1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Do you use sheet music

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by IamGroot, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. Yes- standard notation only

    50 vote(s)
  2. Yes - tablature only

    8 vote(s)
  3. Yes - mostly std notation,

    61 vote(s)
  4. Yes ' mostly tab

    15 vote(s)
  5. Yes - chord charts

    58 vote(s)
  6. Yes - Nashville numbers

    5 vote(s)
  7. Yes - Other

    11 vote(s)
  8. Yes - when I run out of toilet paper

    0 vote(s)
  9. No

    18 vote(s)
  10. I don't care

    4 vote(s)
  11. Silky rabbit, carrots only

    1 vote(s)
  1. "Sheet Music" includes any written, printed, or digital nonaudible media for communicating the performance or analysis of music

    "Use" shall be construed to mean "for performance, study, analysis, or archival purposes
    Smooth_bass88 likes this.
  2. vancamp


    Jan 22, 2008
    Where's the "Yes, all of the above"?
  3. Say yes to the entry you use the most. I can do all the above, but i am checking most std notation.
    EBierke likes this.
  4. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    That's what I selected, but lead sheets with notation and chords (i.e. Real Book charts) would be more accurate in my case.
    dkelley, EBierke, foal30 and 3 others like this.
  5. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    Sheet music, Nashville numbers, and chord charts; all part of being a blue-collar bass player.
    Pacman, EBierke, Wild_Bill_57 and 6 others like this.
  6. Malcolm35


    Aug 7, 2018
    Chord charts, aka, fake chord sheet music for covers.
    Nashville numbers with Praise music.
    Scale degree number when needed to flesh out a bass line. R-3-5-b7
    Standard notation when I need to see what has been done.
  7. This is one where multiple votes would have been handy. I prefer standard notation. However, there are times when I want to convey specific fretting that I will combine standard notation with tab. Chord charts are great because I'm not practiced enough to sit down and sight read a piece of music without ample time to work thru it. Most of the time I/we use Nashville Numbers is during impromptu jams sessions.
    T-Funk, dkelley, teh-slb and 2 others like this.
  8. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Sheet music. Published arrangements, rented parts (musicals), special arrangements (written in standard notation especially for the group). Chord charts. Some published big band arrangements have sections that are standard notation, other parts that are just chords and slashes.
    I can and have read Nashville number charts, but that rarely comes up for me.
    Basically if it can be written down, you need to be able to read and play it.
    Even players who are skilled sight readers (that is, performing a standard notation part correctly the first time you see it) will work on bettering that skill. (and if you have that skill, you will always be able to find work).
    JC Nelson and EBierke like this.
  9. Thum5b


    Dec 24, 2019
    I only do enough sight reading to keep my skills up but I use standard notation all the time for writing, no tabs.
  10. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member


    same here, iamgroot: what i print from sibelius is essentially a 'real book' chart (concert, Bb, and Eb). i print an f-clef chart for the bass part and sometimes a bone part is needed. i'm printing parts/harmonies for the horns, so standard notation is about the only way to go....horns don't do tabs. :)
    Dabndug likes this.
  11. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    Choices are wrong. People who read music can also read tabs.
  12. twinjet

    twinjet The smell of burnt fish excites me Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    I prefer standard notation but have used lead sheets and Nashville numbers.
  13. bbh

    bbh Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    If I start with sheet music, I can never memorize it. Therefore, I shy away from it unless it’s a recording session.
    instrumentlevel likes this.
  14. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Standard notation, chord charts but never tab. For study, only used on a gig in an emergency.
    EBierke and BazzaBass like this.
  15. 2112


    Apr 30, 2005
    I use standard notation only for sax and I use tabs only for bass.
  16. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    I have been playing for over 40 years. I have toured and currently compose and record for several television shows on major networks. I have never used sheet music, cheat sheets or notes of any kind when performing live. I learn everything by ear to the point that I can play without the need for written notes.
  17. 2F/2F


    May 26, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    I can read, and write, sheet music. But I can’t sight read. Nor do I ever truly read as I am playing.

    To learn a bunch of songs quickly, I make simple single-page chord/structure charts. I dissect the structure of the song, write out chords charts for all the different parts, then label each part with a letter: “A, B,” etc., NOT “chorus, bridge,” etc. Then at the end of the page, I write out the order of the parts (e.g. “INTRO, AAB, AAB, C, B, AA, OUTRO”).

    If, after that, I am unsure of anything, I keep these notes on my amp or on the floor, or on a music stand if I can put it way to the side. If I am drawing a blank (remembering the song titles is always the hardest part), I refer to them before the song begins, but never during.

    I chart like this mainly as a way to quickly commit songs to memory, as opposed to providing myself with something to actually read. Deconstructing, and actually putting pen to paper, really helps my mind to remember things.
    Cernnunos likes this.
  18. My preferred and most proficient written method is chord charts. I use Nashville numbers too, but thats all verbal/mental, never write it down. Plus a whole lot of good old fashioned playing by ear! :D

    Im a pretty strong treble reader (trumpet,) but even with 2 years of piano I’m a slow bass clef reader. I have recently purchased a few sheet music transcription books (mostly jazz) and am making a structured plan to improve.

    I use tab or instructional videos (YouTube “bass covers”) when all else fails
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
    IamGroot likes this.
  19. Nick von Nick

    Nick von Nick Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2014
    Upstate NY
    I started music at 10 years old as a trombone player, and based on my elementary school's music program, I naïvely thought that all musicians use sheet music all the time. I was quite wrong...

    After learning to play bass (specifically for my school's jazz band), I use lead sheets more than anything. I like Real Book-style sheets the best (melody/chord/essential licks/unison lines). However, I will use rough chord charts and a few key bars of music for some scenarios (ever see someone using sheet music at a punk show?).

    I've had too many "sheet music debates" with people over the years, and the most common reason people scoff at music seems to be laziness/discomfort at something new masked under the guise of "figuring it out my way." I also hear the excuse "XYZ artist didn't use sheet music, so why should I?" I will buy that argument the second you outsell or out-compose the Beatles, Stones, etc.

    From an anthropological standpoint, civilizations record information such that people can readily pass that information on. Sheet music falls into this realm. Heck, there are theories that Homo Sapiens outlived the Neanderthals because the latter did not record any information and had to relearn things with each successive generation. I'd rather learn a song from sheet music or by transcribing it to a lead sheet - it allows me so much for flexibility when I don't have to keep every note top of mind.
    Cernnunos, BOOG and IamGroot like this.
  20. Roxbororob

    Roxbororob Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2015

    And this

    Edit: Also my own special notation chicken scratch on songs transcribed by ear.
    FatStringer52 likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.