Singing Forum by Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy
Hey Dudes and Divas!

Welcome to Singer Forum by Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy. Enrolled KTVA vocalists have access to the full singer forums, self-registered members have access to limited areas of the KTVA singing forum. Register to learn more.

To enroll in Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy Singing Lessons click here.

Do you need to know how to read music to sing?

Johnman33Johnman33 Posts: 6Member
Hey guys, sorry to bother any of you but I have a burning question. Do you need to know how to read music and know music theory in order to be a good singer/learn to sing? I read a lot of things and everyone has a different answer, some say “no you do not need to know you can learn by ear etc.” But some will say “yes you need to know how to read it because then you can know what notes to sing off of the sheet”. What do you guys say? I appreciate any one taking the time to answer, this forum looks like it is really supportive of one another and everyone seems very kind. Thanks again.


  • DiegoDiego Posts: 8712.0 PRO
    It really depends what you are planning to do with your singing. If you want to do classical it helps a lot. Other than that absolutely not needed to be a decent singer. The more time you spend learning about singing the better you will get. As simple as that.

    TLDR: Absolutely not, with dedication it will come naturally.
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Posts: 6202.0 PRO
    Hi Johnman33, @Diego is a really good singer, so if he says so, you can take his word for it. I am not such a great singer, but I can still answer your question, according to my opinion: you can definitely learn singing without being able to read music. Ken's course is set up so you don't need it at all (you just follow the exercises, by ear). For me, because of the course, I started to look into how to read music (I've been playing guitar for years, and never bothered learning how to read music). Not because I needed it, but because the course actually made me interested in knowing how to do this. Because it does help with learning and memorizing new songs if you can read them. You simply won't have to remember as much stuff if you can read it off a piece of paper. I also started to do ear training to help identify pitches. for me, the course is a bit of a vortex, sucking me into stuff I was too lazy to do before. but it is your choice how far you want to go.

    Are you planning to get the course? I can recommend it 100%
  • WigsWigs Posts: 570Moderator, 2.0 PRO
    I haven't bothered learning how to read music, and I feel I'm a much better singer just off the course. You can look at it this way, you learn to drive a car without understanding how all the components work, and you can still be a very good driver. Knowing how the car works gives a deeper understanding, I think the same would be true for almost anything. Differing of opinions is just that, it's what people think works best for them. I say go ahead and sing regardless of whether you want to learn to read it😁
  • Johnman33Johnman33 Posts: 6Member
    Thank you very much for all of your answers, I now understand this better. And Klaus_T regarding your question about the course I am on the verge of getting the course but I still have doubts because I’m not sure if I am going to be able to do it as when it comes to pitch I am terrible and learning how to identify pitch from a melody and string it together is extremely daunting to me personally, but I will see. Thank you once again I appreciate all of you :)
  • Chris82Chris82 Posts: 1982.0 PRO
    Naw you don't need it but it doesn't hurt and can be helpful when you just cant figure out a song by ear, such as all the notes in a very fast run. I can read music now but even still I wouldn't learn a song by sheet music, I'd just listen to the song and learn by ear.
  • samw2019samw2019 Posts: 1642.0 PRO
    In my opinion you don't need to read music to sing, or even play guitar and piano. As to learning songs and other music that's 50-50 I think. Guy on here posted his song with no theory or notation and I think it's great, most great rock music is jammed that I like. Now I get a kick out of writing music and concocting chords and harmonies I enjoy it.
Sign In or Register to comment.