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Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?

GUEST,An occasional poster 11 Feb 14 - 04:20 PM
BrooklynJay 11 Feb 14 - 05:14 PM
skarpi 11 Feb 14 - 05:15 PM
Leadfingers 11 Feb 14 - 05:22 PM
BrooklynJay 11 Feb 14 - 05:49 PM
Bert 11 Feb 14 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,giovanni 11 Feb 14 - 06:19 PM
PHJim 11 Feb 14 - 06:25 PM
GUEST,Grishka 11 Feb 14 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,Occasional poster. 11 Feb 14 - 06:37 PM
skarpi 11 Feb 14 - 06:48 PM
BrooklynJay 11 Feb 14 - 09:59 PM
JohnInKansas 12 Feb 14 - 01:25 AM
Joe Offer 12 Feb 14 - 03:32 AM
Mr Happy 12 Feb 14 - 04:22 AM
GUEST,Grishka 12 Feb 14 - 04:41 AM
Will Fly 12 Feb 14 - 04:46 AM
GUEST 12 Feb 14 - 06:54 AM
Will Fly 12 Feb 14 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,concerened 12 Feb 14 - 07:10 AM
GUEST,Grishka 12 Feb 14 - 07:15 AM
JohnInKansas 12 Feb 14 - 07:51 AM
Allan C. 12 Feb 14 - 08:45 AM
skarpi 12 Feb 14 - 09:10 AM
Van 12 Feb 14 - 09:23 AM
GUEST,Troubadour 12 Feb 14 - 10:43 AM
Tootler 12 Feb 14 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,leeneia 12 Feb 14 - 11:42 AM
BrooklynJay 12 Feb 14 - 12:15 PM
Phil Edwards 12 Feb 14 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,Occasional poster. 12 Feb 14 - 12:36 PM
Richard Mellish 12 Feb 14 - 06:10 PM
Will Fly 13 Feb 14 - 03:05 AM
Will Fly 13 Feb 14 - 03:10 AM
BrooklynJay 13 Feb 14 - 03:55 AM
Phil Edwards 13 Feb 14 - 04:52 AM
MMario 13 Feb 14 - 05:15 AM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Feb 14 - 03:31 PM
GUEST,Grishka 13 Feb 14 - 05:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Feb 14 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,Grishka 14 Feb 14 - 04:58 AM
Richard Mellish 14 Feb 14 - 05:22 AM
PHJim 10 Mar 14 - 03:20 PM
GUEST 10 Mar 14 - 10:38 PM
Tattie Bogle 10 Mar 14 - 10:41 PM
GUEST,Stim 10 Mar 14 - 11:28 PM
PHJim 11 Mar 14 - 12:24 AM
GUEST,michaelr 11 Mar 14 - 12:30 AM
Joe Offer 11 Mar 14 - 02:13 AM
Johnny J 11 Mar 14 - 05:32 AM
GUEST 11 Mar 14 - 05:33 AM
MikeL2 11 Mar 14 - 12:22 PM
Richard Mellish 11 Mar 14 - 01:32 PM
GUEST 11 Mar 14 - 05:03 PM
Joe Offer 12 Mar 14 - 04:11 AM
Howard Jones 12 Mar 14 - 05:03 AM
GUEST 12 Mar 14 - 08:27 AM
PHJim 13 Mar 14 - 01:17 AM
Richard Mellish 13 Mar 14 - 06:26 AM
GUEST 13 Mar 14 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,Tony 13 Mar 14 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,Grishka 14 Mar 14 - 06:16 AM
GUEST,Tony 14 Mar 14 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,Grishka 15 Mar 14 - 10:25 AM
Tattie Bogle 19 Mar 14 - 08:32 PM
GUEST,Grishka 31 Mar 14 - 07:21 AM
Tattie Bogle 31 Mar 14 - 11:37 AM
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Subject: Chord Req: Requests for chords
From: GUEST,An occasional poster
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 04:20 PM

Occasionally when there are chord requests for songs like Gypsy Rover or Four Strong Winds--not actual examples--a few things strike me. Why are these people asking? I do not understand. Songs that have three to five chords should be simple enough to figure out, no? Part of a beginners education?

I can certainly understand if a newbie to guitar is having to figure out How High the Moon that s/he might need assistance, but Gypsy Rover? I don't know if I'm being unnecessarily harsh, and possibly I am. I'm interested in your take on it.

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Requests for chords
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 05:14 PM

Well, I'm speaking only for myself here, but let's take the case of Gypsy Rover:

First off, let me say that I only know a relatively small amount of music theory compared to most people on these boards. I came back into this a little late in life, so I have a lot of catching up to do, and the brain doesn't absorb as quickly as it used to. As I remember, I think I learned the song from a Sing Out! reprint pamphlet several years ago, and while it seemed simple enough for the average person, there was one part where the chord progression was too difficult for me to manage in the proper tempo. (I have found that, for me, a Bm chord can be all but impossible.)

Anyway, I asked a friend of mine (who's been playing for many decades more than me) what chords he used, and - surprise - he used slightly different chords, did not use the Bm, and the song actually sounded better to my ear with his chords. I could not have figured out these "alternate" chords by myself, I assure you. So, I was certainly grateful for his help.

What I am disappointed in, however, is when someone makes a chord request, and then they are directed to a website where you can buy sheet music. That's happened to me. I would never buy something "blind", because I don't know if it's precisely what I am looking for. I don't want to possibly waste my money when I do not have a lot of it to waste. I've found I can trust the Mudcatters more than buying "a pig in a poke" as the saying goes.


Jay


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Requests for chords
From: skarpi
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 05:15 PM

well how do you play it the Gypsy rover ?

what chords do you use ? ..
I think not all play it in the same way ...you can skip the Bm ....but I like it ..:) .



me G - D - G - D - G - D - G - D - G - D - Bm - Em - G - C - G - C - G

kv Skarpi


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Requests for chords
From: Leadfingers
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 05:22 PM

IF I post a chord run , I always say "This is how I do it" and then wait for a better musician to post some interesting changes , with fancy passing chords !
We all hear things in different ways , though even I wouldn't try to do 'My Way' as a Three Chord trick (Saw that once !!!)


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Requests for chords
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 05:49 PM

I've never mastered the trick of posting lyrics and getting the chords to perfectly and properly align on the line above. Can someone point me toward an explanatory thread?

In the meantime, I'll post what I play in the only way I know I won't mess up. What I play is pretty much the same as Skarpi above, though I use D7 instead of D. Here is the line with the difference:

He [G]whistled and he [D7]sang 'til the [G]green [B7]woods [Em]rang

Slightly different, but not unpleasing to my ear. Vocally, nothing changes.


Jay


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Requests for chords
From: Bert
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 05:57 PM

...should be simple enough to figure out, no?...

No, not for everybody, especially people with tin ears like myself. I often have trouble with getting the melody line correct, and find that my limited musical ability, coupled with some hearing loss will often reduce a song to a simplistic major key version.

When I can get a more sophisticated set of chords for a song it will often spring to life in quite a different way.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Requests for chords
From: GUEST,giovanni
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 06:19 PM

It's just a request for information from an internet forum - what's so special about it being for chords?

I can probably work out lots of things but it's good to be able to ask someone who may have some really good information that they don't mind sharing. It's just how it works, is all.

Why do you think people are wrong for asking? - surely if they didn't need/want the information they wouldn't bother asking - same as any other request for information.

g


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Requests for chords
From: PHJim
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 06:25 PM

When I was a teenager circa 1960, I and two friends formed a Kingston Trio type group and called ourselves The Rovers Three. Our first (non-paying) gig was at a variety show in a church basement. We played three songs: The Sunday School Song (Oscar Brand), Jesse James and The Gypsy Rover. I know that I only knew about three chords, so that's all we used. Three guys, a tenor banjo and an arch top guitar.

The (G) Gypsy (D7) Rover came (G) over the (D7) hill,
(G) Down through the (D7) valley so (G) sha(D7)dy.
He (G) whistled and (D7) sang till the (G) greenwoods (C) rang
And (G) he won the (D7) heart of a (G) la(C)(G)dy.(D7)

I'm sure that we just played the chords that sounded right. I don't recall Googling them.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Requests for chords
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 06:26 PM

Jay, like this:
 
He 
G  
whistled and he 
D7 
sang 'til the 
G  
green 
B7 
woods 
Em  
rang


(study the source code if you dare).


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Requests for chords
From: GUEST,Occasional poster.
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 06:37 PM

Thank you all. I'd then make a suggestion for those people:

Have the decency to post the lyrics to the song you'd like chords to and also if possible where a person willing to help might hear the song.

(Giovanni, relax.)

Once again, thank you.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Requests for chords
From: skarpi
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 06:48 PM

you are very welcome


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Requests for chords
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 09:59 PM

Grishka,

I have no idea where to find this "source code" you mentioned - or even what it is!


Jay


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Requests for chords
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 01:25 AM

BrooklyneJay -

If you right click a blank spot on the page, one of the choices is "view source." Click that, and you'll get a new window that shows the html code for the page. (Just close that window to go back to the thread.)

Finding the post you want can be sort of puzzling - it will be a loonng waay down in the code. A search (Ctl F) on the date of the post usually will take you to the one you want.

In this case, the post starts at about line 967.

John


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 03:32 AM

Being an a cappella singer, I can't say I know from chords. When I see a chords request for a song, I always post the lyrics or ask for them, if we don't have them. Sometimes I get flak for giving lyrics when chords are requested, but such is life.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 04:22 AM

I appreciate that some folk aren't able to work out chords for themselves, however, getting chords from others may not be ideal either, for the reason that everyone does songs slightly different.

Dependent particularly on the note spread of the song & the range of an individual's voice.

One might obtain a set of chords then, whjle being able to play along with their instrument, be unable to sing the song satisfactorily if the key/chord selection is unsuitable


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 04:41 AM

John, thanks for explaining.

Jay, I was referring to your
I've never mastered the trick of posting lyrics and getting the chords to perfectly and properly align on the line above.
You may not really be enlightened by what you see in the source code, whence "if you dare". I used software to generate it from the line you posted, not needing to type a single keystroke.

The threads you asked for do exist, I think most posters there prefer enclosing the lines in question with <pre> ... </pre>.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Will Fly
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 04:46 AM

I don't see a problem with asking for chords - as someone has already said, even the simplest tune can have variants, and those variants might be quite interesting.

What intrigues me is why people sometimes ask for lyrics which are readily available elsewhere. I can understand asking for lyrics for an obscure song, particularly if a thorough trawl around the web has failed to produce any, but to ask for lyrics when they can be easily obtained - or easily transcribed from a record - strikes me as laziness. In days gone by, we bought the record and played it over and over again, writing down a line at a time or as much as we could remember while it played. These days, with things like iTunes, that process is so much easier.

In my days as a budding guitarist, when music shops stocked the sheet music for the latest hits (!), I used to cycle down to Simmons' music shop in Lancaster, look through the rack for the song I needed the chords for - I found it hard to work them out in those days - memorise them, and then cycle home as fast as possible to write them down before I forgot them!

I remember reading somewhere that, when piper Billy Pigg had had a lesson from Tom Clough in his farmhouse, he used to cycle home as fast as people, humming the tune to himself so he could get home and practice it before he got it. It's good to be part of a tradition...


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 06:54 AM

Sheet music and records, Will? What a luxury! We used to have detector radios with no battery and a single earphone. And we were not even in Yorkshire!


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Will Fly
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 06:59 AM

By gum - an earphone - luxury! We had to make do with a rolled-up newspaper as an ear trumpet and a wind-up Cheddar cheese...


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 07:10 AM

Hya Brooklyn jay I read your post with mega interest..like you I find plating with the Bm virtually impossible..I tend to cheat by paying the A string one fingered at the second fret sounds nearly right.But i would be interested in your friends take on it with poss, examples please?


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 07:15 AM

That was I on 12 Feb 14 - 06:54 AM, and besides fitting the script nicely, it happens to be the truth.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 07:51 AM

A clarification for those less familiar with html:

If you type the lyric/chords you want in your word processor using a monospaced font like Courier, it should be easy enough to line up the chords on one line with the lyrics on the next line.

Unfortunately, if you just copy and paste what you typed, the html interpreter will delete all but one in a series of spaces, so all the chord notations will collapse to the left.

Putting the <pre> tag before the spaced out text and closing the <pre> stuff with </pre> at the end displays it "preformatted," and the interpreter will pick a monospaced font for the display. All the spaces will remain in the post so the alignment between chords and lyrics will (usually) appear as you typed them in your wp program.

A minor difficulty is that "superscripts" typed in the wp program won't show up correctly in the preformatted paste for posting, and the html <sup> - </sup> tag set won't work inside the preformatted parts, so you can't use this method to show a C7 chord and will have to settle for a C7. Same for <sub> - </sub> subscripts so no Am either.

The <pre> - </pre> tags sometimes insert an extra <BR> (new paragraph) before or after the preformatted section so it's a very good idea to "Preview" your post before submitting to see if other "adjustments" are wanted to make it pretty.

John


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Allan C.
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 08:45 AM

Getting back to the original question, it may have something to do with not having an ear for such things. I know someone who reads the dots extremely well and can play a number of instruments. However, she is completely unable to work out the chords by ear for even the most basic tune and cannot play said tune without the written chords before her. This person loves music and loves to play it; but appears to be incapable of hearing chords well enough to suss them out for herself. I am sure she is not the only one.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: skarpi
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 09:10 AM

Allan , you hit the nail on the hammer :) no it was the hammer on the nail .
and some times it is hard to hear a little sound change so why not ask
for help ?
all the best Skarpi


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Van
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 09:23 AM

Surely the point of this forum is to share so why not ask about anything?


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST,Troubadour
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 10:43 AM

Exactly!

If anyone asks a question to which I know the answer, why would I query the reason for asking, rather than just give the requested help.

It takes just as long to type a snotty put-down as it does to be nice and maybe make a new friend.

I cannot understand, or relate to, those who would rather be snide than pleasant.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Tootler
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 11:17 AM

Even if you can work out chords for yourself, it's often worth posting a request to see what others have come up with for the same song - for reasons given in several posts above.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 11:42 AM

"Songs that have three to five chords should be simple enough to figure out, no? Part of a beginners education?"

No. A beginner might know nothing about keys, about time signatures, about major and minor. Such a person wants to a new song but the possibilities for chords seem endless because they don't know where to start.

I think the best thing any musician could have is a few piano (or accordion) lessons.
============
I get around the problems with chord alignment by typing in a column, like this:

(pick up) On the
D first day of Christmas my
A true love gave to
D me a par-
G tridge in a
A pear
D tree.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 12:15 PM

John in Kansas:

Thank you for the explanation above. I actually understood what you were saying! (I did check out the "source code" page earlier, and aged ten years.) I think my Word program is the way to go for this. I am assuming that checking what I've typed (musical stuff) in "Preview" will give me an accurate representation of what the final post will look like. (I've always used "Preview" for my regular posts, no matter how small.)


Jay


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 12:33 PM

I've been playing melody instruments for the last 40 years & recently switched to English concertina. And no, I cannot work out chords with any degree of confidence - I usually try filling in what I hear as the bassline & then seeing what happens if I fit the 'bass' note into a major triad. If none of the major triads sound right I try a minor; if none of them works I try sus4 chords. (I use far more sus4s than I do 7s; maybe it's a concertina thing.) If the sus chords don't work either, I give up.

So yes, having chords written down can save quite a bit of work! There are lots of beginners on this board, where 'beginner' means 'someone who doesn't find something as easy as you do'.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST,Occasional poster.
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 12:36 PM

Good remarks for the most part. However, may I ask one thing? If you want someone's chords to a song please post a stanza and chorus so the person trying to help isn't doing all the work and if you have a place the song can be heard, post a link to it. I don't think that's too much to ask.

Thank you and so long.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 06:10 PM

I'm glad the OP raised this, because I have long wondered why people want to be told what chords to use. From this thread, I now do understand, more or less.

But I agree with the comments about different people making different choices and having different needs. For a start, will the performance be better for having an accompaniment at all, and if so should that be chordal or something else?

If the person making the request is actually seeking to copy the sequence used by a particular performer, is that because they are copying the whole performance? If so, maybe they should think again. Why reproduce what someone else already does (or did at some past time)? By all means take it as inspiration, but there's no need to imitate (unless for purposes of demonstration).

Certain standard instrumental pieces may have specific chord sequences that are always used, but a folk song generally doesn't have a single "right" sequence, with anything else being wrong.

Someone who wants to use chords, but hasn't the ability to choose chords that are at least adequate to fit a given melody, probably also wouldn't know how to transpose to the corresponding chords for a different key if the original key is unsuited to their voice.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 03:05 AM

If the person making the request is actually seeking to copy the sequence used by a particular performer, is that because they are copying the whole performance? If so, maybe they should think again. Why reproduce what someone else already does (or did at some past time)?

I take it you're talking in the context of solo performance, Richard? Any attempt to play with just one other person - say at a singaround or session - will require some degree of harmonic commonality. Only last Sunday I was gently told off for playing a D chord at one point in the song "Spanish Ladies" - apparently it should have been a C. My ear told me otherwise, but I deferred to the person who started up his version of the song.

Horses for courses - an don't mention jazz, where you must know the right basic sequences for a start before you can go off on chordal and melodic sprees...


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 03:10 AM

I forgot to add, Richard - one very good reason for copying another person's performance is that it's a very good way of learning.

Thank the lord that, in my younger days I slavishly tried to copy Doc Watson, Merle Travis, Ike Everly, Chet Atkins, Big Bill Broonzy, Brownie McGhee...

The copying was usually imperfect to a huge degree, but the learning curve was very worthwhile!


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 03:55 AM

Someone who wants to use chords, but hasn't the ability to choose chords that are at least adequate to fit a given melody, probably also wouldn't know how to transpose to the corresponding chords for a different key if the original key is unsuited to their voice.

Strangely enough, I can transpose, but I have an odd quirk: I took piano for around a year when I was young, and to this day when I transpose guitar chords, I have to actually have a mental picture of a piano keyboard in my mind's eye. Yep - white keys and black keys. It works for me.

I will also admit that I have occasionally used websites that will automatically transpose for you (like Logue).

It's just that sometimes a song is a little too complicated musically for me to get that first "foot in the door" and do a halfway decent job of figuring out the chords. Just because I can hear a song in my head (or on a record) doesn't mean I will always be able to successfully nail down the chords. I'll keep trying, to be sure, but I'm really grateful to some of the folks here on Mudcat for their help and expertise.


Jay


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 04:52 AM

Someone who wants to use chords, but hasn't the ability to choose chords that are at least adequate to fit a given melody, probably also wouldn't know how to transpose to the corresponding chords for a different key if the original key is unsuited to their voice.


Eh? When I've really learnt a song my voice tells me where it needs to be pitched, and once I know that I can transpose chords more or less on the fly - "I'm starting on A instead of D, so that G7 needs to be a D7..." But finding the chords in the first place is still a black art.

When I first tried 'chording' songs I did assume it would be a fairly straightforward process - if you know what key the song's in, that gives you the I, then you just need to work out when to move to the IV or the V... Tain't necessarily so.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: MMario
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 05:15 AM

Then there is the frustration of those of us who don't use chords, who need to have the melody line...
which never gets mentioned!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 03:31 PM

I almost always seem to find that the chords in songbooks aren't right for me. but they can still be useful. The same goes for the chords people post in threads on the Mudcat.

Generally I tend to think less is more.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 05:12 PM

MMario, you doubtless know that Mudcat uses the ABC system for melodies, thus "never gets mentioned", even without exclamation marks, is not accurate. Not all posters want to learn the system, and many may think that the tune is easy to learn by ear from recordings, or "known anyway". If you want to encourage more ABC tune postings, I second that.

ABC allows for chord symbols, which will not only be printed by notation software, but also recognized and (somehow) interpreted by playback software. —

Indeed, McGrath, harmonizing melodies (traditional or coming without original accompaniment) is a matter of taste to some extent, and always takes a lot of training and knowledge, whether or not including verbal theory. In such cases, asking experts and discussing their preferences is a good idea.

However, many requests at Mudcat specify "... as performed by ...". Obviously the asker has that recording and wants to reproduce it. This is problematic for several reasons, one of them mentioned in the OP. Worse still is the superstitious hope to capture the secrets of an accompaniment by the chord symbols alone. Any time we fulfill such a request, we must emphasize that there is a lot more to it.

Still, if someone credibly explains her or his wish, says "thank you", and is happy with the chords, why should we object. One performer mentioned my nickname on YouTube ...


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 08:20 PM

Wishing to understand what a musician was doing in the way of accompaniment doesn't necessarily mean you plan on trying to do an impersonation. Finding out stuff like that extends one's understanding of how accompaniments work, and of the available options.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 14 Feb 14 - 04:58 AM

Agreed. The problem I was addressing was that some seem to believe that all you need
to understand what a musician was doing in the way of accompaniment
is chord symbols. Often these actually "don't mean a thing" without the proper voicing relations. In other words: those with ambitions beyond scout campfire strumming should be told that there is more work ahead.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 14 Feb 14 - 05:22 AM

First, a slightly late response to Phil Edwards, who challenged my saying
"Someone who wants to use chords, but hasn't the ability to choose chords that are at least adequate to fit a given melody, probably also wouldn't know how to transpose to the corresponding chords for a different key if the original key is unsuited to their voice."

I did say "adequate" and "probably". I find it hard to believe that there can be many people who know how to transpose but can't manage even the "three chord trick". (Or the two chord trick on a one-row melodeon!)

As for wanting to know exactly what chords a particular performer has used: I take the point that there can be valid reasons for that. But sometimes the request seems to mean just "please tell me what chords to use for X", which seems simplistic.

Richard


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Subject: Chords Add: CRAZY (Willie Nelson)
From: PHJim
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 03:20 PM

After getting so frustrated with the chords not lining up, I have started inserting the chords in the lyrics with brackets when writing chord sheets for my students. Here's one I did last week. I think they're quite easy to read. By the way, this is one of those songs that everyone seems to chord differently.

             CRAZY    Willie Nelson

Intro: (C) (C#dim) (Dm) (G7)

(C) Crazy, I'm (A7) crazy for feeling so (Dm) lonely (Dm7)
I'm (G7) crazy, crazy for feeling so (C) blue (C#dim ) (Dm) (G7)
(C) I knew you'd (A7) love me as long as you (Dm) wanted (Dm7)
(G7) And then someday you'd leave me for somebody (C) new (F) (C) (C7)

(F) Worry, why do I let myself (C) worry? (C7)
(D7) Wondering what in the world did I (G7) do? (Dm) (G7)
(C) Crazy for (A7) thinking that my love could (Dm) hold you (Dm7)
I'm (F) crazy for (Em) trying and (Dm) crazy for (CMa7) crying
And I'm (Dm) crazy for (G7) loving (C) you

Tag: I'm (F) crazy for (Em) trying and (Dm) crazy for (CMa7) crying
And I'm (Dm) crazy for (G7) loving (C) you


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 10:38 PM

Just watch out if you work from a fake book, many get around copyright by deliberately putting one wrong chord in somewhere, just so they can say "all music can claim to be the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order." At what point does the accompaniment of two texts in the same verse metre converge to become plagiarism, or diverge because the tone of the words sends the pitch somewhere else? Hymn books have entire sections at the back designed to help choirmasters get away from always singing some favourite hymn to the same old tune, or to put an unfamiliar set of words to a tune the congregation is comfortable with. There are one or two apocryphal examples in the folk world too of transcribing from the next tune in the book too...I diverge, though. Sometimes easing a familiar chord makes things more interesting, quite apart from being necessary: there's nothing worse than the same accompaniment for all 116 verses of Chevy Chase. The moral? Don't be too wedded to the dots. Make the tune your own. And then it will be folk.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 10:41 PM

I sometimes wonder why people ask for chords to certain songs that I have only ever heard sung, very effectively, a cappella, the only "chords" being spontaneous harmonies from other voices, and I think, why on earth would you want to "instrumentalise" a song like that? And I have heard some of the results, which are pretty awful.

Having said that,for songs where accompaniment is more appropriate, I tend to prefer the "less is more" approach, maybe because of my own playing limitations. If I am writing a song,I will usually start with my first instrument (piano) but then have to think about what I can realistically translate it to playing on the eminently portable, but less proficient player of, guitar!


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 11:28 PM

After some reflection, it occurs to me that this is not a musical question at all. When someone needs help, decent and caring people give it.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: PHJim
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 12:24 AM

The anonymous GUEST wrote, "Just watch out if you work from a fake book, many get around copyright by deliberately putting one wrong chord in somewhere."

Chord progressions are not copyrightable. Many songs share the same changes.
They're Red Hot, Alice's Restaurant, Bring It On Home and other songs all share the same progression. Five Foot Two and Please Don't Talk About Me are both under copyright and share the same changes.

I Am Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes, Wild Side Of Life, It Wasn't God Who Made Honkey Tonk Angels and Great Speckled Bird all share not only the same chords, but the same tune.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST,michaelr
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 12:30 AM

PHJim, no offense, but that's a very hard-to-read way to write out a song chart. It kills the flow.

It's quite easy, using a monospace font like Courier, to line up the chord symbol over the exact letter it belongs with, because all the letters are the same width.

You can even post songs on Mudcat like that by preceding them with the < pre > command (omit the spaces).


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 02:13 AM

Tattie, I've thought the same thing, especially about ballads and even more so for sea chanties. Since I don't play an instrument other than my voice, I don't know much about chords - but it does seem that they are helpful for beginning guitarists (but not on sea chanties).

We do like to have melodies for songs, as much as possible. If you can post ABC, please do so. If I see ABC tunes, I often add a link to an online ABC player.
If you'd like to post a MIDI for a song, send it to me, joe@mudcat.org

-Joe-

To play or display ABC tunes, try concertina.net


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Johnny J
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 05:32 AM

The chords or names thereof are only the start.

Voicings, positions, choice of inversions, strumming and picking patterns, rhythym, whether or not to incorporate the melody alongside etc. So many possibilities.

In many cases, fewer and simpler chords are better if you are also focusing on all these other aspects.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 05:33 AM

@PHJ, it doesn't stop the odd ambulance-chaser from the music-publishing industry though, which is why the fakebookers do it, on the basis of your argument. At the end of the day, all any song is is a sequence of chords and words, and that can be copyright: but alter one note and it's no longer the same. A beginner needs to know that if it sounds wrong, it may well be, and why. That's all, just a warning to those who might be led astray otherwise.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: MikeL2
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 12:22 PM

Hi Will

<" In days gone by, we bought the record and played it over and over again, writing down a line at a time or as much as we could remember while it played.">

"Those were the days my friend."

Yes I used to go to the record shop and tried to memorise the words of songs I wanted. But even so I bought many records just to learn the words.

So much has changed these days that anyone who can't find lyrics ( other than very obscure songs) is either very out of touch with technology or just darned lazy.

I don't know about you Will but the lyrics I learned by rote have mainly stayed in my head, even though I pushing 80 !!

Regards

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 01:32 PM

Un-named GUEST said
"At the end of the day, all any song is is a sequence of chords and words".

NNNNOOOOO! It's a sequence of NOTES and words. If it has an intrumental accompaniment or is sung by two or more voices together, then that MAY introduce some chords.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 05:03 PM

Notes almost always form arpeggiated chords, barring the odd passing note or elision. That's why I stated CHORDS, if you cannot pick the chord runs out from a melody you'll never be able to accompany it. There can be a choice, sure, but ultimately the chords buried in the tune teach you how it will resolve and therefore how to accompany it. The choices allow you to vary the accompaniment and can lead you to modulations to take it somewhere else en route, although for most tunes you don't have time for such fancy stuff.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 04:11 AM

I'm sometimes lucky enough to have a very gifted pianist, Annette, as an accompanist. If she's playing, I know I'll sound good. She has a degree in music, but she likes to have chords (plus the melody) for the songs she plays - she improvises amazingly on that platform, but she is one accomplished pianist who feels most most comfortable when she has the chords written out. If she doesn't have the chords, she works them out and writes them in.
I also sing with a classically-trained pianist who plays every note as written.

It's a whole hell of a lot more fun to sing when Annette is playing. If I make a mistake, she compensates. The other pianist plays exactly what's written, and isn't good at improvisation at all.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 05:03 AM

I understand why beginners may want to have the chords laid out for them, but I would encourage them to try to work them out for themselves. It is an important part of learning to play, and trains the ear to understand keys and harmony.

If they are going to play from written chords, they should listen and try to understand why those particular chords are used and how they support the melody, and not just bash them out unthinkingly. You don't have to understand musical theory (although it helps) if your ear can pick the chords which sound right. However it takes time and effort to learn this, just as it does other aspects of music.

I know several guitarists, at least one of whom cannot really be considered a beginner, who in a session are incapable of identifying what key we are playing in, or even distinguish between major and minor.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 08:27 AM

Hating the dots is all part of the folk tradition. Part of the fun in session is to anticipate where you're going to go next.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: PHJim
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 01:17 AM

GUEST, If tunes were made up entirely of arpeggios, there would be only one set of chords for each tune. This isn't the way it is. Most tunes can be accompanied by many different progressions without altering the tune.
James Taylor used a simple, folky 2 chord progression to accompany his instrumental intro and outro for Oh Susannah, but used a much more complicated 2 chords per measure progression for the vocals.

(A)I come from Alabama with a banjo on my (E)knee.

(A)I come from (Am7)Ala(Bm7)bama (F#m7)with a (A)banjo (F#m7)on my (Bm7)knee(E7)

Even for the same song, like Sally Good'n or Tennessee Waltz, you would not use the same chords for a bluegrass version as for a Western swing version.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 06:26 AM

I disagreed with GUEST's statement "At the end of the day, all any song is is a sequence of chords and words", whereupon (presumably the same) GUEST responded "Notes almost always form arpeggiated chords, barring the odd passing note or elision."

That is still not true.

Of the kinds of folk music with which I am familiar, the kind that has the largest proportion of arpeggios in the melodies is Swedish; and even those melodies are by no means only arpeggios, also including scale runs and some phrases that are neither. Other kinds are even more of a mixture.

Coming back to British/American/etc: some phrases strongly imply particular chords, insofar as one wishes to use a chord at all. Other phrases can be chorded in various ways. Some tunes fit standard chord sequences, in which case there is a good case for using those sequences, especially if several musicians are playing together. But if you're on your own there's usually some flexibility, and sometimes a lot.

And, as I alluded to earlier, on a one-row melodeon either you use the single chord that's available with the current direction of the bellows or you do without.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 10:15 AM

The only reason marking chords in a tune works is because the principal notes of that tune at that point form that chord. This is what I mean by arpeggiation, not a solid chord of many notes played as one, but the same notes played in a sequence, not necessary ascending or descending linearly. Arpeggiation does not have to be rapid, like a gliss, it can be picking out each note individually, and in any order.
In fact, it works the other way, the notes of the tune dictating what the chords are, and because the notes will rarely define a full chord, it allows some scope for different chords in the same place, as the chord, in adding notes not in the tune, puts a variable colour on the section. Are notes a third apart the base of a root chord, the top of a first inversion or the middle of a second inversion? Three possible chords off just 2 notes. And that's just from the 3-chord trick: if you're playing sevenths you get four for your money.
Try it with a tune you know, changing one chord where the tune behind it's a bit weak into another which shares the same two notes in the melody. It can take the tune somewhere radically different, most likely "wrong", but sometimes only subtly so.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 05:38 PM

quote: I used software to generate it from the line you posted, not needing to type a single keystroke.

Grishka, what software are you talking about? I would love to have it.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 06:16 AM

Tony,
Grishka, what software are you talking about? I would love to have it.
My friends and I use a tiny piece of self-written software, mainly to print lyrics+chords sheets from the web browser (HTML). It is not really fit for publishing, but if there is a considerable demand on Mudcat, I can upload it "as is", with a short text file for instructions. I offered that on a former thread, whereupon some participants advised against the method (when used for Mudcat posting).

Better software may exist for the purpose; "Bill D" might know.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 07:57 AM

"As is" it seems to work pretty well, judging from your example above. My only interest is in printing lyrics with chords for my own use, for songs that I've worked out but won't remember unless they're on paper. I never post chords on Mudcat; the few times I tried drew replies that my chords are wrong, or that I shouldn't use any minor chords.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 15 Mar 14 - 10:25 AM

I offer to upload the software ("Chordify.jar"), but for safety reasons I suggest the following procedure, as successful before: I post the Java source code of 200 lines (plus instructions) to Mudcat, and a trusted member compiles and hosts it. Any others interested? Preferably registered members, who can PM the usual suspects to volunteer?


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 08:32 PM

Sorry, can't help with that, but hopefully someone will.

Going back to what Joe was saying, I play piano/keyboard in a couple of ceilidh bands, and our music is as he says, a line of melody plus chords, no left hand written out. Yes, I could work out what chords to play on the hoof, but then the accordionist might go for something different. It helps that we are playing "from the same hymn sheet "!


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 31 Mar 14 - 07:21 AM

Tony and Tattie, I have now posted the tool to Mudcat as a web script, Chordalign.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Why Requests for chords?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 31 Mar 14 - 11:37 AM

Thanks Grishka, will give it a try.


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