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noparlpf
2012-02-14, 04:28 PM
This might be in entirely the wrong place, but it doesn't seem to me like this qualifies for the existing music thread. Feel free to correct me.

And just a warning: I have no idea how real guitarists talk about strings besides tabs, so I'm going to say the letter of the string and then the number of the fret. Like G-2 is the third string, second fret. Is that a viable means of communication short of drawing out a whole ASCII tab or staff? (Honestly, I read real music better than tabs.)

Anyhow, I'm picking up guitar again after...five years? It's been a while. I was just looking at some tabs online, and I was wondering, is there any real reason why I should use A-8 instead of D-3? Aren't they the same note? It's a pain figuring out where the eighth, tenth, eleventh, or twelfth fret is, or whatever, so why don't they just shift down a string or two? Specifically, I'm looking at A-8, D-6, G-5, G-8, G-7, D-8, A-8, D-6, D-8, D-5. Couldn't I play that as D-3, G-1, B-1, B-4, B-3, G-3, D-3, G-1, G-3, G-0? Aren't they exactly the same? Why go out of one's way to shift way the heck down eight frets when one can do the same thing only going up to the fourth fret?

Moff Chumley
2012-02-14, 04:32 PM
A G and a B are a major third instead of a perfect fourth apart, so you'd need to do D-3, G-1, B-2, B-5, B-4, G-3, D-3, G-1, G-3, G-0. In general, it's a matter of comfort; I personally prefer leaving my fretting hand between the third and seventh frets whenever possible, and I tend to transpose stuff to fit in with that whenever possible.

smellie_hippie
2012-02-14, 04:34 PM
Not a huge difference. It kinda depends on how far you want to slide your left hand around on the neck (unless you're one of those "wierd lefties" :smalltongue: ). Usually it is striking a balance between smooth chord transitions, especially if your fingers hurt from maintaining barre chords and such up higher on the neck.

*makes room for more experienced guitar players' answers*

noparlpf
2012-02-14, 04:43 PM
A G and a B are a major third instead of a perfect fourth apart, so you'd need to do D-3, G-1, B-2, B-5, B-4, G-3, D-3, G-1, G-3, G-0. In general, it's a matter of comfort; I personally prefer leaving my fretting hand between the third and seventh frets whenever possible, and I tend to transpose stuff to fit in with that whenever possible.

I thought I accounted for the difference between G and B. I know that G-4 = B-0. So G-5 becomes B-1, right?

I suppose another factor for comfort might be that frets further down are smaller, so it's easier to reach things.


Not a huge difference. It kinda depends on how far you want to slide your left hand around on the neck (unless you're one of those "wierd lefties" :smalltongue: ). Usually it is striking a balance between smooth chord transitions, especially if your fingers hurt from maintaining barre chords and such up higher on the neck.

*makes room for more experienced guitar players' answers*

I have a righty guitar, so yeah, it's my left hand. It might be neat to practice both, though. I'm trying to become more ambidextrous.

Kindablue
2012-02-14, 08:04 PM
And just a warning: I have no idea how real guitarists talk about strings besides tabs, so I'm going to say the letter of the string and then the number of the fret.The high E string is called the 1st string, the high B called the 2nd, etc.


Is that a viable means of communication short of drawing out a whole ASCII tab or staff? (Honestly, I read real music better than tabs.)
It'd work as a short hand, though it might get confusing later on, as most musicians identify octaves sort of like that: G-5 = B-1 = C4, which is written an octave up, C5, to push the guitar out of the unreadable space between the alto and bass clefs and up into the treble.


Specifically, I'm looking at A-8, D-6, G-5, G-8, G-7, D-8, A-8, D-6, D-8, D-5. Couldn't I play that as D-3, G-1, B-1, B-4, B-3, G-3, D-3, G-1, G-3, G-0? Aren't they exactly the same? Why go out of one's way to shift way the heck down eight frets when one can do the same thing only going up to the fourth fret?

Unlike, say, the piano, which has one key for every note, the guitar has a lot of redundancy. Just play it however is most comfortable and easiest; I warn against always playing phrases the same way, though, as it'll get boring quick and you can find a lot of cool things through exploration, and the mistakes that come along with that.

Moff Chumley
2012-02-14, 08:04 PM
Oops, my bad.
DERP

Practice it either way, I'd say, and just see what's more comfortable.

noparlpf
2012-02-14, 10:38 PM
The high E string is called the 1st string, the high B called the 2nd, etc.

It'd work as a short hand, though it might get confusing later on, as most musicians identify octaves sort of like that: G-5 = B-1 = C4, which is written an octave up, C5, to push the guitar out of the unreadable space between the alto and bass clefs and up into the treble.

Unlike, say, the piano, which has one key for every note, the guitar has a lot of redundancy. Just play it however is most comfortable and easiest; I warn against always playing phrases the same way, though, as it'll get boring quick and you can find a lot of cool things through exploration, and the mistakes that come along with that.

I know that's what the strings are called. I just wasn't sure if there were some kind of shorthand that would work for what I was trying to convey. Is there, or should I just learn how to draw ASCII staffs?


Oops, my bad.
DERP

Practice it either way, I'd say, and just see what's more comfortable.

At the moment I think I like working up in the first couple of frets instead of way down by the body.

Kindablue
2012-02-15, 01:44 AM
I know that's what the strings are called. I just wasn't sure if there were some kind of shorthand that would work for what I was trying to convey. Is there, or should I just learn how to draw ASCII staffs?Music is very difficult to explain without some sort of visual representation, like tablature or staff paper. Writing about music is like dancing about architecture, as they say.

noparlpf
2012-02-15, 09:35 AM
Music is very difficult to explain without some sort of visual representation, like tablature or staff paper. Writing about music is like dancing about architecture, as they say.

Is it even possible to dance about architecture? XD
A friend who plays guitar thinks I'm weird for preferring sheet music to tabs.

Wookieetank
2012-02-16, 01:57 PM
Is it even possible to dance about architecture? XD
A friend who plays guitar thinks I'm weird for preferring sheet music to tabs.

I suppose if you have enough people present and they have good upper body strength, you could make a dance that ends in a human pyramid or the like. Thats bout all I got on that one. *shrugs*

veven
2012-02-16, 02:11 PM
A friend who plays guitar thinks I'm weird for preferring sheet music to tabs.

While tabs are a perfectly viable way to learn music I would say that most are better off learning sheets (even if it is a bit more difficult) because if you ever decide to learn any other instruments you will have an advantage.

Kindablue
2012-02-16, 04:55 PM
While tabs are a perfectly viable way to learn music I would say that most are better off learning sheets (even if it is a bit more difficult) because if you ever decide to learn any other instruments you will have an advantage.

The main advantage of sheet music is rhythm. Only very rarely have I seen tablature with the duration of notes and rests specified, and it's impossible to learn anything with it unless you have a recording of the song (which is usually easy nowadays, but was a pain that summer I spent bumming around the Holy Roman Empire with that lute band), or you already know how it's supposed to go. Either way, tabs are more of a supplement to learning by ear than they are a guide by themselves, like sheet music is.


Is it even possible to dance about architecture? XD

Yes, but it would look like this. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTguLOn6gb0) (Slight language warning.)

I thought that was just an anonymous quote, but Elvis Costello is credited with it in an interview and he was apparently quoting Martin Mull.

kyoryu
2012-02-16, 06:22 PM
Anyhow, I'm picking up guitar again after...five years? It's been a while. I was just looking at some tabs online, and I was wondering, is there any real reason why I should use A-8 instead of D-3? Aren't they the same note? It's a pain figuring out where the eighth, tenth, eleventh, or twelfth fret is, or whatever, so why don't they just shift down a string or two? Specifically, I'm looking at A-8, D-6, G-5, G-8, G-7, D-8, A-8, D-6, D-8, D-5. Couldn't I play that as D-3, G-1, B-1, B-4, B-3, G-3, D-3, G-1, G-3, G-0? Aren't they exactly the same? Why go out of one's way to shift way the heck down eight frets when one can do the same thing only going up to the fourth fret?

Frets further down are closer together, making some passages easier to play.

Sometimes it's easier to think of a phrase being a movable pattern, and just moving the location of it. This especially works if you think of playing over chords, which you'll generally start on the 6th (e) or 5th(a) strings.

For improvisation, where you start is important, as it determines what range you can easily access.

Tone. 6th string, 24th fret will not sound like 1st string open. Even though they're the same note - the thickness of the string and the length of string vibrating have an impact on sound.

And at the end of the day, starting on the 8th is pretty much a non-issue. It's not "easier" to play from the 6th position (fret) than it is the 1st. To advance as a guitarist, you'll definitely have to become comfortable with the whole fretboard. Now, a 5-fret immediate shift *can* be difficult, but it's also something you should look at learning, and also figuring out where you can do shifts in the middle.

And figuring out frets shouldn't be hard, with just a tiny, tiny bit of practice. The dots are on 3, 5, 7, 9, and then 12. Figuring out where 8 is should be trivial after just a brief period. It's all part of learning the fretboard, which is an *important* skill. It's a learning curve, yes, but it's one you NEED to go through. Avoiding it may give you a teeny tiny short term benefit, but it will be at the cost of long-term skill.

Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll
2012-02-16, 06:34 PM
Aye, the difference between notes with a tonic relationship would be tone. ANd that, my friend, can only be figured out by just playing, until you have a FEEL and an EAR for how the note sounds when you play it on different frets.

noparlpf
2012-02-16, 07:44 PM
The main advantage of sheet music is rhythm. Only very rarely have I seen tablature with the duration of notes and rests specified, and it's impossible to learn anything with it unless you have a recording of the song (which is usually easy nowadays, but was a pain that summer I spent bumming around the Holy Roman Empire with that lute band), or you already know how it's supposed to go. Either way, tabs are more of a supplement to learning by ear than they are a guide by themselves, like sheet music is.

Yes, but it would look like this. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTguLOn6gb0) (Slight language warning.)

I thought that was just an anonymous quote, but Elvis Costello is credited with it in an interview and he was apparently quoting Martin Mull.

Yes, rhythm is something I've already noticed is missing from tabs. Out of several I looked up I only saw one with anything even attempting to describe rhythm.


Frets further down are closer together, making some passages easier to play.

Sometimes it's easier to think of a phrase being a movable pattern, and just moving the location of it. This especially works if you think of playing over chords, which you'll generally start on the 6th (e) or 5th(a) strings.

For improvisation, where you start is important, as it determines what range you can easily access.

Tone. 6th string, 24th fret will not sound like 1st string open. Even though they're the same note - the thickness of the string and the length of string vibrating have an impact on sound.

And at the end of the day, starting on the 8th is pretty much a non-issue. It's not "easier" to play from the 6th position (fret) than it is the 1st. To advance as a guitarist, you'll definitely have to become comfortable with the whole fretboard. Now, a 5-fret immediate shift *can* be difficult, but it's also something you should look at learning, and also figuring out where you can do shifts in the middle.

And figuring out frets shouldn't be hard, with just a tiny, tiny bit of practice. The dots are on 3, 5, 7, 9, and then 12. Figuring out where 8 is should be trivial after just a brief period. It's all part of learning the fretboard, which is an *important* skill. It's a learning curve, yes, but it's one you NEED to go through. Avoiding it may give you a teeny tiny short term benefit, but it will be at the cost of long-term skill.

Several valid points. To be honest, by the end of the afternoon I had posted this, I was fairly comfortable with finding frets and reading tabs. It really didn't take much practice. I still vastly prefer sheet music, though.

DeadManSleeping
2012-02-16, 07:54 PM
It's unwise to read tab for a song you haven't heard. Even sheet music can be hard to get rhythm out of.

kyoryu
2012-02-16, 07:59 PM
Several valid points. To be honest, by the end of the afternoon I had posted this, I was fairly comfortable with finding frets and reading tabs. It really didn't take much practice. I still vastly prefer sheet music, though.

Sheet music contains a ton of data on what the music means. Tab can contain a ton of information on how to mechanically play the piece.

Some things aren't particularly obvious in sheet music. As an example, one of the licks in Texas flood involves...



---------3----------------------
------3-----6-s8---------------
---b5--------------------------
--------------------------------
--------------------------------
--------------------------------

In this lick, we're really only playing two notes - the slide from 6 to 8 is very quick and is really for flavor. I don't know of any way to capture that in sheet music. Sheet music is pretty much optimized for piano, and doesn't always capture everything on guitar.

That being said, most guitarists use tab because they can't read sheet music :smallbiggrin:

araveugnitsuga
2012-02-16, 08:10 PM
Sheet music contains a ton of data on what the music means. Tab can contain a ton of information on how to mechanically play the piece.
Sheet music also contains information on how to play a piece, starting with the signs like ligatures, to the instructions like piano, and forte. It even contains mechanical aspects, like pizzicato for strings or which pedal is used and how long and often for the piano. Glissandos are written differently then chromatic descends as well.

Some music books even include the chord names and a square that does a shorthand of the tab above the sheet music. Most Beatles books have it.

No system actually tells you what the music means, except maybe the one used in music theory that you won't EVER see written outside music theory books.


Some things aren't particularly obvious in sheet music. As an example, one of the licks in Texas flood involves...

In this lick, we're really only playing two notes - the slide from 6 to 8 is very quick and is really for flavor. I don't know of any way to capture that in sheet music. Sheet music is pretty much optimized for piano, and doesn't always capture everything on guitar.
A ligature? Or maybe that thingie who's name escapes me used in some jazz sheets that signals a smooth but quick transition between two notes made by writing a note much smaller and identifying it as optional.

Also, it's not optimized for piano, it's optimized for singing, but over the years orchestras took a liking to it. When the piano came around it was just great for it since it clearly denoted the two staffs (or three if you are particularly amazing at it) it uses.


That being said, most guitarists use tab because they can't read sheet music :smallbiggrin:
Or because sometimes tabs are in fact more practical.

Kindablue
2012-02-16, 09:05 PM
A ligature? Or maybe that thingie who's name escapes me used in some jazz sheets that signals a smooth but quick transition between two notes made by writing a note much smaller and identifying it as optional.
A grace note.


ETA
By the way, this is what sheet music written for the guitar looks like:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7037/6889348891_162459a84c_b.jpg

The numbers next to the notes are directions for the fretting hand (index is 1, pinkie is 4). The circled numbers tell you which string the note is on. The roman numerals tell you what position to play in (I is with your 1st finger at the 1st fret, VII is with your 1st finger at the 7th fret). It's not present here, but the plucking hand has the letters p-i-m-a (and c if you play flamenco) as the directions for the thumb, index, etc, respectively.

And this is the most adorable pareidolia ever:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7041/6849249263_eab21d45ce_z.jpg

araveugnitsuga
2012-02-16, 09:51 PM
A grace note.
Thanks


ETA
By the way, this is what sheet music written for the guitar looks like:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7037/6889348891_162459a84c_b.jpg

The numbers next to the notes are directions for the fretting hand (index is 1, pinkie is 4). The circled numbers tell you which string the note is on. The roman numerals tell you what position to play in (I is with your 1st finger at the 1st fret, VII is with your 1st finger at the 7th fret). It's not present here, but the plucking hand has the letters p-i-m-a (and c if you play flamenco) as the directions for the thumb, index, etc, respectively.
Not only for guitar, most instruments with multiple positionings have it, some sheets will have it some won't, depends on the publiusher.

Kindablue
2012-02-16, 10:08 PM
Not only for guitar, most instruments with multiple positionings have it, some sheets will have it some won't, depends on the publiusher.

Yeah, with cellos they use 0 for the fingering hand's thumb. And keyboards use 1 for the thumb and 5 for the pinkie, a subtle difference from what I was used to that messed me up when I first started playing piano.

Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll
2012-02-16, 10:11 PM
Violin doesn't have those, it only has fingering markings when you change your hand position, and other than that you just figure it out yourself.

kyoryu
2012-02-17, 02:49 AM
By the way, this is what sheet music written for the guitar looks like:


BTW, I have seen sheet music for the guitar, but have never seen that notation. Very cool, though.

Kindablue
2012-02-17, 03:17 AM
BTW, I have seen sheet music for the guitar, but have never seen that notation. Very cool, though.

I should've said: that piece is specifically written out to be read by students, so every single note is fingered and explained. They usually only write in that kind of notation when they think it'd be confusing without it.

Anyway. Good luck and have fun, Nope!