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Purdy Bear
08-13-2015, 10:42 PM
I come from the background of a flute player, so I can read sheet music. However one thing that has me scuppered is one of the notations on the Ukulele sheet music.

On a lot of them they have chord references above the bar, and above a note which is not the same. For instance in this example, in the 4th bar an F sits above it, but no F is actually in that bar:

http://capotastomusic.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/o-come-all-ye-faithful-adeste-fideles.html


So what does it mean when there is a chord reference in letter form above the bar?

Booli
08-13-2015, 11:01 PM
I come from the background of a flute player, so I can read sheet music. However one thing that has me scuppered is one of the notations on the Ukulele sheet music.

On a lot of them they have chord references above the bar, and above a note which is not the same. For instance in this example, in the 4th bar an F sits above it, but no F is actually in that bar:

http://capotastomusic.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/o-come-all-ye-faithful-adeste-fideles.html


So what does it mean when there is a chord reference in letter form above the bar?

That's typically the guitar/uke chord you would play. It's ok to have an F chord and play an F note in the melody, and then there is a C chord and a G note in the melody. Chords and Melody are different parts of the music, and do not have to be unisons or octaves in order to satisfy the construct of the song.

As a flute player, I do not think you play chords, so you are probably just following a single melody line, but for someone who wants to strum and sing, in the absence of a (second) treble and bass clef (to actually spell out the chords in notation), they will use the chord name above the staff for what to strum, and then the single notes or tab lines for the melody notes to sing. The way this 'Adeste Fideles' is written might also be considered in the style of a 'Fake Book' which assumes you know how to finger basic chords, and many sheets will have chord diagram at the top that shows the chord pictograms indicating string, finger position, and fret position for the intended chord.

For those that do not sing, but are a more advanced player, they can play an arrangement with both the chords AND the melody line, all on one instrument. This is called 'Chord/Melody' style, and is VERY common on ukulele, guitar, harp, dulcimer but less common on bowed instruments using double-stops, such as those in the violin family.

Please let me know if this helps. Hopefully others here on UU will chime in if my attempt to explain does not help you.

VegasGeorge
08-14-2015, 01:37 AM
It's often the case that the root note of the chord isn't found in the melody line. Harmonies progress in their own way.

Since you're new at this chord business, I should caution you about something. When getting your tunes and chords online, don't assume the chords are the right chords for the song. I've been at this for a while now, and I've found a lot of mistakes in chording. Part of that is the way mistakes get carried over and repeated from one website to another. Some of it sounds like the person who published the song online never actually played it. So, if it sounds wrong, it probably is wrong. Then you need to find the right chord and fix it on your copy.

k0k0peli
08-14-2015, 03:21 AM
All the above are dead-on. (My CV: I trained [badly] on clarinet before I started dulcimer, guitar, and other axes.)


It's often the case that the root note of the chord isn't found in the melody line. Harmonies progress in their own way. And the melodic line may contain passing notes and filigrees and bends that are not part of the chord. This is quite common in bluesy stuff.


Since you're new at this chord business, I should caution you about something. When getting your tunes and chords online, don't assume the chords are the right chords for the song. Quite. For starters, you might want to peruse actual printed books from actual publishers who proofread the material. Even that is no guarantee but your chances are better than with what's available free online.


What Booli wrote is spot on... <snip>
I have found that lots of people who come to chorded instruments from linear single note instruments have similar queries regards chords and construction thereof because chords have never fetched up on their radar . IIRC one innovation of bebop sax players was 'chording', essentially fast arpeggios to convey the impression of the harmonic structure. Has this crossed the flautist's radar?

Rllink
08-14-2015, 03:41 AM
All the above are dead-on. (My CV: I trained [badly] on clarinet before I started dulcimer, guitar, and other axes.)

And the melodic line may contain passing notes and filigrees and bends that are not part of the chord. This is quite common in bluesy stuff.

Quite. For starters, you might want to peruse actual printed books from actual publishers who proofread the material. Even that is no guarantee but your chances are better than with what's available free online.

IIRC one innovation of bebop sax players was 'chording', essentially fast arpeggios to convey the impression of the harmonic structure. Has this crossed the flautist's radar?
I have a guitar player friend who will listen to a song, and come up with the chords for it in no time. He thinks that he is really good, and knows a lot. He isn't, and he doesn't. Almost every time, he either plays something for me, or gives me the chords, I think, "this doesn't work at all." He puts it all on the internet just as quick as he can. He is a major source of musical misinformation on the internet.

Purdy Bear
08-15-2015, 07:21 AM
Thanks for all your help, it does make it a little clearer. No you don't play chords on the flute, we just play what a person would sing. Nor is the flute taught the same way as the Ukulele, you usually start with the middle notes such as a,b,g, f and work on those with basic tunes. Every week or so you add a note, with scales and arpeggios being a must to get the accuracy, and technique etc. It's not geared to playing songs like the Uke is, more about learning the notes with the songs being very much a side note.

NB it takes a good month to get a sound out of the head piece of an orchestral flute and only when you do does the other two sections get fixed to it. If I remember rightly it took a good year or more to actually play all the notes, as it is connected to breath strength etc. Someone put on line that the flute was an easy play - I don't think so some how, but I guess it may well be compared to other wind instruments.


Unfortunately for me the first time I came across a chord was in one of my music exams, when I was expected to sing one - rediculous I know. I mean you go to get a pass mark in an instrument and spend half your time singing.

Louis0815
08-17-2015, 12:37 AM
I mean you go to get a pass mark in an instrument and spend half your time singing.Singing helps training your ear and getting a faster grip of the basic principles of harmonics. As you said it takes quite a while to get the full tonal range out of an instrument; singing (or whistling) is a much faster way.

One more remark to the chords topic to increase confusion: The same fingering (i.e. the same four notes) can have different names - and vice versa.
E.g. all strings open could be named Am7 or C6. Which name is "correct" depends on the surrounding parts of the melody and probably requires deeper knowledge of harmonical theory.

There's more than one way to skin a cat...