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On not knowing chords - and not helping

Jim Dixon 18 Dec 10 - 04:17 PM
GUEST,Silas 18 Dec 10 - 04:19 PM
open mike 18 Dec 10 - 04:25 PM
Don Firth 18 Dec 10 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,Silas 18 Dec 10 - 04:38 PM
Waddon Pete 18 Dec 10 - 04:43 PM
Mark Clark 18 Dec 10 - 05:00 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 18 Dec 10 - 05:04 PM
olddude 18 Dec 10 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,999 18 Dec 10 - 05:09 PM
Tangledwood 18 Dec 10 - 05:14 PM
GUEST,999 18 Dec 10 - 05:18 PM
andrew e 18 Dec 10 - 05:47 PM
open mike 18 Dec 10 - 05:51 PM
maeve 18 Dec 10 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,jeff 18 Dec 10 - 06:11 PM
GUEST,DWR 18 Dec 10 - 06:30 PM
Leadfingers 18 Dec 10 - 06:37 PM
GUEST,jeff 18 Dec 10 - 07:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Dec 10 - 07:36 PM
Bobert 18 Dec 10 - 07:38 PM
The Sandman 18 Dec 10 - 08:47 PM
Nick 18 Dec 10 - 09:02 PM
Artful Codger 18 Dec 10 - 09:17 PM
ollaimh 18 Dec 10 - 09:23 PM
Jeri 18 Dec 10 - 09:24 PM
The Fooles Troupe 18 Dec 10 - 10:23 PM
Beer 18 Dec 10 - 10:49 PM
Tootler 19 Dec 10 - 12:56 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 19 Dec 10 - 01:58 AM
seanfromthecape 19 Dec 10 - 02:02 AM
Janie 19 Dec 10 - 02:02 AM
Joe Offer 19 Dec 10 - 02:39 AM
Janie 19 Dec 10 - 03:14 AM
Backwoodsman 19 Dec 10 - 03:59 AM
Genie 19 Dec 10 - 04:01 AM
GUEST,FloraG 19 Dec 10 - 04:04 AM
Darowyn 19 Dec 10 - 04:38 AM
peregrina 19 Dec 10 - 04:39 AM
Will Fly 19 Dec 10 - 05:14 AM
Backwoodsman 19 Dec 10 - 05:18 AM
The Sandman 19 Dec 10 - 06:28 AM
breezy 19 Dec 10 - 07:38 AM
GUEST,mauvepink 19 Dec 10 - 08:12 AM
Richard Bridge 19 Dec 10 - 08:20 AM
The Fooles Troupe 19 Dec 10 - 08:26 AM
Tootler 19 Dec 10 - 10:08 AM
Leadfingers 19 Dec 10 - 10:27 AM
Ebbie 19 Dec 10 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,999 19 Dec 10 - 11:56 AM
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Subject: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 04:17 PM

I just read, on another thread, where a newcomer guest to Mudcat asked for chords for a certain song, and someone else, a longtime Mudcatter, gave a sarcastic answer, like (and here I paraphrase:) why don't you buy the CD and figure them out for yourself, you cheap, lazy bastard?

OK, I made up the part about the cheap, lazy bastard, but I felt it was implied.

May I please have some support from other Mudcatters in condemning this type of behavior?

First of all, the responder jumped to some illogical conclusions. How do we know the questioner doesn't already own the CD? (Or at least lawfully own an mp3, having paid to download it?) How do we know the questioner has the skill to figure out chords for himself?

Look, no one was born knowing how to play the guitar. Everybody had to start somewhere. Do you honestly not remember what it was like to be a beginner? Wasn't there a time when you could have used some help?

Why heap scorn on the beginner because he isn't able to figure out chords?

And if you can't say something helpful, why say anything at all?

Even if you're not willing to help, someone else may be—if it's not too late, if the questioner hasn't been driven away by your crass insensitivity.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 04:19 PM

Yes, i can only agree with all that you have said.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: open mike
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 04:25 PM

I believe most of us came to this site while searching for music, lyrics, chords, etc. and the DT brought us here. This has grown into a community of folks, most of whom are musical. I am glad it is a place
where we all can come for advice and to share our love of music. Hopefully it will continue to be a place where we all can share.

Hopefully, also, people will think twice before criticizing others, especially new comers....i second Jim's comments.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 04:31 PM

I wholeheartedly agree, Jim. That sort of behavior toward a beginner is absolutely reprehensible. Especially here on Mudcat.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 04:38 PM

Which thread was it?


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 04:43 PM

Jim.....I agree...pity some folks don't.....maybe they'll learn in time (some hope!)

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Mark Clark
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 05:00 PM

Jim, thanks for that. I can understand that people reading a thread might not have time right then to answer fully but to belittle the questioner is beneath contempt. Many people who don't post here much anymore---myself included---used to spend huge amounts of time answering any questions (whether we knew the answers or not <g>) and helping with anything from chords, melody and lyrics to anecdotes and experiences. I guess we all figured we were helping to build something useful.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 05:04 PM

I support your stance, Jim. We've all been newbies at one time or another, and clueless many times over in various parts of our lives. Some people just hear pitches chord changes better than others, the same as some folks are more athletic or quicker at maths (and I speak as one who's pretty pathetic at both those latter two).

Mudcat's such a great resource - let's not drive people off it before we've even gotten to know them - or they us. The person who doesn't know the chords to some piece of music may be a treasure-trove of song words or local history.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: olddude
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 05:05 PM

There is a segment of people on this site that don't know what the word nice means. I find myself spending less and less time anymore and suspect that will continue .. My concern now checking in on Spaw ... I would not advise any guest or newcomer to ask anything lately music or otherwise. It is indeed sad


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: GUEST,999
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 05:09 PM

I`m with you, Jim.

BM


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Tangledwood
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 05:14 PM

Yes Jim, you certainly have my support.
Perhaps there are one or two posters who are too lazy to work things out for themselves; there are plenty that don't have the knowledge. In either case it's not compulsory to post an answer to them if you don't feel like it but there is no excuse for an abusive response.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: GUEST,999
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 05:18 PM

In fact, I will add that that type of response to people looking for chords is sickening. The guy or gal who said that has NO knowledge whether the asker owned the CD or not. There are people who have great difficulty working out relatively simple things in music. Slagging them for that is disgusting.

Also, Jim Dixon has done as much if not more work locating lyrics or melodies than darned near anyone else on this site--at least since I`ve been around the place. When he speaks in this manner, it`d be good to heed his words.

Keep BS in BS--whoever the hell you are. People ask for help when they need it.

Sorry about the rant.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: andrew e
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 05:47 PM

Haven't seen the original posting, but reading that is always a lesson for me to not be like that, even in a very small way!
So thank you whoever you are.

Maybe the person who responded had had a bad day! It happens to us all!

Some mudcat requests could easily be answered by a quick search on Google. But there again, the person asking may not know how to do that.

When I first started interneting, it took me quite a few months before I worked out what FAQ meant. It's not obvious!


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: open mike
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 05:51 PM

It is a good thing, however to suggest that we support musicians
by purchasing their recordings, buying tickets to concerts, etc.
That is a very good way to help them "put bread on the table" and
supporting music and musicians is an important priority!!


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: maeve
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 06:03 PM

Jim, I agree of course, and wish I'd seen the request. Did the person in need ever get the chord help?

Maeve


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 06:11 PM

Been playing for over thirty years and STILL have trouble 'hearing' the difference between a 1 chord and relative minor when in a multi-instrument track. There are subtle 'passing tones' at times easily missed, too. And I went through the 'Mickey Baker' jazz chord book years ago! Still have it. Developing one's ear is a relentless process that takes time. Jumping down someone's throat for asking a novice question is really unacceptable.

Had the privledge of a personal relationship w/Steve Goodman, Carl Martin, Jethro Burns, etc. in Chicago years ago and to a man when I would approach them w/a musical question they would sit with me until I got it. Was playing alot of swing in those days. And they didn't make me feel like shit for my reward.

Also, I recall driving myself crazy trying to figure out 'Hear Comes The Sun' w/o a capo because some jazz player told me it was cheating. Finally I said, "Eff him" and got myself a good Jim Dunlop and have been using one ever since. Shubb for the studio and Kyser for the stage.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: GUEST,DWR
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 06:30 PM

Jim, I wish I knew the answer. It's true that some people ask the simplest questions that some of us see and think, WHY didn't they just google their question? In many cases, we know the answer is bound to be there in multiple and easily accessed sites.

But how do we know the circumstances? Is this a person new to computers - they do still exist, you know. Is English the native language of the requester - if not, this could be beyond their skills. What about that rare and elusive quest that sends even the best of us to the edges of our knowledge and even beyond. I know I have spent hours looking up information in my books and internet searches and still failed to come up with a satisfactory answer. Sometimes I hit it lucky and have the satisfaction of giving the information asked for and adding to my own knowledge at the same time.

I usually respond in one of three ways. If it is something close to my areas of interest and knowledge, then I will do what I can to help without recrimination or complaint.

If it's something I know little or nothing about (there's a lot of that going around) then I may make a feeble stab at it, then wait for someone else to come by with the correct response. I may just reassure the person that yes, someone here likely knows, and they should just give them time to find the key to what is wanted.

The third way, of course, is to realize that the question is completely beyond my abilities and interests and just let it go.

I am running short of time right now, but there is a thread that took YEARS to resolve, but is now one of the most satisfying threads that I know of. I will post it later.

At any rate, I do agree wholeheartedly with your premise. I hope all of us can take it to heart and do even a fraction of what you do.

Gotta go. No ti;me even to check my post.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Leadfingers
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 06:37 PM

I still recall how pleased with myself I felt when I actually worked out a Chord Run all by myself for the first time - Ian Tyson's 'Four Strong Winds' ESPECIALLY finding the minor !
I STILL have trouble with Diminshed and Augmented chords though


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 07:25 PM

"I STILL have trouble with Diminished and Augmented chords though"

There's a book I can recommend if you'll take a look at my post. ;-) It may be out of print, though.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 07:36 PM

I never have trouble looking for Diminished or Augmented chords...
.....................
A question is an invitation to take part in a conversation. So what if the questioner could have used google instead? Anyway Mudcat answers are more likely to be interesting, and lead to finding out stuff you didn't know you wanted to know.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Bobert
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 07:38 PM

One insensitive post does not represent this community...

I'm sure that other folks were more than willing to help...

Reminds me of when I first came here, however, and I would start threads about this or that and some insensitive person told me repeatedly that this or that had already been discussed... Who cares if it had... The point is that new folks come in here with ideas and experiences and questions and that's always a good thing...

B~


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 08:47 PM

yes i agree, its the sort of behaviour i have encountered on www.session .org


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Nick
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 09:02 PM

If I can help I do. It costs me nothing.

And at the same it shows how incredibly smart I am

ROFLAO

Being serious,it is a little strange where someone asks for the chords for really straightforward three chord song but if it helps what the hell. It's nice when people say thank you.

And if you contribute you tend to get things back. I've got to know lots of people over the past few years through here and so it's a small thing to spend a couple of minutes helping someone out.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Artful Codger
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 09:17 PM

I have quite a few pet peeves, like people who don't search, people who post without first reading the thread they're posting to.... Among them is when people expect you to buy an entire album just to hear a single song or track, or think you can easily get hold of some obscure or out-of-print recording. Furthermore, I don't care for the way many artists perform, so once I'd gotten a tune, words and chords, I'd be unlikely to listen to most of these albums ever again. Should I have to buy some album of pretentious renditions just to hear how a public domain work (or a work those performers didn't write) goes? Particularly when I don't yet know if the song is even worth bothering with? Preposterous. Even with $1 track downloads, the expense can easily get prohibitive.

I do think that a lot of people are lazy about requesting chords: many requests I've seen are for basic three-chord songs, and those anyone should be able to figure out just through experimenting with the chords they know (and perhaps a capo). Nearly all of us are equipped with a detector that says "Yep, that's right," "Nope, but close," "Nope, that's not it" or "Whoa, that's really not it!" Exercising that faculty is the only way you learn.

If that doesn't suffice, the next recourse should be googling the net (including searching past threads here). All too often, people ask for chords when they've already been posted and a simple search would find them. If the chords aren't in the right key, all you need is a simple transposition chart--a ten-second search should turn up plenty of those. As with any endeavor, a certain level of expertise should be expected, and those without it should get private tutoring rather than expecting others to indulge them or hand-feed them from a silver plate.

I also don't believe in indulging computer newbies. Yes, everyone started at the beginning sometime, but no one is without computer-literate friends, and a person should have some minimum competence with computers, search engines and FAQ-finding before they start bothering others with their posts. Lack of preparation and sheer laziness should not be condoned, even by silent endorsement.

So I'd have to know for which song the chords were requested before weighing in on whether I think the reaction was inappropriate. Probably it was at least an overreaction, but sometimes folks deserve being told off. And sometimes you just hit someone's pet peeve, so they're lashing out not at the individual poster as much as at a galling, repetitive situation. That, too, deserves some indulgence.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: ollaimh
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 09:23 PM

i'm with you jim. some times cliques develop and try to slam the door they just came in by, right behind them.

usually the uncooperative are the less talented and knowledgeable. in circles of real players that i've known i've never sen anyone refuse to help if they have the time. if you have the time to type an insult you have the time to help instead.

unfortunately there are folie cliques who get in looking and self righteous, and sometimes get quite influential. they are usually middle class dominated and because they have jobs that allow them to attend the folk group every wednesday night and in the same twon they become fixtures. many working class people, especially in canada have to travel tp wok and get the short shift from such cliques because of the "who are you" attitude.

i value the ones that help the traveller, like for instance the victoria folk music society, in victoria bc, i have never shown up there without being asked to play and in turn i have never seen any one veing denoied help in learning, and they have some very good players who willingly take a back seat for a new commer,

i've run in to others in seattle san fransisco that are similar.and the cecil sharpe house in londo, don't ask about toronto and vancouver.

i have had people who openly attacked me on line and in violent and abuseive terms (i am a controversail truth teller) and who approacj=hed me in person without realizing who i was, and asked for harp help, bouzouki instruction, and i have always given it. and never told them i was ollaimh. what the hell.i am not book learned in music so i don't formally teach but i've happily shown hundreds of people how to do a harp arpeggio or travis pick a guitar and then said "there kid now go forth and teach others"

back in ole nova scotia i grew up with people who had little but always helped others in the music scene and i love that approach. people like jarvis benoit who used to host a halifax folk night and buddy macmaster would teach any one who asked.

i fondly recall many nights when jarvis would play back up to a brand spanking new player and make them sound great. its a real boost for the starter to be helped the first time on stage by a genuine legend.

so when asked help others if you have the time at all


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Jeri
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 09:24 PM

I've seen some dumb questions here, but some of them have been mine. They only seem dumb NOW because I learned the answers. Maybe I found them on my own, but maybe somebody told me or pointed me in a productive direction. Helping people figure the music out is, IMO, what Mudcat is about.

If you can help and want to, help.

If you can't help and don't want to, zip it and walk on.

Just because you don't have a dog at home to kick or the partner took out a restraining order on you doesn't give you an excuse to go after someone here.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 10:23 PM

"usually the uncooperative are the less talented and knowledgeable. in circles of real players that i've known i've never sen anyone refuse to help if they have the time."

This fits in with my pet private theory of "The B Graders"!

Those who know, do, those who think they know, try to pretend.

The B graders who fear the best can only get their jollies by pretending to be the best, the best have no fear of those with less talent or experience.


"if you have the time to type an insult you have the time to help instead."

I like this.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Beer
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 10:49 PM

Anyone who has learned an instrument remembers those first days. In my case a cheep $15.00 Sears guitar where by the strings were about 1/2 an inch from the frets. But help was available back then and it still is now because that is what musicians do. They help the next generation of potential artist to develop their talent.
That is who we are, what we are and what we do.

I'm with you Jim.
Ad.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Tootler
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 12:56 AM

Artful Codger,

I tend to agree with your "peeves" in your first paragraph but the rest of your post shows a lack of understanding - even intolerance for the newcomer.

You have clearly forgotten your early struggles with an instrument or a computer or you would not be saying what you did. You clearly do not understand the anxiety or lack of confidence of a newcomer, especially an adult newcomer to something; computers, a musical instrument or anything. Often newcomers to something have a fear of failure which makes them anxious and reluctant to try something for fear they get it wrong and nothing is more likely to put them off completely than the "Go figure it out yourself, you idle sod" type of post that Jim Dixon was quite rightly criticising. Your post suggests that underlying attitude.

My daughter once had a maths teacher who told me at a parents evening at her school "No genuine query from a child is ever trivial to them". Implicit in that statement, of course, is that we should always treat their questions seriously even if they seem trivial to us. That is an attitude I took on board in my own professional life and it is one which I think we should adopt to apparently trivial queries to Mudcat unless there is clear evidence to the contrary.

Figuring out chords to a song purely aurally is a non-trivial task and takes time and experience to learn. Newcomers need encouragement and a little help along the way by giving them chords. Maybe even they have had a go and want confirmation that what they have done is right. We don't know, so we shouldn't criticise unless we are in full possession of the facts. Because I play a melody instrument, I don't think I could figure out the chords to even a basic three chord song aurally, though I can usually make a fair attempt if I have the dots.

I know a good many computer newcomers and I know how anxious they get and it takes time to learn all the little tricks about searching. Searching on line for something is a non-trivial task in my view and it often surprisingly difficult to find exactly what you are after even if you are experienced. How often have you ploughed through all the things you mentioned and still not ended up with the information you were seeking?

I think the OP was absolutely right. More tolerance is needed, especially of newcomers. We don't want to put them off.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 01:58 AM

I first came here about ten years ago looking for how to play the introduction to leadbelly's fanin street - still can't play the bastard!


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: seanfromthecape
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 02:02 AM

Wow.

Ok so to start out, I was the person who posted asking for help. Thanks to everyone who messaged with support but I think this got blown a little out of proportion. I've been using Mudcat for a few years and it is a great place to find songs ( and chords for them ) that you just can't find on the bigger more mainstream sites. For the types of music I'm looking for Mudcat is actually usually one of the first 3 to 5 sites listed, so congrats to all of you for amassing a really great resource here! And as one person pointed out one bad post does not a website make!

Ok,so..Just to clear some things out.

To "breezy". I do own the CD, Stan Rogers, "From Coffee House to Concert Halls". Its an absolutely fantastic Album that I suggest to everybody. Its my favorite of his Albums and the song I was hoping to learn to play ( for this Christmas) is "At Last I'm Ready For Christmas " Track 15, one of my favorite Christmas songs. I also own Stans other albums as well as his song book and have my weekend booked off for Stan Fest in Canso, Nova Scotia this summer. Thanks for your concern about supporting the Estate of the late Stan Rogers, I'm sure his family and friends are appreciative that you apparently traveled from the UK to Kingston On, to buy the Album. If you had perhaps purchased a map beforehand you could have saved some travel time and stopped in Cape Breton or NFLD.

To "Artful Codger" - I did try google. If anyone else has found it anywhere on the internet please lmk. I'm not new to computers or searching and usually consider myself pretty adept @ data mining but sometimes its just doesn't work. Also I'm sorry if I offended your sensibilities by asking for chords to an apparently three chord song. There's a lot going on in there between the melody being picked on one guitar as well as the fiddle, with vocals on top of all.

To Maeve - No I haven't had anyone yet post any help haha, but thanks for asking!

As I already answered in the actual thread, I'm afriad that I am absolutely terrible at learning to play by ear and the cross I have to bear from that is either finding the tabs or music for the song or...sigh.....constantly asking the people I'm playing with, "wait what was that?"

Whew. Well that was all seriously unexpected, I don't think I've ever posted to any site and gotten quite so many resposnses about anything so cudos to you folks for speaking up. While my skin is a little thick to be disuaded something like that I know that some people could be and thats terrible.

PS - Sorry for the book length response!


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Janie
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 02:02 AM

Asking questions here is also a way of entering into the Mudcat music community, even if the answer to the question is available elsewhere.

Research, whether on-line or in a library is a skill at which some are better than others, or which is easier for a person already knowledgeable who is familiar with the kinds of search terms or websites where the answer might be found through a search engine inquiry. As long as I have been on Mudcat, I can find it very difficult to find what I am looking for, even when I know it is here.

A significant number of the top "hits" on Google when one searches for lyrics, chords or tabs are junk sites that promise much but rarely deliver, overwhelm with You are the 100,000th visitor, click here to win your prize or Download ringtones, then don't have what you are looking for. Many of these sites also set off security warnings. It takes time and experience to learn which sites to avoid as potentially malicious or as likely unproductive.

All that aside, why take the opportunity to belittle some one just because you can?


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 02:39 AM

I think that most often the "why don't you just buy the CD" posts are anonymous. If it's an anonymous post and it's nasty, I delete it without a moment's hesitation.

It's true that some posts seem to be trying to take advantage of us, like the ones that ask for any and all chords from certain performers. I just ignore requests like that. Other posts ask for transcriptions of songs, without the poster having done any work on the transcription himself (or failing to post what he's come up with so far). In situations like that, I ask the requester to post what he's got so far, and then build on it.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Janie
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 03:14 AM

Not responding is not rude. Responding as you might in your second instance is not rude, nor is it dismissive.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 03:59 AM

**Most** songs use the 1,4 &,5 chords, some bring in the 6m. I never understand why anyone needs to ask for the chords for those songs - they should be obvious and intuitive for anyone who has played for more than a couple of weeks.

Far less use other chords that need a bit of thinking about and playing around with.For the more **complicated** stuff I can understand why, for ease and speed, someone might ask for the chords.

I get all of my stuff from legally-obtained CDs and downloads, and I work them out without reference to sheet music and without asking others how to play them - it's a frustrating pastime occasionally, but there's great satisfaction in miraculously landing on that PITA chord that's been avoiding you for days. :-)

I do confess to 'chord-spotting' while watching others play, however! :-)

The member whose post on another thread started this debate, BTW, is a nice guy, and an excellent guitarist and singer. He doesn't have six fingers on each hand, nor a third nipple, and he isn't the spawn of the devil. I guess he just sees things differently to most of the rest. Personally, I don't see that as a reason for universal castigation, but that's just me.

IMHO. YMMV and, if so, that doesn't cause me any 'offence'. :-) :-)


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Genie
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 04:01 AM

Open Mike, I agree it's best to support other musicians by buying their CDs, but many of us can just not afford to buy a couple hundred CDs just because we want to learn that many songs, and not all single song recordings are available for purchase on iTunes.

As for figuring out chords, it is a skill worth developing, but it does take time for most of us, and looking up chords or lyrics on the net often yields a lot of variations (some of which are just plain wrong). I think a Mudcat thread can be ideal because the people who choose to volunteer their knowledge & expertise can - and will - debate such things where there are variations to be debated.   And, yes, it can be a great community experience.

Also, many artists (Joni Mitchell comes to mind) use open tunings or non-standard tunings such as DADGAD, and that can make it hard for a listener to 'hear' chords the way they would with someone using a standard EADGBE guitar tuning.    And, yes, there are tabs and passing chords and other riffs that aren't so easily designated by the chord names most of us know.

I'll just say that I find it instructive and interesting to see what varieties of chord patterns different people may use for the same basic melody, and I often end up modifying those too, because I want to use a different harmony, etc.

Nothing wrong with refraining from getting involved in a thread if you don't feel like being bothered, but I'm glad so many folkies really are willing to share their knowledge and skill.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 04:04 AM

I started looking on this site after I was idley browsing for Photos of Faversham festival and found some nasty name calling that no one else seemed to object to. I'm so pleased that others have now picked up on some unnecessary comments.

Gina la Faux heard me play when I was still very much a beginner and said
'music is a celebration not a competition'. I've often thought of these words since. Than you Gina.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Darowyn
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 04:38 AM

One of the problems with being able to recognise chords from a CD by ear is that very few people, especially those who can do it easily, know how they do it.
They just can.
Actually maths teachers have a similar problem they 'simplify' a complex function in a way that completely baffles a pupil, because "they just can".
That can cause someone to be unsympathetic, because if it seems obvious, the person who struggles could be seen as deliberately obtuse or lazy.
I always found that the things I taught best were the things that I had had to struggle with, because I knew which aspects of the problem caused the difficulties.
As far as identifying chords go, there was a time when I could not do it. Now I can, often in real time,able to play along with a tune I've never heard before.
Don't ask me to teach anyone else though, because I don't know how or why I can do it!
But if you have that ability, do remember to be patient with those without the 'gift' or experience, or whatever it is!
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: peregrina
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 04:39 AM

Backwoodsman, I think you are making a big assumption about musical ability. Not everyone can understand music theory or be sure of recognizing when the chords are right.

   Many of the old songs survive only because people who were unrecorded played them and taught them to each other across a few centuries, maybe just for the joy of it, maybe for a bottle of something, or for a meal.

So now that process is supposed to stop. Learning should take place only via purchased recordings?!

Sure it's right to support those who make the CDs,--of course. but--pass on the tradition only via purchase of CDs?! No thanks.

    Music and other arts are always a gift that transcends their commercial value. That does not mean they should be free, but that they should not be REDUCED to being done, exchanged and transmitted only via market forces.
    If you say people should only get the chords by buying them on a CD , or that trying to learn without doing so is trying to avoid buying the CD, you are commodifying the tradition in a way that will ultimately undermine it.


   The kindness of people who have helped me get chords is something I will always be grateful for. Without it, I would be restricted to song books.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 05:14 AM

**Most** songs use the 1,4 &,5 chords, some bring in the 6m. I never understand why anyone needs to ask for the chords for those songs - they should be obvious and intuitive for anyone who has played for more than a couple of weeks.

Oh really? Not in my humble experience as a teacher and as a professional musician. I started playing guitar from scratch, aged 20 and, I can assure you, it took me quite some time before chord sequences became intuitive. I've also known players of many years standing who don't have an ear for chord changes and who need music or tablature or a written chord sequence to help them find their way through a tune. It's far more common than you think. It took me weeks to learn to play a D chord - and I was playing, as a beginner, so much that my fingers bled. (All this was 45 years ago).

There's another thing that's worth noting. It's not always the simplest tune that is the easiest to fathom out. I played jazz for some years and my ears can detect the possible changes on something like "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" without too much bother. But when I started playing folk tunes in sessions I had to listen and watch really carefully because they all sounded the same! In other words, there was so much similarity between many of the tunes that there was a great danger of losing what were quite interesting - and slightly unpredictable - chord sequences. Do you drop down from D to C in a particular jig - or is D to Em a nicer change? Is it more appropriate to put a relative minor at such-and-such a point in the tune than the major? Is there an implied bass line in a tune which subtlely affects the chords?

So it's not always obvious - even to experienced people.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 05:18 AM

"So now that process is supposed to stop. Learning should take place only via purchased recordings?!"

"If you say people should only get the chords by buying them on a CD , or that trying to learn without doing so is trying to avoid buying the CD, you are commodifying the tradition in a way that will ultimately undermine it. "

Who's making assumptions now, Peregrina? I didn't say any of that at all! I said (if you would care to read and comprehend what I did say) that I do it that way, and I acknowledged that I study what others are doing when I watch them play, to learn and get new ideas.

My point was that, at some point, a musician should be able to work out simple chord structures simply by the 1,4,5,6m formula, with the occasional use of other chords - it's just practice.

And my other point was that someone shouldn't be demonised for holding a view which differs from that of others - and that's what's been going on on this thread.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 06:28 AM

people who refuse to give help,piss me off big time, there are a couple of idiots like that on www.session.org, people who, when someone is asking asked about advice on for example how to play the bodhran, reply with, bodhrans are not necessary in irish music.
or when someone asks for the chords of a tune, reply.... work it out for yourself by ear... people like that, really get up my nose.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: breezy
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 07:38 AM

ear , ear.

Its the 'Takers ' that probably get my goat.

I usually try to help if I can and have the time to do so.

I was impressed by Joe's succinct comments.

I like to go from the student's 'known to the unknown' when teaching.

Sometimes I make incorrect assumptions but if facts and information are not avialable and I have nothing to go on then an asumption rightly or wrongly will probably be made.

It would help if requesters for help would help themselves by declaring at from what point help is needed.

And we still got 6 days to go


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 08:12 AM

In essence I agree with Jim but whilst also taking on board that the vast amount of folks here are actually helpful above and below the line ;-)

I have certainly been given help here with some requests and appreciated it too. If I can help others I will. If I cannot then it is not worth me making commentary on it.

Away from Mudcat friends in clubs often give me credit for far more musical ability than I actually have. They think I know what 3:4 time is and that this chord transposes to that chord with the capo here and there. They think I understand music because of some of the stuff I sing. In fact I hardly know anything about timings and chords. Most of what I know I have self learned BUT an amount has been handed over to me and shown with patience by people who wanted to help or cared about what I was doing. Mostly this has only been in the past couple of years. I have been very grateful. The wonderful thing has been that much that has been handed over to me are from the singer/songwriters themselves or the performer of a given song. They never seem stingy with their help. The likes of Tom Bliss, Dave Gibb, Mark Dowding, George Papavgaris, Derek Gifford, Nathan Rogers, Heather Dale, Anthony John Clarke, have all given me assistance at some time or other. There are more too and the list is not complete. One songwriter I know, who is not well known but should be, gives me loads of little tips if he sees me struggling.

Some three chord songs are still not easy to work out. One always finds something when trying new songs and eventually hit a brick wall.

I am minded to think of Glen Cambell's Try a Little Kindness ...

Do unto others...

mp


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 08:20 AM

Quite a lot of things that sound simple at a first hearing are very hard to get by ear. One example would "Hole in the ground" and another "Right said Fred". Both performed by Bernard Cribbins if my memory serves me.


Almost anything by Tom Robinson is also likely to be tricky, and again they sound simple at a first listen.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 08:26 AM

"But when I started playing folk tunes in sessions I had to listen and watch really carefully because they all sounded the same!"

My running joke with Stan Arthur was that 'there are only about 7 Folk Tunes" ... he laughed and agreed... :-)


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Tootler
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 10:08 AM

The 1, 4 & 5 chord structure only really applies to tunes in a major mode and to the relative minor, providing you use the sharpened 7th degree of the harmonic minor scale to change 5 chord from minor to major. Even then people often like to use chords based on other degrees of the scale to provide variety or to "spice up" the accompaniment.

Many traditional tunes are modal, most commonly dorian or myxolydian. In such cases the 1,4,5 structure does not really apply and you have to be looking for other chords to harmonise such tunes. That is certainly not something you can realistically expect a relative beginner to know about or how to go about harmonising such tunes.


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Leadfingers
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 10:27 AM

Whicxh Hypocrite posted this ?

I do , I got them by listening to his recording.

Why not buy the CD, for Christmas, and for Stan

I travelled to Kingston Ontario to get mine, and thats a few miles from St Albans U K !

Been singing it for a over 10 years now, do it every day leading up to the 25th , just have to do some mental arithmatic each day

And we still have eight days to go


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 11:30 AM

It's six days, Terry. :)


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Subject: RE: On not knowing chords - and not helping
From: GUEST,999
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 11:56 AM

Last Boxing Day the wife went out the "White Sales" for to see,
In trunk-load lots bought half-price paper and tinsel for the tree.
I packed it up for use this year in a box I marked so plain.
That stuff would sure be handy now, but it's never been seen again!

Chorus:
At last I'm ready for Christmas, I've even finished the tree,
At last I'm ready for Christmas, like I thought I'd never be!
With my feet propped up by a good hot fire and a matching inside glow;
At last I'm ready for Christmas, with nearly two hours to go!



Any of you folks who could put the chords to the lyrics--well, it would help the fellow from Cape Breton. I am using a machine that has no sound, so even finding an mp3 would be of no help to me.


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