Everyone has their favorite famous musicians. Whether it be The Doors, Ariana Grande, or Biggie Smalls, you’re bound to rep your all-time favorite musician hard, no matter what. But what if you found out that your favorite musician was actually musically illiterate? It would probably blow your mind. Here’s a list of the top six famous musicians who really were musically illiterate.
Number Six: One of the Most Famous Musicians – Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix is arguably one of the most iconic and famous musicians of all time. He was in fact musically illiterate and instead learned by listening to the sound of his guitar and crafted music that way.
Number Five: Eddie Van Halen
The founder of Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen, never learned how to read and write music although he was able to play several instruments. According to him, he learned best by listening and watching rather than learning the technical craft.
Number Four: Slash
Another infamous rocker on the list, Slash, the lead guitarist of Guns ‘N Roses, came out in an interview saying he couldn’t read or write music. Instead, he played by ear and attempted to make what he heard in his mind come out through his hands to the guitar.
Number Three: Elvis Presley
Yes, that’s right. Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, was musically illiterate. Just like the fellow musicians on this list, he learned by trying to get what he heard in his mind into the instruments used in his songs and his own voice.
Number Two: Eric Clapton
The Blues god himself, Eric Clapton, admitted to being musically illiterate and the anxiety it gave him when it came time to record with fellow musical heavyweights. Rather than let it hold him back, he learned to trust his ear and used that to create the numerous songs he blessed us all with.
Number One: The Beatles
Impossible to believe, but it’s true. The Beatles, all four of those adorable British teens, couldn’t read or write music. They weren’t technically trained, but the foursome went on to become the most famous band of all time with the sounds and songs they created.
I bet you’re shocked to see some of the names on the list. However, it just goes to show that great, famous musicians don’t need to be able to read and write music to understand and create some of the best songs we will ever hear.