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Nicko

Is TAB really that evil?

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Incidentally, if a piece requires your to tune your instrument differently to the conventional tuning is that indicated in standard notation and if so how?

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1504851869' post='3367722']
Incidentally, if a piece requires your to tune your instrument differently to the conventional tuning is that indicated in standard notation and if so how?
[/quote]
Alternate tuning is specified at the start but the piece is written as normal. For example, "solo" tuning for classical double bass is a tone up - F#, B, E, A - but a solo concerto in B minor would be written in A minor. In other words, you read and play "as normal" - first line below the bass clef you play as your open E but it sounds as an F#.
Alternate tunings basically function the same way as transposing instruments like trumpet, sax etc.

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[quote name='Grangur' timestamp='1504803740' post='3367472']
If TAB is better than notation then please do feel do explain this.
Also, why don't serious classical instrumentalists use it?

On the other hand don't. I can't be arsed to read crap.
[/quote]

That's a little over the top if you'll excuse me for saying. I don't think anyone in the TAB supporter's camp suggested that TAB was better.

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[quote name='The Jaywalker' timestamp='1504853161' post='3367735']
Alternate tuning is specified at the start but the piece is written as normal. For example, "solo" tuning for classical double bass is a tone up - F#, B, E, A - but a solo concerto in B minor would be written in A minor. In other words, you read and play "as normal" - first line below the bass clef you play as your open E but it sounds as an F#.
Alternate tunings basically function the same way as transposing instruments like trumpet, sax etc.
[/quote]

I can see how that makes sense for a simple transposing tuning, but what about a tuning where the intervals between the strings changes from the normal, like DADGAD on the guitar or one I've used on occasion on the bass - DADA?

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TAB is most likely less evil that the zombie-like resurrection of the topic for the 666th time. Edited by ahpook

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1504855428' post='3367756']


I can see how that makes sense for a simple transposing tuning, but what about a tuning where the intervals between the strings changes from the normal, like DADGAD on the guitar or one I've used on occasion on the bass - DADA?
[/quote]
2 ways it can be done:
1) Written at pitch - the notes are the notes and its up to the player to relearn their fingerboard position according to the tuning used. I guess easier for the composer and trickier for the performer.
2) Written as if the instrument is tuned normally - i think this is called scordatura in orchestral and classical guitar stuff. Can get weird with key signatures being wonky, but ultimately is trickier for the composer and easier on the performer once tbey get used to reading something which "sounds wrong".

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It's been a few years since I took classical guitar lessons, but I recall playing a couple of pieces in alternate tunings (either dropping the low E to D, or using EADF#BE to replicate early guitar/vihuela tuning). In both of those cases the notes were written at the pitch they sounded, with a note of the tuning at the start of the piece, and more extensive position notes than usual.

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[quote name='The Jaywalker' timestamp='1504858524' post='3367776']
2 ways it can be done:
1) Written at pitch - the notes are the notes and its up to the player to relearn their fingerboard position according to the tuning used. I guess easier for the composer and trickier for the performer.
2) Written as if the instrument is tuned normally - i think this is called scordatura in orchestral and classical guitar stuff. Can get weird with key signatures being wonky, but ultimately is trickier for the composer and easier on the performer once tbey get used to reading something which "sounds wrong".
[/quote]

As a composer I would most definitely prefer the first way!

If the second way was chosen there would be places where it would be necessary to also indicate which string was to played otherwise there is a possibility of playing the wrong note.


And now I am going to be controversial!

I seems to me, from what I have seen in this thread and others about notation and tablature, that a lot of sight readers don't actually "read the notes" but read where to put their fingers on the their instrument to play the required note(s). That would explain all the musicians who can competently play more than one instrument but can't sight read for all of them. The thing about transposing "solo" double bass in post #252 would also tend to confirm this where the player "reads" E, plays the fingering for E, but because their instrument has been tuned differently for that piece actually sounds F#.

Isn't that what tablature does?

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Sometimes I will write a TAB, usually to represent my five strings because there aren't a lot of five string TABs out there. This helps me to find fretboard positions that work best for my ageing finger joints. It's dead easy to read and write. The best thing is that there is no baggage. All of the marks I make are relevant to me alone and there are no squiggly distractions. Blank stave sheets lend themselves entirely to this.

Other times, I will rewrite a printed tab that accompanies notation in a book because it follows the notation thing of Codas and tiny little marks and symbols to tell you where to go back and how many times to play it before putting a different ending on it. In essence I am cutting out all of that illuminatiesque stuff that trips me up. I'll work out the piece and write it as it is intended to go from start to finish without the confusing short-cuts. More sheets, less confusing though.

That's just me though isn't it...?

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I know we are going off topic but the thing I've never understood is why the sax player is always saying his key is a tone higher than the guitar key ?

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1504861067' post='3367798']

And now I am going to be controversial!

I seems to me, from what I have seen in this thread and others about notation and tablature, that a lot of sight readers don't actually "read the notes" but read where to put their fingers on the their instrument to play the required note(s). That would explain all the musicians who can competently play more than one instrument but can't sight read for all of them. The thing about transposing "solo" double bass in post #252 would also tend to confirm this where the player "reads" E, plays the fingering for E, but because their instrument has been tuned differently for that piece actually sounds F#.

Isn't that what tablature does?
[/quote]
No, not at all. The positioning of the notes on the fingerboard is obviously part of it - but there are often numerous different ways to play a written passage. Play the notes first then work out the best fingering/position shifting.
Unsure what point you're trying to make about folk playing more than one instrument and relative reading ability on each.
Solo tuning doesnt confirm the point you've tried to make. There has always been "written" and "sounding" pitch. It's also common to see "8va" and "8vb", meaning play an octave up or down from where written. Players of transposing instruments work at their pitch, but can often transpose concert pitch parts as well. Trumpet player i work with regularly is equally at home reading Bb or concert parts, for example.
I understand where you are coming from with this, as it's easy to get the wrong end of the stick when your knowledge of standard notation is based more around discussion about it rather than practical knowledge/experience - a worthwhile caveat for this thread in general.
To finish: no, that's not what tab does (although I get why you thought that). Edited by The Jaywalker

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[quote name='lojo' timestamp='1504862716' post='3367813']
I know we are going off topic but the thing I've never understood is why the sax player is always saying his key is a tone higher than the guitar key ?
[/quote]

This because the saxophone is a transposing instrument. On the tenor sax if you play a note with the fingering for "C" the actual note is "Bb". For an alto sax the same fingering produces an Eb note. This has been done to make it easier for woodwind players playing from a score to be able to switch to different instruments since they nearly all share the same basic fingering. The score takes care of transposition between the different instruments, so although it looks as though each part of the score is different, when the correct instrument plays it they produce the same notes.

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[quote name='lojo' timestamp='1504862716' post='3367813']
I know we are going off topic but the thing I've never understood is why the sax player is always saying his key is a tone higher than the guitar key ?
[/quote]
Tenor or soprano sax are transposing instruments in Bb and the players think and learn the instruments in those keys. Means that a written C on tenor or soprano sounds as a concert pitch Bb (alto and bari are in Eb). His instrument key is a tone lower - but to get him to concert pitch he has to play a tone higher. He plays in B and it sounds as A with the rest of you guys.
It's all to do with keeping the written music on the treble clef stave for instruments with different ranges, as well as standardised fingering patterns across instrument families (eg flutes, clarinets, saxes with differwnt ranges) Tenor sax notation is actually written a major 9th higher (an octave plus a tone). Edited by The Jaywalker

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You don't actually need an Instrument in your hands to sight read, or where to place your fingers.
You can look at the chart or score and visualise the note, or indeed just sing it.

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[quote name='lowdown' timestamp='1504865154' post='3367835']
You don't actually need an Instrument in your hands to sight read, or where to place your fingers.
You can look at the chart or score and visualise the note, or indeed just sing it.
[/quote]

How do you visualise the note - in terms of the finger position(s) required to play it?

If you are looking at the score for a transposing instrument what note do you sing, the one your instrument produces when it has transposed it?

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Some instruments (like the bass) are transposing to keep them on the staff, but that's not true of most. Some of it is to do with the history of the instruments and the standardisation of keys, but a lot of it is to do with simplicity of moving between instruments of the same family.

I started on woodwind instruments and, to a lesser extent, brass. I played clarinet in orchestras and had to carry two different instruments with me. One in Bb, which was my main instrument and one in A. Both were notated as per the fingering rather than the actual pitch. Those are really the main standard keys for the instrument that most people think of when you say clarinet, the soprano clarinet, but also the bass clarinet. You also get orchestral instruments in Eb (relatively common) (eg. sopranino clarinet and the alto clarinet) and D (same types but rare), Ab (piccolo clarinet), and G and F (basset horns).

There is also a C clarinet which is obsolete in orchestral music but you see in some Eastern European folk music. It sounds like crap.

The basic series of notes involving placing fingers over the holes (or on the main buttons on some) on a woodwind instrument is always referred to as being in the key of C. The tone of a clarinet and its ease of playing is optimised to the open key. As you move through the cycle of fifths, it gets progressively more difficult and the tone becomes more of a compromise. That's why we have Bb and A clarinets:

If you imagine it's easiest to play in C on a clarinet, with G, D and A being quite good for the sharp keys and F, Bb and Eb being quite good for the flat keys, this translates to a key range of G to Db for Bb clarinet (1# to 5b) and F# to C on A clarinet (6# to no # or b )... the two clarinets cover all bases really.

In theory, an accomplished clarinettist can move between all members of the clarinet family where needed and play equally well on each without having to relearn how to read for each new instrument. Edited by dlloyd

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1504866429' post='3367840']

If you are looking at the score for a transposing instrument what note do you sing, the one your instrument produces when it has transposed it?
[/quote]

The one your instrument produces once transposed.

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[quote name='lojo' timestamp='1504862716' post='3367813'] I know we are going off topic but the thing I've never understood is why the sax player is always saying his key is a tone higher than the guitar key ? [/quote]

This is why the horn section [i]needs[/i] its own form of TAB.

[Retires to a safe distance]

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[quote name='SpondonBassed' timestamp='1504874185' post='3367943']


This is why the horn section [i]needs[/i] its own form of TAB.

[Retires to a safe distance]
[/quote]

Sure , but can you explain why a D on guitar is an E on sax , I'm ignorant?

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[quote name='lojo' timestamp='1504875518' post='3367957']
Sure , but can you explain why a D on guitar is an E on sax , I'm ignorant?
[/quote]

Sorry. I can't. I was being flippant to cover for the fact that I am no wiser than you.

Yours was a question that illustrates one of the reasons I don't get involved with notation by choice. Getting concise answers on notation is a bit like nailing jellies to a wall. Edited by SpondonBassed

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[quote name='lojo' timestamp='1504875518' post='3367957']
Sure , but can you explain why a D on guitar is an E on sax , I'm ignorant?
[/quote]

I explained it above...

Sequential addition of fingers on main buttons with no sharp/flat modifiers = C major. We keep that convention for all saxes.

C melody sax sounds just like it's written. Nobody owns one of those though.

My feeling on saxophones (a latecomer) is that Bb and Eb became the convention because horn sections were already predominantly Bb and Eb.

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1504804037' post='3367474']
Because there are very few fretted, stringed instruments in classical music.
[/quote]
True, but there are fingering positions. In the same way as a fretless bass has positions, albeit the fretless bass has them marked with dots.

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1504851869' post='3367722']
Incidentally, if a piece requires you to tune your instrument differently to the conventional tuning is that indicated in standard notation and if so how?
[/quote]

A G# is a G# no matter if you're using conventional tuning or drop-tuning. So the notation won't change. It's the TAB that would need to be different; to account for the fact that the finger position to find the G# will have changed.

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1504866429' post='3367840']
How do you visualise the note - in terms of the finger position(s) required to play it?

If you are looking at the score for a transposing instrument what note do you sing, the one your instrument produces when it has transposed it?
[/quote]
[b]How do you visualise the note - in terms of the finger position(s) required to play it?[/b]

Here are some finger positions for the notes. The Low E can't, of course, be played anywhere on a 4-string than the open E, unless you're playing the whole thing up an octave.
The C on the A-string could be played on the A or the E string. If the lowest note in a piece is the C, then you'd probably choose to play the whole thing up by the E8 fret position.

Worth noting here: I don't often play the open strings. I'd play fret 5 of the lower string.

All the above is based on standard tuning.


[b]If you are looking at the score for a transposing instrument what note do you sing, the one your instrument produces when it has transposed it?[/b]
I'd sing it in relative pitch, trying to pick out the up or down change in the tone. But I'm not the best to answer this.

What I'd actually do is take the score I'm playing and re-write it in the changed Key. But then this is because I play most of my stuff when sight-reading. Edited by Grangur

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[quote name='Grangur' timestamp='1504879007' post='3368002']
True, but there are fingering positions. In the same way as a fretless bass has positions, albeit the fretless bass has them marked with dots.
[/quote]

I've only ever seen tablature for fretted instruments where IMO it makes the most sense. For me the whole point of fretless instruments is that you can play "in-between the notes". Incidentally how does standard notation show quarter tones and the like?

Apparently according Wikipedia there also tablature for chromatic mouth organ!

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