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Is this cheating?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by funkybass, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. funkybass


    Oct 19, 2006
    When I'm learning a song by ear I find it helpful to print a chord chart. I'll try it without one first, but if I get stuck I'll print one out. Is that cheating?
  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Yes. Sheet music in any form is always cheating.
    Man, these classical musicians are such slackers.
  3. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    No it's not cheating. There's no specific rule as to how you must go about learning a song. What matters most is how you play the material you learned.
  4. mtshark


    Nov 28, 2008
    Um, who cares? Assuming you preform the song, the audience is going to hear the same song regardless if you learned it by ear or with sheet music of some sort.
  5. nutdog

    nutdog when I'm a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    in the dog house
    It's only cheating if you get caught.
  6. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Yes, you will be visited by three ghosts....
  7. th_Pointless.jpg
  8. Third Basser

    Third Basser

    Jul 6, 2010
    if you're learning by ear, then it's best to not use chord charts because you're defeating the purpose of ear training, and the chord charts will become a crutch. Try to just listen to the notes and find them on the fretboard. you're using 2 different parts of your brain to process written information vs. auditory information. if you want to advance your ear training, it's best to keep those separate (so I say yes, it's cheating!)
  9. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    I suppose "by ear" means no chart. But there is a difference between working out a chart foe yourself, by ear, and downloading the chords to "cheat" ...
  10. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Learn ANY WAY that helps you. People's brains are wired differently - and we all learn a bit differently.
  11. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    My students learn tunes by ear, at least the riffs but can't play a whole
    tune. They are lost because they don't know the form which a
    chord chart will help avoid. A chart will also save a lot of time in band
  12. funkybass


    Oct 19, 2006
    that post is pointless. I'm mainly trying to learn songs by ear, not for a band situation. There have been times i get stuck and look at a chord chart. I get frustrated sometimes.
  13. paganjack


    Dec 25, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    This is very true. If you feel inhibited by it (which evidently you do) then work to not use them anymore. However the act of writing up a chord chart could be a helpful part of your learning process. It transfers the material from an auditory realm into a visual realm, where you can see a diagramming of the song. Maybe you are a more visual learner, and it helps you.

    Don't feel too guilty about it. I'm sure that the more you practice a given song the less you will need the charts.
  14. wemmick


    May 23, 2010
    Washington, DC
    I think using the chord chart is a good way to start. After that I take that in two directions.

    First, I learn the changes so that I can ignore the chart and start listening. Make the music, don't play the chart.

    Second, I turn on the analytic part of my mind to dissect the changes. Is it a common chord progression? I'm still new enough that I don't immediately recognize I-IV-V or blues progressions immediately.
  15. THORRR

    THORRR Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    Parker, Colorado

    I like to call it "INSURANCE"

  16. funkybass


    Oct 19, 2006
    I like that! For know I'll use them if I need to, but my hope is to one day learn songs without them.
  17. thomashawk


    Jun 29, 2010
    New York, NY
    The real question should be "is it grooving?" Because nothing else matters.

    I've seen legends reference chord charts on-stage. Didn't make a bit of difference.
  18. No that is not cheating. Use sheet music as much and as long as you need to. If you play pop, rock or country it's not that hard to function with out your sheet music. Here is an example of how.....

    The band I play bass with is a jamming band meaning there is no sheet music on stage. Now it's just the two of us. Tom on rhythm guitar accompanying his vocals and I'm on electric bass. He sings in C, G and sometime A. No idea what song is next I just watch his fretting hand and if he starts out on G so do I.

    We play Country so..... the I IV or V chords are a safe bet. Those three chords contain every note in the I tonic scale so..... one of those three chords is going to harmonize the melody that is being played at this moment in the song. I can assume as well as listen for the chord changes, plus I can watch his fretting hand and follow what he is doing. That is normally enough to function in a jamming pop, rock or country band. You are playing one of the three chords - and it does not sound right - you've got a 50% chance that one of the other two will harmonize, if the one you chose does not sound right you've got a 100% chance to other one will. Take a chance.

    Give it a shot - I bet you will be able to jamm along after just a little practice.

    Give it a try you can always go back to chard charts if you need to. Nothing wrong having your music stand on stage as far as I'm concerned. The pros don't - ever thought of this - they play the same 30 +/- songs over, and over, and over. After awhile they do not need sheet music.

    I keep this in the back of my mind a basic pop, rock or country song will have the verse start with the I chord, move to the IV chord somewhere toward the last of the first line. Continue with the IV chord into the second line of the verse and then the V7 chord will come near the ending of the second line with the I chord finishing the second line. The third and fourth line follow this same format. Check it out I bet that is close - enough. The I and IV contain every note in the scale except for the 2 and 7 you are going to be using the I and IV a bunch. What about the V or V7 when can you expect them to come into the picture. Well the V or V7 are the climax chords, where does the climax come? Toward the end. Yep toward the end of the 2nd line and toward the end of the 4th line expect to have the V or V7 raise it's head. Yep, you welcome.

    If it works on one verse it'll work on all verses. The chorus may be different. Assume it is not until you find out differently. Now if you will be playing jazz, new age, or something beyond pop, rock and country disregard the above.

    Good luck.
  19. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    duplicate post removed
  20. Define cheating
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