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#193952 - 02/10/13 07:23 AM [Off-Topic] What are the best tools to create professional looking chord diagrams ?
Joe V Offline
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Registered: 02/19/06
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Please share free, low-cost, and high cost tools - and compare their ease of use if you can.

In particular, I'm interested in open string chords - not sure if that should make a difference, but sometimes I wonder if it's not better to see them on the entire fretboard (e.g. from fret 1) - of course, it is more space and paper - but not if it's on your computer.

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#193953 - 02/10/13 10:34 AM [Off-Topic] Re: What are the best tools to create professional looking chord diagrams ? [Re: Joe V]
Mac Offline
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Throw the dots and diagrams away, Joe.

Go with the written notation.

There are two great tomes written by George Van Epps, "Harmonic Mechanisms" Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 that are a course in how to play every combination of strings starting in two note chord patterns and working upwards from there. (The signature lead guitar lick from the famous "Brown Eyed Girl" session, the walking 6ths/3rds is actually in this book and was apparently what the player on the session was working on at the time the song was recorded...).

http://www.amazon.com/George-Harmonic-Mechanisms-Guitar-Vol/dp/0871669064

Practicing these as excercises, always in time to a pulse, is a great way to kick up the sight reading skills while also learning all the possible neck patterns that make musical sense - and even those that don't, for some day they might make musical sense as our collective ears grow.

These two books are bedrock and IMO should be on every guitar player's shelf, but not just sitting there in the pristine. I can tell what the guitar player is able to do by how dog-eared and well worn these two books are. And if they aren't there at all, that's more information about what their abilities are going to be as well. <g>


--Mac
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#193954 - 02/10/13 10:50 AM [Off-Topic] Re: What are the best tools to create professional looking chord diagrams ? [Re: Mac]
Joe V Offline
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Loc: NYC
Thanks for sharing this Mac - I will most likely order that book, and unfortunately, if history proves itself over again, it will most likely sit on my shelf under-utilized, because while it will get some of my time, it will take more time to work through and benefit from than I'm able to prioritize given my many other interests (e.g., like BB/RB/RT, learning flamenco pieces, practicing the techniqe required to play those flamenco pieces, and posting on this website !!! ; )

(how's that for a run on sentence

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#193955 - 02/10/13 03:04 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What are the best tools to create professional looking chord diagrams ? [Re: Joe V]
bobcflatpicker Offline
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Quote:

Throw the dots and diagrams away, Joe.

Go with the written notation.




Joe,

Mac and I frequently agree, but on this one we are polar opposites.

Standard notation is poorly equipped for properly notating music for any fretted stringed instrument. TAB and chords charts are the way to go. Most all modern TAB programs include TAB and standard notation so you get the best of both worlds.

There’s a good thread on this from Jul 2011:

http://www.pgmusic.com/forums/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=324309&page=8&fpart=1&vc=1

If you go to page 2 of that thread and scroll down to post #325100 I’ve got some sheet music with TAB and standard notation with details about the differences.

To answer your original question, I’d recommend Guitar Pro. It also works for most all fretted instruments.

http://www.guitar-pro.com/en/index.php
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................................
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#193956 - 02/10/13 03:29 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What are the best tools to create professional looking chord diagrams ? [Re: bobcflatpicker]
MarioD Offline
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I will add my US two cents worth now. Tabs with notation is ok but tabs alone is not. If you learn notation you can play anything but if you only play tabs you then must know the song prior to reading the tabs. Tabs may be ok to get you in the right position but for me it’s easier just to read the notes.

I’m so old that we didn’t have tabs when I learned how to play guitar. I do not want to hear any jokes about yes and guitars only had three strings back then To this day I have a ton of problems reading tabs.
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#193957 - 02/10/13 04:26 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What are the best tools to create professional looking chord diagrams ? [Re: MarioD]
Mac Offline
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People who can't/don't read notes always say what BobC says.

That is generally because they only know the one way to do it.

They don't know what it is that they don't know, though.

No offense meant, its all good.

MarioD makes a good point about age, I don't think there WERE tabs when I started out with guitar. At least, I did not encounter any.

I think I should clarify: TAB along with notation is good stuff that can give the complete situation. TAB by itself is what I'm speaking against.


--Mac
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#193958 - 02/10/13 06:47 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What are the best tools to create professional looking chord diagrams ? [Re: Mac]
bobcflatpicker Offline
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Quote:

People who can't/don't read notes always say what BobC says.




Not all of them Mac. Some folks who use TAB are made to feel inferior or defensive when they read/hear arrogant statements like the one you made on the other thread:

Quote:

If you cannot read music, or if it takes you an inordinate amount of time to read music, by definition you are musically illiterate.




In my not so humble opinion, TAB is a superior form of notation for stringed instruments, especially when paired with standard notation. But that’s just one “musically illiterate” pickers opinion.

It’s strange that all of the best musicians I’ve played with over the years were also “musically illiterate”, even though many of them were winning regional, state and even national awards on their instruments.

Some of the worst musicians I’ve encountered were prolific readers or even music teachers.

For me, musical literacy has more to do with the ability to play your instrument and a basic understanding of music theory, … not sight reading.

But what do I know? I’m “musically illiterate”.
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#193959 - 02/10/13 07:20 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What are the best tools to create professional looking chord diagrams ? [Re: bobcflatpicker]
Mac Offline
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If there was anything "arrogant" in my writing, look within for the probable cause, my brother.

Sometimes we don't like to hear certain things...


Peace,


--Mac
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#193960 - 02/10/13 07:30 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What are the best tools to create professional looking chord diagrams ? [Re: Mac]
bobcflatpicker Offline
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Mac,

I don't have to look within to recognize an arrogant statement when I read one.
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................................
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#193961 - 02/10/13 07:37 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What are the best tools to create professional looking chord diagrams ? [Re: MarioD]
Danny C. Offline
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Quote:

I will add my US two cents worth now. Tabs with notation is ok but tabs alone is not. If you learn notation you can play anything but if you only play tabs you then must know the song prior to reading the tabs. Tabs may be ok to get you in the right position but for me it’s easier just to read the notes.

I’m so old that we didn’t have tabs when I learned how to play guitar. I do not want to hear any jokes about yes and guitars only had three strings back then To this day I have a ton of problems reading tabs.




Mario,

Maybe that is why I can't stand tabs either.

Later,
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#193962 - 02/10/13 07:40 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What are the best tools to create professional looking chord diagrams ? [Re: bobcflatpicker]
Joe V Offline
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Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 1010
Loc: NYC
Everybody's points on this topic are correct !!! especially given the materials that were available to them in their period of greatest music development.

Bob - I lean toward strongly agreeing with the points you make, even though I realize and acknowledge the benefits of reading music fluently; I've experienced that the amount of time I've had to spend trying to learn to read music fluently across the neck requires too much time given it's payback. Here are some relevant points, I think:

1.) the flamenco pieces I study cannot be read and played properly without speciffic fingerings and positions notated on the music; also, the voicings and fingerings are so unlike anything you've come across, chances are reading the tab and not having to translate it to fingerings/positions would be faster for most people, even those that read fluently

2.) the 'feel' or swing, and the timing and rhythms used in flamenco are pretty difficult to notate accurately; generally speaking, you HAVE to hear the performances to do the music justice

3.) Is not music harmony and rhythm and SOUND - and the transmitting of such to the written page, as well as the subsequent energy to decode it, unnecessary steps for your brain ? ...that energy maybe can be better spent on the 'music' as I've defined it. Reading music should be considered not literally reading what's on a written page, but as Bob says, internalizing the harmonies, rhythms and phrasing so you can reproduce it at will. The other creative aspect outside reproduction is the tasteful creation of your own expressive sequences of harmony, rhythm, and phrasing; again, no reading of written material required. The best musicians can focus on these things without wasting energy on translations of sound to written form, and the reverse. As Bob said, some of the best musicians in the world cannot read music on the written page - but you bet that many of them can probably hear and immediately copy anything that is played for them.

Written music was ABSOLUTELY indispensable when audio recordings (e.g. phonograph, tape recorder, MP3s) were unavailable to everyone at such low cost. It's also absolutely INDISPENSABLE when recordings are completelyl available (e.g. as in music that was written before the availability of recording technology). Written music on the staff is INDESPENSIBLE when musicians that play stringed instruments would like their lines played by other instruments; of course - that's the beauty of the 'universal language' of the staff - it can be played by all instruments. But for musicians that play stringed instruments, tab that includes rhythms can get your fingers to the right place (at least for fretted instruments) much faster than having to translate the musical staff to your instrument, especially if you didn't grow up at a time when you HAD to learn to read due to the absence of recordings.


Edited by Joe V (02/10/13 07:50 PM)

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#193963 - 02/10/13 08:02 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What are the best tools to create professional looking chord diagrams ? [Re: bobcflatpicker]
raymb1 Offline
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Is it arrogance when the majority of good musicians can also read well? The majority of musicians coming out of Berkely, Juilliard and North Texas State are good players and good readers. Musicians who play well and are poor readers are definitely in the minority. Later, Ray
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#193964 - 02/10/13 08:06 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What are the best tools to create professional looking chord diagrams ? [Re: bobcflatpicker]
Mac Offline
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Quote:

Mac,

I don't have to look within to recognize an arrogant statement when I read one.




If someone cannot read this sentence because they have never been taught how to read, they would be. for all intents and purposes, functionally illiterate as concerns reading English.

I suppose that situation would be an "arrogant" statement as well?


--Mac
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#193965 - 02/10/13 08:11 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What are the best tools to create professional looking chord diagrams ? [Re: raymb1]
MarioD Offline
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Quote:

Musicians who play well and are poor readers are definitely in the minority. Later, Ray




Ray, I believe that may be directly proportional to the genre of music. A lot of rock, folk, bluegrass and others can be excellent players who can’t read a note of music. Classical and jazz may be just the opposite, although a number of older jazz players could not read.

I judge each song by what I like, not by whether the musician can read or not.

Just my two cents!
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#193966 - 02/10/13 08:57 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What are the best tools to create professional looking chord diagrams ? [Re: Mac]
bobcflatpicker Offline
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Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 3352
Loc: WV, USA
Mac,

Quote:

If someone cannot read this sentence because they have never been taught how to read, they would be. for all intents and purposes, functionally illiterate as concerns reading English.

I suppose that situation would be an "arrogant" statement as well?




No, … it wouldn’t. For the written word, the ability to read is the only defining factor.

For musical literacy, I just think there’s a lot more involved than just the ability to sight read. I would place more emphasis on the command of your instrument, understanding scales, chords, arpeggios, modes, progressions, general theory and the ability to communicate verbally in musical terms to other musicians as being more of a determining factor.

I just can’t imagine looking at a couple of my pickin’ buddies who are still winning or placing in every guitar contest they enter, (and have been for 20 plus years), and telling them they’re “musically illiterate” just because they can’t sight read. Saying that to them would not only be arrogant but also incorrect.

The ability to sight read standard notation is a fantastic skill to have and would definitely be a must for a professional musician, …especially studio musicians. Also for most any other instrument. Joe was specifically talking about guitar, (and other fretted stringed instruments).

For the record, I can read music but I can’t sight read. The only time I had any real use for it was when I spent about a year learning a little piano so I could help my son with his lessons. It soon became obvious he didn’t need my help so I gave it up since it was killing the tendonitis in my right wrist.
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................................
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#193967 - 02/10/13 09:08 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What are the best tools to create professional looking chord diagrams ? [Re: bobcflatpicker]
Don Gaynor Offline
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Registered: 12/10/03
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Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Quote:

would be. for all intents...




Aha, a misplaced period. My sister misplaced one once and my Mum nearly had an emotional catharsis. Accountants hate them too.

(Yes, I'm feeling better after the flu nearly killed me).

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#193968 - 02/10/13 09:39 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What are the best tools to create professional looking chord diagrams ? [Re: Don Gaynor]
Mac Offline
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Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
A period instead of a comma.

Suicide is the only answer.

Gotta go out an' buy me some sake first.


--Mac
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#193969 - 02/10/13 10:32 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What are the best tools to create professional looking chord diagrams ? [Re: MarioD]
bobcflatpicker Offline
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Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 3352
Loc: WV, USA
Quote:

I believe that may be directly proportional to the genre of music. A lot of rock, folk, bluegrass and others can be excellent players who can’t read a note of music. Classical and jazz may be just the opposite, although a number of older jazz players could not read.

I judge each song by what I like, not by whether the musician can read or not.




Well said Mario. You could also add country, blues, newgrass and new acoustic to that list.

If I were putting out an ad for musicians, the last thing on my mind would be whether or not you can “read”!

The only thing I’d want to know is whether or not you can play.


Edited by bobcflatpicker (02/10/13 10:44 PM)
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#193970 - 02/10/13 11:51 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What are the best tools to create professional looking chord diagrams ? [Re: bobcflatpicker]
Shastastan Offline
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Posts: 1252
Loc: CA
For me, a uke player wannabe, Jim Beloff's books are the best of both worlds. His charts are like leadsheets, but he has chord diagrams at the top, above where the notation starts for all the chords in the song. I can read tabs, but not as fast as the chord charts. Not exactly on point for the OP, sorry. There is a little pgm for the uke, called Chordette, to make chord diagrams. It's installed in Word as a font set. I would assume that there must be something similar for guitar?

Stan
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