Transcribing on paper vs. notation program

Discussion in 'Ask Janek Gwizdala [Archive]' started by LuminaryWharf, Jun 11, 2020.

  1. LuminaryWharf


    Aug 6, 2019
    Hey Janek,

    So you've often talked about how you do all of your transcription by hand using manuscript notebooks. I'm starting to get into transcription, and wondering if there's any advantage to physically writing transcriptions down instead of using a program like Sibelius, Musescore, etc. - perhaps it could be similar to language where retention is better writing on paper as opposed to digitally.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks!
  2. user3653753

    user3653753 Guest

    Jan 28, 2004

    The only reason I do it that way is out of habit. I'm fast at writing by hand, and I don't always get the notation right the first time I put pencil to paper, so I like the option to use an eraser and make quick changes. I also like how close, literally, the note book us to me on the desk when I'm playing. Rather than going to a keyboard and using a computer etc...

    And on the other side of things, when I have to upload something for my transcription vault at Janek's Bass Studio, it's kind of a pain in the ass to have to digitize the material. So is there an argument for doing it in Sibelius right away? sure. I just think i'm a little old fashioned and set in my ways. Or maybe just old...

    you can check out the transcription vault here and see what I'm talk about: The Transcription Vault

    There's a little video on the homepage of the website actually, and it shows me doing some transcription by hand.


    bluejack, carsonchilders and StayLow like this.
  3. fretlessman71

    fretlessman71 Still beats havin' a job Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2005
    FoCo, NoCo
    So, is a reasonable summary of your position that it doesn't really matter whether you use paper/pencil or a notation program, so long as your ears are driving the final result?
  4. The best way is with hammer and chisel
  5. user3653753

    user3653753 Guest

    Jan 28, 2004
    SteveCS and fretlessman71 like this.
  6. I find that a different part of your brain is used when you use a computer versus paper and pencil.
    Computers immediately fill your head with the other programs you use there, and often with notifications, crashes, need to save, whereas paper has ZERO walls between your mind and the music, except maybe breaking the lead in your pencil. I have spares lying everywhere. I transfer to Sibelius later...
    suraci, FaustoSyd77 and SteveBassJr like this.