Where Do You Guys and Gals Get Your Sheet Music From?

Discussion in 'Lessons & Techniques' started by minotaur, May 29, 2013.

  1. minotaur

    minotaur Member

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    I have ventured beyond the world of free tablature. By accident, actually. I purchased what I thought was a hard copy anthology of a band's music, but it turned out to be online printable format sheet music. Which is fine, it's easier to handle and share with music mates. Here's the thing, though, the anthology wasn't spendy ($25 for 20 songs or so), but individual songs I'd like to learn are seemingly all $5/each. That can add up quick, is that just what I can expect to pay for the "real" sheet music - per individual song?

    What do you guys do for sheet music, tabs & chord and leads etc., when you have to? Where do you go? To free stuff first, and if it doesn't sound right - to the "better" ($) sites?

    Thanks in advance for your input.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  2. Kevy Nova

    Kevy Nova Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I can't help. I use my ears, and I trust them more than any online tabs or published sheet music that I've seen.
     
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  3. Alex_SG

    Alex_SG Well-Known Member

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    The online tabs can be handy to give an idea of what something sounds like, but quite often the tab is actually playing along to the lyrics, instead of the harmony.(does that make sense). I use www.ultimate-guitar.com if I want to check something I'm doing wrong, and I have in the past used www.musicnotes.com , but that can get a bit pricey.
    I normally just go to the best sheet music store I can find, and buy what I want as a hard copy.
    BTW, you still have to be careful buying from a store. My wife bought me "The Doors Anthology", and it's crap!(See the highlighted words in this post!!!) I believe it cost her around $50 too! Pity she didn't keep the receipt, 'cos I was going to return it!
     
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  4. Heket

    Heket Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Alex - the best way to do it is to find some online tab (I use Ultimate Guitar too) to get a starting point then work through the song by ear. It's not the easiest or most convenient way to do it, but it is the cheapest and most accurate, even if you have to buy the individual song. It also keeps the ear well trained, which is always a plus.

    I find myself getting very frustrated with tab, even in 'official' books. As mentioned, plenty follow the vocal melody (why do they do that?) with others having a good amount of errors and you may even find yourself wanting to play a bit differently despite what the tab says. For example, I play one song in Drop D instead of Eb and I add and change a few bits that doesn't change the fundamental sound of the song but makes it a bit different.

    Sheet music is expensive. It's nice to have, but you don't *need* to buy it. Do you have a tab-writing program on the computer? I use Guitar Pro 6.
     
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  5. frankd

    frankd Well-Known Member

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    I go to you tube . ther are plenty of guys who know their
    stuff and I can watch listen and learn fast and easily.
    with th eright teacher like guitar Joeless or master that riff
    clay james etc,
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCVMVEESPag&feature=endscreen&NR=1[/ame]
     
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  6. Tobacco Worm

    Tobacco Worm Well-Known Member

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    When I lived in Ft. Worth, there was a great shop that I did work for from time to time. They had a huge room filled with just sheet music and books. The nice lady that ran that section was the mother of one of my friends and she'd know that when I came in I was hunting for something special. So the guitar section was always stocked well.

    However, I do not enjoy TAB. I learned notation as a child and thus read standard music well. So I would often skip over those items with TAB and go for the music that was written in the more clasical manner. Yes, there were many that had the notation following the vocal, yetch, and have little chords in blocks above the lines. I'd pass on those quickly. But there were far more that were fully written and properly made sheet music that was to my likeing. Thus I'd rather have real sheet music I suppose.

    Personally, I've seldom gone looking in the net thing for any music really. So much I've seen is all TAB. So I quite looking for music on the net long ago as nearly all I found was that TAB business.....If there's a piece that I wish to learn now though, I listen and learn it by ear. If need be, I'll take the time to write it by hand, though that really takes a lot of time to do and time is something I can't let slip by anymore.

    Wade
     
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  7. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    One's ears are the best tools for learning music.

    However, I too am a staff notation reader, not big on modern tab although I do read lute tab, which WAS the historically accurate way of writing lute music.

    Books can be very varied, from really bad sheet music with the wrong chords and in the wrong keys, to nicely accurate transcriptions of a band's song in staff notation and tab, like say the work of Andy Aledort.

    Andy Aledort Official Website

    Sometimes I like to see what's available and will search the net for whatever free music I can find - I am all for not re-inventing the wheel, if someone else has done a transcription I like to see it before I work on my own.

    Never assume something in print is correct just because it is in print!

    For classical music there are many free archives:

    WIMA: Werner Icking Music Archive

    IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library: Free Public Domain Sheet Music

    Other sheet music archives

    IMSLP:Other music score websites - IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library: Free Public Domain Sheet Music
     
  8. Heket

    Heket Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to mention something, Frank's comment about Youtube reminded me.

    If you're going to go down the route of tabbing your own songs, finding a video or live performances of the artist playing that song can help immensely. I solved a fair few tabbing queries by doing just that.
     
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  9. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    I too have looked at the way an artist plays something in order to help figure out exactly what he/she is doing. Often seeing what position or chord shape is used can help a lot. Yes, videos can help!
     
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  10. minotaur

    minotaur Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. While I first took guitar lessons over 25 years ago, I have been off and on the instrument all my life, never played in a band and never made the commitment, when it comes down to it. I understand and accept this, but I want to change for the better, and maybe be remembered as a decent musician. So, I don't have many local pals with common music interests to jam with and such, so I am on my own to learn things 51 weeks of the year. I may know an original song recording in and out, be able to identify it at the first 2 notes and such, but can't fully put it to instrument by ear. There's chords I'm hearing I don't even know, how am I supposed to pick it out? Ugh. I don't fully understand how to read everything in music and have to translate it, really, but I look things up to learn. But when the chords are there for/on the written music that includes it, I play right along. I thought I would venture more into note picking and look for written music with those little plucks and punctuations, and translate it to TAB, which had me seeking deeper for accurate transcriptions. I have considered just goofing on the guitar until I get it, but if it is already written somewhere, I can get right down to it.

    Really though, I guess it comes down to I want to learn new music, and sometimes I struggle on where to start. My theory knowledge is weak. I don't know all the scales I should by now. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I feel I suck at guitar, because I'm not as good as I want to be and feel I am able to be. Which is why I would walk away from it in the past, frustration and boredom (not unheard of, I realize.) But enough is enough. I shouldn't let the instrument get to me like I am indicating right now, but I want to progress, not play the same songs I have been for feels like forever. Yeah, practice, practice, practice. But what? I struggle. Oh well, time to suck it up and just play something.
     
  11. Heket

    Heket Well-Known Member

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    First of all, good on you for putting your goals, frustrations and setbacks out there. They really help the rest of us help you. Plus it's good to vent!

    There's no easy answer to your dilemma. If you are not comfortable with transcribing then your only option is to fork out the cash. Simples. It's a lot, yes, but try and do it realistically so you only purchase what you're capable of learning at any one time, ie don't buy a gazillion at once! I can't help you with where to find cheap sheet music as I rarely use it myself. User-submitted online tab is pretty good but make sure the tab you has standard notation as well or otherwise notates the rhythm of the song, especially if you're not too familiar with it.

    Now here's a more personal question. Are you sure playing the guitar is what you want to do? For the longest time I thought fine art was what I wanted to do, but I always got so frustrated, kept leaving and coming back to it, talked and thought about it more than I did it until I found my real passion - the guitar. I still dabble in a bit of artwork, but it's a relief to have found a pastime that doesn't make me feel like like a failure.
    This is incredibly common and is simply because you have set your expectations too high. We all do it and it's not easy to come down from them. The only way to overcome this feeling is to have a goshdarned blast doing it anyway.

    That all said, I think one thing you can really do to push you through the wall is to learn music theory. I don't think anyone really wants to hear this (apart from nerds like me) but it'll help you in ways you don't even realise. I'm still learning myself, but even now the guitar has stopped being such a mysterious creature and I feel like I'm slowly uncovering the building blocks of music.

    Music is a language. Theory is the grammer. Sure you can speak without knowing any grammer but it makes things really hard and uses a whole lot of brain power trying to remember whole sentences without understanding how they are constructed.

    Let's round this up and come back to your original issue - sheet music. $5 sounds about right. I think you'll find yourself hard-pressed to find it for less.

    Good luck in your quest! :fingersx:
     
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  12. Susihukkanen

    Susihukkanen Well-Known Member

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    I use public library (loans are for free). They have huge amount of those booklets and books from all kind of artists. Those notes in the booklets in addition to listening the recording is the way I try to learn a song.
     
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  13. Tobacco Worm

    Tobacco Worm Well-Known Member

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    This might be a little off track from the sheet music part, but since this is the Lessons & Techniques part, here is something that I'll do and used to have my students do.

    I'd sit in front of my TV with it on a show or what ever and have my guitar in hand with the amp set to where it is about the same volume as the TV. And I'd play along with the commercials, the shows, anything that had music going on there. You'll notice that the guitar is such a part of today's music that it's in just about everything you hear. So while I'm listening to the themes and such I'm playing right along with them. You'ld be amazed as to how fast you can pick up on those melodies.

    I use this for training my ear and my playing of fast improv stuff as well. I'll sit and add bit of my own to what's being played on TV. Thus when I used to go and fill in with other bands back in the day, I could rehease with them and nail stuff fast. Then the next day or so when the gig was going on, I was on top of my game. Even if I forgot a part, I could just play along with the band as I did with the TV adding what I felt at the time.

    With the wide amount of music styles being used in the TV shows and commercials, you get a very broad bit of music to play along to. It runs from hard rock to clasical and everything in between. It will expand your ability I promise you. Train you ear to pick up on melodies fast. And will allow you to play your own parts to add to the music you're hearing. And it costs nothing to do.:)

    Wade
     
  14. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    I used to do that too, or play along with the radio. It is a great fun way to work on ear training.
     
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  15. minotaur

    minotaur Member

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    I hear you guys. Heket, yes I am sure that I want to play guitar. And piano. And bass, and drums...haha I just love music and want to make more of it, get inside of it. I realize to do this you must let go, as I do, but my sound needs a change, to get away from the same old sounds I have made forever. I'll get it, dangit.

    My question is answered with additional knowledge, thanks all (except Kevy, who just made me feel a tinge of jealousy ;) ). I also will dig into the YouTube resource for a change. And playing along with the tv...and right now Woodstock is on... a great place to start! Plenty of SG action too!:dude:
     
  16. smitty_p

    smitty_p Well-Known Member

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    I use Musicnotes.com a lot. For the songs I've needed it's been pretty good. I usually use standard notation instead of TAB so that works better for me.

    Ultimate-Guitar.com is an exercise in frustration for me. But, I will check it out from time to time.
     
  17. shreddy bender

    shreddy bender Well-Known Member

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    i have a funny story. when i was in grade four my older sister "tricked" me into thinking learning piano would be fun. well with marion quick as the funeral parlour organist and local piano teacher i didn't stand a chance! after about four weeks of lessons she got tired of me saying "if you play it for me i'll learn it for next week." she said NO MORE !!!!! YOUR'RE LEARNING BY EAR!
    needless to say i'm a self taught by ear learner





















    '
     
  18. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    I looked at and they do not seem to support my Mac. Nor is it free!

    It looked good, though.
     
  19. iblive

    iblive Well-Known Member

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    My story on Tabs... Some time ago I was attempting to learn "Behind Blue Eyes." So I downloaded a couple different sets of Tabs and frankly was getting pretty frustrated 'cause of course I couldn't do it like Pete. Then I read a piece by an author, I don't remember, that pretty much stated... "Use tabs to get the idea, then make the song yours. Get over trying to sound like the original artist... won't happen." After reading that I picked up my guitar and pretty much played the song front to back... mistakes and all... didn't sound like Pete, but it sure sounded like me. I was a happy boy.

    Like some others have mentioned, I've been checking out You Tube for tutorials on songs. Some of them are pretty good and a lot of them are garbage.. but many times good or bad, they've helped me get over a rough spot that I haven't been able to figure out. You know... one of those Ahh - Ha moments.
     
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  20. smitty_p

    smitty_p Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it can be pricey. Usually what I do is to try to learn the piece by ear, and only buy from Musicnotes for difficult passages. The other nice thing about Musicnotes is that they will often have the other guitar parts that don't stand out so much but are still important to the song.

    I'll also use Musicnotes when I have to learn a song quickly.

    For the songs I have need to buy, the charts have been pretty accurate. There have been a few mistakes, but usually nothing huge.
     

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