Who would have thought that musicians THIS BIG have no clue how to read or write music! They all learned by ear…for a heftier list pop over to THIS PAGE.
“I was never taught how to play the guitar,” Grohl told Rolling Stone. I don’t know the chords to ‘Everlong’ [From 1997’s The Color and the Shape”]. I only know what happens when I put my fingers there. But that riff is a good example of how I look at the guitar.”
During the Snakepit days in an interview, Slash said, “No, I can’t read music. I play by ear. I try to make what I want to hear, sometimes in my head, come out of my hands and into my guitar. When I write music, I usually write on my own at least to start.”
In Clapton’s autobiography he writes about a guest session he once had with Aretha Franklin: “I felt so nervous because I couldn’t read music, and they were all playing from music sheets and stands.”
In his biography, the singer, guitarist and songwriter, claimed that his inability to read & write music is what actually allowed him to focus on what he would hear.
Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen once told Guitar World that his piano training transferred to the guitar, “but in a very subliminal way. Because I never learned how to read, really. I used to fool the teacher. I did it all by ear.”
Also on the list of musicians who never learned to read music:
Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Elvis and the Beatles!
“Lennon told Playboy in 1960, ‘None of us can write it. But as pure musicians, as inspired humans to make the noise, [Paul and Ringo] are as good as anybody.'”