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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, folks

I've been adapting the Guitar TAB concept to traditional notation. The intended application is to serve as a crutch or aid when trying to learn a song by ear from a recording.

These seem to help my students quite a bit, both those who are young saxophonists with limited technique and those who have a lot of facility but are most accustomed to playing "by eye."
At this point in time I've posted a few things to my website by Joshua Redman, Kenny Garrett, and Paul Desmond. More to come as I get time to post.

CHECK 'EM OUT HERE

Anyhow, I don't know if anyone else will find them useful. But, I'd love your feedback. So, if you get a chance, can you take a look at give me your two cents?

Many thanks and best wishes,
~ Rick
 

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Why do you hate rhythmic notation?
 

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Why do you hate rhythmic notation?
Hmmm... an unexpected reaction. But, a reaction nonetheless - thanks!

*
Here's the deal:

There is a whole lot of musical information that traditional notation cannot and does not express (time feel, rhythmic placement, tone, nuance, timbral shading, articulation, phrase shape, etc etc etc.). And, the most direct way to grasp and internalize these musical elements is through hearing, then emulating.

In fact, much of the time, when learning music aurally, we automatically absorb these elements of the music without even trying. It's the analog to learning the cadences and "accent" of a spoken language.

So, with this in mind, I have all of my students—at every level—learn music by ear from recordings, and from me in our lessons. But, it's not always easy to figure out all of the pitches. And, this part of the process is where most students seem to get hung up. So, I've begun using these "tablatures" as a minor crutch for these students to help them in the learning-by-ear process.

I have found that they're still absorbing ALL of those other musical elements mentioned above. And, more importantly, they're losing their reluctance to play something else by ear. AND, they're also getting better at picking out melodies by ear. AND, they're having fun!

My former teacher Ron Carter, who is one of the US's leading authorities on jazz education, told me recently that he advises developing musicians to have 2/3 of their music-learning be aural and 1/3 be notated.

Anyhow, the note from Mr. Carter is a little aside. Everything else above, though, discusses a little bit of the background info which has led me to experiment with these JazzTABs.

Any other thoughts?
~ Rick
 

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I've never thought of the skill of reading music to be 'in the way' of learning music. After all, you don't forget how to speak just because you know how to read a book. I've found that a 'call and response' (my turn, your turn) type of exercise, with increasing degrees of difficulty to be quite effective in getting young students to improvise, rather than learning from recordings.
 

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First of all I'm not nearly as experienced as you are in both playing and teaching, but one thing I've realized is that rhythmical and pitch related "problems" are of a equal importance and often interconnected.

The difference is only that on every instrument (except for midi sequencing) we can immitate rhythms like a singer can sing a new melody rather quickly. Now IMO this doesn't mean that we generally have better time than harmony it only means that the the threshold to produce a sound is lower.
The same pitch related threshold hinders the aspiring singers to sight-read as fluently as an aspiring saxophonist for instance, because the former can't relate to any physical connection between the read pitch and the execution on the "instrument".
But if you want to advance musically the only way to go is to go down the hard road. Sooner or later these deficits will come back to hinder the student.
Also see here:
So to answer your question I can't see much practical use for these jazzTABs even for the "not serious" students. Even they appreciate good music.
 
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