Assistance required for school musical.

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by Bodes, May 11, 2013.

  1. Bodes

    Bodes SS.org Regular

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    Have been asked to play in the school musical.

    (before you tell me to look in the sight reading sticky thread, I couldn't find exactly what I was after and can keep feedback to specifically my issue)

    I have been given the guitar score and due to my lack of experience with sight reading and general knowledge regarding right positions, I was wondering what many of your fine folks do to find the best chording and note position around the fretboard?

    I started tabbing the music into GP6, but tabbing it all would waste time that should be spent playing the pieces. (took 3 hours to tab out 5 pages, with musical bring 113 pages long = 60+ hours of tabbing). I can not find the tabs for the musical online either.

    I have thought of just tabbing the single note stuff to make sure I get 'best' position.
    I have also thought of putting the chords into GP6 and creating a chord chart that I could have next to the score. (1 page of chord diagrams per song)

    Many thanks in advance for any good ideas that come this way!
     
  2. Mr. Big Noodles

    Mr. Big Noodles Theory God

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    I would not advise relying on tab. I say that coming from two directions: 1.) I'm a snob, and 2.) this is probably more of a learning and bonding experience than a meticulous performance, not just for you but for everyone else involved as well.

    Do you know how to build chords? If I say "Bm", can you make a Bm triad for me? If I say "B♭m", can you do just as well playing that chord? How about every other chord? If you see it on the page, you should be able to play it. Most of what guitarists do in scores like that involves chordal accompaniment. In some instances, voicing is very important, but with a band playing around you, you can get away with playing whatever voicing of that chord you know how to do. Learn the different triads and seventh chords, commit them to memory, and you should hardly need to practice places where you are playing chords.

    As for melody, I try to find the place where I can play the line most comfortably. This usually means with the least amount of position shifts. Any conductor who works with student and amateur musicians should have the expectation that guitarists suck at sightreading, but can get a part down with a bit of woodshedding, so you'll probably get a little leeway. However, really work on reading staff notation. This is your opportunity to learn, don't blow it by taking the easy way out.
     
  3. Bodes

    Bodes SS.org Regular

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    Thanks Shec. Some good points.

    Chord building is not something I do. Listening to/reading the music, I can get away with mostly barre chords in M, m, 7th and some open cowboy.

    I sure as hell not going to tab it all. I am working on one song where reading the notes is easy, but then I look at the chordal changes to play it, and think "there has got to be a better way...". Takes me 5 or 10 mins to work it out in a more sensible position/chording and I remember it.

    I think I could possibly learn 1 song a day, 22 songs, ~1 July for full rehearsals with cast.. I should be able to pull it off.
     
  4. Mr. Big Noodles

    Mr. Big Noodles Theory God

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    Bar chords are okay. That's what the instrument is meant to do. These are the chord qualities you should have a voicing for, in order of importance:

    Triads:
    1.) Major
    2.) Minor
    3.) Diminished
    4.) Augmented

    Sevenths:
    1.) Dominant 7
    2.) Minor 7
    3.) Major 7
    4.) Diminished 7
    5.) Half-diminished 7

    I don't suppose you're familiar with where to find the root, third, fifth, and seventh of each respective chord, are you?
     
  5. niffnoff

    niffnoff Just another SunBro

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    You are in the exact position I was in my spring semester, except I was given the music 2 weeks before the musical. Needless to say, in my experience schec has it nailed in advice, from my experience of doing it you should really look to identify what the sheet music is asking of you if it's asking you to comp a minor chord just comp it. If I recall the sheet music most the time just says "x chord here", so just find your root note if you only can play power chords, then do it, if you can do minor/major do it. If you want to be fancy as possible and make 9ths do it. Like, most the time you're doing one of three things. Imitating the bass with a chord voicing, playing a lead line or improv lead line (happens alot) or sometimes you're just in imitation with other orchestral instruments. I ended up playing with an alto sax for 60% of the musical we ended up jamming :lol: but seriously it'll actually in the long run help you sight read some unfamiliar music and feel alot more competent. I'd do it again if I get more time to actually learn the pieces.
     
  6. Bodes

    Bodes SS.org Regular

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    My music theory is all bar ZERO.

    I have used JamPlay to find the barre versions of the chord shapes then when I am looking at the picking parts(which aren't many), quickly chucking them into GP6 to work out the best position. As soon as the notes are off the staff, I'm screwed! lol!

    I am definitely going to go back and relearn some basic theory and continue afterwards. I have a couple of old books I used 10 year ago which were outlined in the sight reading thread while following the advice in there.

    Thanks for your assistance, Schec and Niff.
     
  7. Given To Fly

    Given To Fly SS.org Regular

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    Whats the musical out of curiosity?

    If its a Broadway musical the most challenging part will probably be staying with the key changes, sometimes it seems like the song hits all 12 keys in 3 measures! :ugh:
     
  8. Bodes

    Bodes SS.org Regular

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    Zombie Prom. :rolleyes:

    Not too many key changes during songs.
     
  9. Given To Fly

    Given To Fly SS.org Regular

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    lol Ok, you'll be fine then!
     

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