If you play guitar or bass already then you are aware that reading Tablature (tabs) music can be much easier to learn the notes of a song. Tabs are basically just a way of representing notes by putting a fret number on a line for each guitar string. Like this:
The Studybass.net site offers a good overview of the pros and cons of Standard musical notation vs. bass tab notation. Basically, if I want to be able to play a wide variety of music and to potentially create my own music then I definitely need to be able to read traditional sheet music. Luckily I have the background so I just need to keep practicing to get my skills back up.