Behind Bars for guitar notation?

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FwL
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Behind Bars for guitar notation?

Post by FwL » Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:25 pm

I notate a lot of guitar music, but I've never had a need to publish anything. Final defaults and a little tweezing have been good enough for personal use. I'm in a position, now, where I do need to notate for publication, and I'd like to clean up my act.

Does anybody know a good resource for modern guitar notation guidelines?

I have Behind Bars and refer to it often. Unfortunately, there's very little on guitar notation included, and what is there only addresses classical guitar notation. There's nothing on tablature and you can forget about anything to do with electric guitar techniques, lead sheets, etc.

Google searching, so far, just returns page after page on how to read basic notation.
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Re: Behind Bars for guitar notation?

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John Ruggero
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Re: Behind Bars for guitar notation?

Post by John Ruggero » Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:10 pm

You might post this at
Notat.io
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FwL
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Re: Behind Bars for guitar notation?

Post by FwL » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:18 pm

John Ruggero wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:10 pm
You might post this at
Notat.io

Thanks for pointing out that site. It looks like you're a regular poster over there.

I dug around a bit and didn't see much on guitar notation, but I'll make a post later and see what comes up.

So far in my searching the only thing I've come up with is one suggestion to just copy what the major guitar music publishers do. You'd be surprised how difficult it is to find something like a trill in a Metallica song book, though. Rock guitar transcribers apparently don't think in terms of things like ornaments, opting to write out a string of slurred 32nd notes, instead.

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A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules... often with the aid of unsuspecting musicians - Frank Zappa

Djard
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Re: Behind Bars for guitar notation?

Post by Djard » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:36 am

I think you will find little academic contribution in the domain of tablature because it has not enjoyed the rich history of conventional music notation, which is not unlike a sophisticated language. Moreover, conventional notation is light years ahead of pictographs through its development by some very gifted composers along the way. If you can overcome the limitations of tablature, you just might earn a place in history.

Can you express in tabs what can be so clearly conveyed in conventional notation?

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FwL
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Re: Behind Bars for guitar notation?

Post by FwL » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:06 am

Djard wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:36 am
Can you express in tabs what can be so clearly conveyed in conventional notation?
Sure. You can put the number 10 on the bottom line of the tab staff instead of crowding the treble staff with a Roman numeral for fretboard position and a circled Arabic numeral for the string required.

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A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules... often with the aid of unsuspecting musicians - Frank Zappa

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Re: Behind Bars for guitar notation?

Post by Djard » Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:28 pm

Interesting. Apparently I have underrated tablature. Are you able to emulate, for example, something as busy as the notation attached below?
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FwL
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Re: Behind Bars for guitar notation?

Post by FwL » Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:40 pm

I don't know how I've given the impression that I'm interested in replacing standard notation with tab. I'm not. I use it as an adjunct to standard notation.

Regardless of tab's merits or lack thereof, there's an entire industry based around offering guitar music in standard notation combined with tablature. For instructional material (which is what I'm involved in notating) lack of tablature can substantially decrease the market for the material.

Your example does highlight one thing I'm interested in, however. When I look at that notation it seems crowded and ugly. What needs to happen to get it looking beautiful?

Adding a tab staff would only move the string and position indications off of the standard staff, so most of the clutter would still be present. A tab staff might give some breathing room between the standard staves, though.

I apologize if I'm insulting your personal work.

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A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules... often with the aid of unsuspecting musicians - Frank Zappa

Djard
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Re: Behind Bars for guitar notation?

Post by Djard » Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:50 am

No offense taken: I gladly accept the views of others. And your comment that tabs adjunctive to conventional notation have become standard in the industry helps me lot to accept the option. I was genuinely curious about how much capacity tablature has to communicate music.

The sample I shared includes the art of fingering, so that the reader can faithfully reproduce the music without ever having heard the tune. I have long struggled with the matter of how much detail to add, and how much to leave up to the expertise of the reader. For instance, there is no need to add L.V. when writing arpeggios as the sustain of those notes is inherent to the instrument and generally implied. But how much attention should be given to notes that sustain is still challenging to me.

I am curious about how others weigh the matter: write exactly what is sounded at the cost of a cluttered score, or assume the reader will know what is implied?

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