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Thread: About TAB and SN

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    Default About TAB and SN

    How to make SN look bad.

    I found this example (Down the Road) in a discussion on the Banjo Hangout :
    https://www.banjohangout.org/archive/295251

    A very good example of what notation is not about. The solo is in B, five sharps, but no key signature is given . Hence there are lots++ of accidentals on scale notes (and almost nowhere else) contrary to the idea of SN. Also, the leading tone, a#, is consistently given as bb, a pretty sure sign that the whole thing is computer generated.

    There are lots of similar examples on, e.g., Mandozine. For instance, one version of Sweet Georgia Brown, in G, is given with four sharps (the first chord is E7). And not only there. Just a week ago I wanted to check a few details in ďTango for toĒ (a big hit in Sweden and Norway in the 50ís). The score I found had the verse in gm, two flats, the refrain in G, but with two sharps, meaning that each c of the melody had to be preceded by a natural sign.

    I donít know the exact process or order in composing a TAB in TablEdit, but Iím pretty sure that the much of it is computer generated, which is one reason not to trust that the TAB gives the optimal fingering, as some people believe. It is also a matter of preference, e.g., I probably use fewer open notes than most people in my own playing, because fretted notes are easier to control.

    Anyone familiar with the fivestring banjo in Bluegrass (I had a short period of that in the mid-60ís) will realize that Scruggs capoed at the fourth fret, hence that his solo should be notated in G, one sharp. Given that, I would not have great trouble translating the written score into finger movements on the fretboard of the banjo. But, just as with the guitar and mandolin, I never used notated material in that idiom. All I knew about Scruggs style in G tuning was what I found by listening to a few of his tunes at half speed.

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    Default Re: About TAB and SN

    The point is, when you are writing notation (or tablature) with software, use a proper key signature, and proof read your results. Otherwise you music will look like crap.

    That you can find wonky written music out there on forums and websites? ---->>> Where's the news?
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    Default Re: About TAB and SN

    Ralph, thanks for your comments. I was stumped for years trying to learn the melody to Sweet Georgia Brown. I played with a group that featured that song. They insisted that it is in the key of E, which made no sense to me the way they played it. It had to be G, but they had notation and tablature showing it as E. I found the tablature on Mandozine and simply couldn't get my head around the melody on the mandolin because the key of E is not correct for those notes. About 10 years later, watching the bass line being played I realized for certain that it is a simple tune in the key of G. I have encountered a number of people who insist that the first cord is usually the key signature, and I think that's where this mistake comes from. Also, when folks absolutely rely on printed music, especially tabs found on the internet, they may not know when it is wrong. That's why I said in the other thread that learning from tab can interfere with learning to play music. For me, the most useful aspect of Tabledit is that it shows confusing results if I type something in that isn't quite right. As you point out, a bunch of sharp or flat signs on melody notes indicates that the named key signature may possibly be wrong.
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    Default Re: About TAB and SN

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Haywood View Post
    I have encountered a number of people who insist that the first cord is usually the key signature, and I think that's where this mistake comes from. Also, when folks absolutely rely on printed music, especially tabs found on the internet, they may not know when it is wrong. That's why I said in the other thread that learning from tab can interfere with learning to play music.
    Tom, I have a lot of trouble understanding the conclusion that learning from TAB would interfere with learning to play music. How could it be the fault of either TAB or SN? I think the truth is that the failure to think about and understand how music works can interfere with learning to play music.

    If people think that the first chord in a given song is always without fail the key or tonal center of the song, then that would be because they do not understand about keys in music and do not understand the fact that chord progressions do not always begin with the I chord (or i chord). In that case, they haven't discovered that fact, a fact that can be learned simply from playing music and thinking and talking about music, without reference to TAB or SN.

    Also, any written notation can be wrong, whether TAB or SN. If a person doesn't know the notation is wrong, then that piece of written music will not be helpful to them. Nevertheless, reliance on inaccurately written music and/or failure to understand the nuts and bolts of music falls on the behavior of the individual. Again, a failure to try and understand how music works can interfere with an individual's musical progress. Badly written music can contribute to confusion. No one advocates for badly written music.

    How does any of that equate to "learning from tab can interfere with learning to play music"?

    No musical beginner understands about music. We all have to learn what we learn on a personal musical journey. There are many paths. There is room for everyone to learn more and grow more competent, if we wish to. Using written music, whether chord chart, standard notation or tablature can be part of the journey. Those tools can be used to help with some things. They are not in and of themselves "detrimental".
    Last edited by Mark Gunter; Nov-10-2020 at 12:18pm.
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    Default Re: About TAB and SN

    Quote Originally Posted by ralph johansson View Post
    I don’t know the exact process or order in composing a TAB in TablEdit, but I’m pretty sure that the much of it is computer generated, which is one reason not to trust that the TAB gives the optimal fingering, as some people believe. It is also a matter of preference, e.g., I probably use fewer open notes than most people in my own playing, because fretted notes are easier to control.
    Hi Ralph ~ the process of writing tablature in TablEdit goes like this:

    1. Choose a key signature
    2. Choose a time signature
    3. Choose an instrument, and tuning (if other than standard)
    4. Enter each fingering on the tablature, with the correct duration value on each note, and signify triplets, etc.

    The computer does not generate the fingerings when you write tablature, but the computer does generate SN if desired.

    5. Set a "reading list" to order the reading of measures in order correctly, whereby computer generates repeats, endings, signs, codas, etc. according to your reading list.
    6. Set tempo, swing feel, etc. and choose instrument sound you prefer for midi playback

    There are other things you can add and control as well, but basically, that's it. If the computer generated SN needs tweaking, that's a final step.

    Alternatively, when writing in standard notation, you place notes on the staff, and the computer will generate tablature if you so desire. Again, you control the notes you place on the staff, and then go back and tweak the fingerings in the tablature to your taste.

    BTW, the automated work by the program is pretty good, but of course it must be proofed by the composer. If the end results have mistakes, they are the fault of the composer, not the computer. It should not be a thing to be marveled if the composer publishes badly written music ... for one, none of us is perfect, but worse, people can't even spell their native language properly anymore, judging from what is written on social media and internet forums. Why would we expect them to write music without flaws?
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    Default Re: About TAB and SN

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Haywood View Post
    Ralph, thanks for your comments. I was stumped for years trying to learn the melody to Sweet Georgia Brown. I played with a group that featured that song. They insisted that it is in the key of E,
    ......for certain that it is a simple tune in the key of G.
    "Sweet Georgia Brown", if you play the tune in the key of G, begins on the E7 chord; maybe they band you played with thought the first chord was the tonic, but in this case it is definitely not.

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    Default Re: About TAB and SN

    I always figure that if I pick up tab (or standard notation) for a tune off the internet for free, it is worth exactly what I paid for it and take it with a grain of salt!

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    Default Re: About TAB and SN

    I'm not arguing gloom and doom about using or not using written notation or tab. I am putting up a little Warning sign about using it. I've seen many beginners who believe that if it is in writing then it is accurate, especially if it has "copyright" written on it. I've seen people carry that belief with them for years. I've seen how it limits the ability of some people to discuss and play alternatives, and how that limits the people they are playing with. "Learning to play music" is IMO a matter of degree. I have seen beginners who believe that they are playing music once they can play what's on the paper. A few are playing music at that point, but most are playing at such a limited degree that many of them may not continue playing. Learning to read standard notation and learning to read tab are forms of education, among other forms such as studying music theory. I believe that the more education a person has in something, the more they can understand and accomplish. But if some of the information they receive is wrong and a person has no way of knowing it, then it can be limiting and even detrimental to their progress. That's why it is good to have a music teacher.

    Hmm... I misspelled "chord" in my previous post.
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    Default Re: About TAB and SN

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Haywood View Post
    Hmm... I misspelled "chord" in my previous post.
    LOL I hadn't noticed, Tom. My comment about spelling errors wasn't directed at you personally, and I'm sorry if it came off that way. Really, the point is that every Tom, Dick and Harry, in this personal computer + interweb era, can be a publisher. So it is no surprise that there are volumes of poorly written prose, poetry and music floating around.
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    Default Re: About TAB and SN

    Not just internet.

    There was a 1960s regular printed/published book which was infamously badly written. Dozens of transcriptions of hideously error-riddled tunes, even though the author's *playing* (on his albums) was pretty good and he had a notable following. The author's heirs have allegedly for many years forbid that book from ever being reprinted or reissued in any format.

    But today, to refresh my memory as to just how bad the book was, I obtained a bootleg digital copy of it and opened it to a random page, a dance tune that I'm well-acquainted with... yep the transcription has serious problems, just as I remembered, mostly with the timing and rhythm aspects of the notation. Beams and flags do not follow any standard/known protocol, nor are they consistent with each other in the same tune.

    If you play it exactly as written, it's an unrecognizable mess.

    Even after correcting for wrong beams/flags (assuming advanced familiarity with the melody and the author's particular style), the bar-lines are still in wrong and illogical places.

    This is supposed to be a straight 4/4 non-crooked dance tune but the author wrote it like this:

    The 1st bar contains 9 1/2 beats.
    The 2nd bar contains 7 1/2 beats.
    The 3rd bar contains 8 beats.
    The 4th bar contains 7 1/2 beats.
    The 5th bar contains 9 beats.
    The 6th bar contains 7 beats.
    and so on. The barlines do not seem to correspond to timing, or phrasing, or anything else discernable. The impression one gets, is that the author thought barlines were required in written music, but didn't know where to put them, so they just went 'wherever'.

    In the front part of the book, the author says that in general (paraphrasing to protect the guilty), you should not even try to read written music unless you already know what it's supposed to sound like. (Huh... that seems awfully limiting.) But that advice certainly seems applicable to the miserable error-filled transcriptions in his unfortunate book.

    As far as I can tell over these many years since I first saw that book, the only thing his book is good for, is to see the instrument tuning (numerous different tunings are used) and the fingering he's using (which fret he's on - up the neck vs open strings etc, as his playing was often fairly complex).

    It's really a shame that the author or the publisher didn't enlist someone who had more familiarity with how to transcribe music - and a much better sense of rhythm and how to notate the timing.

    The book *could* have been a tremendously valuable learning tool for generations to follow, if it had accurately represented the music.

    A personal anecdote about that book:

    One of my relatives bought an original copy of that book when it first came out in the 1960s, and he diligently set about trying to learn from it. After much frustration, he gave up and became so discouraged that he even thought about giving up the instrument as well - he assumed that he must be simply too stupid to learn anything new, aside from what he already knew (mostly by ear). He mentioned something to me about it one time.

    Out of curiosity, I asked to look at the book. I had some (a little) experience with reading and writing music, so it was easier for me to spot the problem, compared to my relative who had very limited knowledge of written music. After a few minutes of study (on tunes where I already knew how the melody went), I could see quite clearly what the problem was - the book was a complete [bleep] of badly-transcribed wrongly-timed notes.

    I told my relative, "It's not you, it's the [bleep] book."

    We got him a different book and he did much better. (As I mentioned earlier, up until then he'd learned almost entirely by ear, but he was wanting to expand his horizons and try something 'new' by trying to learn from written notes. Unfortunately he chose one of the worst possible books for his introduction to written music.)

    One of the takeaways:
    Just because you can't learn a particular thing, doesn't necessarily mean you're stupid. It might just mean that you've got faulty instructional tools.

    The other takeaway:
    If some hotshot musician is allowing a book to be published featuring their style of playing, said musician or publisher should hire a competent transcriptionist (or whatever the word is) to get the music notes put on paper in such a way that when people play the notes as written, it will at least vaguely resemble what it's supposed to sound like.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Haywood View Post
    I've seen many beginners who believe that if it is in writing then it is accurate, especially if it has "copyright" written on it. I've seen people carry that belief with them for years. ... But if some of the information they receive is wrong and a person has no way of knowing it, then it can be limiting and even detrimental to their progress. That's why it is good to have a music teacher.
    Totally agree!

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    Default Re: About TAB and SN

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    Hi Ralph ~ the process of writing tablature in TablEdit goes like this:

    1. Choose a key signature
    2. Choose a time signature
    3. Choose an instrument, and tuning (if other than standard)
    4. Enter each fingering on the tablature, with the correct duration value on each note, and signify triplets, etc.

    The computer does not generate the fingerings when you write tablature, but the computer does generate SN if desired.

    5. Set a "reading list" to order the reading of measures in order correctly, whereby computer generates repeats, endings, signs, codas, etc. according to your reading list.
    6. Set tempo, swing feel, etc. and choose instrument sound you prefer for midi playback

    There are other things you can add and control as well, but basically, that's it. If the computer generated SN needs tweaking, that's a final step.

    Alternatively, when writing in standard notation, you place notes on the staff, and the computer will generate tablature if you so desire. Again, you control the notes you place on the staff, and then go back and tweak the fingerings in the tablature to your taste.

    BTW, the automated work by the program is pretty good, but of course it must be proofed by the composer. If the end results have mistakes, they are the fault of the composer, not the computer. It should not be a thing to be marveled if the composer publishes badly written music ... for one, none of us is perfect, but worse, people can't even spell their native language properly anymore, judging from what is written on social media and internet forums. Why would we expect them to write music without flaws?
    Thanks for your informative answer. So you can proceed both ways, TAB to SN (as in the Scruggs example, SN to TAB. Also seems, from my example, that key signatures in Tabledit can (must?) be given as a sequence of note names, so that, e.g., B major actually could be given as four sharps and one flat: f#, c#, g#, d#, and bb (mixing flats with sharps is used by Stacy Phillips in his Klezmer book, e.g., d dominant Phrygian will have the signature bb, eb, f#-- the basic rule, then, in seven note scales, is that different scale notes occupy different spaces or lines.

    If ever it occcurred to me to notate Scruggs-style banjo I would find some way of notating the whole hand.

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    Default Re: About TAB and SN

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    Tom, I have a lot of trouble understanding the conclusion that learning from TAB would interfere with learning to play music. How could it be the fault of either TAB or SN? I think the truth is that the failure to think about and understand how music works can interfere with learning to play music.

    If people think that the first chord in a given song is always without fail the key or tonal center of the song, then that would be because they do not understand about keys in music and do not understand the fact that chord progressions do not always begin with the I chord (or i chord). In that case, they haven't discovered that fact, a fact that can be learned simply from playing music and thinking and talking about music, without reference to TAB or SN.

    Also, any written notation can be wrong, whether TAB or SN. If a person doesn't know the notation is wrong, then that piece of written music will not be helpful to them. Nevertheless, reliance on inaccurately written music and/or failure to understand the nuts and bolts of music falls on the behavior of the individual. Again, a failure to try and understand how music works can interfere with an individual's musical progress. Badly written music can contribute to confusion. No one advocates for badly written music.

    How does any of that equate to "learning from tab can interfere with learning to play music"?

    No musical beginner understands about music. We all have to learn what we learn on a personal musical journey. There are many paths. There is room for everyone to learn more and grow more competent, if we wish to. Using written music, whether chord chart, standard notation or tablature can be part of the journey. Those tools can be used to help with some things. They are not in and of themselves "detrimental".
    As I hinted in an earlier thread (under General Discussions) the issue probably is not TAB, a mode of notation, but TABs, learning tunes ad hoc without any system or direction. Learning a first instrument should reasonably involve learning music. Charting the fretboard in all keys is not a memorization feat comparable to memorizing the decimal expansion of pi to 500 places. There's structure to it and the process is organic and qualitative. When I got started on the guitar 63 years ago I proceeded key by key in first position, with strict chromatic fingering, moving up the neck upon realizing that the C and F scales used only three frets, etc., gradually adding to that scalar approach a more chord oriented one, etc. On mandolin the process was much faster, because I had ten years' experience of music.

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    Default Re: About TAB and SN

    Ralph, I'm not quite following this:

    Also seems, from my example, that key signatures in Tabledit can (must?) be given as a sequence of note names
    In TablEdit, upon opening a new document, the user is prompted to choose a key signature and time signature. If they choose wrongly, it will complicate the piece being written. The key signature chosen will automatically inform the program, and the key signatures are programmed correctly.

    My TablEdit program (which I use fairly frequently), the default values are mandolin (std tuning), Key of C, 4/4 time ... there will, of course, be a default setting ... so if I were not to choose a different key signature, the document would open in key of C. Of course, key signature can be changed at any time through menus after a document is opened. You can change key signature or time signature in the middle of a tune as expected when a tune modulates to a new key.

    My own experience is that the program works well if the user proceeds correctly, however it is prone to presenting difficulties that must be edited by the user when writing any music that is not simple and straightforward. Things like stem direction (up or down) as well as the auto-generated TAB as to finger placements when writing notation with the TAB engine engaged (which are choices best made by the human).

    The program handles keys correctly, as to the proper notes being sharped or flatted within the scale of the key, but sometimes the accidentals that may appear in the tune are not sharped or flatted to my taste when writing notation, and I have to correct them (eg, an accidental of Bb when I want an A#).

    So, it sounds to me like you are describing music wherein the key signature is wrong to start with, or program-generated, unedited TAB fingerings are appearing, or accidentals don't seem logical to you.

    The software needs the author's proofing, just as a word processor does.

    Name:  tabedi.jpg
Views: 328
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    The image above shows the default settings when I prepare to write something. Multiple instruments can be added via checkbox, particular instruments chosen via dropdown menu, number of measures can be typed in, along with time signature values, and key signature can be chosen through a dropdown menu.
    Last edited by Mark Gunter; Nov-11-2020 at 2:58pm.
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    Default Re: About TAB and SN

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Haywood View Post
    I'm not arguing gloom and doom about using or not using written notation or tab. I am putting up a little Warning sign about using it. I've seen many beginners who believe that if it is in writing then it is accurate, especially if it has "copyright" written on it. I've seen people carry that belief with them for years. I've seen how it limits the ability of some people to discuss and play alternatives, and how that limits the people they are playing with. "Learning to play music" is IMO a matter of degree. I have seen beginners who believe that they are playing music once they can play what's on the paper. A few are playing music at that point, but most are playing at such a limited degree that many of them may not continue playing. Learning to read standard notation and learning to read tab are forms of education, among other forms such as studying music theory. I believe that the more education a person has in something, the more they can understand and accomplish. But if some of the information they receive is wrong and a person has no way of knowing it, then it can be limiting and even detrimental to their progress. That's why it is good to have a music teacher.
    Tom, I agree with you that "it is good to have a [good] music teacher." What I disagree with are the often repeated signals given in the forums that tablature is "bad". For what it's worth, choosing the wrong teacher can limit and discourage a person as much as anything else. But we're basically in agreement here.

    Quote Originally Posted by JL277z View Post
    Not just internet...

    ... said musician or publisher should hire a competent transcriptionist (or whatever the word is) to get the music notes put on paper in such a way that when people play the notes as written, it will at least vaguely resemble what it's supposed to sound like.
    Yes, yes, yes.

    I never said the internet is to blame for bad publishing, only that practically everyone, everywhere can be a publisher now due to personal computing devices and the internet, regardless of what they know about their subject. Thus, great volumes of bad publishing are to be had today.

    Your final conclusion there just underscores what I've said before: Self-published authors are responsible for what their products look like. Don't blame the software program or the mode of notation when an author fails to proof and correct bad writing.

    I don't advocate, and I don't think anyone else here advocates, the use of bad materials, or unqualified teachers. I'm only saying that the fault doesn't lie with the tools themselves. I'm advocating for musicians to learn as much as they can about the nuts and bolts of music.
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    Default Re: About TAB and SN

    Quote Originally Posted by ralph johansson View Post
    Thanks for your informative answer. So you can proceed both ways, TAB to SN (as in the Scruggs example, SN to TAB. Also seems, from my example, that key signatures in Tabledit can (must?) be given as a sequence of note names, so that, e.g., B major actually could be given as four sharps and one flat: f#, c#, g#, d#, and bb (mixing flats with sharps is used by Stacy Phillips in his Klezmer book, e.g., d dominant Phrygian will have the signature bb, eb, f#-- the basic rule, then, in seven note scales, is that different scale notes occupy different spaces or lines.
    The key of B (which is diatonic) cannot have a Bb, since you already use a B natural for the tonic. Phrygian dominant is not a diatonic scale, so does not follow the rule of not mixing sharps and flats.

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    Default Re: About TAB and SN

    It's perfectly possible to write bad -- or incomplete -- tablature. It is equally possible to write bad -- or incomplete -- standard notation, too! When perfectly good software is used to convert bad, or incomplete, tab into notation, or vice versa, the result will contain plenty of errors. These follow from the well-know principle, known in computer circles as "Garbage In, Garbage Out!" (GIGO).

    It strikes me that many, and probably most, of the complaints in this thread follow from experiences with poorly written tab, or with poorly written notation. For example, in tablature, it's perfectly possible to leave the home key entirely unspecified, because the tablature itself is essentially key-independent in the first place. But if the key is left unspecified (or set wrongly), any standard notation generated from such tab will contain undesired accidentals. This is only one of many ways in which these conversions can go astray. But don't be too quick to blame the software, and don't blame the writing system (tab or notation), either. The fault, more often than not, lies with the author!

    Lots of published music books containing transcriptions of solos in both TAB and SN were produced by authors who were familiar with just one system or the other, and not both. So either the TAB or the SN was likely produced automatically, by conversion. One or the other will therefore be prone to errors for that reason.

    In some other cases, the transcribers were the soloists themselves, and they knew NEITHER system well. In such cases, unless the music publisher intervened to review the transcriptions and correct the errors, you can get some extreme examples of BAD writing, like those cited by JL277z in post #10 of this thread. Again, the fault is not intrinsic to TAB, nor to SN, although both of these writing systems do have some known deficiencies. It's not the fault of some bad conversion software, either, although this also exists. The origin of the problem lies with the transcriber in the first place, and with the failure of the publisher to check for, and correct, errors!

    Let's call a spade a spade, I say.

    And by the way, I always thought that "Sweet Georgia Brown" was usually played in the key of F, not in E or G. A guitarist might well play out E positions and capo on the first fret, but it will come out in F.


    ,

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    Default Re: About TAB and SN

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    And by the way, I always thought that "Sweet Georgia Brown" was usually played in the key of F, not in E or G. A guitarist might well play out E positions and capo on the first fret, but it will come out in F.
    The discussion about "Sweet Georgia Brown" wasn't really about what key to play it in, but whether the first chord is the key or not. In the key of G, the first chord is E(7). In the key of F, the first chord is D(7). In either case, the first chord is NOT what key it is in.

    You are right, "SGB" is usually played in F, especially in non-bluegrass styles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David L View Post
    The discussion about "Sweet Georgia Brown" wasn't really about what key to play it in, but whether the first chord is the key or not. In the key of G, the first chord is E(7). In the key of F, the first chord is D(7). In either case, the first chord is NOT what key it is in.

    You are right, "SGB" is usually played in F, especially in non-bluegrass styles.
    I hear you. You can often tell the key of tune from the LAST chord played, which usually shares the same name as the key (but there are a few exceptions). In fact, the very last note of the melody is very often the tonic. But the first chord? Nah, not so much! The first chord seldom tells you the key. Tunes very often start on the IV, or on the V -- or even the VI7, like Sweet Georgia Brown -- in addition to those that start on the I. Without hearing more of the melody, you can seldom tell the key of a song by just listening to its first chord.

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  28. #19
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    Default Re: About TAB and SN

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    "Sweet Georgia Brown", if you play the tune in the key of G, begins on the E7 chord; maybe they band you played with thought the first chord was the tonic, but in this case it is definitely not.
    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    And by the way, I always thought that "Sweet Georgia Brown" was usually played in the key of F,
    ,
    Quote Originally Posted by David L View Post
    The discussion about "Sweet Georgia Brown" wasn't really about what key to play it in, but whether the first chord is the key or not. In the key of G, the first chord is E(7). In the key of F, the first chord is D(7). In either case, the first chord is NOT what key it is in.

    You are right, "SGB" is usually played in F, especially in non-bluegrass styles.
    Almost all the horn jazz bands I worked with (including decades in New Orleans) played the tune in F, beginning on a D7 chord.

    Many string bands - including Gypsy jazz groups - play it in G, beginning on E7.

    I tend to play it in F when I am bandleader.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David L View Post
    The key of B (which is diatonic) cannot have a Bb, since you already use a B natural for the tonic. Phrygian dominant is not a diatonic scale, so does not follow the rule of not mixing sharps and flats.
    I think you're really repeating what I already said. Incidentally one of my compositions is mainly in D Phrygian dominant , but I notate it with just two flats, because there are occasional f's and also whole segments in g harmonic minor

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Almost all the horn jazz bands I worked with (including decades in New Orleans) played the tune in F, beginning on a D7 chord.

    Many string bands - including Gypsy jazz groups - play it in G, beginning on E7.

    I tend to play it in F when I am bandleader.

    Seems to me boppers unsually do it in Ab. I know of four tunes based on the same chords:
    among them Dig (Miles Davis), Tour's End (Stan Getz), Demanton (Jon Eardly), and they're all in the key of Ab.

    Swingsters, and most notably Gypsy swingsters, choose the strangest keys. Grappelli and Reinhardt did Ain't Misbehavin' in D. I have a CD of Toots Thielemans with Grappelli's band, and they do Georgia in G. I learned it in F, from a songbook, and stick to that key when playing the verse, because the open A and D strings (on the guitar) come in handy. Omitting the verse, Eb seems to be ideal, and I believe that's the standard.

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    Default Re: About TAB and SN

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post

    And by the way, I always thought that "Sweet Georgia Brown" was usually played in the key of F, not in E or G. A guitarist might well play out E positions and capo on the first fret, but it will come out in F.


    ,
    I conclude that you don't play the guitar. The key of F in this case sits very naturally on that instrument (and, although Doc Watson wasn't really a BG musician
    a BG guitarist is likely to follow his example.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph johansson View Post
    Seems to me boppers usually do it in Ab.
    That's right, I guess I forgot about the Ab bop versions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph johansson View Post
    Seems to me boppers unsually do it in Ab. I know of four tunes based on the same chords:
    among them Dig (Miles Davis), Tour's End (Stan Getz), Demanton (Jon Eardly), and they're all in the key of Ab.

    Swingsters, and most notably Gypsy swingsters, choose the strangest keys. Grappelli and Reinhardt did Ain't Misbehavin' in D. I have a CD of Toots Thielemans with Grappelli's band, and they do Georgia in G. I learned it in F, from a songbook, and stick to that key when playing the verse, because the open A and D strings (on the guitar) come in handy. Omitting the verse, Eb seems to be ideal, and I believe that's the standard.
    The fourth tune is the Bright Mississippi by Th. Monk.

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