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Author Topic: Transposing with ease?  (Read 9192 times)
MrTheFoxx
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« on: December 29, 2011, 12:32:11 am »

I decided to take a new approach and I am trying to learn to play from sheet music instead of tabs. I have been trying to learn which finger positions correspond to which notes. That is the kind of easy part. To help me out, if I have a note on one line, I play it, and then the next note is a line lower, I remove the next two fingers to account for those two notes. I would rather not do it this way, but it seems really necessary for transposing. Does anyone here have any tips for transposing music? It is too difficult to take a whole piece of sheet music and redo it with the notes either higher or lower (and possibly even a few times) just so all of the notes fit into the range. Looking forward to replies!  Smiley


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jiminos
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2011, 04:33:43 am »

Wellllll.... With ease - not really.... Not until you either get some basic theory (in particular, intervals) or a deep and abiding knowledge/understanding of scales.

There is another way, but it also requires a bit of learning... And that is getting to a point of absolute familiarity with your instrument.... (insert dramatic pause)..... And teaching yourself to play "by ear."

But the short answer is... Not really. At least nothing that only takes a few minutes to learn. You'll see the truth of this when you are looking at a piece written in Gb flat and some wants to play it in C#...

Be well,
Jim


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4efs
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2011, 05:45:46 am »


Did you get the curriculum? Because if you follow it and try the songs starting on different notes once you know them as is suggested you will be learning both to read and to play/transpose by ear. It is really a super book.


The nice thing about the MO is it's not a huge instrument to get familiar with, it can come pretty quickly so that's helpful if you're like me and a wee bit impatient. Embarrassed

I think I'd start to learn to read music with songs that are already in the MO's range( there are tons).
then try transposing things after you get some experience.


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bakfot
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2011, 07:16:15 am »

The simpelest way that I've found of actually transposing from a sheet in one key to a sheet in another is to use my ABC program. That program can transpose any way I want once I've typed in the music from the original sheet, and then print the music in the new key. It takes a while but is often worth the trouble.


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4efs
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2011, 08:31:55 am »


Oy! there you go again with the usefulness of ABC!!


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kypfer
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2011, 08:55:24 am »

MrTheFoxx wrote:
Quote
I decided to take a new approach and I am trying to learn to play from sheet music instead of tabs.
... I'm with you there  Wink
There's so much music freely/cheaply available there seems little point in doing it any other way.
I'll concur with the others' postings about the usefulness of ABC - could hardly manage without it  Cool


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bakfot
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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2011, 08:55:41 am »

 Grin


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robehickman
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2011, 09:14:52 am »

Another +1 for ABC, there is much Celtic and folk music already in this format, so you may not even have to transcribe.


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bakfot
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2011, 11:05:58 am »

And Scandinavian traditional music!


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jiminos
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2011, 03:46:34 pm »

maybe a better example would have been to transpose from Gb to C on the fly..... that would be from a key with 5 flats to a key with no flats or sharps....

it is completely true that ABC's are a wonderful thing. and the abilities of the various ABC programs out there to convert/transpose is incredibly handy.... but, someday, somewhere.... you may find yourself in a situation where you are with a group of other musicians, and there is no computer around to use for a quick transpose. or you may be playing where you don't have sheet music, or it would be very inconvenient to have the sheet music.... then what?

just a thought.... in the meantime, keep using ABC's.... and keep learning your MO. It is a fully chromatic instrument, it is incredibly versatile, it can play in almost any key. it can teach you as much about music as a Stradivarius... if you let it.... maybe even more.

be well,

jim


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That which is cannot be found. It is not lost.
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MrTheFoxx
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2011, 10:22:40 pm »

So it sounds like playing "by ear" should be done more dominantly than playing sheet music in many cases. That has also been something I want to work on and have worked on. Sounds pretty important. One reason I wanted to learn to do things other than tabs (sheet music as well as "by ear") is because programs won't always be there for me to use for converting a MIDI into tabs. The same thing applies here. As great as ABC may sound, it won't always be so easily accessible. Thanks for all of the replies and input, everyone! Smiley


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jiminos
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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2011, 11:32:16 pm »

i think it is safe to say that learning to play by ear is very important.... but so is some level of fluency in reading is important, as well.... in my experience as a working musician, the more "tools" you have in your tool box, the more able you are able to adapt to varying situations. so, reading, playing by ear, software fluency, instrument fluency are all important. depending on where your focus lies, the prioritization of those abilities will vary.....

examples: for me, i play a lot of gigs in clubs, at concerts and at festivals. for those performances, i rarely (extremely rarely) use sheet music. i learn the material for the gig before hand and play from memory (sometimes this is good... sometimes this is bad.... ) i also play a lot of jam sessions. sheet music is hardly every found there.... occasionally, i get offered studio work. for those jobs, reading is essential. virtually every studio session involves a high level of sight reading. failure to read well results in fewer call backs.

for somebody who is playing at church as part of a worship program, sheet music can be fairly common. a lot of practice goes into the pieces to be played, so a higher level of familiarity with the piece prior to performance is common, reliance on extreme reading skills is lower, but the sheets are still there for reference. this is true for other music ensemble work, as well.

folk or traditional music (you can insert "Celtic" here, if you'd like) is an interesting beast. from the perspective of a player if Traditional Irish on flute, whistle and guitar.... for any given tune, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of variations. even from performance to performance, a player will vary his/her presentation. it's a very fluid thing. folk music is just that... FOLK music... as opposed to chamber, orchestra or symphonic... it's less formal. a significant portion of folk music is passed on aurally.... people learn it from other people rather than sheets....

so... depending on what you intend to do musically, your need for reading or playing by ear will vary in importance, but... imho.... you can do no wrong by cultivating both skills.

be well,

jim


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Be in this moment.
That which is cannot be found. It is not lost.
It can only be accepted or rejected.
Truth is.
Dunetraveller
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« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2011, 04:49:42 am »

you may find yourself in a situation where you are with a group of other musicians, and there is no computer around to use for a quick transpose. or you may be playing where you don't have sheet music, or it would be very inconvenient to have the sheet music.... then what?

I found this is why pentatonic scales are so useful. It may just allow you to freeform play with the other musicians. Basic idea is to know what pentatonic scales are the most useful, i.e. easily fingered (in the range of your instrument), and what notes are in them since there will be a lot of overlap. When you know the chords that'll be played, by say the guitarist, you will know what scale (or three) you can switch off of to stay in tune... more or less on the fly. The pentatonic scales will sound great within themselves so you're covered there. Of course this also requires ear training (as well as some music theory) so that's a bit of a wrinkle maybe. Not saying I'm able to do this yet, but has been suggested numerous places, so I pass it along here. Smiley


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MrTheFoxx
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« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2011, 11:05:02 pm »

I can't help but agree. Playing by ear is very important, but so is playing from sheet music. I will practice them equally until I get good at them both, and later determine which one plays the largest roll for me. Thanks again, everyone.  Wink


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UncleO
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« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2012, 04:07:42 am »

Hey!

Please read the bottom half of my Ocarina Problems post.

For a given song in a major key the ONE sheet is just right for ANY major key.

The lines, for instance, are for the tonic (the note the key names; G in G major) on the bottom line, the 3rd (B in G) on the second line , the 5th on the third line, etc.  The spaces going up: the 2nd (A in G) in the first space, 4th in the next space, etc.

So, if you feel the meaning of the third, fifth, etc, the resultant sheet is perfect for whatever key you want to play it in. (Well, any major if the song was in a major.) Same sheet for your G or C instrument (and did someone say D?).

And, because the second line represents the 3rd in whatever key, this is also right for minor key songs.  The spaces between the line (or lines between the spaces) do not represent the standard full or half step, they "just" represent. 

And you can indicate chords in somewhat the same way. "Say"   I  (capital "eye") if it's a G-major in G, or C-major in C, etc. In G (and similarly for other keys), ii represents an A-minor chord, and iii, IV, V, vi for B, C, D, E. I skip the basic triad/chord on the 7th for "good" reason.




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