Author Topic: TR-302 • Basic Chord Chart Writing  (Read 12919 times)

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Offline justinguitar

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TR-302 • Basic Chord Chart Writing
« on: February 18, 2010, 08:57:24 pm »
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 03:36:22 pm by Indigo »
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Offline VariousThings

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Re: TR-302 • Basic Chord Chart Writing
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2010, 07:26:45 pm »
I don't have any specific questions about this lesson, but I wanted to comment more generally on how things you've discussed in both lessons TR-101 and TR-102 relate to my experiences:

I have mostly used Lyric/Chord sheets when I was teaching because many students like to sing along and see the words, but many of them found it a lot easier to play when they had a Chord Chart that shows them exactly how many times to strum a chord before changing to the next chord.

Yes, that was a big problem for me to begin with: I couldn't just follow chord/lyric sheets, I had to have bar lines written in to tell me exactly how long to hold each chord. I was OK following chord/lyric sheets if the chord changes were consistently on the first or third beats of every bar, but if they were on the off-beats (2 and 4), or even on the eighth notes in between the beats (which admittedly seems to happen within power chord riffs more than basic rhythm guitar strumming), I was completely thrown. Chord changes that come a little early, on the last eighth note of a bar (i.e. on |1&2&3&4&|) seem common - again, I always prefer to learn from full sheet music because they already have such information noted down.

Paul McCartney's "Another Day" was one I found particularly awkward to learn just from a book of lyric/chord charts. It took me a while to realise that the bridge was in 3/4. The verses are 4/4, but disguised by the changes in rhythm of all his "doo-doo-doo-doodoo-doo" vocals, as well the brief rest after each time the ascending riff is repeated. The holding of Am for 1 1/2 bars in the bit that goes |Am   |- D |G | was also not immediately obvious with chords written over the lyrics. I did figure it out in the end, but my handwritten notes while I was figuring out where to put the bar lines got very messy!

And then you have songs which throw in 2/4 bars, or bars of even weirder time signatures: an extreme example is Pink Floyd's "Bike", which would be a fun one to learn from just a chord/lyric sheet alone. I got its sheet music out the library recently, and (at least according to that transcription) in addition to a 6/4 bar in every bridge, there's a certain C7 bar in the sequence that's 6/4 in the first verse, 7/4 in the second, 5/4 in the fourth! Someone trying to learn that from just an Ultimate Guitar chord/lyrics sheet would have a lot of fun.  ;D

The Youtube user SaskStrum is a good guitar teacher, and his website includes song chord charts. But he just includes chord names and strumming direction information (DUDUUD for example). I find those very difficult to learn from because I care about how long to stay on a chord more than the direction you strum it - if only he'd press the pipe "|" character now and again! :)

The best way to learn about making charts is to make some! It takes practice to make them look simple and easy to read. The trick I think is always to "do unto others", make charts as clear and simple as you would like people to make for you!

I do have a folder full of song notes like you suggest in TR-101, but they're handwritten, mostly copied from sheet music books borrowed from the library. (I realise how much you and other players emphasise the importance of ear training and transcription, but for the moment I'm quite happy with learning from printed sheet music. I do intend to work on ear training in the future, but at the moment improving my technique and learning a repertoire of songs are my focus.) The notes I make are a mixture of chord, bar, melody, lyric, rhythm, and song structure information, so they can get very messy!

The amount of information I include varies. As I said, I always have to have bar lines in there. If a chord change occurs on a non-intuitive beat, I put that down. (I can kinda read basic rhythm information up to eighth notes and rests. I can't sight-read it, but I definitely know enough to see where a chord change occurs.) If an unfamiliar chord appears, I have to find somewhere to draw out chord diagram. I rarely copy out much of the tab, only the bits for solos or catchy fills. (Have you noticed that in some printed sheet music, the tab numbers actually have tails and beams attached, so they convey rhythm information in the tab as well as the musical staff above it? The sheet music for Radiohead's OK Computer - far beyond me at the moment! - is one that I've seen do this.)

These sheets of notes on Pulp's "Mis-Shapes" are an example of how much information I usually copy down, and you can admire my appalling handwriting:

The second scan shows an example of a solo that's only played on one or two strings, so I've only copied out those two lines of the tab.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 03:38:05 pm by Indigo »
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Re: TR-302 • Basic Chord Chart Writing
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2010, 07:26:30 am »
Slash notation is a form of purposefully vague musical notation which indicates or requires that an accompaniment player or players create their own rhythm pattern or comp according to the chord symbol given above the staff. On the staff a slash is placed on each beat (so that there are four slashes per measure in 4/4 time). Slash notation and rhythmic notation may both be used in the same piece, for example, with the more specific rhythmic notation used in a section where the horn section is playing a specific melody or rhythmic figure that the pianist must support, and with slash notation written for the pianist for use underneath improvised soli.

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« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 03:37:47 pm by Indigo »


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Re: TR-302 • Basic Chord Chart Writing
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2011, 10:39:57 pm »
Hi Justin,

I was wondering if you had any transcripts for the use of Tablature which would involve 6 strings as opposed to the 5 lines shown in this section so that I can do it that way? Thanks, Regards!

« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 03:37:32 pm by Indigo »


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Re: TR-302 • Basic Chord Chart Writing
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 06:33:22 pm »
The link is dead for this lesson.


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