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#454190 - 01/28/18 09:16 AM [Off-Topic] Just because I am curious
eddie1261 Online   content
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This software provides a great opportunity for people to write songs even if they don't play, so I wonder 2 things. Which group do you fit in?

A. I have had zero music education in my life.
B. I do not play an instrument. All my songs are 100% software created.
C. I play an instrument but not all that well.
D. I play at a fairly proficient level.
E. I am a monster player.

And the second question is for only people who are in group A.

If you have had zero music training, how do you know what to enter into the chord sheet page to create your songs?

When I said zero music training, I meant zero. Like if you don't know that there are 12 keys, how do you know what to put in on bar 1?

This question grew from someone asking me about the software. She said "Oh that's cheating. If that's all that takes ANYBODY can write songs."

So I invited her over. Sat her at the computer. Started Real band. Got her to the chord entry page, and said "Go. Write a song if it's that easy."

She: "What do I do here?"
Me; "Enter your chord progression."
She: "What's a chord?"
Me: "What do you mean what's a chord? You said anybody could do this. Even with no music skills."

And that ended the discussion. (And I likely will never see her again. LOL!)

It is hard for people who play or have played, and/or had training either in school or on stage, to understand that we speak in terms that contain implied knowledge. To tell someone "A major chord is 1-3-5." evokes the question "What's a 1? What's a 3? What's a 5?" WE know that it means the steps of a scale, which would then evoke the question "What's a scale?"

So, again, I am just curious. The people I know here who have been around a while, I know your level of experience and education, but some of the newer names or just people with whom I have never interacted, I am curious to know your music education and experience level, if you read, etc....


Edited by eddie1261 (01/28/18 09:22 AM)
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#454209 - 01/28/18 10:43 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
raymb1 Offline
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Some years ago I posted that one should a little basic knowledge of music. A few, who are no longer active on the forum, took me to task for that. I agree with you, one should have some basic musical knowledge to use this program. I consider myself a D.
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#454218 - 01/28/18 11:07 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
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I think Ray is right. I don’t remember that discussion but I hope I supported him in it.

People call me an E. I think I’m an E- but the game is to not let anyone see why I think that.
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#454219 - 01/28/18 11:12 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: Matt Finley]
raymb1 Offline
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My wife thinks I'm an E! LOL
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#454227 - 01/28/18 12:47 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
Charlie Fogle Offline
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Well, OK. Wonder where I fit in?

I'm in group A. I have had zero music education in my life. Because I have not taken formal music classes. I signed up for band in elementary school and quit before ever selecting or receiving an instrument to play.

I'm in group C. I play an instrument but not all that well. I hold my own and play strictly by ear or memorization. I have recorded hundreds of recording where I spent hours and sometimes days practicing a specific series of difficult chords in a progression or fingering out a riff or strumming pattern for a song that after the recording and some time passes, I can no longer recall how to play. Once and done, many times.

But I've had times that required I be in group D. I play at a fairly proficient level. For at least one song or series of songs in a gig or recording.
Think - Practice, practice, practice.

Oddly, I also had a similar conversation as Eddie with a lady just this morning. As a member of group A, and with this mornings experience to help me along, I'll answer Eddie's question.

"If you have had zero music training, how do you know what to enter into the chord sheet page to create your songs?

When I said zero music training, I meant zero. Like if you don't know that there are 12 keys, how do you know what to put in on bar 1?"


Many times I applied the mechanics of music without the benefit of any theory. For example, I learned the names and chord shapes on a guitar, but not the individual notes that comprised the chords. I memorized chord progressions and chord shapes watching "Midnight Special", "American Bandstand", "Austin City Limits" and similar TV shows as well as watching live bands.

Yet I had my first song copyright in 1959. Have had a dozen or so songs copyrighted and commercially released since then. Recently sold a song that was recorded 44 years ago to be used in a documentary.


But that's enough about me and my limitations. To answer how someone without even the basic knowledge I have can use BIAB. I believe I can show anyone how to create their first song in BIAB in less than 15 minutes. What is required is a nominal knowledge of how to operate a computer. If one can do a file search, open and close a file and basic navigation skills. They can create music with BIAB. Here's what I tell people who ask.

Decide on a song title and do an internet search for a midi file of that song. Download that midi file and remember where it downloads to.

Open BIAB, tell them the hot key to open a midi file (F7) - From the open file window, navigate to the midi file you downloaded and select that file to import and open.

The BIAB Chord sheet will populate with the chords of the song, usually in the original key the song was recorded in and at or near the original tempo.

Show how to open the style picker and set search parameters for time signature, feel and tempo. Show how to alternately search for the downloaded midi file song by the BIAB song title search feature.

Show how to audition styles, select a style and generate a song.

Show how to mute the midi channel and if they are still with me at this point, show how to use the Sequencer to edit the midi tracks.


With that knowledge, they have enough skill to repeat and create a playlist in BIAB of every song they know and can find a midi file of.
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#454241 - 01/28/18 01:29 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
MarioD Offline
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I think that I am in the D level, at least with the guitar and bass. I am in the C level with it comes to the wind controller and the keyboard.

I read music and have some music theory as does JonD. He is also in the D level when playing with others but he is in the E level when all alone at the keyboard. He was all alone for many years until we got together. When JonD and I get together we challenge each other with music theory as it applies to chords and chord progressions. They always come first in our compositions.

BobH is a fantastic finger picking guitarist who knows some chords but is at the A level when it comes to reading and music theory. Sometimes he just fingers chords that sound good in his songs and I have to figure out what they actually are, guitar wise that is.

You don't have to know how to read music or have any music theory to play well but it is a must when you have to figure out what you have played. YMMV
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#454244 - 01/28/18 01:46 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: MarioD]
Ryszard Offline
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Eddie,

To answer your question, my skill level lies between D and E. I have had intermediate theory training, played bass and guitar for 50 years, and sung for longer than I remember. I read fluently for bass and voice, but am otherwise semiliterate; I can’t transcribe or write sheet music, although I consider myself a composer.

But you raise a most interesting point. Several times I have brought up a program called Master Writer, a songwriting aid. It doesn’t do what BIAB does; there is nothing automated about it. It is simply a set of tools (text processor, rhyming dictionary, rudimentary sequencer, Creative Commons links, spelling check, etc.).

Nevertheless, each time I have mentioned it, someone here has said, and I quote: “THAT’S CHEATING!” Would anyone care to explain or defend that?

Having attempted to hijack your thread, I will return to your topic and say that the likelihood of an untrained user creating listenable music with Band in a Box is somewhere in the neighborhood of a billion monkeys with a billion typewriters eventually turning out the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Richard
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#454246 - 01/28/18 02:05 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
sslechta Offline
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I consider myself a C player on guitar, bass, and keys. I think I'm fairly proficient in my knowledge of music theory and education (lots of college courses taken). I've just never had the time or dedication to spend a lot of time practicing my instruments. Regrets? Yes, a few... I've just always found other distractions than keeping at one instrument.
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#454252 - 01/28/18 02:36 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
rharv Offline
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I fit into 'F' <grin>
By my standards I'm not *great* on any of the instruments I play (so not D or E). But I understand theory well, which is what allows me the ability to play different instruments well enough to get the idea down.

Sure a beginner with no theory knowledge could 'walk into one' (a possibly local sports term meaning to get lucky .. kinda like 'even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while').
You could theoretically know nothing and still create something cool.

But with a little theory knowledge the chances of success get greater.
Knowing 1-4-5 is a huge step by itself, compared to no knowledge.

On the flip side; I could be the best trumpet player ever and never find joy writing a song in BiaB .. being proficient on a given instrument doesn't really translate in this context (to me anyways).

The only education/theory option in the OP was none.
Like Steve, I've had a lot of education (and it was worth it). Just never really 'mastered' any instruments performance wise.


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#454264 - 01/28/18 03:25 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: Charlie Fogle]
eddie1261 Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle


Decide on a song title and do an internet search for a midi file of that song. Download that midi file and remember where it downloads to.


While that does describe A process, it doesn't describe "writing". It talks about copying. I am talking about when there is no "that song" to find a file of. I am talking about riding in the car with your girl Susie Q that has not yet been written. To sit down and write a song. Fresh. Never been done by anybody. Because, at least in my mind, anything else is not "writing". You can download a text copy of "Moby Dick" and put your name on it but it's still Herman Melville's book. And that doesn't help YOU write.

Even if someone does what you describe, what does that do for them as far as the creative process? It is a good plan for educating. The can listen to that chord play, find the matching note on a piano, and know what an F is, but it doesn't tell them that the relative chords are Bb and C.

I get what you are saying, but it kind of isn't what I was asking (and was asked) about. Remember, this was someone who thinks songwriting is easy. I have seen deer standing in headlights that had a more expressive face than hers when she saw that chord sheet. Somebody who thinks there is a key of M. And of course the subdominant of M, the key of R.

So yeah, I know what you mean, but copying songs is not what I am addressing.
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#454283 - 01/28/18 04:25 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
Janice & Bud Offline
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I have no idea where I stand relative to the categories.

I used to be what I would consider reasonably proficient on upright bass Janice and I played and recorded with a friend who was grammy nominated and played on many renown artists’ projects. So he at least tolerated me.

On the other hand we were playing relatively simple chord structures relative to you jazz guys.

I was 23 when I decided to learn to play acoustic rhythm guitar - never had a minute of music education. I know zip theory but for some weird reason I can hear chord changes. But I’m nothing on constructing melodies. I can write a lyric with meter, hand it Janice with a genre suggestion and in short order she has chords and a melody.

So....I guess I’m a C that became a D and now back to C at best. Used to be a bit proficient but stood the upright in a corner 10 years ago and very, very rarely play it. Callouses and desire gone.

Hey couldn’t that lady use the melodist thang with 90s of training?

B
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#454284 - 01/28/18 04:31 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
90 dB Offline
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I'm an "A".


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#454289 - 01/28/18 04:51 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: Janice & Bud]
eddie1261 Online   content
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Quote:
But I’m nothing on constructing melodies. I can write a lyric with meter, hand it Janice with a genre suggestion and in short order she has chords and a melody.


Does Janice have formal training?

Formal training is not necessary to be proficient. It IS helpful when everybody in the room is at the same plane so when I say "On that measure right before the chorus, suspend that G chord" and everybody knows what that means. I was involved with startup a few years back and when I told the singer "Those small syllables at the start of that line are pickup lyrics that come before the downbeat", he didn't even know what downbeat meant. That was TORTURE for me. And another band I was involved in was completely ear players so charting things was a huge waste of time when nobody could read music. Again, reading is not necessary but it helps rehearsals go smoother when everybody can read music.

How hard is it to work with a group when "Go to the 4th there" means nothing?


Edited by eddie1261 (01/29/18 08:29 AM)
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#454292 - 01/28/18 05:04 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
Charlie Fogle Offline
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I have a friend who cannot play a note but has written some songs. He writes lyrics and sings and hums the melody he has in mind for the song to musicians and they figure out the chord structure and record a demo of vocals/instruments for him. He pays between $350-$500 per song according to the number of instruments used on the song. He had a stroke several years back and has memory issues so he no longer writes as far as I know. I'm sure he was satisfied with the accuracy of the melody or he wouldn't pay that kind of money for 6-8 songs I'm aware he had recorded.

I agree with you that he could not write a song on his own using BIAB. But prior to his stroke I think he could do as I described above and he could d/l a chord chart that sounded 'like and in the style of' the song existing in his head, D/L that song and write his lyrics over the chord structure of the similar song I would think. I think that would constitute writing a song.

EDIT: I also see no reason a novice cannot open a BIAB demo file and write original lyrics over the demo instrumental.


Edited by Charlie Fogle (01/29/18 06:47 AM)
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#454316 - 01/28/18 08:35 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
JoanneCooper Offline
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Eddie. Someone with absolutely no knowledge or music training (an A) can very easily write a song using BIAB. Just open a session and pull up the melodist feature and get it to generate some chords for you, (use the default key of C) and Bob’s your auntie. Just sing along to the chords that BIAB generated.

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#454323 - 01/28/18 10:56 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
Belladonna Offline
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I'm probably in the C category, although I've been dabbling in music for a long time. Never could give it my full attention as family and other commitments took their time. I play piano and guitar, although probably not well, and I can read music and know a fair amount about theory. Not real great with technology, so that is also a challenge.

As far as cheating, someone wrote a book called good artists borrow and great artists steal. Really meaning that you get ideas from others and you make it your own.

As a visual artist, you can get a photo and have a projector project it onto your paper from which you can trace and then complete a painting or a graphite or charcoal shading. Have you cheated? You didn't really do it from scratch. You used a camera for the photo or you borrowed a photo from someone else. Maybe you changed the composition a little or maybe not. Yet, you had to know what colors to use, how to mix and apply the paint, have some expertise and fine motor skills to get something that looks professional.

There's also a professional artist who makes big money and he just comes up with the ideas. He has a staff of artists that actually do the paintings or drawings, but he signs them and copyrights them under his name. He considers his staff just tradesmen as he is the creative idea person.

So, those of us who use BIAB are we just tradesmen or are we the creative idea artists and musicians? What sets us apart from any other technician?


Edited by Belladonna (01/28/18 10:59 PM)

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#454342 - 01/29/18 05:21 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
Notes Norton Offline
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F on sax and wind synth (although I'm reluctant to use the term "monster" because I'm always striving improve and I know where I need to go).

E on vocals, guitar, bass, and flute, I could gig with these for pop/rock/country music, but not for a jazz gig.

D on keys and drums. I can double on these but not an entire gig. Keys? Mostly a weak left piano hand but I can hold chords or work synth joystick/wheels. Drums? I'm good but lack of stamina due to not playing them every day.

I currently make my own backing tracks and regularly play sax, wind synth, guitar, flute and vocals on the gig.

But I also find that the more I learn about music, even after decades of doing it for a living, I find that there is more to learn. When I learn something, I find two more things that are calling me.

Insights and incites by Notes.
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#454377 - 01/29/18 07:57 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
jford Offline
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Quote:

A. I have had zero music education in my life.
B. I do not play an instrument. All my songs are 100% software created.
C. I play an instrument but not all that well.
D. I play at a fairly proficient level.
E. I am a monster player.


I am a C+ on piano (although some would call me a D); I'm a C on guitar; I used to be a D on trumpet, but lack of playing over the years does not make for a very good embouchure.

I am not good a writing melodies or lyrics, but I'm pretty good with writing fill-in parts and melodic solos to enhance the melody line.

I don't play by ear, but I can sight read at the piano (as long as it's not too difficult, and even then, I can sometimes simplify it on the fly to accommodate my level of playing, and I can play a passable accompaniment off a chord chart (and sing along at the same time). I know my style of playing, while not very technically proficient, has touched people (which is what music should do), because they have told me so when they didn't need to tell me so.

I greatly admire those who are "monsters", but that doesn't shy me away from playing what I can. I just try to learn from them. If they don't want me playing along, I'm sure they'll tell me - not a problem. When I had my praise band at church, we had several folks who would occasionally sit in with varying degrees of ability. I just told them to play what they know. I wouldn't do that if it were a paying gig, but church family loves you regardless (or at least they should) and doing that helped build the confidence of several budding musicians who would have put their instrument away forever otherwise.

And thank goodness for BIAB to cover all the things I can't do or even fathom coming up with. Such a wonderful tool to create music.
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#454390 - 01/29/18 08:33 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
Guitarhacker Offline
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D: I play at a fairly proficient level. I wouldn't be afraid to walk on stage with the big name players and singers in country music, on guitar, and hold my own. I made a living at this for a part of my life doing just that. I also have a fairly wide understanding of music theory.... you know... the book learning part.

Yep... Ive seen players who don't know what a key signature is or what chords are the basis of a given key.....

Regarding writing a song, Yep... I've heard the same or similar comments regarding BB/RB.... but if you have the best tools in the world and don't understand them or the theory and practical use, you can forget using them in an effective way.

Kinda like putting a home recording enthusiast into a multi-million dollar state of the art studio and turning him loose to record. The result will sound like he did it in his bedroom. By the same token, take a pro recording engineer and give him a laptop in a bedroom and he'll turn out something that will blow your mind.
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#454398 - 01/29/18 08:49 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: Guitarhacker]
eddie1261 Online   content
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But the other side of the coin Herb is when you DO play with schooled players who know their theory!! I played in a Motown band for 3 years that was nothing BUT formally trained musicians and that made it just a joy to go to work. One particular night it was 1:50 and we had no more desire to play another song, so I started playing some nonsense on the keyboard and the guitar player kicked in with it, then the bass player, etc. Just by holding up fingers, we came up with a progression. They knew that 2 or 6 meant it would be a minor, and by the second pass through they had the basic progression. Then the guitarist started substituting more elaborate chords, adding suspensions and things like rather than a straight Dm playing a Dm7 add 9, stuff like that. The 3rd time through the sax player took a solo. And on the 4th time I ad libbed some lyrics, put in some other solos.... We filled the last 10 minutes with that non-song, and the next week (we were a Sunday night house band) people ASKED for "that new song you closed with last week".

And we couldn't do it because even then I had no memory! LOL!!

Point being, I couldn't have done that with people who can only play "what's on the reeeecorrrrrd".... As I typed this in I thought about it and it has been over 2 years since I went out to see a copy band. No interest at all in people playing music that is on CDs I own. I buy CDs of the original bands when I see them play. There is one really good room within 5 minutes from my house that solicits original music bands and requests that 75% of their set be original. What I personally find particularly annoying is when people turn out CDs of their originals and then refuse to play them live. Isn't the idea of a songwriter playing live to give the crowd a sample of what they will get of they spend $12 and buy a CD?

And there we end up back at the "levels of listening" topic so I'll stop.


Edited by eddie1261 (01/29/18 11:12 AM)
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#454399 - 01/29/18 08:51 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: Guitarhacker]
Ryszard Offline
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Quote:
”Kinda like putting a home recording enthusiast into a multi-million dollar state of the art studio and turning him loose to record. The result will sound like he did it in his bedroom. By the same token, take a pro recording engineer and give him a laptop in a bedroom and he'll turn out something that will blow your mind.”


I had the enormous privilege of having a Grammy-nominated recording engineer do just that with my Sunn board and TEAC A2340-SX four-track RTR tape deck. As an experienced live sound engineer, I could do a lot; but he did more, and did it faster and better than I could. It was illuminating, to say the least!

R.
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#454416 - 01/29/18 09:36 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
Matt Finley Online   content
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I had no idea John played trumpet. Very cool. He heard me play my jazz compositions (written in BIAB) with a symphony orchestra.

Eddie, what’s a Dm7 add 0 ?
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#454424 - 01/29/18 11:11 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: Matt Finley]
eddie1261 Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
Eddie, what’s a Dm7 add 0 ?


LOL!!! A typo that I will fix!
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#454425 - 01/29/18 11:14 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
sslechta Offline
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That's a silent note.
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#454432 - 01/29/18 11:45 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: sslechta]
eddie1261 Online   content
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Originally Posted By: sslechta
That's a silent note.


Or a chord embellishment that adds nothing to the song...
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#454439 - 01/29/18 12:09 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
HearToLearn Offline
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Everyone knows you can't add zero to a chord. You can only subtract it.
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#454451 - 01/29/18 12:51 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
jford Offline
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Quote:
I had no idea John played trumpet.


Yep, I played first chair in our small Fort Knox High School Band in 11th and 12th grade, as well as my sophomore and senior year in college at North Georgia College (a well-respected military college). I didn't my junior year, because I was band master, so I directed/conducted the band instead (although I was not a music major).

I remember one time at all-district band, I played last chair in the "A" band (missed first chair in the "B" band by one smile - Hah!) Anyway, we were playing a jazzy kind of piece and it just wasn't sounding right. So the director started with first chair and had each person in turn play the solo, and each time, he'd say, "No, no, no! That's not how it should sound." And he got closer and closer to me (I think we had 9 trumpeters), and I'm going, "Oh, crap! If they can't do it, who am I?" Anyway, I played the part, and the director said, "YES! That's exactly how it's supposed to sound". I tell you, I got a lot of glares from up the line, but I got to play the solo at the concert.

Over the years, I've played a few times at church and accompanying a local community chorale on occasion. I just can't find the time to practice, so I've lost my embouchure and range, but I can still pick it up and finger the notes, although my tone leaves a lot to be desired. The "want to play" is there, but too many competing priorities.
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#454473 - 01/29/18 02:28 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
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I think part of why I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this is that I have never used BIAB. Never once. Only RB. Since the day I got the program I have used Real Band. That file incompatibility between the 2 programs was not fathomable to me. I had someone send me a BIAB chart once a few years back along with the MP3 of his song. I opened RB, imported it MGU (That's it, right? MGU from BIAB?), and RB completely regenerated that song so it sounded very little like the original MP3. The chord progression was the same but the chord voicings and the overall flavor was different. SO when Joanne said "Open melodist" I had no idea what she was talking about because I have never asked this software to create on its own.


Edited by eddie1261 (01/29/18 03:35 PM)
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#454480 - 01/29/18 03:05 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
KeithS Offline
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Originally Posted By: eddie1261
How hard is it to work with a group when "Go to the 4th there" means nothing?


How much harder is it to say, “Play an ‘F’ there” than to say “Go to the 4th”? If I’m the guy in the room with the largest music vocabulary, hopefully I know more than one way to quickly communicate an idea to a musician with less formal training. If a person has no musical,talent at all, then there is no reason for me to waste my time making a song work; but If I’m collaborating with a talented amateur, I’ll find some way to communicate on their level to make it work. I don’t want to sound like Barney Fife.

Barney Fife: “I’m surprised at you, Andy. They want people who have had musical training. Why, suppose they ask Rafe to do something he don't know? Rafe, if they asked you to sing a cappella, could you do it?”
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#454489 - 01/29/18 03:46 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: KeithS]
eddie1261 Online   content
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Originally Posted By: KeithS
“I’m surprised at you, Andy. They want people who have had musical training. Why, suppose they ask Rafe to do something he don't know? Rafe, if they asked you to sing a cappella, could you do it?”


Well, Barney, what if they asked YOU to sing a capella?

To answer your question, are professionals in any field not expected to know basic basics? I never met anybody in IT that called their mouse "the clicky thing". Had I told that guy "Play an F there", what would have happened on the next song when we were in E and I needed the 4th? Should I need to spoon feed things to professionals? The 4th is always the 4th note in a scale. The physical chord, obviously, changes depending on the key.

Note that this same guy told us twice every week for 12 weeks "I am going to go start taking theory lessons." On week 12 I told him "Jesus Christ. Either start taking theory lessons or stop telling us you are going to start taking theory lessons. Had you started when you said you were going to you'd have 11 weeks of theory lessons under your belt."

Had he come in and said "I don't know a lot of theory" I would have known how to speak to him when he needed some direction. And would have been happy to help him learn had he asked. But he chose to bluff and made the same mistakes every rehearsal. Mistakes should happen only once. Not just in music. In life.

(Says the guy who was married 3 times...)
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#454509 - 01/29/18 05:09 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
Larry Kehl Offline
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or a song that adds nothing to the embellishment? <G>
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#454545 - 01/29/18 07:13 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
Jim Fogle Offline
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Eddie,

Your post and your poll but ... The way the a, b, c responses are worded make me believe the responses are intermingling music knowledge with music skill.

Many can agree that the Nashville session players of the fifties, sixties and seventies were highly skilled musicians. But, many lacked formal music knowledge so Nashville Notation was developed so they could communicate and formulate ideas. ABC Notation that PG Music started supporting with 2018 BiaB for Windows was created for similar reasons.

I believe a person can use their ears and tools such as the Chord Builder that PG Music provides to create a song. Imagine a person noodling on a piano keyboard or whistling to develop a melody. They can then use the chord builder and the metronome to blindly find the tempo, chords, feel and time signature that follows their melody. Time consuming? Sure. Painful? Of course but doable.

My responses: Formal music training? A How good a musician? Permanent beginner. Continually relearning as I need it.
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#454556 - 01/29/18 08:40 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
JoanneCooper Offline
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Hi Eddie. I used both BIAB and RealBand. I always start getting the structure style and tempo right in Biab and then save it as an mgu then move over to RealBand to record vocals, add effects and generate additional instruments. It always takes a while to open the mgu file in RealBand the first time but after you save it as a seq file it is quick.

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#454608 - 01/30/18 05:13 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
Notes Norton Offline
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I prefer to work with people who know music theory and can read -- but also who can play by ear.

Different skills, but IMO all are important.

Extremely important to me is someone who has fun playing. I've met some monsters who are so serious about the music that they aren't having fun. I guess that's a valid approach for some, but not for me.

And to me Nashville Notation is a variation of the system we learned in school; using Roman numerals, capitals for major and lower case for minor. So a 2m7 or a 2-7 would be ii7 and a 57 would be a V7. That leaves Arabic numbers for extensions instead of the triad. That's easier for me, probably because I grew up with it.

And I've played in 'club-date' bands where the leader held up fingers for key signatures. Two fingers up meant two sharps, one down meant one flat, a fist no sharps or flats, and your knowledge of the song tells you whether it is major or minor.

And a Dm7 add 0 might mean - no embellishments, no substitutions, just play the chord wink

When in school I was first sax in the all-state band, and section leader on tenor (that seat goes to the first alto by default) every year that I was in school. I've been treated as a peer by some of the most famous musicians in the world back when we were the opening act for major stars, and I was in a the house band of a jazz jam where people like Ira Sullivan, Red Rodney, Duffy Jackson and other big jazzers sat in. Some of these people were real monsters. As confident as I am in my own abilities, when some of them came to town, I felt like I was faking it. "Monster" is a relative term.

I think no matter how good you are, there are always players out there better than you, and players worse than you as well. So I'm happy with my level of proficiency, and at the same time, even in my senior years, I am working on my skills to get better.

To me music isn't a destination but a voyage.

Notes
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#454618 - 01/30/18 05:51 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: Notes Norton]
eddie1261 Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Notes Norton
And a Dm7 add 0 might mean - no embellishments, no substitutions, just play the chord wink


Yeah, in this case it meant "Old man typing without his glasses hit the 0 instead of the 9 and didn't see it until Matt pointed it out".

The same old man who gets laser surgery on the other eye today....
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#454621 - 01/30/18 06:09 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
Notes Norton Offline
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Originally Posted By: eddie1261
Originally Posted By: Notes Norton
And a Dm7 add 0 might mean - no embellishments, no substitutions, just play the chord wink


Yeah, in this case it meant "Old man typing without his glasses hit the 0 instead of the 9 and didn't see it until Matt pointed it out".

The same old man who gets laser surgery on the other eye today....


I understand. I have typos built into my fingers. They came as standard equipment. I even have Type O Blood.

And being farsighted makes this computer screen hide so many of those typos.

Notes
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#454640 - 01/30/18 07:48 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
Belladonna Offline
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I look at BIAB as a tool and a very nice tool I must say. Again back to being a painter as all arts are related. There was a time when the Dutch Masters and Rembrandt and Leonardo were painting portraits of the rich and famous. And then the camera was invented and all of a sudden many people were taking pictures and painters sort of fell out of fashion. So now almost everyone could have a portrait hanging on the wall. But did the photographers have the skills of the artists, hardly. In photography today yes more skills are required to be a professional. But still a highly skilled painter requires a lot more. The creativity and technique is what sets apart the professionals from the novice in my opinion.

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#454676 - 01/30/18 11:03 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
Matt Finley Online   content
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I had the laser cataract surgery. That’s why I could see it. But why not just write Dm9?
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#454681 - 01/30/18 11:21 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: Matt Finley]
eddie1261 Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
I had the laser cataract surgery. That’s why I could see it. But why not just write Dm9?


Because I tend to be wordy, verbose, repetitive and redundant. Always and forever....
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#455396 - 02/03/18 06:10 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
rharv Offline
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I had a real eye opening experience Thursday night in this regard.
A little back history; I am recording 4 guys that played together 8 years ago for a bit.
They got back together to write another CD. Drummer, Bass player, guitarist, and keyboards/sax/vocals.

For 10 weeks there was a fair amount of time spent trying to teach the guitarist his part. Granted they were writing new songs, but after repeatedly playing the same song it would get old sometimes.

He was sick on Thursday, so just the other 3 were there.
They wrote 4 songs and recorded almost keeper tracks as demo to remember the songs. That is compared to 1 song a night previously.

The difference? These 3 know theory, they know how to listen, and they know their instruments well enough to play what they hear .. but they can also say "Yeah, for that section let's do 1-2-1-4-2-5 and hold the 5 for 3 bars", and they know what to do.

And they listen.
Magical things happen when players listen in a live setting and understand theory and song structures.

For instance during one section of a brand new song writing attempt (jam) the keyboard player started a 'call/answer' pattern. After he did it twice, the drummer had caught on and on the third call played a pretty complex pattern on his bass drum that accented the 'call'. This in turn caused the bass player to catch on, so the fourth (final) time they all accented the call, which made that whole section build up. This was very cool to hear from guys playing something they were writing (making up) at the same time. They understand theory and listen and it makes a huge difference.

When the guitar player is there he muddies things up enough to distract the other guys and they don't get the chance to listen to each other. Plus the time spent explaining what they were doing to him when he couldn't understand theory. That's like talking to someone who doesn't understand the native language.

So Thursday I had to point out the elephant in the room.
It's funny, they were all thinking it, but afraid to say it because it might cause strife between the band. Every one of them thanked me for saying it.
Sometimes being the recording engineer comes with certain freedoms. <grin>
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#455417 - 02/03/18 08:34 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
Matt Finley Online   content
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Yes, in the studio I listen carefully to any opinion the engineer offers. He or she normally doesn't say much if the producer if good, so when they do say something, it's the product of a lot of experience talking. Good for you, Bob.

And yes, I would quickly go crazy working with anyone who wasn't sharp on theory.
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#455422 - 02/03/18 08:51 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
rharv Offline
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Charlie! I spent 5 minutes replying to you only to see a message that the post I was replying to got deleted!

Arrgh. smile

Matt, the more time I spend with them the more I get the group dynamics and intent of their project, so each week I get more comfortable suggesting things. The fact that they are objective and consider my input also encourages this. Some bands don't want to hear it, so I just sit there and push buttons and sliders .. and I'm OK with that too. <grin>
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#455431 - 02/03/18 09:14 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
Matt Finley Online   content
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Any client who doesn't listen to the engineer is a fool. But how you get them to listen to you shows you have solid people skills, Bob!
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#455451 - 02/03/18 10:46 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: rharv]
Charlie Fogle Offline
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Originally Posted By: rharv
Charlie! I spent 5 minutes replying to you only to see a message that the post I was replying to got deleted!

Arrgh. smile


I quickly realized my comments were off point and inappropriate to make. Please excuse my bad judgement.
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#455464 - 02/03/18 12:48 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: rharv]
eddie1261 Online   content
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Originally Posted By: rharv
So Thursday I had to point out the elephant in the room.


Funny you mention that. Musicians all over Cleveland don't like me much because I have never seen an elephant in the room that I did not quickly point out....

Sometimes even a 400 pound gorilla. (If it's the bass player.)


Edited by eddie1261 (02/03/18 12:49 PM)
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#455484 - 02/03/18 02:40 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: rharv]
VideoTrack Offline
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Excellent article, Bob. Thanks for articulating it so well and providing the detail that was needed to show the whole picture.

Many musicians could learn valuable lessons by adopting those practices.
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#455531 - 02/04/18 01:53 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: VideoTrack]
Teunis Offline
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I find this puzzling I ask myself would a person with absolutely no musical understanding be interested in creating music. If so would they not at least attempt to get some basic understanding.

I once played guitar for an old time dance band back in the early 70's. The band leader insisted we could read and her best reader was her trumpet player. She would tell us what tunes we were playing and hand out the sheets. However, she would hand out the sheet say in the key of C the proceed to play in Bb. The next night play the same sheet and play in F or maybe A. I asked the trumpet player how he coped. His reply was " Don't tell her I can't really read. I just work out where she is and follow the dots up and down, I know how long the notes are, but I don't know what's what". My opinion was this guy knew music and did in fact sort of read and transpose on the fly better than most.

Over the years I have spent a lot of time helping people by backing folk in country music clubs. At these country music clubs members come along to sing a song. If you were lucky enough to get a chord sheet of any meaning you often had to listen to what the artist was doing and work things out on the fly. In these cases experience outweighs the ability to read. To be able to play solos based on what the artist was singing and or help them out when they faltered was a priority.

These days I can't read a note but I do understand what should go where. At 69 I can still play guitar blindfolded or behind my head. I just can't play it as well as I did 40 years ago but I still enjoy it and it is great to go around nursing homes (and other places) having people singing along with me and enjoying a good time.

My thoughts

Tony
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#455544 - 02/04/18 04:32 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: Teunis]
VideoTrack Offline
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Originally Posted By: Teunis
...These days I can't read a note but I do understand what should go where. At 69 I can still play guitar blindfolded or behind my head. I just can't play it as well as I did 40 years ago but I still enjoy it and it is great to go around nursing homes (and other places) having people singing along with me and enjoying a good time.

To be honest, I can't think of any single thing that could possibly be wrong with that. Not a single thing. Keep at it.
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#455591 - 02/04/18 09:43 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
eddie1261 Online   content
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Reading, while it is a helpful tool, is not always necessary. You'd just not really get calls for session work where it is a sight reading gig, and there is not a lot of that around much anymore. It is quite easy to get by playing copy dates because you can learn "songs" without learning "music" (they ARE 2 different things). But the statement can never be made that a player who read sis somehow "better" than a player who does not.

The thing about someone with a background comes into play where you go to a rehearsal and the guy leading the song will say "This is in C." You can then immediately envision C-F-G with a Dm, and Am, possibly an Em tossed in somewhere for flavor. THOSE guys are easier to lead around the maze of a brand new song than the ones who have to hear a song 150 times before they know the chord changes. The readers and more heavily steeped in theory players are likely listening to the song for the first time and writing a chord chart, where a guy who doesn't have the chord recognition tool in his bag wouldn't know what to write, only to remember that "at this place change to this chord".

One great example I can give you was a spot in a song in C where there is a breakout section that went Dm, Bdim, F. Gsus, G.... to say that to someone who doesn't know what notes make up that Bdim, you may as well be speaking French to a Cuban. But to tell that guy "B, D F, G# or Ab (however he chooses to think of that note - I would say Ab)" then he can play it. And he has probably played it before without knowing he was playing a Bdim.

It's a personal choice that I don't like to learn by ear, which comes from not liking to play other people's songs like they played them. But back to what I said earlier, and closer to topic, that doesn't mean I think I am better than someone else because they never learned theory. I just have that "tool" in my bag.
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#455875 - 02/05/18 05:25 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
ZUrlocker Offline
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Registered: 01/29/18
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Loc: Michigan
I have zero formal musical training but I have managed to become reasonably proficient (D level) at 3 chord rock and blues on guitar and bass. I know one scale (pentatonic, ok so maybe that's 2 scales Pentatonic minor and Pentatonic major!). But I have learned enough that I can play and write songs. If you want to make music, especially with others, it is useful to understand the basics of musical language, like chords, keys, what I-IV-V means, etc. But the concepts are not that hard.
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#455893 - 02/05/18 06:32 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: ZUrlocker]
eddie1261 Online   content
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And you probably play more scales than the pentatonic without knowing you are playing them.
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#455894 - 02/05/18 06:38 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
ZUrlocker Offline
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Only by accident!
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#455904 - 02/05/18 10:04 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
duncanwhyte Offline
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I expect any musical training techniques could be put into biab as an option. So the numbering system could easily work alongside chords, and be voiced as well, whilst you are learning the song. Such auto familiarisation would lead to acquiring a worthwhile skill.
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#455944 - 02/06/18 05:22 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
Matt Finley Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17405
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
In case you didn’t know, BIAB can display chords using Roman numerals, or Nashville notation. You can have the numbers.
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BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#456107 - 02/06/18 09:10 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
Trygve Larsen Offline
Expert

Registered: 10/08/15
Posts: 916
Loc: Philippines
Funny and interesting tread. I have not played any instrument for a very long time. But when I was younger, I used to play Trumpet, guitar, bass, and simple piano. After starting with BiaB i have not played anything, except making/arranging songs in BiaB. I really love BiaB. When I was young and listen to music, I always dreamed about making something similar. And now I can. By using BiaB... I actually stil have a trumpet, a keyboard and a USB Wind instrument. It is just that I am to lazy to start playing again I guess. Or, it is just to much more easy for me to work on stuff in BiaB.
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Trygve "Leo" Larsen
BiaB 2018 Audiophile, Windows 8.1, Intel Core i5 CPU, 270GHz, 32 Gb RAM
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The Universe = Uni-verse ie one song.

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#456555 - 02/08/18 11:22 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
jcspro40 Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 832
Loc: Ohio-USA
I am a Solid D with decades of live playing under me belt....and I can not see anyone without at LEAST a grasp of chord progressions / styles using BiaB to good effect....IMHO....
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#456614 - 02/09/18 08:40 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
Islansoul Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 05/15/15
Posts: 771
Loc: St. Petersburg , FL
Originally Posted By: eddie1261
This software provides a great opportunity for people to write songs even if they don't play, so I wonder 2 things. Which group do you fit in?

A. I have had zero music education in my life.
B. I do not play an instrument. All my songs are 100% software created.
C. I play an instrument but not all that well.
D. I play at a fairly proficient level.
E. I am a monster player.

And the second question is for only people who are in group A.

If you have had zero music training, how do you know what to enter into the chord sheet page to create your songs?

When I said zero music training, I meant zero. Like if you don't know that there are 12 keys, how do you know what to put in on bar 1?

This question grew from someone asking me about the software. She said "Oh that's cheating. If that's all that takes ANYBODY can write songs."

So I invited her over. Sat her at the computer. Started Real band. Got her to the chord entry page, and said "Go. Write a song if it's that easy."

She: "What do I do here?"
Me; "Enter your chord progression."
She: "What's a chord?"
Me: "What do you mean what's a chord? You said anybody could do this. Even with no music skills."

And that ended the discussion. (And I likely will never see her again. LOL!)

It is hard for people who play or have played, and/or had training either in school or on stage, to understand that we speak in terms that contain implied knowledge. To tell someone "A major chord is 1-3-5." evokes the question "What's a 1? What's a 3? What's a 5?" WE know that it means the steps of a scale, which would then evoke the question "What's a scale?"

So, again, I am just curious. The people I know here who have been around a while, I know your level of experience and education, but some of the newer names or just people with whom I have never interacted, I am curious to know your music education and experience level, if you read, etc....


I was just about to post a question similar to this. In the steel pan world, most of the players are taught using the rote system. For anyone here who does not know what that means, the rote system is a system where the player is tough strictly by observation, aural communication, and hand guidance (the band leader will come up to the player and move the hands to show which note to play). These people have no musical training, music theory, sight reading skills, or composition skills. This is not just the players but the band leaders and arrangers. Yes, most of the arrangers or band leaders do not have any musical knowledge and somehow they are able to create some very complicated pieces whether an original or just a steel band arrangement. I would say that the players and band leaders/ arrangers are A when it comes to musical education, but E when it comes to playing, but there are steel bands and player, mainly in the states who can read sheet music and understand music theory. As for me, I would say that I'm a C-D with the steel pan, but I don't know much complex theory and I did go to school for music under music production.

I am going to post some videos of famous Panorama tunes for you all to showcase what A level musical knowledge but E playing looks like. Panorama is the biggest carnival musical event in Trinada and Tobago where the steel pan was founded. Each band made up of hundreds of people in the large band category, play a new piece arranged for that band each year for a chance to win $10,000.


_________________________
Computer: Mid 2014 Macbook Pro,
DAWs: Pro Tools, Logic, and Maschine
plays drums, percussion, bass, steel pan, keyboard,
music producer/engineer

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#456641 - 02/09/18 01:07 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: Islansoul]
raymb1 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2539
Loc: Sterling, Va
There are too many examples to count of musicians who play by rote. There are still certain things one has to have some musical knowledge to do. Like Eddie said, how can you enter a chord if you don't know what a chord is? What is a quarter note, what is a quarter note rest, etc...........? You can't play with a band that uses charts to play without knowing how to read. Count Basie's band didn't have music on their stands but they had all the charts memorized. So many instances where one has to have some musical knowledge.
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Asus Q500A i7 Win 10 64 bit 8GB ram 750 HD 15.5" touch screen, BIAB 2017, Casio PX 5s, Xw P1, Center Point Stereo SS V3 and EWI 4000s.

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