Using music notation software to learn new pieces

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llebron
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Using music notation software to learn new pieces

Post by llebron » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:31 pm

I've only been learning the CG since last December. So I'm looking for ways to help me learn the pieces I am assigned. Something that is helping me and may help others is music notation software. I took a few measures from a piece that I was having some trouble with and entered them into the music notation software. This allowed to listen to the piece at a correct rhythm and to slow down the tempo when needed which helped with my practice.

Hope this helps someone else.


Luis
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Vito Simplicio
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Re: Using music notation software to learn new pieces

Post by Vito Simplicio » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:38 pm

Thanks Luis. I can see how this could be helpful. It's also so easy these days to go to YouTube and watch someone else play a piece that you are perhaps not familiar with.
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llebron
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Re: Using music notation software to learn new pieces

Post by llebron » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:49 pm

Simplicio wrote:Thanks Luis. I can see how this could be helpful. It's also so easy these days to go to YouTube and watch someone else play a piece that you are perhaps not familiar with.
True. But most performers play it at a speed that I cannot duplicate at the moment.

This also makes it easy to just repeat a section as many times as needed.

Luis
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Brent Hutto

Re: Using music notation software to learn new pieces

Post by Brent Hutto » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:59 pm

I don't know anything about the stated topic of using notation software but Luis has a good point. There's a certain knack to hearing an actual performance of a piece (at speed) then being able to hold that as a model in your mind when picking your way through one phrase at a time, slowly, to find the right notes and eventually rhythm. I've just about got that knack now for most pieces I'm likely to work on but it doesn't come immediately or automatically (and I have experience with other instruments previously).

Luis, your approach sounds OK to me but I encourage you to work assiduously at developing your musical ear to the point where you can listen (many times if necessary) to a full-speed performance and then hold it in your mind while you slow it down. At some point that is a supremely valuable skill to a musician and it only comes with practice. Not to say you should avoid other ways of conquering the problem in the mean while.

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Paul
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Re: Using music notation software to learn new pieces

Post by Paul » Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:51 pm

I've used this on a few pieces recently. Sometimes just sections of a piece. I've also picked up mistakes in my memory (faulty RAM) where I've shortened notes etc. It's definitely a tool, perhaps like an advanced metronome.

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av8t0r
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Re: Using music notation software to learn new pieces

Post by av8t0r » Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:34 pm

You can use the QuickTime player to isolate a section and slow it down to as much as 1/2 speed. With an audio file loaded, just use "i" for the in point and "o" for the out point. Under "view" you can select "play selection only" to loop just that part. Under "window" select "show AV controls" to see the playback speed slider. It changes the speed without affecting the pitch.
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Azalais

Re: Using music notation software to learn new pieces

Post by Azalais » Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:33 pm

I would never have been able to consider trying to learn to play (especially early music), nor would I have kept up trying, without using these software programs. While they will never replace a good live teacher, they provide so many useful elements... in a completely patient and non-judgmental way... ( :oops: ) I've yet to find a teacher who has the patience to sit with me at 3am and re-play the same six measures 20 times in a row while I struggle to keep time accurately, accelerating from 30bpm to 75bpm and beyond... or transpose a new non-guitar piece for me, or arrange a midi file for me from pieces written for another instrument... or let me rummage through a vast collection of obscure pieces, "humming a few bars" of each one, while I search for a specific one that I've been trying to find...

I started using them long before I took up the guitar (for recorder pieces), and have been using them for at least ten+ years. They are among the first things that I upgrade and reload when I migrate to a new computer, and I would feel lost without them. It's much easier to START learning a piece when you can fix the rhythm accurately in your head... at a nice slow pace... than it is to go back and try to fix errors once you've learned them.

Tarbaby (1953 - 2016)

Re: Using music notation software to learn new pieces

Post by Tarbaby (1953 - 2016) » Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:31 pm

I think that's a great idea, Luis!

I'm also a drummer. A few years ago, I bought a couple of really good books. One had Brazilian drum patterns in it and the other had Afro-Cuban patterns. These were the most complex patterns I'd ever seen! It was almost like learning a short fugue.

I programmed them into my drum machine and played them through my guitar amp. Playing along with that forced me to play them over and over again at a slow tempo, until I got them "under my fingers".

I used the same method with my students and it REALLY helped! I don't know how I could have done it otherwise.

Also, by writing music down (or programming it) you get another great way of familiarizing yourself with the notes. :D

Alan

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Re: Using music notation software to learn new pieces

Post by CobraDriver » Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:16 am

As a newbie to this playing I can tell you that Guitar Pro 5 has been awesome. I wanted to learn a piece so I entered the whole thing in there from the original piece then just sat here watching the included fret and listening to the playing. I found the notes using both aids and have the piece played all the way thru and going on 3/4 of it by feel and by heart.

Just use the software to get familiar with what your playing, then shut it off and go off the sheet music once you have all the notes and timing down.

BTW, you can also enter a midi file of a tune you find and it will compose it for you, just be careful because it may require some small corrections to what the program places on the sheet music. I found some notes incorrect and missing alltogether.

Hope this helps you out some.

Vladimir

CPA

Re: Using music notation software to learn new pieces

Post by CPA » Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:50 pm

In my opinion, nothing will replace a "good" teacher. Youtube is an awesome learning tool as well as the content of hundreds of web sites (including Delcamp) that offers unlimited opportunities to see, hear and get explanations, provided you don't spend all your time searching and looking and little time in disciplined practice (as I). As to notation software, in my limited experience having no music background), I have very much benefited from them in many ways; from listening to pieces in slower tempo, watching notes played in time and rhythm, converting pdf files to editable and listening formats, transposing, writing sections note by note and working through chord construction and voicing. All has been a delightful and productive adventure. The futue posibilities of what such software can and will do is pretty amazing. I am very envious of all you present and upcoming talented musicians out here that have the opportunity to take advantage of such terrific opportunities of lifetime learning and playing. Best regards

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Re: Using music notation software to learn new pieces

Post by jrethorst » Sat Mar 28, 2009 4:59 am

You might want to check out Overture or Score Writer (http://geniesoft.com). Especially easy to enter, edit and play back notes. Free demos.
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llebron
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Re: Using music notation software to learn new pieces

Post by llebron » Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:49 am

Tarbaby wrote:I think that's a great idea, Luis!

I'm also a drummer. A few years ago, I bought a couple of really good books. One had Brazilian drum patterns in it and the other had Afro-Cuban patterns. These were the most complex patterns I'd ever seen! It was almost like learning a short fugue.

I programmed them into my drum machine and played them through my guitar amp. Playing along with that forced me to play them over and over again at a slow tempo, until I got them "under my fingers".

I used the same method with my students and it REALLY helped! I don't know how I could have done it otherwise.

Also, by writing music down (or programming it) you get another great way of familiarizing yourself with the notes. :D

Alan
Funny, I've been doing the same thing with a simple piece by Sor (Opus 35 No 2) and I agree it is very helpful. It helps me getter a better sense of how long or short the notes should be. Also, as you say the slow tempo is a great help. I find a lot easier to use than the metronome.

Luis
Luis R. Lebron

cpierce

Re: Using music notation software to learn new pieces

Post by cpierce » Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:38 am

Is anyone aware of any good free or free to try program music notation programs?

cpierce

Re: Using music notation software to learn new pieces

Post by cpierce » Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:39 am

Or even just some recommendations of what they use? I am at a loss at where to start, but I would really like to try using something like this.

llebron
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Re: Using music notation software to learn new pieces

Post by llebron » Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:08 am

I use Finale Notepad. It sells for $10
Luis R. Lebron

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