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Reading from a chart

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by oniman7, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. oniman7

    oniman7

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    What is a chart and what does it look like? I can read tab and standard notation (treble and bass clef, though that needs more work) but I have never seen a chart and would like to learn how to read one.

    I have seen lyrics with the chord changes written over them, but I'm assuming a chart is more, as these don't really give any indication as to how to play the song? :confused:

    If anybody has any charts for popular songs (any era) that would be a good place for me to start.
  2. Passinwind

    Passinwind Charlie Escher Supporting Member

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    Plenty of older pop standards here: http://www.jazzstudies.us/

    Quite often you will see staff music for the melody line as well.
  3. oniman7

    oniman7

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    Oh cool... Inversions and those little triangle symbols I've never used :D

    So how do I read these rhythmically? For instance, it starts me on let there be love with the Eb chord in the box. Is that one measure or 4 measures? Or one beat?
  4. Shakin-Slim

    Shakin-Slim

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    That'd be a bar. The triangle means "major". You get used to all the symbols. Little circle for diminished, or a line through it for half diminished, minus for minor. Alternate symbols are used though. A Dm7 could be written as Dm7, D-7 etc.
  5. Passinwind

    Passinwind Charlie Escher Supporting Member

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    One measure in 4/4. That's a really vanilla chart, rests and accents can be shown many different ways. You might do well to find one of the Real Book study sites online (or just buy a Real Book), since so many jams and pickup bands use that.

    Here's a chart using chord symbols you might find more familiar: http://www.jazzguitar.be/all_the_things_you_are.html
  6. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

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  7. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

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    Good question. The chord shown stays active until a new chord comes into the music. Much easier to navigate through the chord changes if you have the lyrics shown. As you hear the tune sung the words pinpoint where we are in the song. Normally one melody note per lyric word. Yes, it helps to have fake chord or lead sheet music which will also have the lyrics shown. This way the chord change is tied to a lyric word. Keep reading....

    As I think in scale degree numbers I have found if I will take the fake chord sheet music and insert Nashville Numbers for the chord name it makes it easier for me, plus it's generic and if someone else will be singing and wants another key no sweat, just move the box over the new tonic root note. More on Nashville numbers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nashville_number_system

    Code:
    Major Scale Box. 
    
    G|---9---|-------|---10--|---11--| 1st string
    D|---6---|-------|---7---|---8---|
    A|---3---|---4---|-------|---5---|
    E|-------|---R---|-------|---2---|4th string
    Code:
     Fake chord with chord names
    G.........C.................D....C
    Lord, I lift your name on high
    
    G........C................D....C
    Lord I love to sing your praises
    
    G.........C...............D....C
    I'm so glad your in my life
    Code:
     Fake chord with Nashville numbers
    1.........4.................5....4
    Lord, I lift your name on high
    
    1........4.................5....4
    Lord I love to sing your praises
    
    1.........4...............5....4
    I'm so glad your in my life
    
    See how the numbers dove tail right into the scale degree box pattern.
    So I take the fake chord everyone else will be using and insert Nashville Numbers over the chord name or re-type the sheet music for my use - then play my ole scale degree box. Playing from chord names I some time stumble with where the minor "flavor" chords (Am or Em) are, within my box, but, if I notate them with the 2 or 6 Nashville number I know where that is in my box. This may be a paradigm shift. Use whichever method is most comfortable for you.

    I sing the song along with the vocalist, so I know when to change chords, and it normally works out to be mostly roots or root fives. One note (beat) per lyric word - the word "pra-ises" would get two notes - It's a feel thing. If you have space between chord changes insert some of the other chord tones, i.e. R-5-8-5, or R-3-5-3 perhaps the chord's spelling R-3-5-7, etc.

    Helps if you already know the tune - to use fake chord you need to sing, or recite the words, to the tune as you play - so you know where the chord changes happen. Under your breath is fine.

    I started out on rhythm guitar and need the lyrics with my chord chart. The lyrics help with where we are in the tune, without the lyrics I get lost and my timing suffers.

    Not the only way, just how I play from charts.

    Have fun.
  8. Russell L

    Russell L

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    Actually, the triangle means "major 7." (And that means a four-note chord comprised of 1357 from the major scale).
  9. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

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    Not consistently, I've seen plenty of charts with Xtriangle7 and where the Xtriangle means the composer wants a triad.

    But, ONI, when you say "chart" what do you mean? Everyone so far is talking about a LEAD SHEET, which is just the melody with the chords written over them (and sometimes suggested voicings or bass lines etc.). But are you talking about reading an arrangement? You know, you've got the lead sheet for STELLA and it's the melody and chord changes, but then somebody brings in an arrangement of STELLA that's got an intro, specific rhythmic hits in the head, an interlude between solos and a shout chorus that leads into a drum solo. The bass chart for the latter is going to be a combination of written single note lines, rhythm notation with chord changes over it, bars of straight time marked by slashes with chord changes over them.
  10. Russell L

    Russell L

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    OK, I haven't run into that before (about the triangle):meh:.

    IMO, "chart" is a generic term for any number of ways to tell you what to play---from lead sheet to note-for-note to a combination of the two, or just a chord sheet, even a scibble pad mess that's interpretable only by the scribbler. It's just a matter of "what kind" of chart.
  11. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

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    Yes.
    Hence the question.
    Hence.
  12. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

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    A "chart" in my experience can be anything from a list of the chords, to a full blown score. "Chart" means a written cue of some sort.

    Most of the ones I've run across have been either fake-book lead sheets (some with, some without lyrics) and written out bass parts, like you find in a musical play's book.


    Oh, like RussellL said earlier... :)

    John
  13. oniman7

    oniman7

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    I just want to be able to read whatever someone may put in front of me
  14. FretlessMainly

    FretlessMainly

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    Get a Real Book and look the tunes up on youtube. Don't forget a woodshed; you'll need one. Once you can use the melody to inform your feel for the tune, learn to create lines from the chord changes. Learn the melodies too. In some cases, the bass part is included for at least a portion of a tune (e.g., A Night in Tunisia, Footprints, So What, etc.).

    can mean a great deal. Learn a good chunk of the real book along with youtube to ingrain the melodies you hear with the rhythmic notation that's written in the charts. It'll be a while before you'll be ready for Zappa's The Black Page.
  15. Big Brother

    Big Brother

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    Thank you, it is.
  16. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Developer: iGigBook Sheet Music Manager
    You'll often see the triangle or delta without the 7,in which case it will just be the triad.

    C E G = {CΔ , CMaj, C }
  17. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

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    This sounds oddly familiar...
  18. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U Supporting Member

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    Developer: iGigBook Sheet Music Manager
    Sounds major to me. :D

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