Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Hello all, I'm a retired music teacher playing guitar about a dozen years now, mostly chord melodies. I've been lucky to working with several singers in my area the past two years. Starting another duo in January. Typically I print our band in a box charts for each singer I work with, since it has the melody as well as the chords.

    With the addition of another singer, I'm thinking about using software and iPad or tablet in stead of Biab. I'm aware that iReal pro charts only provide chords, but tons of songs and styles. Biab has both chords and melody but limited in styles, especially non jazz stuff.

    So the question is, do musicians using iReal and other soft ware programs just learn melodies by ear? Best systems to use?

    Looking for information regarding software systems to use as well as how to approach learning melodies by ear. Learning melodies by ear: by muscle memory, chord shape/melody relationship, note names, or by scale degrees i.e., Misty, starts with 5, 3, 7 of a major 7th chord.

    Having played a lot of jazz trumpet, I realize that at this point in my guitar technique, I don't really 'hear' that well on guitar, yet. Perhaps I should bite the bullet and just switch to a software chordal system and learn melodies.

    Advice would really be appreciated. Thanks in advance Bill


  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    I'm not sure I understand your question, but I'll tell you what I see.

    The rhythm section guys all have IRealPro as a kind of safety net.

    A lot of guys have tablets on which they have a large number of Real Books in one format or another. At the lower level, they have a pdf of each they can scroll through and find the Real Book chart. I believe there is software which streamlines the process of indexing and searching for a chart, to eliminate scrolling. I don't know the details because I've never done it.

    Horn players are more likely to have the tablets because they need the melodies.

    Bear in mind that there are multiple versions for many songs and they may disagree significantly. This wasn't a problem back in the days when everybody had the exact same book. Now, you can end up spending time comparing versions.

  4. #3
    Thanks for the heads up. Just had a lesson with a really fine guitar player in the area. Some nice software programs out there, as well as importing real book charts. Nice to see what others are doing. Thanks

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    You can add lyrics to iRealPro. The advantage of it is that it's a snap to switch keys - two clicks and it's ready in any key you want. I also use Fakebook Pro, which has most of the same tunes available, and you can add your own in .pdf format. Not so easy to change keys, but it's easy to add any sheet music you have by scanning to .pdf files. Lots of fake books available already scanned. I've tried using printed sheets, but using software makes it quicker and easier to find tunes. OTOH the battery never dies on a printed sheet.

  6. #5
    Thanks for the reply and suggestions. I'm 'new to guitar'. Started in 06. Playing mostly chord melodies, via band in box charts that have chords and melody provided. Working with a singer in January, so looking for alternatives. My 'system' of using Biab charts has worked well, but not developed my ear. As a retired band teacher and trumpet player of five decades, I have no problem playing by ear with that instrument. With guitar and my Biab charts, I tend to look at the charts. With iReal and Fakebook pro, there are not charts - perfect. Problem solved - a new way to practice - use my damn ear!!! Funny, as a kid, I spent hours playing along with Herb Albert record in my room - developing my ear. Time to develop that with guitar. Yesterday I spent a number of hours going thru Biab charts with challenging melodies. e..g. Stella by star light I have saved those type charts as a PDF and will import it to Fakebook pro, as a back up. Hopefully, as my ear develops, I won't need charts for challenging melodies. The other interesting thing about the 'chorded software' is that all the chords are 'vanilla chords' - no extensions. Using Facebook pro and playing thru "Loverman" yesterday, the suggested chord at measure five was a C7. I've played the tune enough to know and hear that the chord should really be a C+#9. Again, for me the goal is to be able to look at the chord suggested and 'hear' the extension, "on the fly'. While many of the Biab charts have the extension, it's the same old 'spoon feed' all the information. Trying to develop my ear more on guitar. Great suggestions and confirmations on a direction that I've been thinking about for a while. I appreciate you taking the time to answer. Bill

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Also, try learning the lyrics and singing the tunes as you accompany yourself, you may be surprised at how enjoyable that is, and then you can solicit solo gigs.

  8. #7
    ...Hey Ron, Thanks for the response. I wish I liked my singing voice. Taught high school theory for years - lots of sight singing with the kids. Still sound like a frog. You are right, however, I should learn the lyrics - especially to 'link' with the singers during while playing. Great point..thanks Bill

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    To me, knowing the lyrics makes the tune easier to play, and easier to improvise over. Not all tunes have lyrics, of course, but I try to learn at least most of the lyrics for any tune I want to play, and if it has none, I make up some. Mine aren't as sophisticated as Porter's or Gershwin's, but they help me to remember the tune.

  10. #9
    I've never been a singer, but when the same comments come up from a number of musicians, it makes you stop and think. I've got to learn a bunch of tunes for working with a singer for the next couple of weeks. I think I'll try a bit of and experiment: learn half of the melodies my normal way, and the other half with singing the lyrics. Never thought to try it. I'll also be really curious to see how I accompany after learning the lyrics. Good New Years' project and a chance to change some old habits. Appreciate your response. Bill

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    I'm a terrible singer, and I don't sing the lyrics aloud, just in my head. I sing pretty well in my head, I can sound like anyone I want.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by bcash View Post
    ...Hey Ron, Thanks for the response. I wish I liked my singing voice. Taught high school theory for years - lots of sight singing with the kids. Still sound like a frog. You are right, however, I should learn the lyrics - especially to 'link' with the singers during while playing. Great point..thanks Bill
    Hey, Bill, I went through that same thing; for years, I only sang harmonies and backup parts, disliked my voice, but I eventually realized that the likes of Dylan, Knopfler, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and so on really had terrible voices, even Sinatra's voice was not particularly great, so I took a cue from the Brazilians: don't try to sing, just talk in tune, the "natural voice". I started learning the bossa-novas in Portuguese, and they were an instant hit. Eventually, as I got more confidence and took some vocal lessons, I became a middling singer, good enough for jazz, as they say, and I honed my mediocrity on senior-citizen gigs. Now I have over 100 vocals in my repertoire, and singing has become really fun. Finding the best key for each tune has been really important, and listening a LOT to Joao Gilberto.

  13. #12
    Hey Ron,
    Lots of great ideas from this post. With a New Year coming, time to set goals and try out idea. I totally agree on your assessment of voices - it is not about the quality of the timbre - for sure. I've done a ton of solo guitar acts and just started duos (guitar and various singers). Solo acts - background music for most of the time, add a singer....the room get a whole lot quieter. I will try some singing in the New Year..who knows...LOL . Thanks Bill

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by bcash View Post
    Hey Ron,
    Lots of great ideas from this post. With a New Year coming, time to set goals and try out idea. I totally agree on your assessment of voices - it is not about the quality of the timbre - for sure. I've done a ton of solo guitar acts and just started duos (guitar and various singers). Solo acts - background music for most of the time, add a singer....the room get a whole lot quieter. I will try some singing in the New Year..who knows...LOL . Thanks Bill
    It won't hurt a bit to take a few vocal lessons with a competent teacher, and if that's inconvenient, there are lots of youtube lessons for free; some are quite good. Singing needs practice, I've found that putting together CDs of exercises and/or song accompaniments allow one to practice while driving to and from gigs (mp3s on your phone or iPad if you have that availability in your vehicle).