I guess, at some point, it's good to be able to read sheet music, but I think it's better to play how you're comfortable and learn the heavy stuff later. I learned how to play by ear and it's really just the past 6-7 months after going back to lessons that I'm shoring up the theory end of playing. For years, if you aksed me keys I'd pat my pokcet and say, 'Yep, still got 'em!" Now I'm starting to take an interest in the theory side of things as my playing as come along a lot further in recent years. I guess I wanted to get to a certain point skill-wise before tackling stuff that I never learned and had little interest in. As a musician, you hit a point where hearing somebody say, "Hey, you can play real good!" doesn't cut it for you, and you want to become a better overall player in terms of both technique and theory. I'll always be an ear player at heart (or is that ear?), but I want to take every opportunity to better myself as an overall musician.