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Need Help Learning A Tune


Jay-Jay
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Hi everyone :)

 

I heard a tune on a CD that I bought and I would love to learn, it's called O' Sullivan's March but I want to learn it in simple A B C notes, I don't understand sheet music and anytime I look up Abc notation it looks all complicated to me :/ it's really frustrating me :/ how do I go about getting a tune to put into simple Abc like..

 

A D' F F G B E FF in this kind of format

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I heard a tune on a CD that I bought and I would love to learn, it's called O' Sullivan's March but I want to learn it in simple A B C notes, I don't understand sheet music and anytime I look up Abc notation it looks all complicated to me :/ it's really frustrating me :/ how do I go about getting a tune to put into simple Abc like..

 

A D' F F G B E FF in this kind of format

 

Will that format be enough? One reason today's "standard ABC" notation looks "complicated" is that it doesn't just tell you what the notes are, it tells you their relative durations. This can be especially important if your source for the written notation varies slightly from the version you hear on the CD: If you try to match up written notes one-to-one with the note changes on the CD, you could quickly get terribly out of synch.

 

But I think John's reference should help you understand both what information is contained in ABC code and why it's there... hopefully, how to convert it into playing.

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Here's the tune in ABC as fished off the web and reformatted a bit:

X:1
T:O'Sullivan's March
B:Dance Music of Ireland, O'Neill, no. 51
N:transposed from key of D
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:G
g|dBB GBB|dcB    c2e|dBB GBG|AGG Gge|
  dBB GBc|dcB    c2e|dBd gdB|AGG G2:|
g|edg edg|e/f/gf edB|dBg dBg|dBg def|
  g3  bge|dcB    c2e|dBd gdB|AGG G2:|

Notice: most of the notes are part of a G major common chord (low to high, GBdg). Learn where those four notes are in the tune and on your instrument and you're most of the way there.

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Sullivan's march as most people would play it, is a different one Jack.

 

The one that starts: GBA ABd | edB A

 

There are several different versions around: Willie Clancy, Pat Mitchell, Tommy mcCarthy. Séamus Ennis had yet another version which he called Sweeping Cobwebs out of the Sky, after the words he sang to it.

Edited by Peter Laban
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Jay-Jay,

You've bought the CD, right? And it's a trad. tune, right?

 

Well, just listen to the relevant track over and over until it's in your head, and then get it out of your head and onto the concertina!

 

That's the traditional way of learning tunes. It also keeps you from becoming a carbon-copy of the recorded performance.

 

Cheers,

John

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Another useful option is to try the Amazing Slow Downer program. It allows play back of a CD at reduced speed without changing the pitch. I've only just started using it , but it seems like it is just the thing to give you a chance to learn a tune by ear at your own speed.

 

Not a free download, but it seems like it will be worth it. Also allows some other options such adjusting the volume of various pitch ranges, which can be useful in trying to pick out one type of instrument from a full arrangement, or selecting a section and looping it over and over again, to give a chance at identifying and writing down notes.

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Hi everyone :) I appreciate the advice given here, I've tried to understand the ABC Notation and I can't seem to get my head around it at the moment, I would really prefer to learn a tune the way I have been with the very simple A D' F F G B E A- A-, I can listen to recordings and practice how long I should hold a note for etc, it's how I've been learning tunes thus far.

 

The slow down seems like a fantastic idea and would certainly help with recognising what note is being played and allows me to match the notes and find what note is being played on the CD, that is another issue for me, when I hear a tune there are times when I can't distinguish which note is being played, I'm getting better at it as the weeks past and I practice more.

 

Again thanks everyone for their help, if anyone has any other ideas I'm all ears :)

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'Modern' ABC and the ABC you're used to aren't so different, if you choose to ignore the barlines etc and bear in mind Lower case are lower octave notes and upper case are second octave notes (so def would be D'E'F' in your system) I'd think you're well under way. Notes with numbers are longer notes so G2 = G-.

 

D |: GBA ABd | edB A2 G | GBA B3 |1 AGG G2 ||
|: e2 g e2 g | ege edB | ded dBd | deB BAG |
cBc dcd | e/f/gB A2 G | GBA B3 |1 AGG G2 ||

Edited by Peter Laban
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...another issue for me, when I hear a tune there are times when I can't distinguish which note is being played, I'm getting better at it as the weeks past and I practice more.

The same is true of just about anything. Practice working with (writing, as well as reading) standard ABC notation -- or standard staff notation, -- and you should find your facility with that/those improving, too.

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Assuming that you've written the opening post yourself, read and pretty much understood all the answers, I would reckon that you have the capacity to read at least the melody line of 'dots on the stave' type music.

Having messed about with almost as many types of TAB as there are languages, I came to the conclusion that a music score is just another type of TAB but it just happens to be the most popular and widely available.

Nowadays the internet can provide you with a music score and it won't take too much effort for you to convert that to an abc type text but why bother? You've learned to read and write English, which is a pretty complex and not totally logical language. Getting a basic grasp of musical notation and applying that to your instrument is relatively easy by comparison.

 

:-) having said all that, I do use abc players and even (for melodeon) a fingering generator but I'm still a big fan of reading the score. Hopefully it all helps me to learn and play

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