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#455484 - 02/03/18 02:40 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: rharv]
VideoTrack Offline

Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 7741
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
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

Registered: 12/20/16
Posts: 147
Loc: Gold Coast, Queensland, Austra...
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

HP i7-4770 16GB 512G SSD, Win 10 Home,
Roland Quad Capture, M-Audio Oxygen
BIAB 2018 (512) RB 2018 (5), Sonar Platinum, Audacity, Melodyne et al
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#455544 - 02/04/18 04:32 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: Teunis]
VideoTrack Offline

Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 7741
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
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.

BIAB, RB 2018(Audiophile), Sonar Platinum, Izotope Prod. Bundle, Roland RD-1000, Synthogy Ivory, Kontakt, Focusrite 18i20, KetronSD2, KorgX3R, RodeNGT2, AM802mixer, NS40M Studio Monitors, Pioneer Active Mons, AKG K271 Studio H'phones

#455591 - 02/04/18 09:43 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
eddie1261 Online   content

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4034
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
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.
If you say "I can't" ..... I'm pretty sure you won't.

#455875 - 02/05/18 05:25 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
ZUrlocker Offline

Registered: 01/29/18
Posts: 8
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.
I wrote a rock opera! It's free at

#455893 - 02/05/18 06:32 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: ZUrlocker]
eddie1261 Online   content

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4034
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
And you probably play more scales than the pentatonic without knowing you are playing them.
If you say "I can't" ..... I'm pretty sure you won't.

#455894 - 02/05/18 06:38 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
ZUrlocker Offline

Registered: 01/29/18
Posts: 8
Loc: Michigan
Only by accident!
I wrote a rock opera! It's free at

#455904 - 02/05/18 10:04 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
duncanwhyte Offline

Registered: 11/19/17
Posts: 19
Loc: uk
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.
Using: Dell 3268 i3, 8 GB ram, windows 10. Biab version 2017 standard package, no extras.

#455944 - 02/06/18 05:22 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Just because I am curious [Re: eddie1261]
Matt Finley Offline

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 16821
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.
BIAB 2018 PC Audiophile; [& 2017 Mac]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 6" monitors.

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

Registered: 10/08/15
Posts: 867
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.
Forever Grateful
Trygve "Leo" Larsen
BiaB 2018 Audiophile, Windows 8.1, Intel Core i5 CPU, 270GHz, 32 Gb RAM
My tracks on Soundcloud;
The Universe = Uni-verse ie one song.

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

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 824
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

Registered: 05/15/15
Posts: 703
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

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

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2483
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.
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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PG Music News
A Little Bit Of Me Music Video!

A great music video created by forum user Floyd Jane!

This song was featured in a detailed "The Birth of a Song" video created by Floyd Jane - watch the complete video here:

RealBand 2018 Build 5 Update Available!

RealBand 2018 customers can download the latest free patch update here:

Summary of Changes for Build 5
Added: When generating the input file for saving as an MGU/SGU SongMode128= is saved to the input file.
Added: Localization support for 2018.
Added: flyby hints to new dialogs.
Fixed: Save As with a filename greater than 128 chars could cause an error 123 plus access violation.
Fixed: Rebooting RealBand after a filename with 128 chars was saved could cause an access violation.
Fixed: Pressing the Change button in the Event List Window could result in an access violation if an event was not a Note event.
Fixed: When running in Win 10, and using BBW or PT to generate audio harmonies, an error would occur saying that you need BB 2011 or PT 12 to generate audio harmonies.
Fixed: Midi Thru Method was not being saved to the .INI file. It always reverting to Track-Specific when booting up RealBand, even if the user manually changed the setting to Global in the Midi Thru Settings dialog.
Fixed: Delete All Notes on This Peg menu item in notation window right-click menu was missing.
Fixed: Potential crash on exit (having to do with the DLL attempting to free up a dynamic array that was passed to it).

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 Build 512 Update Available!

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows customers can download the latest free patch update here:

Summary of changes for Build 512 since 510 (Feb 15 2018):
Fixed: "Load SoundTrack Song" and "Load song with RealDrums Audio" buttons in the Sound Track dialog were not working.
Fixed: After returning Band-in-a-Box to factory settings the File Open dialog would default to the bb\Data\Lib directory.
Fixed: Choosing a custom chord sheet font would ignore any color choice made in the font selection dialog.
Fixed: Drum names were sometimes truncated in the RealDrums MultiDrums and Quicklist dialogs.
Fixed: Exporting a MIDI file might cause the error, "MIDIConv.exe no found".
Fixed: Mixer changes were not undoable, and would not cause user to be prompted to save their song when exiting.
Fixed: Static in RT2438 and other various RealTracks fixes.
Fixed: StylePicker database various updates. Some styles were displaying the wrong feel (swing/even) in notation. A few styles incorrectly showed missing Drums.
Fixed: The audio latency setting would increase every time leaving the Windows Audio Devices dialog.
Fixed: The Download Manager folder name defaulted to 2016 instead of 2018.
Updated: Help file.

PowerTracks Pro Audio 2018 is Here!

PowerTracks Pro Audio 2018 is here! PowerTracks Pro Audio 2018 includes many new features and enhancements:

Windows Audio (WASAPI) driver support. This allows for low latency audio recording/playback without requiring ASIO. Note that this supports 1 stereo input plus 1 stereo output at a time. For multiple inputs/outputs, you should continue to use either MME or ASIO.

ABC Notation format support. You can save a track of notation in a popular ASCII text format to import into other programs, or you can paste this format into a user forum as a way of sending the track (usually the melody and chord symbols) to other users without having to attach a file.

The built-in Audio Chord Wizard detection in the Chords window automatically detects the chords of the song, based on the audio data from all non-muted audio tracks. This works similar to the standalone Audio Chord Wizard, except that it uses the current bar lines of the existing song.

Notation Enhancements:
-X/8 time signature support. This is a special method of displaying 6/8, 9/8, or 12/8 time signatures in the Notation window.
-The Duplicate previous chord in notation right-click menu lets you quickly duplicate the previous chord (group of notes on same peg) without having to reenter it.
-Delete highlighted notes in notation right-click menu lets you delete all highlighted notes.
-Delete all notes on this peg in notation right-click menu lets you delete all notes on the nearest peg that was clicked on.
-You can now enter Section Numbers. Previously, you could enter letters (A-Z) only, but now you can also enter numbers (1-9).

...a full list of the new features in PowerTracks Pro Audio 2018 is available at

#TBT - The Beginning of Xtra Styles PAKs for Band-in-a-Box®

We released the much-loved Xtra Styles PAKs in August 2016! This release included 164 RealStyles for Jazz, Country, Rock-Pop, and Singer/Songwriter and worked with any Band-in-a-Box® 2016 or higher UltraPlusPAK, EverythingPAK, or Audiophile Edition!

Xtra Styles PAKs were such a hit... we couldn't stop making them! Since their introduction, we've released 3 more PAKs with a total of over 600 Xtra Styles in all!

Want to hear what other program users are doing with their Xtra Styles? Visit our Xtra STyles Contests forum to hear all the songs submitted during previous song contest we've had:

Learn more about Xtra Styles PAKs and listen to their demos at

Band-in-a-Box® Customer Feedback - Feel The Love!

Check out some great feedback we've received on our Facebook account from program users:

"I have been using Band-in-a-Box for years. It is the anchor of my music gigs as well as my fun in my studio. I have used other software but Band-in-a-Box is my main go to."
-Jack T.

"Love Band-in-a-Box. As someone who played professionally for 20 years and retired from live performing years ago, I still love music. Band-in-a-Box allows me to create fun arrangements which I can sing over or play over. There are THOUSANDS of different variations plus you can enter any chords you like and create any chart. It's also great for creating background tracks for videos and audio content for websites, training etc. And like everything else in the world . . . it may not be right for everyone. For those who love music and don't have the time to shed five or six instruments it's way cool."
-Vinnie R.

"This program has completely changed my playing for the good. I can experiment with playing chords and leads over various scenarios that I can quickly create and change. Love this program. I use it nearly every day."
-Dave R.

"I bought my first version in 1994 and have progressed to 2018 version. I use it to create backing tracks for live music performance. I currently have over 2,000 songs performance ready. If you can and type, and use mouse it will work for you."
-Roger M.

"The premiere reason for me for buying this program; it has given me the freedom to fully complete the foundation for my songs without the confinement of limited minded musicians. After the song concept is complete, it can then be presented those musicians to play as a cover song. Also writing a song with a band gives them partial ownership of your idea... not cool... especially since they may have fought your idea every step of the way.. Every member of an organized band should own a copy of this program to compose or to even give legitimate composition alternatives to the original songwriter."
-Paul V.

Thanks everyone!

Support for ABC Notation Format in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows!

ABC notation is the simple text-based notation system used by musicians worldwide to store chords, melody, and lyrics of songs. Now with Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows you can open and save songs in ABC notation format!

To save the song in ABC notation format, press the [Save As] toolbar button and choose Save as ABC notation file from the menu. Once opened, select a track that you want to save and choose your other criteria - The [Copy to clipboard] button will copy the file to the clipboard (that you can then paste it into other programs). The [Save as File] button will let you type a name and select the destination in your hard drive.

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