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Stews Learning Transcription Thread

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Just a quick note: it’s generally better to ensure you can see complete beats in the bar, whether you’ve written notes or rests. E.g. bars 63-70 - you should be able to draw vertical lines to separate a bar of 4/4 into 4 quarter note beats. ties between notes don’t count for this convention as the beats in the bar are preserved. The only common exception is eighth note-quarter-eighth note (which lasts a total of two beats) and less often, eighth-quarter-quarter-quarter-eighth note, lasting 1 bar. These are used a lot in central and South American music in cut time (which is written as 4 beats to the bar but counted in 2).
I’d also use a double vertical line between sections (verse and chorus, for example), unless it’s at a repeat sign.

Finally, I don’t think the key signature is right as every C and G is written with natural sign. I’d probably write it with one sharp in the key signature - then you can remove all those natural signs.

Hope this helps!

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10 hours ago, FDC484950 said:

Just a quick note: it’s generally better to ensure you can see complete beats in the bar, whether you’ve written notes or rests. E.g. bars 63-70 - you should be able to draw vertical lines to separate a bar of 4/4 into 4 quarter note beats. ties between notes don’t count for this convention as the beats in the bar are preserved. The only common exception is eighth note-quarter-eighth note (which lasts a total of two beats) and less often, eighth-quarter-quarter-quarter-eighth note, lasting 1 bar. These are used a lot in central and South American music in cut time (which is written as 4 beats to the bar but counted in 2).
I’d also use a double vertical line between sections (verse and chorus, for example), unless it’s at a repeat sign.

Finally, I don’t think the key signature is right as every C and G is written with natural sign. I’d probably write it with one sharp in the key signature - then you can remove all those natural signs.

Hope this helps!

Agreed - that's some useful feedback right there Mr FDC.

I am also a very big proponent of including the harmony (chords) in any transcription that way you can at a glance see how the bass line fits against the whole song. It also makes it much more useful for teaching and study.

Overall though, great work, transcription is a great way to progress your learning - keep doing it.

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Thank you both so much for your feedback. It's really helpful when you're learning a complicated process on your own to get this advice. I've only done a handful and not shared because I know tgey make sense to me but might not be correct. 

In future I will share them all in anticipation of help like that above. 

Thanks again. 

Stew

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15 hours ago, FDC484950 said:

Finally, I don’t think the key signature is right as every C and G is written with natural sign. I’d probably write it with one sharp in the key signature - then you can remove all those natural signs

Ah I wondered about this. I confess I look up the tempo and key online! I just assumed that anyone else would know better than me so went with what I found. 

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Another thing is the rhythm in reading. It is easier to read bars, if they are divided to 2, 4 or 8 per row. Five is somewhat tricky. The score should help the player, not confuse one. Let's say you take a look at the fretboard, can you catch the sheet right away?

By the way, was this made with Musescore? If so, check this one I did few years ago. The intro is four bars per row, and the verse is two. Yes, there is one row that has 5 bars, and another with three, but I think the places were reasonable to bend the rules a little. What would you say about the legibility of this one?

No, I am not very good at transcription, but I have had few teachers to tell me some basics. If the score is tidy, it just looks different.

Adele - I'll be waiting.mscz

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, itu said:

Another thing is the rhythm in reading. It is easier to read bars, if they are divided to 2, 4 or 8 per row. Five is somewhat tricky. The score should help the player, not confuse one. Let's say you take a look at the fretboard, can you catch the sheet right away?

By the way, was this made with Musescore? If so, check this one I did few years ago. The intro is four bars per row, and the verse is two. Yes, there is one row that has 5 bars, and another with three, but I think the places were reasonable to bend the rules a little. What would you say about the legibility of this one?

No, I am not very good at transcription, but I have had few teachers to tell me some basics. If the score is tidy, it just looks different.

Adele - I'll be waiting.mscz 23.03 kB · 0 downloads

Yes I'm learning to use Musescore, frequently stopping to find and follow tutorials. I'd like to arrange things more neatly, and when I work out how, I will. 

And thank you. 

Edited by stewblack

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Hey sir, would you share your score for a tweak? Maybe then someone would continue to give us both few new ideas.

 

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2 hours ago, itu said:

Hey sir, would you share your score for a tweak? Maybe then someone would continue to give us both few new ideas.

 

Absolutely! I only worked it out for a dep gig so it's not 100 %, for instance I have written it for a four string with normal tuning. So no low D. 

I'm working this weekend but I'll get it to you when I'm back

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Musescore is great considering it’s free. It does benefit from spending some time learning how it works as there are lots of neat shortcuts and the “right” way to do some things. I’ve struggled to get the right layout and simple things like indicating swung 8ths involves a laborious hack, but it’s light years ahead of the last package I bought (Finale PrintMusic).

The palettes including the break icon (like a return key near the bottom of the list of palettes) and one of the menus allows you to reformat a selection of bars if you want to for example set 4 bars per line. When it comes to layout, common sense prevails. The point is to convey the music as simply and clearly as possible. I tend to add rehearsal letters (capital letter in a square box) as it makes finding sections in a longer chart easier, and it was habit when doing theatre and studio work - easier than everyone trying to find interlude 4 before chorus 6!

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On 05/03/2020 at 21:35, FDC484950 said:

Just a quick note: it’s generally better to ensure you can see complete beats in the bar, whether you’ve written notes or rests. E.g. bars 63-70 - you should be able to draw vertical lines to separate a bar of 4/4 into 4 quarter note beats. ties between notes don’t count for this convention as the beats in the bar are preserved. The only common exception is eighth note-quarter-eighth note (which lasts a total of two beats) and less often, eighth-quarter-quarter-quarter-eighth note, lasting 1 bar. These are used a lot in central and South American music in cut time (which is written as 4 beats to the bar but counted in 2).
I’d also use a double vertical line between sections (verse and chorus, for example), unless it’s at a repeat sign.

Finally, I don’t think the key signature is right as every C and G is written with natural sign. I’d probably write it with one sharp in the key signature - then you can remove all those natural signs.

Hope this helps!

This also applies to semi quavers which should be beamed into beats - even when it includes rests.

Sibelius tends not do this by default so there are  lots of examples out there now of this rule being broken.

If you don't read much these rules may seem a bit fussy, but to people who do read they are important as that is what they are used to seeing.

Regarding the Key signature: It is in A, therefore I want to see it with 3 sharps - despite having G and C naturals.

As a reading Bass player if I'm playing a Blues in D, I expect it to have 2 sharps despite an abundance of C and F naturals: I want the Key Signature tally to the Key I am in.

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14 minutes ago, cb1 said:

This also applies to semi quavers which should be beamed into beats - even when it includes rests.

Sibelius tends not do this by default so there are  lots of examples out there now of this rule being broken.

If you don't read much these rules may seem a bit fussy, but to people who do read they are important as that is what they are used to seeing.

Regarding the Key signature: It is in A, therefore I want to see it with 3 sharps - despite having G and C naturals.

As a reading Bass player if I'm playing a Blues in D, I expect it to have 2 sharps despite an abundance of C and F naturals: I want the Key Signature tally to the Key I am in.

I’ve just listened to it again on YT and it’s in A minor. 

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Thanks folks. If and when I dig myself out from under learning dep sets I'll spend some time reflecting on all this invaluable advice and rework a few transcriptions. 

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On 05/03/2020 at 21:35, FDC484950 said:

Just a quick note: it’s generally better to ensure you can see complete beats in the bar, whether you’ve written notes or rests. E.g. bars 63-70 - you should be able to draw vertical lines to separate a bar of 4/4 into 4 quarter note beats.

I've had a go at separating the notes and rests into four equal chunks but Musescore just joins them anyway.  Unless I'm not understanding the whole imaginary vertical line thing.

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Posted (edited)

Hang on, I think a chink of light just appeared:

Is this what you're after? Bars 64 and 65 now: image.png.35e33b81fb11f613e64af3731fc51006.png

And before: image.png.e064c7dc1a252a764de50e1633541a95.png

 

(except the third 8th note should be a natural but I'm concentrating more on layout here)

Edited by stewblack

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3 hours ago, stewblack said:

Hang on, I think a chink of light just appeared:

Is this what you're after? Bars 64 and 65 now: image.png.35e33b81fb11f613e64af3731fc51006.png

And before: image.png.e064c7dc1a252a764de50e1633541a95.png

 

(except the third 8th note should be a natural but I'm concentrating more on layout here)

That's much better. This is the correct way to write it HOWEVER given that it's only 8th notes and the centre of the bar is now visible most people would make the 2 x quaver rests into a single crotchet rest. Yes it cuts over the individual beats but in this case it's simple rhythms so it's not so important. If it was 16th notes then all 4 beats would need to be clearly defined but less so with 8th notes. Your call though on this. Music notation often contains lots of rules that aren't always followed...great fun when you're trying to learn!! ;)

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In all the notated music I’ve seen and read, from jazz charts, to west end theatre pit scores to professionally written parts, I’ve never (intentionally) seen a quarter note rest across the beat - apart from when the chart was just badly written all over. I agree there is a balance of readability vs convention but if you go down that path you will end up in a mess - eg sixteenth note on the 1 and another on the -a, do you put an eighth note rest in the middle and beam them together? When a part gets complicated such things can make reading harder than it needs to be. It may be your experience but I don’t agree it’s how “most people” would write it.
As the OP is fairly new to transcription my advice would be to notate correctly first, then decide how much you want to “customise”.

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5 hours ago, FDC484950 said:

In all the notated music I’ve seen and read, from jazz charts, to west end theatre pit scores to professionally written parts, I’ve never (intentionally) seen a quarter note rest across the beat - apart from when the chart was just badly written all over. I agree there is a balance of readability vs convention but if you go down that path you will end up in a mess - eg sixteenth note on the 1 and another on the -a, do you put an eighth note rest in the middle and beam them together? When a part gets complicated such things can make reading harder than it needs to be. It may be your experience but I don’t agree it’s how “most people” would write it.
As the OP is fairly new to transcription my advice would be to notate correctly first, then decide how much you want to “customise”.

hmm- that's really interesting...because I've spent my whole life also reading and regularly see this (jazz chats. big band charts / theatre scores/ classical pieces). As I noted it's only for 8th notes where you can cross the beat NOT for 16th notes as that's far too tricky. But ultimately you're totally right about the readability vs convention on that we agree, as for our actual expereinces we'll have to disagree :)

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I agree - written music’s only reason to exist is to convey the music as clearly and efficiently as possible. I didn’t say I’d never seen it - but I’ve only seen it on charts that are badly notated. The “rules” are inconsistent too as eighth/quarter/eighth notes crosses over the beat but it widely accepted - maybe because the alternative way to write it would be 6 eighth notes and 2 ties, so 3 things is much easier to read than 8. I think a dotted quarter note rest is also quite common, so maybe it’s just another available shorthand. For me having an eighth note then a rest that isn’t an eighth note makes life harder :)

Anyway, well done to the OP for working on the transcription!

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I see this complex subject is way more complex than ever I supposed. 

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3 hours ago, FDC484950 said:

I agree - written music’s only reason to exist is to convey the music as clearly and efficiently as possible. I didn’t say I’d never seen it - but I’ve only seen it on charts that are badly notated. The “rules” are inconsistent too as eighth/quarter/eighth notes crosses over the beat but it widely accepted - maybe because the alternative way to write it would be 6 eighth notes and 2 ties, so 3 things is much easier to read than 8. I think a dotted quarter note rest is also quite common, so maybe it’s just another available shorthand. For me having an eighth note then a rest that isn’t an eighth note makes life harder :)

Anyway, well done to the OP for working on the transcription!

Absolutely - I was looking quickly for some examples of rest but couldn’t find any. I did find a few examples of 8th notes crossing the beat. As you say the rules really are inconsistent which is frustrating! 

1 hour ago, stewblack said:

I see this complex subject is way more complex than ever I supposed. 

Welcome to a whole world of pain. The key thing though is clarity and ease of conveying to the reader what you want! On that we’re all agreed :)

04BCABBC-D700-4267-BF22-C5C7631C1B6B.jpeg

A4D30D46-A49F-4C4F-89A1-09177576E3F0.jpeg

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3 hours ago, stewblack said:

I see this complex subject is way more complex than ever I supposed. 

Not really, once you get the hang of putting it together so you can see each beat, then there are a few “shortcuts” like the ones dodge_bass posted that whilst not strictly “correct”, are so widely adopted that they are in effect the new correct. They’re used because there’s less information on the page, which makes it easier to read. Just like any language, music notation evolves over time. You’re doing a great job - keep at it :)

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