#1
Hey UG,
I have been writing music for a long time, and many times I have something in my head, and can't get it out; or some of it and lose the rest. I'm getting a little fed up with it by now, and was wondering if anyone out there had any tips on getting music from your head to paper (notation, tabliture, etc)? What I want to do (and am not sure if it's possible) is take a melody or riff in my head, and know exactly what notes they are. Playing out the rhythm is a piece of cake, and obviously drums aren't hard to immediately map out. But other instruments...

Thanks!
#2
I think of it in my head, grab my guitar QUICKLY and figure it out, then put it on guitar pro to keep it saved. Every once in a while I look back at past ideas I've had.
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#3
Quote by sacamano79
I think of it in my head, grab my guitar QUICKLY and figure it out, then put it on guitar pro to keep it saved. Every once in a while I look back at past ideas I've had.


That's sort of what I do now, but I don't always have access to a guitar. And if I think of other instruments while the melody is going through my head, they generally get lost by the time I figure out one part (if that makes any sense).
#5
Hmm... a recorder is a good idea, thanks

Any other thoughts? Maybe techniques on learning notes by ear?
#6
Practice your aural training. Your ear needs to be able to recognize notes in relation to the implied root. Start with simple progressions, such as I IV V, then get more complicated. After you can do most diatonic progressions easily, you should begin working with single notes. Also, learn to read and write in standard notation. It all comes together very neatly if you understand what it is you are doing.
"It is always advisable to be a loser if you cannot become a winner." - Frank Zappa

The name's Garrett.

Gear and stuff:
Taylor 310
American Strat w/ Texas Specials
Ibanez JS1000
Vox Wah (true bypass & LED mod)
Dr. Z Maz 18 JR NR
#7
That's the kind of stuff I'm looking for, thanks!

I guess the first thing I should learn is standard notation then.
#8
yeah, try this site. It's very helpful:

www.musictheory.net
"It is always advisable to be a loser if you cannot become a winner." - Frank Zappa

The name's Garrett.

Gear and stuff:
Taylor 310
American Strat w/ Texas Specials
Ibanez JS1000
Vox Wah (true bypass & LED mod)
Dr. Z Maz 18 JR NR
#9
My mp3 player has recording capability, so i usually grab a guitar, record that stuff and save it for later.

I used to do the head to paper thing, but i found tabbing it out i'd lose alot of the rhythms and some melodies that i was thinking of.
#10
Another good site is teoria.com. You should learn relative pitch to transcribe music from your head. I've been learning well from a book called...oh god I don't remember the whole title but it was something like "The Professional Guide for Working Musicians: Transcribing Music By Ear". I'll google it see what I come up with. I finished it and now I don't know where it is.

EDIT: I found it. I was way off on the title. It's called "Hearing and Writing Music: Professional Training for Today's Musician". You can buy it here http://www.amazon.com/Hearing-Writing-Music-Professional-Training/dp/0962949671/ref=pd_bbs_6?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1215927482&sr=8-6
The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful. And very shortly you discover that there is no reason.-John Cage
#11
Quote by Iron_Dude
yeah, try this site. It's very helpful:

www.musictheory.net


Cool site, Thanks!

Quote by StrokeMidnight
Another good site is teoria.com. You should learn relative pitch to transcribe music from your head. I've been learning well from a book called...oh god I don't remember the whole title but it was something like "The Professional Guide for Working Musicians: Transcribing Music By Ear". I'll google it see what I come up with. I finished it and now I don't know where it is.

EDIT: I found it. I was way off on the title. It's called "Hearing and Writing Music: Professional Training for Today's Musician". You can buy it here http://www.amazon.com/Hearing-Writing-Music-Professional-Training/dp/0962949671/ref=pd_bbs_6?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1215927482&sr=8-6


Thanks, I'll have to check it out
#12
If your problem is being able to get something you are playing on paper but can't do it well then the suggestions about getting a recorder etc will help. Being able to record your instrument will help you get those riffs saved permanently and you can work on the transcription later.

However, from the wording of your question it seems your problem is getting the sound in your head out into the world either on paper or through your instrument. If this is the problem then Aural Training will help you immensely.

Also close your eyes and make the riff or melody the only thing in your mind. Try to sing at least one of the notes and then match the pitch you're singing on your guitar and keep working through until you get the whole thing down. Or turn your recorder on and try to sing or hum the melody without your instrument. Then play it back and match it on your guitar.

You may be unable to even sing the music in your head to begin with. But, as you progress with your aural training you will be able to hum the notes in your head before you are able to play them on the guitar.

Good Luck.
Si
#13
Quote by 20Tigers
If your problem is being able to get something you are playing on paper but can't do it well then the suggestions about getting a recorder etc will help. Being able to record your instrument will help you get those riffs saved permanently and you can work on the transcription later.

However, from the wording of your question it seems your problem is getting the sound in your head out into the world either on paper or through your instrument. If this is the problem then Aural Training will help you immensely.

Also close your eyes and make the riff or melody the only thing in your mind. Try to sing at least one of the notes and then match the pitch you're singing on your guitar and keep working through until you get the whole thing down. Or turn your recorder on and try to sing or hum the melody without your instrument. Then play it back and match it on your guitar.

You may be unable to even sing the music in your head to begin with. But, as you progress with your aural training you will be able to hum the notes in your head before you are able to play them on the guitar.

Good Luck.


Thank you, I'm currently looking into Aural Training and for now will take the suggestion of humming it out. That's a-lot better than getting frustrated!

Thanks!
#14
Quote by lcphr3ak
That's the kind of stuff I'm looking for, thanks!

I guess the first thing I should learn is standard notation then.

Call your house's voice mail and sing the tune