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Thread: learning composition- studying scores

  1. #1
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    learning composition- studying scores

    hi guys

    I want to learn composition by studying scores of the popular songs. I am particularly interested in modal songs based on scales. Genres I am interested in are blues , rock and heavy metal. Do you know any websites where you can buy scores of many popular songs in genres I mentioned before? Do you know any books with song scores that I can use for learning? I am a guitar player interested in rock so do you think I should buy those books where all my favourite guitarplayer's music is written in notes?

    please, help me in this matter
    rafal

  2. #2
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rafapak
    hi guys

    I want to learn composition by studying scores of the popular songs. I am particularly interested in modal songs based on scales. Genres I am interested in are blues , rock and heavy metal. Do you know any websites where you can buy scores of many popular songs in genres I mentioned before? Do you know any books with song scores that I can use for learning? I am a guitar player interested in rock so do you think I should buy those books where all my favourite guitarplayer's music is written in notes?
    A big YES to your last question! (Assuming you can read music...)

    There are quite simply 1000s of books containing the info you need (although your choice may be limited for your favourite artists, unless they are very well-known.)
    Traditional songbooks contain the vocal melody with a "piano reduction" - ie, double stave notation containing the essential elements of the backing, even if it was played on guitars in the original - including bass lines and any significant riffs. You'll also get chord symbols.
    What you won't get in that sort of book is transcribed solos, or any other guitar fills - but that shouldn't worry you if it's the composition you're interested in.
    Many songbooks are still published in that format, because they are ideal for singers who want to learn a song, and only have a pianist for accompaniment.
    Here's an example from a Stones book:
    http://www.musicroom.com/LookInside....roduct_id=1579
    A single pianist could (in theory) play this, but guitarists and bassists (if they can read!) can also get all they need here. You can see it has bass line and the hook riff for the intro.

    Books aimed more precisely at guitarists will contain vocal melody, with a line of guitar notation and a line of tab, as here:
    http://www.musicroom.com/LookInside....product_id=927
    You only get the guitar part here, no bass; but (from vocal line and chords) there's still enough information for study of composition.

    Other kinds of books will contain complete transcriptions of recordings. Note-for-note notation and tab for lead, rhythm, bass, drums, vocals, anything else present. These are generally only available for better known bands, esp classic rock acts, like Beatles, Zeppelin, Hendrix, Stones, etc. They are fascinating documents, but more than you need for your purposes.
    They usually have subtitles like "Transcribed Scores", "Complete Transcriptions", "Actual Recorded versions", or something like that. Because each song needs several pages, you either have a very big book (expensive), or not many songs.
    Here's a sample page of this type, from another Stones book
    http://www.musicroom.com/LookInside....oduct_id=30446
    - 7 different instrument lines there, including double staves (notation and tab) for 2 guitars and bass.

    Still other books will contain melody (vocal) alone in notation (single stave), with chord symbols. These are great for beginner-level study of composition, chord sequencing and song structure. They will also contain a lot more songs (for the same price) as the above books.
    Here's something like that:
    http://www.musicroom.com/LookInside....oduct_id=29933
    - looks like a lot of info, but you'll see the tab under the vocal is not what the guitar does, it's a transcription of the vocal line.
    Still, this is all you need if you're only interested in composition, which comes down to vocal melody, chord sequence and lyrics. (What guitars and basses, etc, actually do on recordings is less important.)

    The books you should avoid are the big compilations which only show lyrics and chords (no notation). These are fine for learning songs if you have the recording and can play along (that's what they're for). But they won't tell you much about song structure or composition - unless you're fairly familiar with the songs already.
    Here's a sample:
    http://www.musicroom.com/LookInside....oduct_id=78359
    - still they are great value for the quantity of songs contained.

  3. #3
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    thanks jon for very valuable information

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