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Reading & Writing Music

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Last post 26/09/2020

Posted by SusyLuvsPaul

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      Do you think Beatle songs would be even better if they could have read and written music

        SusyLuvsPaul wrote:Do you think Beatle songs would be even better if they could have read and written music

        No I don't.  In my opinion there is a spontaneity when you can't read music that you sort of lose, once you are able read music. There are no rules, listening to a song and then trying to recreate it from memory can take you to an unusual perspective, sound or chord. 

        Once you learn to read music you are bound by the sharps and flats, base and treble cleft. Of course, reading music makes it a lot easier for an orchestra to all be on the same page at the same time! LOL  

        All in all, however it came together for the BeaTles, it was such a magical, miraculous event. one that affected the world in a very beautiful way and I'm so happy the BeaTles were a major influence in my life 

          love2travel wrote:

          SusyLuvsPaul wrote:Do you think Beatle songs would be even better if they could have read and written music

          No I don't.  In my opinion there is a spontaneity when you can't read music that you sort of lose, once you are able read music. There are no rules, listening to a song and then trying to recreate it from memory can take you to an unusual perspective, sound or chord. 

          Once you learn to read music you are bound by the sharps and flats, base and treble cleft. Of course, reading music makes it a lot easier for an orchestra to all be on the same page at the same time! LOL  

          All in all, however it came together for the BeaTles, it was such a magical, miraculous event. one that affected the world in a very beautiful way and I'm so happy the BeaTles were a major influence in my life 

          Agree! Well said! 

            All in all, Paul's not done too badly without the ability to read or write musical notation !  He's not alone either - Irving Berlin couldn't do it either, but came up with some of the greatest songs of the 20th century. 

              How does Paul Mc. play piano "by ear"--how does anyone. It seems miraculous. Could John and George do that? Ringo?

                dirkmcquickly wrote:

                All in all, Paul's not done too badly without the ability to read or write musical notation !  He's not alone either - Irving Berlin couldn't do it either, but came up with some of the greatest songs of the 20th century. 

                 I had seen a You Tube of Paul quite a while ago. Apparently he was working on some Classical music using a program that notated the songs for an orchestra.  I assumed he was able to write musical notation, however, now I'm realizing the program must have been notating what he was playing! He certainly is in good company with Irving Berlin and I'm even more appreciative of the music (if that's even possible) keeping in mind the number of instruments he plays too! 

                  I'm entirely self-taught as a piano player - I started at the age of 60 with a portable keyboard and a list of basic chords, and six years later I have chord sheets for hundreds of songs, I've mastered plenty of jazz chords and had a lot of fun. I don't rely so much on Google for chord sequences now, I can work them out in many cases. So if I can do it with a modicum of ability, not reading or writing musical notation, then it's not so surprising that Sir Paul with all his musical talent and experience has achieved so much !

                   

                    dirkmcquickly wrote:

                    I'm entirely self-taught as a piano player - I started at the age of 60 with a portable keyboard and a list of basic chords, and six years later I have chord sheets for hundreds of songs, I've mastered plenty of jazz chords and had a lot of fun. I don't rely so much on Google for chord sequences now, I can work them out in many cases. So if I can do it with a modicum of ability, not reading or writing musical notation, then it's not so surprising that Sir Paul with all his musical talent and experience has achieved so much !

                     

                    Wow! That is amazing Dirk! 

                      dirkmcquickly wrote:

                      I'm entirely self-taught as a piano player - I started at the age of 60 with a portable keyboard and a list of basic chords, and six years later I have chord sheets for hundreds of songs, I've mastered plenty of jazz chords and had a lot of fun. I don't rely so much on Google for chord sequences now, I can work them out in many cases. So if I can do it with a modicum of ability, not reading or writing musical notation, then it's not so surprising that Sir Paul with all his musical talent and experience has achieved so much !

                      Well said.

                        I play guitar, went up to the piano and learned a bit,  goofed around on bass too. All without reading music. You learn chords and the positions on the frets and the same chords in different places on the guitar. I would take the guitar and play it and try to find the notes on the piano. Then I would listen to mostly Beatle songs and the solo Beatles while trying to figure them out. Soon I was playing some chords and somewhat lead guitar. 

                        In school you would find out who plays guitar, bass, piano and drums. I got together with a few people who would become friends. We had a basement band. None of us could read or write music. (*given a long long time I might be able to say the "A" note equals this thing on the staff, "C" is here etc...). We all knew how to play our instruments and did some songs. Usually in a band * even a small time basement band - we would show each other the chords we were playing or a rough idea of the lead or bass part. I played guitar in basements and garages and outside. Once in awhile with someone that I didn't  know. In all the small time bands and playing that I did, not once did anyone bring out a musical part to play by having musical notation all over the place. There might have been slightly different approaches - some you learned the song on your own and got togetther with everyone and you did your part - other times you would play the song or someone would play the song - watch what chords they were playing or simply jam and put a lead or bass part in there - someone might jam in "E" and you knew to stick with things done in that key - so there still is the knowledge of your instrument. 

                        Soon I was writing songs and the cool part of that was bringing them to the band - playing it and sometimes showing them a rough idea of what I wanted them to do and other times letting them put their touches of gutiar or bass to it. The same with singing - you did it - nobody in my circle saw voice things marked up - you sang the part and sometimes hit the notes on guitar that you wanted the other person to do (harmonies and backing vocals).

                        When I wrote a song or captured it - I would do my own version of scribble that had the words and the chords over - some blank spots some notes that would say there should be a bass part that goes da da da dee da dee da or lead part here. 

                        As someone would have a "guest instrument" I would ask them what the range is or what key it is in compared to the guitar. I tried a few of those - was never good at it, but could adapt enough to create a few notes or sounds on them. It gave me a lot of respect for someone who could do the instrument well. 

                        I know it is a small scale of amateurs,  but we did the same things that professionals did - only we weren't going to make it there. 

                        Also when writing a song - there were times I grabbed a ripped piece of paper, wrote on the back of a letter or envelope - whatever I could find to capture the song. Without spending my time looking for a pad of paper and a pencil or pen. I didn't want to lose the song or idea that came to me. I would scribble some quick words with chords over them (even if the words weren't good, I knew I could change them later). Trying to write notation or real music notes would probably have stopped or slowed down the magic of the song that was being created. 

                        The time I saw someone using music notes that they read - was a school band type of person - flute, clarinet, trombone etc ...  if you wanted them to do a part you had to figure out how to get notes to them *unless you had a George Martin type of person - which I did not. 

                        Anyway .... just my quick take on it for now. 

                          I learned to read music and play the notes on a guitar when I was 9 in 1964. It was so boring, I quit after awhile. Then got a new guitar in 1968 for my 13th birthday (1967 Gibson acoustic that I still have)  and learned to play chords and sing Beatles songs from a guy at church. Also took up the cornet when I was 11 or 12 and only played by reading sheet music. Was in the school band/orchestra. Had to give it up because I got braces and it hurt my mouth too much to play! 

                            I can sing well with perfect pitch, I can compose songs though lacking in formal training except for voice lessons as a child, and can't play any instruments. When I tried to learn guitar, the  steel strings hurt my fingers so badly that I quit... I should have tried to with an acoustic guitar without steel strings... I still got original tunes and lyrics in my head for years and then noticed with the shock and trauma  of Lennon's tragedy (I lived in New York at the time it happened)  for years after that the ability of mine to come up with songs mainly deserted me. It's just in the past couple years I started to get it back more.  My grandmother was a piano teacher, and her son my father sang really well and played piano and trombone. (Had a music store for awhile.) I wonder if I inherited my modest musical talent from them. I tried to learn piano as a child, but couldn't get my head around it. I've come up with more folk songs these past few years, protest folk songs lamenting you know who, and sort of  folk love songs inspired by (and for)  a certain reporter celebrity I really like. I regret I lost some of these. I should have been more careful not to lose them.Although they mean little to anyone but me; and no-one has ever asked to hear one of mine.Except for once, those girls in the Beaufort County Arts Council liked one of mine I sang for them called "S.O.S." Oh and Audi who used to post here liked my "You Got More Sass Than Class" song.  Some people have told me I sound good. My singing voice.

                             

                              SusyLuvsPaul wrote:

                              How does Paul Mc. play piano "by ear"--how does anyone. It seems miraculous. Could John and George do that? Ringo?

                              Don´t understand that either. I´m playing the piano as well and couldn´t imagine playing it by ear. I think you have to be really talented to do that. Very impressive. 

                                Roland300 wrote:

                                SusyLuvsPaul wrote:

                                How does Paul Mc. play piano "by ear"--how does anyone. It seems miraculous. Could John and George do that? Ringo?

                                Don´t understand that either. I´m playing the piano as well and couldn´t imagine playing it by ear. I think you have to be really talented to do that. Very impressive. 

                                Some people are just innately musical. I am not one of them. With some effort I can sing simple tunes on pitch, and that is it. But I have several relatives who play instruments -- guitar, mandolin, banjo -- without reading music. Paul is quite evidently one of those people whose brain is just wired for music. And remember, people played music for centuries, probably millenia, before anyone started writing down notes.

                                  John Lennon got some of his musical talent from his dad Freddie. Like Paul inherited some of his from his father Jim. but obviously the two dads didn't possess the huge talents of their sons, not to that degree. Not anywhere near, but they did have some musical prowess.