I'd like to try an experiment, but I will need some help...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Hategear, Nov 5, 2002.

  1. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    After skimming through a mess of tab threads (hey, that's what mods do), I came across one that (again) stated that by learning standard notation, one could play a song perfectly, as written, without ever hearing that song first. I still find that hard to believe. With that being said, here's what I would like to do (this is the "experiment" part): I cannot read or write standard notation, so what I'd like to do is write and record an original bassline. I would then like to pass it on to someone else, who would write the line out (I can provide tab, if that would help), using SN (like I said, I can't do it). Then, I'd like that person to pass the SN to someone else, so they can read the SN, play the song, record it and send it back to me, so I can compare it to what I originally played and recorded. I know that "pro" musicians must be expected to learn and play music that they have never heard before, but I'd like an actual demonstration of how this works.

    Any volunteers?
  2. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    I'll do it. Give me a recording and a tab, and I'll write it out for ya :)
  3. I'll give it a shot and record the SN
  4. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    Hategear its true... If you can read standard notation, it is possible to play a song exactly the way it is supposed to sound with out ever hearing it. Notated music tells you what you need to know about a piece. They usually come complete with dynamics and what not. I would much rather see notation than look at tabs
  5. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    I can only agree. SN is like reading a book, and tabs are like seeing the movie. There is so much more detail and information in the book.

    Dynamics, articulations, tempos, the rhythms are easy to understand and comprehend,many times they give you the hand position, and the notes are clear. Many times, tab is lucky to have the correct fret number...

    Standard notation has everything you need to know about a song. Tab is the notes, and occasionally the rhythm.

    And even so, I still use tab :rolleyes:
  6. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin

    I have a line that I will record tomorrow as a .wav file and I will e-mail it to tuba_bass_boy, along with the tab, to make it easier on him. Tuba, transcribe what I send you and pass that transcription along to Freaky Fender -- not the recording, just the SN. Freaky, you will then read tuba's SN and record it as a .wav file and then e-mail it back to me, so I can let you know if it's what I originally played. Got it? Let's do this thing!

    I'll need your e-mail address, tuba. You can PM it to me. Mine is hategear@yahoo.com.
  7. funkasaurus


    Apr 23, 2001
    Los Angeles
    This should be interesting :)

    It would be cool if you guys could post all the relevant materials after the experiment is done (original wav, sn, wav from sn, etc.)

    I agree that SN provides all kinds of details that tabs cannot. That being said, I will be surprised if the two samples sound completely alike. Too many other variables affect the sound, mainly gear. But I do think you can come damn close!
  8. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD

    Cool. I am interested to see how this turns out as well. Well, you have my e-mail addy, I'll be waiting for the stuff!

    Funkasaurus, I think that the gear will sound different of course, but what I think Hategear is "researching" is wether the music itself, that being pitch and rhythm, is the same. Not exactly the actual sound. Either way, this seems to be a cool expariment!!
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I find it hard to believe that you find it hard to believe, as this happens all round the world every day many, many times!!

    So - every week I go along to my local Jazz club - great musicians, but certainly no better than most Jazz pros round the world.

    Anyway - to the point - so there are some "standards" that everybody knows, but most decent Jazz band leaders want to introduce some of their original compositions into the set - in fact the last two gigs I went to there, were almost exclusively originals.

    But Jazz bands don't have fixed personnel, so players get drafted in at the last minute to replace regulars who are away ill, on tours etc.
    So quite often a trumpet (for example) player will have the sheet music in front him/her for the first time at the gig - and it can be quite complex stuff - I talked to one guy who said he only found out at noon that he was playing the gig that evening!

    So - in a quartet/quintet there is no room to hide and when they play the tune (head) then any slight slip-ups will stick out like a sore thumb!
    But in all the years I have been going to Jazz gigs the tune is always played beatifully, in perfect synchronisation with the rest of the band, even when sight reading the piece.

    So I remember one week, there was a very complex original piece and the pianist had about 5 or 6 sheets of A4 stuck together and they were gradually falling off his piano, while he kept trying to hold them back and play and sight-read!! Eventually my friend - sitting at the same table, close to the band - stood up and held the music for him until the end of the piece!! ;)

    But the band never missed a note!
  10. Nick, my email has been a little funky (and not the good funky) the past week, so is it ok if i get the SN File Transfer via AIM?
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    The other example is where an orchestra or small ensemble is premiering a new work that has never been played before - this happens all the time. So there are lots of grants and commisions of new works.

    They don't have the composer getting up in front and strumming a few chords ona guitar !!! Of course they look at the written parts - how else are they going to play new stuff?

    I don't think this experiment can either disprove or prove anything and is frankly "ridiculous", considering orchestras, Jazz bands and all sorts of ensembles are doing this every day - you don't need dubious "experiments" - just get out and see some decent, trained musicians doing their day-job!! ;)
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    All this is going to show is firstly any shortcomings in the first person's transcribing skills and secondly any shortcomings in the second person's reading skills - it can prove or disprove no general points whatsoever !!
  13. Hategear, despite the fact that I cannot read music AT ALL, I have no difficulty understanding that music can be played from the score without having heard the tune first.

    Doubtless Brucie will jump on me here, but I suspect some of the finer points of the performance would be lacking from such a performance: those little things that turn a tune into an enjoyable experience for the listeners. But, I guess, that's why we all reherse and music readers are no different.

    Just my £0.02's worth.


  14. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I imagine so. But it would be subtle things. A really great performer could sightread and give a really good performance, but it could always be improved with practice...
  15. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Since you and I have been through the great tab wars together on opposite sides, I'll also volunteer to be a reader. The only problem is that on my end, I'd have to snail mail the results on CD. Let me know if you have this much patience, and if so whether you want to hear the results on a realbass or a toybass. :)

  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I do agree, of course, that the more you practice a piece the better it will get - but I dispute that "these little things" reduce the listening pleasure of the audience.

    My experience is that most audiences don't notice the nuances of musical performances unless they are musicians themselves. ;) So at my local Jazz club I often talk to the performers as I have met a lot of them in classes/workshops/summer schools etc.

    So often there will be a piece or whole performance where the audience reponse is fantastic and they cheer and demand encores - but the musicians aren't happy and complain later, that they only saw that chart this morning or in unusual cases: the moment that the leader put it on the music stand, seconds before playing the tune, was the first time they saw it!! ;)
  17. I gotta admit that I agree with Bruce here. Every day, thousands (probably) of musicians are given the sheet of music literally before they play it! I don't read particularly well, and can't sight read - would love to, but I have a lot of hard work to do.

    At the moment I couldn't hope to do that. I try to get music in whatever form is available, and yes I do use tabs to quickly learn songs (shame on me!)

    But one day (I hope) I will be able to sight read (I've just got this feeling that it'll be quite a way away!)
  18. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    I am not trying to prove or disprove anything with this "experiment." No one's sight reading skills are being critiqued and no one's transcribing skills will be criticized. I just think it'll be neat to hear someone play something that they have never heard before and have it turn out like I wrote it -- because I seldom get the chance to see any "real" musicians at work. ;)

    It's more fun than anything else and I'm glad tuba, Freaky and Fitz are up to the task.

    BTW, have I mentioned that...

  19. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I will definitely follow this experiment. This is an excellent example of how to use Talk Bass.

    Just to give you an example of how I expect it to end up....

    Once I took an original piece that my choir director wrote to my bass instructor to ask him what a particular symbol meant. He looked at the music and said "This could be a fun piece". He turned on a keyboard and played it EXACTLY as I'd heard the choir director play it. This was the only time he had ever seen that music.


  20. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    Ok. Hategear, I got your e-mails, and I listened to the file, and made the music. Since not everyone here has the finale writing program, which the file needs to be opened, I did a screen shot of it and made it into a pic. I hope you don't mind, but I am gonna post the pic on here so anyone who wants to try it and make a recording can if they want to. More people that do it, the more accurate the results! I learned that in biology. Wow.. I never thought anything I learned in the class would ever come to use :D

    Hey hey hey... are you taking bad about my transcribing skills :mad: ;)

    Actually, I have finale to write it out on. That program allows me to do a playback of what I have written. I compared it to the recording that Hatergear sent to me, and it is the same. So :p

    So for anyone who can read notation, and wants to participate... here you go!!!