Intro - Do you read music?
You can write "shorthand" versions of music, whether you read music or not, and I'll show you some examples here. But... Think about reading music for a moment. A junior high school band director can take a group of 30 or 40 kids and teach them to read simple music in just a few weeks. It's not rocket science, and I recommend that all musicians learn to read to at least a beginner level, because it opens many doors for you. Here are a few advantages you gain from reading music:
- Visualization is widely known to be a very important mental tool for all kinds of people, including musicians. When you know the forms of music, and especially if you have also "seen them on paper", you'll have an additional way of visualizing music. That, in turn, leads to the ability to understand what you're hearing in such a way that you get the "big picture" of a piece of music.
- There are many ways to write music that looks different, but sounds the same. Learning a bit of this interpretation (from a writer's point of view) will help you communicate with other musicians in a clear way.
- Through the repetition of looking at written music, you learn what others have done before you.
- Reading (and then writing) music gives you the ability to "take notes" about a performance, share them with others, etc.. Later, when you have an idea for a rhythmic concept or a musical composition, you can communicate it in a clear way.
- You can study and understand the work of others, even if there's no audio recording
- You can do studio work, shows, and other musical events that involve written music.
First things first:
It's important that your music is GOOD. While that may seem obvious, the fact is that some people are mistaken about that. NO music is good unless it's in tune, overall. Music makes most people uncomfortable if it's rhythmically-sloppy. It must be balanced in a reasonable way, so that no one thing is too loud or too soft.
You can write the finest music ever conceived, but if it doesn't have these things, it won't sound good. So, do what you can to keep these things at the highest standard you can.