instruments and I don’t exclude guitar for this. Staff notation is the universal musical language for musicians, and if you’re going to be a team player, you better get on board. Here’s some reasons why learning staff is so important:


Become a better music reader, without all the limitations.

When you learn staff the world is your oyster (where sheet music is concerned anyway). You can pick up any piece of music written in treble clef-whether it was intended for voice, flute, violin or piano and play that song. You don’t need to hunt around for a tab version that may or may not exist.

You are speaking the common tongue, and can communicate with other musicians.

Being able to read staff allows you to work better with other musicians since they are speaking the same language as you. You can more easily communicate where to start rehearsing in a musical piece, and stay better in tune rhythmically with your peers.

You are sharpening your music theory skills.

If you are interested in improvising or songwriting, you will need to understand musical syntax which includes scales and chords and their various iterations. Understanding the staff will help you better comprehend the relationship between notes, their function within scales and songs and the best order in which to play them.

Your future self will thank you.

If you ever want to learn another instrument it is TEN times easier if you can already read the music staff. Learning to read the music is half the battle when it comes to playing an instrument. The rest is just mechanics.


Don’t be afraid to put the hard work in with understanding staff notation. Tab is cool, but you will want to know both to save yourself stress and enhance your musical skills for down the road.