PDA

View Full Version : Beating A Dead Horse



Down Up Dick
12-17-2015, 12:59 PM
I know nobody cares or wants to hear my tale, but here goes anyway.

A while ago I played two or three Christmas tunes using REAL music, and I played waaaaay better than I had earlier. I still, after all this time, don't understand why we use those tabs. The only advantage I can see is that tabs tell one where to put his fingers. But it seems to me that one would wanna play how he wants to play and figger stuff out for him/her self.

Well, that's it--off the ol' gray chest. Eat, drink and have a good, good Chrismas! :old:

mm stan
12-17-2015, 01:03 PM
Becoz you're an old timer, thats why :)

Dan Uke
12-17-2015, 01:16 PM
Hi DUD,

What do you mean by "real" music? Piano sheets with just notes? I know when I play uke with my kid's piano sheets, I have a hard time figuring out all the chords.

Does it include chord names on the top? I thought you mainly play chords so you wouldn't really need tabs. So can you figure out the chords for all the songs if they just have the melody?

Whatever makes you happy, it's all good but I definitely like to know the chord names. Secondly, the piano has several octaves so I like it when they have tabs for ukes so I can play melody in it's range.

What I don't like is when certain songs are originally arranged in a certain key and they change it to easier keys for ukes. You learn a song and then when you play with other musicians, you're asking yourself how to play that chord! hahaha

hollisdwyer
12-17-2015, 01:32 PM
I know nobody cares or wants to hear my tale, but here goes anyway.

A while ago I played two or three Christmas tunes using REAL music, and I played waaaaay better than I had earlier. I still, after all this time, don't understand why we use those tabs. The only advantage I can see is that tabs tell one where to put his fingers. But it seems to me that one would wanna play how he wants to play and figger stuff out for him/her self.

Well, that's it--off the ol' gray chest. Eat, drink and have a good, good Chrismas! :old:

There is one important thing that you are not taking into account when you talk about the "best way" to learn. That is that everyone learns in different ways. I express that opinion with the benefit of a higher education in Education and a career of 40 years in the field. One of the greatest challenges that a good teacher has is discovering what is the 'best way' for each student. If you do find out and open doors for all your students, the rewards are fantastic.

Katz-in-Boots
12-17-2015, 01:48 PM
... I still, after all this time, don't understand why we use those tabs. The only advantage I can see is that tabs tell one where to put his fingers...

It means I can sight-read without having to know exactly where each note is on the fretboard. Call me lazy, but I don't yet know where they all are. Later I can go back and work out better fingerings but it's a quick way to learn a tune.

Ukulele Eddie
12-17-2015, 01:48 PM
I still, after all this time, don't understand why we use those tabs.

It's simple: because some of us don't read standard notation (yet).

70sSanO
12-17-2015, 03:12 PM
I don't really use tab other than a reference point, even after years of guitar. But I played piano and read music when I was a kid, so maybe I'm looking for something that isn't there.

Except for stretch and unusual semi-open shapes, the basic melody is in the chords.

I will say that for more difficult arrangements, tab & chords with YouTube is the ultimate for me.

John

Down Up Dick
12-17-2015, 03:12 PM
Both tabs and standard notation is my favorite. That way it's all there, and, as a plus, I can use the notation to play my other instruments. If there's words too, I'm all set. I wish all sheet music was available that way.

And that's what I look for when I'm shopping books. I just bought a banjo book like that. :old:

Brian1
12-17-2015, 04:04 PM
I use tabs, I originally wanted to read notation but didn't know the fret board, all I could find was music with lyrics and chords... So I learned chords, The basic music notation books didn't really strike my fancy and many of the tunes I wanted to play could only be found in tab. So I learned it... I was told people didn't even read notation for string instruments... So I learned to read tab.. then recently music notation became more available at least to me... and I was not willing to learn to read yet another style... I began learning to play songs with only chords and started to be able to figure out my own melody... and now have no desire to learn notation anymore. I wish I would have at first... but now I don't think I need it... maybe someday I will need it. (I doubt it)

cpmusic
12-17-2015, 04:22 PM
I started on guitar when I was a kid and played by ear, and that's been my primary approach since then. I can read notation but it's a slow, painful process, and I've never found the patience to learn tab. Learning notation (actually music theory) helped me find my way around chords, but I still play by ear almost entirely. It's hard to progress that way, but since I play for fun it's not a big deal.

kohanmike
12-17-2015, 06:18 PM
I can't read music and have always had a hard time doing so, but tabs make total sense to me and has allowed me to play things I wouldn't even tackle without it. It's helped me tremendously now playing bass uke. Here's a tab sheet I made of "Fly Me to the Moon" for our next gig on Tuesday, Dec. 22.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Fly Me base Tab.jpg

JustinJ
12-17-2015, 08:21 PM
When I first started ukulele, I looked at tabs. There were many songs that you could play with tabs, when you did searches for music. I then picked up a book and learned notation and where the notes on the ukulele are. Learning how to make movable chord shapes has taught me a lot of the notes on the fretboard. I still look at tabs or notation.

But, I recently took up classical guitar and jazz guitar. With the classical guitar, it's only music notation. The jazz guitar is same. One thing I've noticed is that I've progressed much faster on the guitar by reading notation than the ukulele with tabs and notation. I do not use any tabs with guitar. Guitar may be easier to play because I played the ukulele first. I'm not sure about it. My instinct tells me it's the sight reading and learning the guitar fretboard that is working. I know that I can think about how to play something and see where my hands may be better placed.

I find that it's easier to sight read and play. So you train yourself when seeing a note, you play here or another place. I'm surprised that it's not so bad reading notation and playing. I've been sight reading for four months on guitar . It was not an overnight thing but something that I worked on everyday. I'm still learning and expect it will be another 6 months before it becomes comfortable. I like playing songs and reading notation will allow me to play a lot of songs. If I put the time in now, I know it'll will pay off.

It can be accomplished if you do not pressure yourself and expect to be reading and playing instantly. It takes time to develop the skill. I have a long ways to go. It's nice picking up a piece of music and understanding it a little bit.

*I'm trying to remedy my reading on the ukulele by playing songs out of the The Real Book Sixth Edition http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0634060384?tag=wwwmorgankels-20 It's my reading practice for learning melodies that I can play on the ukulele. Then I can always explore some ways to approach the melody with chords listed already in the book. I try to make it fun and you should too. After all most of us play the ukulele for fun and I think the secret is making the learning fun so that you do not mind doing it.

kypfer
12-17-2015, 08:56 PM
The only advantage I can see is that tabs tell one where to put his fingers. ... got it in one ;)

For "straight melody", probably effectively ignoring the re-entrant string, I'm for conventional notation every time. I use the same sheets of music with a selection of fretted stringed instruments and woodwind, but for some of that more fanciful stuff, campanella-style or lute music (or even lute music campanella style) and clawhammer I do find the tab, both for ukulele and 5-string banjo, quite useful :)

mm stan
12-18-2015, 02:04 AM
Playing music came before notation, it's a learning tool.. everyones at different levels, so what are you saying? :)

Croaky Keith
12-18-2015, 05:07 AM
Original ukulele music sheets from the 20s & 30s had the musical notation, the lyrics, the chords, & tab all on the one sheet.

(My brothers father in law had a pile of them.)

buddhuu
12-18-2015, 05:14 AM
The only "right" way is the one that works best for you. It may not work best for someone else.

I don't use tabs or "the dots" these days. It's all done by ear (which may be why I sound so bad).

JustinJ
12-18-2015, 06:04 AM
The only "right" way is the one that works best for you. It may not work best for someone else.

I don't use tabs or "the dots" these days. It's all done by ear (which may be why I sound so bad).

For me, the goal is to play by ear. I can work out parts sometimes. I do not only sight read but will take different progressions and try to play them multiple ways. Sight reading is only a tool and not the end.

Notation gives me a visual representation. So I can see that I'm playing 2nd harmonic interval, 3rd harmonic interval, etc..


I try to listen to how these intervals' sounds, not just read them on the page. I realize that if I can start hearing the intervals then it should make playing by ear easier.

With sight reading, if you can associate the note with a sound, then this will help you when playing by ear.

Some people can naturally play by ear. I do not think this is an unusual skill. If you could start a child young enough, they could play by ear. I think the Suzuki method uses this. An adult could learn with the right teaching. Playing by ear is a skill, just as sight reading. They both take dedication to do well.

I need a system setup that breaks music down into parts. I have to see the parts and then build them into wholes. It's my learning style and it works for me. I'm trying to improve with the most efficient method for my learning style. Sight reading allows me to see the language of music. I can see a solo of a horn player and apply some of those ideas to the uke and guitar.

Another good reason to learn to sight read is that you'll be able to play songs you do not know with others. If you can read well, then you can pick up the piece of music and play along.

*I'm not equating sight reading to musicianship. They are not the same. Some people will not need to learn to sight read. They'll just pick up the language naturally. Unfortunately, I'm one of those people who needs to see the language and hear it.

Down Up Dick
12-18-2015, 06:05 AM
The only "right" way is the one that works best for you. It may not work best for someone else.

I don't use tabs or "the dots" these days. It's all done by ear (which may be why I sound so bad).

That's what I'm striving for on all my instruments. I do pretty well on my flutes, and I can fingerpick my ukuleles and banjos if I don't try to get too fancy.

I just got a Cataract cut out of my left eye so my sight is much better, but now I'm fighting a very poor memory. If it ain't one darned thing, it's another. The only thing I can do for the memory is play the same tune over and over, but that gets old pretty quick.

Now, I'm thinking of "composing on the fly"; just making the tune/song as I go along--might work . . .

Well, I guess I got no where to go but up. It's still fun, playing music though . . . :old:

Wicked
12-18-2015, 07:09 AM
Most tabs are missing perhaps the most important information, which is the note values (i.e. whole, half, quarter note, etch.) Music is a series of sounds in time. The temporal information is critical.

Some tabs will have note stems attached to the fret numbers, which helps.

Down Up Dick
12-18-2015, 07:35 AM
Hey, Merry Christmas, Wicked, and you're right. Tabs also don't have slurs or dynamic symbols and other important stuff. Sheet music is gooder!

To all you music book publishers out there: Give us real music and words AND tabs--thanks. :old:

Brian1
12-18-2015, 11:42 AM
To all you music book publishers out there: Give us real music and words AND tabs--thanks. :old:

And put the chord boxes and names above the notation line for good measure :)

bonesigh
12-18-2015, 12:19 PM
I love that you said this! If only they understood this in the past I could have been a better student. Thank you for being a wonderful teacher!


There is one important thing that you are not taking into account when you talk about the "best way" to learn. That is that everyone learns in different ways. I express that opinion with the benefit of a higher education in Education and a career of 40 years in the field. One of the greatest challenges that a good teacher has is discovering what is the 'best way' for each student. If you do find out and open doors for all your students, the rewards are fantastic.

Nickie
12-18-2015, 04:29 PM
This certainly has been an enlightening conversation.
I thought it would be perfectly ok for me to learn from tabs from now on, because I'm lazy. Not that it's easy, not at all.
However, I can see the value of learning where the notes really are on my fretboard, so that I can play notes from standard sheet music like I learned on piano.
I can also see how the goal could be to play by ear. I know some people who can, they've been playing for many years. They weren't lazy.
For me to learn this will take a lot more than the 30 minutes a day I average playing.
But it seems worth it.

VegasGeorge
12-19-2015, 01:47 AM
I read standard notation very easily. I don't know the individual notes on my fretboard all that well. I do know my chords. I can play just about any melody in any usual key by ear, finding the notes easily on my fretboard. If I don't know the melody, then obviously, I need the notation (or TAB) to play it. I rely primarily on chord symbols and my knowledge of movable chords to get my fretting hand in position to play any tune. If I'm trying to find the notes to an unfamiliar melody on my fretboard, using standard notation or TAB, it's a hunt and peck kind of situation. My immediate goal is to learn more of the less frequently used chords, and to learn the notes on the fretboard.

With regard to learning the notes on the fretboard, how did you do it? I've even thought of putting sticky note names on the fretboard itself.

Down Up Dick
12-19-2015, 04:02 AM
Scales, George, lotsa scales. A fretboard map also helps a lot. You can make one yourself. Just start at the nut of each string and write a chromatic scale all the way up. Then you can figure out the scales for all the keys, write 'em down and "Bob's yer uncle"--have fun!

I hope this helps. Good luck! :old:

Rllink
12-19-2015, 06:04 AM
Reading musical notation is not that difficult. I mean, "Every Good Boy Does Fine" and "FACE". How hard is that? I remembered that from grade school, so right off the bat I was trying to pick melodies and get familiar again with the notes on the page and where they are on the fretboard. But then I discovered tabs, and they are cool, especially if you already know the tune, which most songs I play are songs I like to hear, so that works too. But talking about beating a dead horse. I always say over and over, you don't have to pick one, you can do both. Sure, sometimes it is a struggle, but I don't want to be limited, so even if one seems harder than the other, I don't just take the easy route. As time goes on, a lot of things start to overlap, and getting better in one thing seems to make others grow as well. That is something that is exciting to me. Reading tabs has helped me read notation, and reading notation has made reading tabs even easier and quicker.

As long as Dick is talking about scales, I've noticed a lot of Christmas songs have runs up and down the scale. Practicing scales makes those runs almost automatic.

kypfer
12-19-2015, 06:09 AM
VegasGeorge asked:

With regard to learning the notes on the fretboard, how did you do it? I've even thought of putting sticky note names on the fretboard itself.

Mostly I learn where the C major scale is on the fretboard ... simply visualising it in my mind, then compensate for the odd sharp or two or maybe a flat as needed. This way I never need to worry my aging head about where G# is, I'll probably never need it anyway, and when I do I'll figure it out "on the fly".

I use (have used) this "method" on guitar, banjo, mandolin, various tunings of ukulele and even some woodwind ... works for me ;)

Obviously YMMV !!

Croaky Keith
12-19-2015, 07:21 AM
http://liveukulele.com/wp-content/uploads/Standard_C6_Fretboard.png

Brian1
12-19-2015, 01:13 PM
Reading musical notation is not that difficult. I mean, "Every Good Boy Does Fine" and "FACE". How hard is that?

Not trying to pick on you (and maybe you can help me out) but to me that is only part of it. When I see something in the second space up I can tell that is an "A" and the space up from from that is a "C" the line between them thats a "B" that is fine. I think the trouble for most people is that there are often more than one of those notes (up to four of them) at a time, then remembering which are sharp, flat, natural etc... in 3/4 time with 120 beats per minute is where it gets a little confusing.

Sure even a piano player can do it if you give them enough time :) (I kid the piano players) But with tab I have found it much easier to play a song from beginning to end because you don't have to worry about sharps or flats or naturals marked in at the beginning or even in the same measure. I am sure even I could get used to it eventually just like when I see a "5" on top of three "2's" and know it is a "D chord" piano players know where to shift their fingers up just like I learned to go up one fret when a "6" is on top of three "3's" .

But if I figure out an arrangement that I already know the melody to and I want to write it out so I don't forget or to share - I don't want to have to take time and count out beats per measure or figure out which note is sharp or flat... when there just isn't enough "ukulele time" in the day. (Tab is a disadvantage when you are writing an original song)


Just as an added bit - I have heard that copyright protection technically does not extend to tabs.. has anyone heard of this or know if there is any truth to it ?

JustinJ
12-19-2015, 01:51 PM
VegasGeorge,

There are several ways to approach learning the fretboard. You can learn each string separately . The more I work with each string separately, the better i think this approach may be. The first exercise has you calling out the notes of each string as you play. So when you say D#, you start to hear the differences, especially playing each fret.

I'm using this book for guitar https://books.google.com/books?id=7PDTy9Wo9hMC&pg=PP1&lpg=PP1&dq=Mel+Bay+Melodic+Studies+%26+Compositions+for+Gu itar:+A+Reading+Workout+for+Serious+Musicians&source=bl&ots=SM93Tm0PTW&sig=USlibQ2uh5KM5WLYrn7ZRiNg7pU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiegsP-menJAhXMHR4KHQqeCaYQ6AEIPTAF#v=onepage&q=Mel%20Bay%20Melodic%20Studies%20%26%20Compositio ns%20for%20Guitar%3A%20A%20Reading%20Workout%20for %20Serious%20Musicians&f=false

He has you learn each string separately and then you learn positional playing.

I'm also using the Berklee Modern Method of Guitar . He approaches it from a positional aspect. You learn to play the notes on the first five frets and continue down the fretboard. I did this with the ukulele in the book Modern Ukulele Method Grade 1


https://books.google.com/books?id=jNbNC8XavzgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=berklee+modern+method+guitar&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjg8vLNmunJAhXKXB4KHUL9AaAQ6AEINTAB#v=on epage&q=berklee%20modern%20method%20guitar&f=false

Modern Ukulele Method Grade 1 First Five Frets

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0786690607?keywords=modern%20ukulele%20method&qid=1450572307&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

It seems difficult but with a little practice everyday, it's not that hard. Just don't expect miracles. Soon you see an F or an F chord playing and you think I can play that at the 1st fret, 5th fret, 8th fret, etc… Also working on movable chords with the roots on different strings teaches you where the notes are.

I'm not aware of ukulele method books that take as structured approach as the two guitar books above. The Modern Ukulele Method will give you a great start. You learn the note values and have the first five frets down well.

kypfer
12-19-2015, 10:19 PM
Just as an added bit - I have heard that copyright protection technically does not extend to tabs.. has anyone heard of this or know if there is any truth to it ?

Don't bet your lunch on it. Copyright law is exceedingly convoluted and varies from country to country. In this context, in it's most basic form, a copyright for a tune will extend to any reasonably accurate representation of that tune in whatever written format. Performance rights, for profit, are another difficult field.

Whilst the actual remuneration to the alleged victim may be relatively small, the legal costs of establishing that remuneration will almost certainly be significant.

Just remember, just because you've not heard of a prosecution doesn't mean they don't happen. A lot of civil cases are settled "out-of-court" just to save on the legal fees. If a case doesn't make it to court, there won't be any records.

Afterthought: Don't confuse the mechanical copying (scanning or photocopying) of sheet music, where the copyright extends to the printed work and is probably with the printer/publisher, with any copyright that may apply to the tune itself which may still belong to the original author.

That is to say, taking a published sheet of music and transposing it to tab may get you out of problems with the publisher of the sheet music, but may still leave you with problems with the original writer.

If you're at all worried about it, don't do it ;)

Down Up Dick
12-20-2015, 04:48 AM
The simple answer to all this tab vs. real music kerfuggling is up to the music publishers. If they would print both tabs AND real music AND words for songs, everything would be hunky dory.

How does one sing the words to a tabbed song? Does he/she have to learn to play the tune first? And what about dynamics and rhythm and rests etc , etc, etc . . .

The books might cost a bit more, but they would be much more useful to all and, therefore, worth it. :old:

Rllink
12-20-2015, 05:16 AM
Not trying to pick on you (and maybe you can help me out) but to me that is only part of it. When I see something in the second space up I can tell that is an "A" and the space up from from that is a "C" the line between them thats a "B" that is fine. I think the trouble for most people is that there are often more than one of those notes (up to four of them) at a time, then remembering which are sharp, flat, natural etc... in 3/4 time with 120 beats per minute is where it gets a little confusing.

Sure even a piano player can do it if you give them enough time :) (I kid the piano players) But with tab I have found it much easier to play a song from beginning to end because you don't have to worry about sharps or flats or naturals marked in at the beginning or even in the same measure. I am sure even I could get used to it eventually just like when I see a "5" on top of three "2's" and know it is a "D chord" piano players know where to shift their fingers up just like I learned to go up one fret when a "6" is on top of three "3's" .

But if I figure out an arrangement that I already know the melody to and I want to write it out so I don't forget or to share - I don't want to have to take time and count out beats per measure or figure out which note is sharp or flat... when there just isn't enough "ukulele time" in the day. (Tab is a disadvantage when you are writing an original song)


Just as an added bit - I have heard that copyright protection technically does not extend to tabs.. has anyone heard of this or know if there is any truth to it ?
I don't feel picked on.:D You are absolutely right, it is much more complicated than "Every Good Boy Does Fine" and "FACE", but that is where you start. Sometimes it seems to me that people give up on things before they even get started, because they look at the end point, instead of the starting point, and that makes things a little overwhelming. So if anyone is wondering how you learn to read notation, well, that is where you start. All that other stuff that you pointed out isn't really something someone starting out needs to worry about until they get there. That comes later, after you get comfortable with the basics.

Down Up Dick
12-20-2015, 05:59 AM
Not trying to pick on you (and maybe you can help me out) but to me that is only part of it. When I see something in the second space up I can tell that is an "A" and the space up from from that is a "C" the line between them thats a "B" that is fine. I think the trouble for most people is that there are often more than one of those notes (up to four of them) at a time, then remembering which are sharp, flat, natural etc... in 3/4 time with 120 beats per minute is where it gets a little confusing.

Sure even a piano player can do it if you give them enough time :) (I kid the piano players) But with tab I have found it much easier to play a song from beginning to end because you don't have to worry about sharps or flats or naturals marked in at the beginning or even in the same measure. I am sure even I could get used to it eventually just like when I see a "5" on top of three "2's" and know it is a "D chord" piano players know where to shift their fingers up just like I learned to go up one fret when a "6" is on top of three "3's" .

But if I figure out an arrangement that I already know the melody to and I want to write it out so I don't forget or to share - I don't want to have to take time and count out beats per measure or figure out which note is sharp or flat... when there just isn't enough "ukulele time" in the day. (Tab is a disadvantage when you are writing an original song)


Just as an added bit - I have heard that copyright protection technically does not extend to tabs.. has anyone heard of this or know if there is any truth to it ?

If you know the tune and a handful of chords (in tab), and you can read the words--POW!--you can play the Uke and sing the song, and more power to you. We probably all did that in the beginning, but it's very interesting and fun (to me) to learn and grow. I guess that's why I play so many different instruments.

Anyway, if books were the way I said they should be, you could still use them to play and sing with. :old:

JustinJ
12-20-2015, 06:44 AM
I just started reading this book Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within .

He discusses why we have problems achieving our goals. The main problem is that we start to spread ourself too thin in practice. We want to learn too many things and in the end learn none of them well. So we're no better off as time goes by. We think we only have so much time to accomplish something. This is fear and it keeps you from achieving things. The truth is that you have to focus on correcting one thing at a time.

The most important task is to address one thing and work on it until it comes into the fingers. There is no longer thought how to do it. It just happens. Think about making a C chord or some other chord that you know very well.


So if you want to learn to sight read, then only devote as much times as you can to focus on sight reading. It starts with taking a couple of notes and learning those well.

*One fascinating idea from the book about performance is only playing what you know perfectly and is under your control. Music is something that is just played, not something that as judged as good or bad while playing. You no longer judge if you sound good or bad. You just play freely and the practice is what allows this state. Also you no longer judge yourself by your playing.

I sometimes think when I'm playing this is just simple and does not sound good. I then try to reach out for something that is out my grasp of playing and mess up. This is the wrong idea. I should play those things that are simple for me. That is what I know and knowing something well allows you to be creative.

Some of the book's spiritual approach I do not agree with but there is a lot of food for thought in the book.

Down Up Dick
12-20-2015, 07:57 AM
I just started reading this book Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within .

He discusses why we have problems achieving our goals. The main problem is that we start to spread ourself too thin in practice. We want to learn too many things and in the end learn none of them well. So we're no better off as time goes by. We think we only have so much time to accomplish something. This is fear and it keeps you from achieving things. The truth is that you have to focus on correcting one thing at a time.

The most important task is to address one thing and work on it until it comes into the fingers. There is no longer thought how to do it. It just happens. Think about making a C chord or some other chord that you know very well.


So if you want to learn to sight read, then only devote as much times as you can to focus on sight reading. It starts with taking a couple of notes and learning those well.

*One fascinating idea from the book about performance is only playing what you know perfectly and is under your control. Music is something that is just played, not something that as judged as good or bad while playing. You no longer judge if you sound good or bad. You just play freely and the practice is what allows this state. Also you no longer judge yourself by your playing.

I sometimes think when I'm playing this is just simple and does not sound good. I then try to reach out for something that is out my grasp of playing and mess up. This is the wrong idea. I should play those things that are simple for me. That is what I know and knowing something well allows you to be creative.

Some of the book's spiritual approach I do not agree with but there is a lot of food for thought in the book.

I agree with what you've written, but it would take someone with a steel trap mind to play the one same thing over and over until it's completely learned and "ready ta go." I'm sure he/she will be successful though very bored. I can strive for a while, but my old memory is so bad that it would take me weeks to learn (and remember) something the least bit difficult to grasp. I'm not stupid just old.

I guess it's what we're playin' that matters to each of us. Some of us wanna be professional level, and some just wanna have fun.
:old:

Steveperrywriter
12-20-2015, 10:38 AM
Seems like much of this depends, as so many things, on what you want to do.

Were I nineteen and essaying a career as a classical musician, I might feel the need to learn everything I could about music theory -- standard notation, construction, tab, whatever, all of it. Then apply that to my instrument, and practice for my ten thousand hours and hustle to get work.

If I wanted to be a folk singer, or a bluesman, or a rock star, probably not as much. As I recall, none of the Beatles could read music, and they did all right. I expect that most rock stars have less theory than most classical musicians. Different needs.

If, at the age of sixty-five, I took up playing the ukulele, I would look at the time I had left and consider how it would be best spent. Would I want to spend any serious amount of the clock learning notation so I could sit with professional musicians and play a piece I'd never heard before?

In my case, no. Way too many songs I have heard to keep me busy. Better for me to learn how to play the instrument, using every tool I can learn with minimal practice, and repertoire. Couple hours of material, how much more do you need?

I think the broader and deeper one's base generally, the better, but it is situational. Sometimes perfect is indeed the enemy of the good ...

Brian1
12-20-2015, 02:08 PM
Don't bet your lunch on it. Copyright law is exceedingly convoluted and varies from country to country...

(edited for space)

If you're at all worried about it, don't do it ;)

Thanks, anything I'd try to tab would be considered a "parody" :) I don't have any plans, my understanding was that a] because you can't copyright a series of numbers, and b] there has never been a court ruling that dealt with tab... (as of a few years ago when I hear that) there is no official answer. Lyrics of course are under copyright, as well as any key of the melody in notation.

JustinJ
12-21-2015, 04:14 AM
One benefit of learning to read notation is learning to play in time, especially if you use a metronome. Just a little skill in reading notation can go a long way. If you're a Beatles fan and can read notation just a little bit. Then you can use the The Beatles Fake Book http://www.amazon.com/The-Beatles-Fake-Book-Edition/dp/0881887579 with 200 songs. You do not have to look for a tab or wait for someone to put it online. So, only devote as much time as it will benefit you. If you do not want to be a sight reader, then learn enough to know where the notes are.

Another example of applying a concept from the book above. This does not deal with reading notation. Let's say that you always have a hard time playing an E chord. 4442 chord . If you do not address the issue of getting better on the chord, then in many songs you'll still have the problem of playing it cleanly. So you just take a few minutes a day devoted to making the E chord. The benefit of learning to make the E chord will make your songs much better. Also, after learning the E chord, you can now make a D,Eb,E,F, F#,G#,A,A#B,C, The idea is not to pressure yourself. Don't put a time table and just do it without judgement. It will come eventually.

Again, focus your time on things that you want to improve. If you like a certain style of music then practice those progressions or rhythms. I had a problem in the beginning with swing eight's and dotted eights with sixteenth. It took about three weeks of working very slowly but it came. If I did not address it from the beginning, I would still be struggling. Sometimes, I still have to review especially more complicated rhythms.

You do not have to try to play like a professional. But a little time spent on areas that give you problems will make a big difference in your playing. I'm saying only devote 5 minutes or as much as you can focus.

After that, play to your hearts content. I hope some find this helpful. Again, it's about having fun and enjoying playing.

Rllink
12-21-2015, 04:25 AM
Seems like much of this depends, as so many things, on what you want to do.

Were I nineteen and essaying a career as a classical musician, I might feel the need to learn everything I could about music theory -- standard notation, construction, tab, whatever, all of it. Then apply that to my instrument, and practice for my ten thousand hours and hustle to get work.

If I wanted to be a folk singer, or a bluesman, or a rock star, probably not as much. As I recall, none of the Beatles could read music, and they did all right. I expect that most rock stars have less theory than most classical musicians. Different needs.

If, at the age of sixty-five, I took up playing the ukulele, I would look at the time I had left and consider how it would be best spent. Would I want to spend any serious amount of the clock learning notation so I could sit with professional musicians and play a piece I'd never heard before?

In my case, no. Way too many songs I have heard to keep me busy. Better for me to learn how to play the instrument, using every tool I can learn with minimal practice, and repertoire. Couple hours of material, how much more do you need?

I think the broader and deeper one's base generally, the better, but it is situational. Sometimes perfect is indeed the enemy of the good ...Very well said. I always compare my experiences as journeys of exploration, especially playing my ukulele or with my art. It just rubs me a little sometimes though, when someone starts telling everyone that they need to get back on the highway. At my stage in life, I find it much more interesting to wander around on the back roads. I think that your point is very perceptive.

JustinJ
12-21-2015, 04:41 AM
I agree with you Rlink. If you enjoy playing and exploring then by all means you should. It's about having fun.

I'm not advocating a method for someone to follow. For myself, I have very limited time with a family and commitments. If I want to improve, I have to do it efficiently. I enjoy practicing and it becomes a meditation and focusing exercise for me. For you and some others, it would make you miserable. You have to find what works for you.

A lot of times, the great artist learn their craft well and then start to apply the ideas as a visionary. I think of Picasso. Many people do not realize that he painted realistic pictures. He learned to paint traditionaly before applying those ideas to something new.

http://www.show-your-own-art-gallery.com/paintings-by-pablo-picasso.html



I think you can explore the back roads easier if you allow yourself to use some tools. But then again, we're all different in our approach.

In music, even if someone does not read music, they have been influenced by other players. They may not read music but they take in those ideas and build upon them.

Down Up Dick
12-21-2015, 04:54 AM
Well, JustinJ, your comments on this thread have been very informative. There's certainly a lot to learn if one wants to play an instrument well. But some of what we learn seems less than necessary to me.

For instance, why should ukeists learn a bunch of chords in all the keys? I know and use C, D, F, G, A and E depending which Uke I'm playing. Those are the keys that fit my voice range. I use about the same to fingerpick. Most of the Uke music I own falls within that range of keys too. I know one should learn C# minor and Db, but why, unless he/she is gonna be a concert ukeist, clutter up one's mind?

And rhythm! tabs completely ignore it. I'm sure it could be written into the tabs somehow, but it usually isn't. As I said before, there's so much to learn, why add a bunch of stuff that most Ukers will never use?

Well, enough ranting . . . I guess things are just the way they are. Tabs are easy; notation takes time--Ahhh, well . . . :old:

Rllink
12-21-2015, 05:12 AM
I agree with you Rlink. If you enjoy playing and exploring then by all means you should. It's about having fun.

I'm not advocating a method for someone to follow. For myself, I have very limited time with a family and commitments. If I want to improve, I have to do it efficiently. I enjoy practicing and it becomes a meditation and focusing exercise for me. For you and some others, it would make you miserable. You have to find what works for you.

A lot of times, the great artist learn their craft well and then start to apply the ideas as a visionary. I think of Picasso. Many people do not realize that he painted realistic pictures. He learned to paint traditionaly before applying those ideas to something new.

http://www.show-your-own-art-gallery.com/paintings-by-pablo-picasso.html



I think you can explore the back roads easier if you allow yourself to use some tools. But then again, we're all different in our approach.
In music, even if someone does not read music, they have been influenced by other players. They may not read music but they take in those ideas and build upon them.I think you are quite right about having to have the tools to explore the backroads. No doubt, there is no experience if you just wander around blind or with your eyes closed. You have to be able to see. So we agree, as we often do. I wasn't singling you out by the way. :)

JustinJ
12-21-2015, 05:22 AM
Well, JustinJ, your comments on this thread have been very informative. There's certainly a lot to learn if one wants to play an instrument well. But some of what we learn seems less than necessary to me.

For instance, why should ukeists learn a bunch of chords in all the keys? I know and use C, D, F, G, A and E depending which Uke I'm playing. Those are the keys that fit my voice range. I use about the same to fingerpick. Most of the Uke music I own falls within that range of keys too. I know one should learn C# minor and Db, but why, unless he/she is gonna be a concert ukeist, clutter up one's mind?



I was only making the point that if you learn the E chord, then you only have to slide down one fret to an F or go to the 7th fret with your fingers in the same position and you have a G . I was making the point that just taking one thing that may be difficult for you and applying a little time to learning it. You get more than one benefit from working on the E chord. The benefits are your songs sound better, you now have more chords that are at your disposal, etc..

I'm not advocating for people to do everything, only what you want to put into it. You do not have to do any of it. If you're happy where you're at or your method for learning then continue on.

If you're playing a Jazzy song sometime or want to add a little spice, you could play a Db while moving to play a D chord or a C chord. Usually you can move one fret either direction when moving to another chord. It adds movement to your music. Give it a try sometime.

Down Up Dick
12-21-2015, 05:48 AM
I was only making the point that if you learn the E chord, then you only have to slide down one fret to an F or go to the 7th fret with your fingers in the same position and you have a G . I was making the point that just taking one thing that may difficult for you and applying a little time to learning it. You get more than one benefit from working on the E chord. The benefits are your songs sound better, you now have more chords are your disposal, etc..

I'm not advocating for people to do everything, only what you want to put into it. You do not have to do any of it. If you're happy where you're at or your method for learning then continue on.

If you're playing a Jazzy song sometime or want to add a little spice, you could play a Db while moving to play a D chord or a C chord. Usually you can move one fret either direction when moving to another chord. It adds a some movement to your music. Give it a try sometime.

Nah! I seem to have moved on to other stuff. I'm into Clawhammer banjo now, and I'm gettin' ready to dive into slide ukulele for blues on my baritone. I love the minor sounds and slides. I'm dabbling with tenor banjo and banjo rolls for singing accompaniment too.

I find whacking away at music problems over and over very boring, and I think music should be fun unless you're gonna be a professional. I never get tired of learning though. I've got a lot to learn and only a little time left.

I seem to be moving away from the ukulele more and more. I still play it though, when I have the time. :old:

bradben
12-21-2015, 06:09 AM
I still write all my arrangements with chord grids, standard notation, and TAB, specifically for reasons stated above - students all learn different ways. And ultimately, if they play good music, does it matter how they learned it?

As fretted instrument players, though, I think we should we should stop the notion that TAB is somehow not "serious" notation. Tablature has been around for the lute since the 1500's, and some the greatest lute composers wrote in tablature. It's an effective notation system for an instrument that has inherently ambiguous fingering. And it's easy to notate for different tuning systems - if you can read TAB, then you can pick up a uke, a banjo, a mandolin, or a guitar or bass, and make music.

JustinJ
12-21-2015, 06:48 AM
I still write all my arrangements with chord grids, standard notation, and TAB, specifically for reasons stated above - students all learn different ways. And ultimately, if they play good music, does it matter how they learned it?

As fretted instrument players, though, I think we should we should stop the notion that TAB is somehow not "serious" notation. Tablature has been around for the lute since the 1500's, and some the greatest lute composers wrote in tablature. It's an effective notation system for an instrument that has inherently ambiguous fingering. And it's easy to notate for different tuning systems - if you can read TAB, then you can pick up a uke, a banjo, a mandolin, or a guitar or bass, and make music.

I see nothing wrong with tab. It's a system for playing the notes. It could be really helpful learning finger style patterns. It's just a tool like the other forms of notation. I prefer notation myself but it's a personal choice. If I only have a piece of music in tab then I can still play it.

A positive benefit of notation is that sometimes you can see the chord in the measure, even if it's broken up. So you can put your fingers into the chord position and mute strings and play the measure without a lot of finger movement on the left hand. I think this is one thing that tab does not show. Although you could study the tab and look for a pattern.

Ukejenny
12-22-2015, 09:15 AM
I learned clarinet first, using standard music notation. When it came to guitar/uke, the TAB seemed about as difficult to navigate. Once I was pretty familiar with the notes on my fingerboard, standard notation is easier to read.

But, maybe that is because I started out reading music and not TAB. If I had started reading TAB first, things might be different.

Oddly enough, my ukulele students (young kids) prefer reading the music notation and not the TAB, but when learning a new note, they refer to the TAB until they have the location down, and then use the written music.

I say, as long as you're playing, it doesn't matter if you're using sanskrit or smoke signals, just keep playing.

spookelele
12-22-2015, 10:42 AM
I think there was like.. 2 string players drinking beer one night.
And the one string player says to the other... you wanna see the piano guy's head explode?
And then there was tab.