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Sheet music or something else

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Synthax, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Synthax


    Nov 20, 2011
    SW PA
    Im a tad confused, ive been practicing very hard trying to learn some songs along with scales, chords etc. Should i not be trying to play the songs as written on tab sites and working on finding my own way to put a rhythm to them?? It seems from the way a lot of people talk that i should be just kind of grooving along , or should i be following the sheet music to a t etc. Sorry for the poor wording, its hard to phrase my question the correct way on this one.

    Confused Nooblet

  2. To start with assume anything you find on a TAB site is probably incorrect so don't try to follow it as written. Use it as a starting point to help you learn the song by ear.

    Some songs need the bass part to played "like the record" to sound right others you can get by just grooving. U2's "With or Without You" springs to minds. Anything but straight 8th is going to sound incorrect, but most blues and R'n'B you can probably just groove in the general direction and it'll get a pass.
  3. On forums like this some play by rote, to a T what is written, and then others wing it. So you will receive both sides of the story.

    I play Country and finding bass clef sheet music to Country songs is next to impossible. Fake chord or lead sheet is normally all I can find. Or I'm handed fake chord on a new song just before the gig. Neither of those have the bass clef, so I follow the chords, which are shown, and compose my own bass lines. Or in a jamming session after I decide what key is being used, I assume a chord progression, and jam along as best I can. That does not lend itself to playing by rote. So, my replies will probably tend to fall into the wing it side of this equation. The tune, yes that should be exact, but, I do not get lead breaks. The lead electric or keyboard handle this better than I so I'm providing harmony, accompaniment and laying down the beat. Plus calling attention to the chord changes with chromatic runs to the next chord. IMO that is best handled by what you call grooving.

    And no I do not try and transpose the exact notes used by the original artist. Why not? I figure they know I'm not the original artist, this is my rendition of the song. I play covers and get as close as I can and have never worried about being exact. Now others think this is important, and I have no problem with them thinking this way.

    The opinions you get on forums run from both sides of the pendulum swing. Knowing which to take as gospel and which to ignore - there lies the secret. And I guess that would depend on which side of the pendulum swing you are the most comfortable.

    Mode strings always run into hundreds of posts, because everyone has a little different slant on how modes should be made and then several more ideas on how modes should be played, i.e. used. The old guys always enjoy beating this horse to death, leaving the OP more confused than when he first asked his question.

    Of course, IMO.
  4. Listen carefully. Get the key and chord changes. Pick up the bassline by ear. Decide what you like and what you might try doing a little differently. Get the notes/chords "right" and organized. Use sheet music or if none is available, tabs, to figure out tough areas. Next focus on fingering. Pay attention to song form. practice. Enjoy!!!
  5. Once you have your scale and chord theory figured out, you'll be able to make much better use of tabs because you'll quickly be able to figure out all the mistakes in them!

    Use tabs as a tool to get you started on the right path quickly when you go to learn a song, or to help you figure out a tricky part if you're stuck. But make sure you have a bit of a theory background so you can understand why certain notes work where they do or you'll never be able to do more than just work off of tabs.
  6. Synthax


    Nov 20, 2011
    SW PA
    Thank you all so much everyone. I'm busting my ass trying to figure this stuff out and you have all been incredibly helpful. I'm sure ill have more questions, but wanted to say thanks for all the help i have received so far. You guys are awesome.

    Thanks again

  7. lfmn16


    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv

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