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Old 10-19-2014, 01:41 PM   #1
GirlGerms
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Theory question - guitar music notation range

Hey I have to write a guitar part down with music notation and not tab. I was just wondering can someone tell me if the range I've written in is fine and correct (the highlighted green section), or should I put the notation up an octave? Thanks.

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Old 10-19-2014, 01:46 PM   #2
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If you're asking whether or not it's academically correct to notate it in that range, I don't think that I can help you.

If you're asking if it looks okay to me and if I'd feel comfortable playing it like that, I'd say yes and yes.
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Old 10-19-2014, 05:30 PM   #3
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I'd move it, because - If you move it up an octave, you will only at max be two lines above the bar, now you are five lines below (measure 8 ). It will be easier to read!
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Old 10-19-2014, 06:04 PM   #4
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I've never read notation for guitar, but wouldn't notating it an octave above cause issues because then the person reading it would think to play the notes an octave higher than the original?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bornfidelity
I'd move it, because - If you move it up an octave, you will only at max be two lines above the bar, now you are five lines below (measure 8 ). It will be easier to read!

There's a B♭ in there, so it'd be three lines.
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Old 10-19-2014, 06:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismendiola
I've never read notation for guitar, but wouldn't notating it an octave above cause issues because then the person reading it would think to play the notes an octave higher than the original?



Yes. Absolutely.

OP: The notes of the treble cleff (and bass cleff) are not arbitrary. Figure out where the notes you're trying to write fall, compared to middle C. The way you have it written does look like it goes pretty low, but that may very well be the way it should be. A guitar's lowest notes are definitely below the bottom of the treble cleff.
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bi99man
Yes. Absolutely.

OP: The notes of the treble cleff (and bass cleff) are not arbitrary. Figure out where the notes you're trying to write fall, compared to middle C. The way you have it written does look like it goes pretty low, but that may very well be the way it should be. A guitar's lowest notes are definitely below the bottom of the treble cleff.

Okay, thanks for validating- I thought it might have somehow been different for guitar.

The range is fine. Assuming you're playing a customary six-string guitar in standard tuning, the lowest note you can play is an E2. For reference, middle C is a C4. You can dip below the treble clef and then some. Throw a bass clef in the bottom to make it easier to read.
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Old 10-19-2014, 08:18 PM   #7
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A guitar is a "transposing instrument."

Music for it is written an octave above where it actually sounds. Or, the guitar sounds one octave lower than written. Piano middle C is our C at the first fret , B string.

This allows most of the musical notes to be in the center of the stave; easier to read.
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Old 10-19-2014, 08:27 PM   #8
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Measure eight seems to be a problem if someone tries to play it on a six string. Other than that it seems ok.
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Old 10-19-2014, 08:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SexyBeast810
Measure eight seems to be a problem if someone tries to play it on a six string. Other than that it seems ok.


Yeah, that low C# would require a 7 string or a drop tuning.

OP, just keep in mind that the low E string open, the lowest note on a standard tuned guitar, is an octave below the lowest line of the treble clef. So, your full guitar range is going to extend a few lines below, and a few lines above, the clef. At least that's the way it's written in all the guitar tab/music books I've ever seen.
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Old 10-19-2014, 09:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dspellman
A guitar is a "transposing instrument."

Music for it is written an octave above where it actually sounds. Or, the guitar sounds one octave lower than written. Piano middle C is our C at the first fret , B string.

This allows most of the musical notes to be in the center of the stave; easier to read.


To add to this, the symbols "8va" and "15ma" can be used to indicate that notes should be played one or two octaves higher than written respectively and "8vb" and "15mb" can likewise be used to indicate that the notes should be played one or two octaves lower than written respectively.

This would allow pretty much anything to be written comfortably within the staff, which is particularly useful for those occasional times where they want you to play in the upper range of the guitar or the lower range of an extended range guitar (particularly with the increasing popularity of 8 and 9 string guitars).

It is also common with other instruments that demand a large range, particularly on the extreme high or low side of things, such as the piano, organ, synthesizer, violin, F-style mandolin (with the asinine 29 fret fingerboards), pedal steel guitar, all of which extend well up into the 7th octave, with the organ and synth easily being capable of reaching into the 8th or beyond, and pedal steel and fiddle rarely being able to reach beyond the piano's high range as well. And of course instruments such as, again, organ and synthesizer being able to reach very low, far beyond the lower reach of a piano by almost two octaves in some cases.

Of course, now we're not really talking guitars anymore.
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Old 10-20-2014, 10:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismendiola
I've never read notation for guitar, but wouldn't notating it an octave above cause issues because then the person reading it would think to play the notes an octave higher than the original?

There's a B♭ in there, so it'd be three lines.


Oops, missed that!
Also forgot to mention about the 8va if you transpose an octave mid-score. Way to go BF...


Quote:
Originally Posted by dspellman
Music for it is written an octave above where it actually sounds. Or, the guitar sounds one octave lower than written. Piano middle C is our C at the first fret , B string.


Seriously? It doesn't seem that way. Middle C sounds like 3rd fret, A string. If this were true as a rule I have to urgently revisit all my Chopin-for-guitar transcriptions...
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bornfidelity


Seriously? It doesn't seem that way. Middle C sounds like 3rd fret, A string. If this were true as a rule I have to urgently revisit all my Chopin-for-guitar transcriptions...


I thought that sounded off, too. But, I just sat at a piano with a guitar and checked. He's definitely right. Middle C is 1st fret, B string on a guitar. 3rd fret, A string is an octave below middle. Which makes sense, considering the low E of a guitar being an octave below the bottom line of the treble clef, unless 8va or 8vb or whatever.
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