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Thread: Writing non melodic notation for guitar

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Oxford UK

    Writing non melodic notation for guitar

    Hi, I couldn't find this anywhere else (although I have a little difficulty in explaining what I mean - here goes!)

    I'm trying to write out the scores for my covers band - mostly because we use different musicians for each gig, but also as an exercise for myself to practice/learn notation. My question is, how would you write a part that the guitar plays muted strumming i.e. no notes played, fretting hand mutes the strings so you just get the "chug" rhythm sound.

    (The song I'm trying to do is the intro bar to Upside Down sung by Diana Ross but the technique appears in plenty of other guitar music)

    How would you write the notes and show a particular rhythm that should be followed?



  2. #2
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Akron, OH
    In standard notation, just put the notes of the strings that you're playing the deadened notes on (an E for anything on the E string and so on) and replace the normal circle notehead with an X, but still include the stem and flag like a normal note.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    The standard way for rhythm without specifying notes is to use a / instead of the notehead for quarter notes and anything smaller. If I remember correctly a triangle is a half note and a diamond is a whole note, but I could be wrong.

    This goes for any rhythm playing, so you would also have to specify the feel you want at the top...which is where you would say something about muting

    Also, if it is just straight quarter note comp the entire way through you won't have to notate more then a bar or two.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    theres quite a few ways to do this, and different standards of notation. best thing to do would be talk to your band members to see what works best for everyone.

    if youre handwriting your notation on staff paper, you can either use lead sheets or a full score (lead sheets are the easiest to read and wright for guitarists). if you're looking for software, finale is industry standard.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Oxford UK
    Thanks all of you for your replies,

    I'm looking to notate as 16th notes, so I guess that's slashes as noteheads.

    As far as talking to the band members is concerned, they have been different for each gig we've done so far! - Which is mostly why I'm writing it all out - it should be easier in the long run than running off cds of the set each time we use a different musician... - but I also want to learn how this stuff works - I can write out the notes and have a good enough ear to transcribe stuff reasonably quickly, but oddities like this get me stumped! (I'm self taught and I've always been a "by ear" type player so I have very little knowledge of written music other than what I've found out for myself...)

    I assume it's quite acceptable to put written instructions on parts if I don't know the proper way to write it? (for example I was going to write out the notes for this guitar part where I would hold my fretting hand and then just write "muted" or something above the staff.)

    Thanks again.

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