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Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs

GutBucketeer 16 Apr 01 - 02:04 PM
wysiwyg 16 Apr 01 - 03:07 PM
M.Ted 16 Apr 01 - 03:08 PM
GutBucketeer 16 Apr 01 - 04:27 PM
MMario 16 Apr 01 - 04:40 PM
GutBucketeer 16 Apr 01 - 07:56 PM
wysiwyg 16 Apr 01 - 10:26 PM
ChaosCat 17 Apr 01 - 01:33 AM
Helen 17 Apr 01 - 02:32 AM
Helen 17 Apr 01 - 02:34 AM
M.Ted 17 Apr 01 - 02:39 PM
Clinton Hammond 17 Apr 01 - 03:01 PM
ChaosCat 17 Apr 01 - 05:45 PM
Justa Picker 17 Apr 01 - 06:39 PM
wysiwyg 17 Apr 01 - 06:47 PM
M.Ted 17 Apr 01 - 07:26 PM
GutBucketeer 17 Apr 01 - 11:25 PM
wysiwyg 18 Apr 01 - 01:36 AM
Bernard 18 Apr 01 - 07:26 AM
Bernard 18 Apr 01 - 08:26 AM
GUEST,Zeo 18 Apr 01 - 08:48 AM
wysiwyg 18 Apr 01 - 10:42 AM
Barbara Shaw 18 Apr 01 - 11:47 AM
Barbara Shaw 18 Apr 01 - 11:55 AM
wysiwyg 18 Apr 01 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,Matt_R 18 Apr 01 - 12:20 PM
wysiwyg 18 Apr 01 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,Matt_R 18 Apr 01 - 12:57 PM
wysiwyg 18 Apr 01 - 01:33 PM
M.Ted 18 Apr 01 - 02:29 PM
M.Ted 18 Apr 01 - 02:31 PM
M.Ted 18 Apr 01 - 05:50 PM
Mary in Kentucky 18 Apr 01 - 07:15 PM
M.Ted 19 Apr 01 - 12:31 AM
wysiwyg 19 Apr 01 - 12:36 AM
M.Ted 19 Apr 01 - 01:24 PM
wysiwyg 19 Apr 01 - 03:29 PM
M.Ted 20 Apr 01 - 12:10 PM
GutBucketeer 20 Apr 01 - 01:30 PM
wysiwyg 20 Apr 01 - 02:00 PM
M.Ted 20 Apr 01 - 03:36 PM
M.Ted 20 Apr 01 - 03:38 PM
Bernard 20 Apr 01 - 05:25 PM
M.Ted 21 Apr 01 - 12:39 PM
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Subject: Software to find key/chords of CD songs?
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 02:04 PM

As I try to play along with songs that I have on CD's or have in MP3 format I find that once I know the key, I can usually work out a lot of the song. However, I often have real difficulty in figuring out the key and some of the chord changes. As my ear improves it gets easier, but I still want to be able to check to see if I have heard it right.

I'm looking for software that can tell the key and/or chords of a song that is playing from a CD or MP3. Does anyone know of a Winamp or other plugin that can do this? Hey can anyone help?

I have read the past threads and it seems that there a lot of programs that read and analyze midi files, but none for native audio files.

I did find one Shareware program called Note Chaser out of England that will help transcribe every not played, but you first have to convert each song that you want to examine into a WAV file and save it to your hard disk. It does more than I need but it is really really cool.

Does anyone know of any other options?

JAB GutBucketteer


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Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 03:07 PM

GB,

I'm one of those people who never seems to know the "right" way to do anything but can usually figure out a real effective meatball approach.

Mine, in this situation, with autoharp, is to start with it in tune, and then listen for the note that ends each verse and the chorus... since I know that is usually the "key" of the song. I keep plucking the single strings till I get the right one, then I just look and see what one it was. From there I can usually get the chords, if it is in a key the autoharp plays in-- in other words I can discern any key, but don't always have chords for it included in the 21 chords this model has.

Our jam group recently took a new approach to choosing some new songs to learn. I had a compilation CD (it happened to be bluegrass gospel we had never heard), and we ran the CD one song at a time... I had the words to the ones I thought they'd like, which I had looked up before our session, printed for everyone. Someone, usually me first, would come up with the key and by the middle of the song we'd all be playing it. Then we'd discuss what key we'd LIKE to play it and sing it in, and we transposed it and jammed on it, adjusting till we had an arrangement we liked (I do most of the arranging).

We tore through about a dozen songs in about an hour and a half, and played the SH*T out of each one several times before moving on to the next.

Worked so well we're gonna use this method oftener.

A lot of studio stuff is in keys that seem obscure to me, since I am not a guitar specialist. But we can at least spot the key anyway, and have enough theory among us to figure out what the chords in that key SHOULD be, and then transpose to our more familiar keys pretty easily to try out the tune.

I think it's actually faster than software would be. To streamline the process, just make notes on your CD liner notes as you go, as you figure out each one's key.

Another meatball tip-- we have a cheap karaoke machine. It has the option of slowing the tape to change pitch. Of course it makes it ALL much slower and that's not always good... but it can be a big help in hearing what the heck the players are DOING on there, and where the chord changes go, and which chords are done major or minor when there is a choice... then we do it in whatever key WE want. So it can help to copy the CD to tape and slow it down to check your arrangement. ~Susan


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Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
From: M.Ted
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 03:08 PM

You can always buy a book with the music, or post a request for help with the chords on a particular song--

My temptation is to make a really sarcastic remark--but I will only say that there is no program that can listen to a recorded piece(let alone a whole CD full of recorded pieces) and tell you what to play with the push of a button--

You'll have to work songs out one at a time, it gets easier with practice--


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Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 04:27 PM

M. Ted:

Guess What?
I buy and have a collection of many many books, inlcuding music notation, and tabs. It's sort of my hobby.

Guess What again?
I have been trying to do just what Susan and you suggest. I'm often in the car with 2 or 3 harmonicas trying to find which one to use. I'm getting better at it, but have heard more than once... My harmonica is in the wrong key, or my banjo, or my autoharp when someone else that can "hear" music is with me. I'm getting better at it, but since I started with no music in my life as a kid it doesn't come natural to me (I've always been skinny, and can eat ice cream whenever I want too. Should, I say to someone that has to watch every gram that they eat to avoid being obese, "just don't eat that much, it can't be that hard", "or why do you need that special diet program, can't you just watch what you eat on your own?").

Guess What again, again?
Check out "Note Chaser" It does analyze and tell you every note played in a passage, and you can therefore use it to figure out the chords, and the key fairly easily. However, with my computer system I can process about 1 song a night with it (converting it to a WAV File, etc.)..

Last, Here is a question:
Why do people think when a question is asked that the questioner is trying to find a "magic" or "easy" solution? I would love to have music come more easily to me, and I've been trying to learn for years and years and years. Also, every time I post I try to have done my homework: I've checked the DT and/or the archives; I've looked in Music books; I've searched the Web and other sites. I'm not asking for a "push the button" solution, or trying to take the easy way out, all I'm looking for is additional tools.

Music and ear training comes more naturally to some people and while they can be learned by anyone (I hope)they are more difficult for others. I can gaurauntee to you the amount of effort that I have to put in to learn a song is way way more than many other people: I look it up in books, I listen to it, I practice, I tape myself, and I do all of things that you are supposed to do, but many times I just don't hear it, or get it for a very long time. In highscool, my choir director used to throw up her hands in frustration when we would go down the row. When it was my turn, I would sing the passage a third lower than I should (the relative notes were correct), and couldn't "hear" that I was off until she pointed it out to me. Now I can at least hear that something is wrong but often don't know what it is. Progress :-)

JAB Gutbucketeer.


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Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
From: MMario
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 04:40 PM

?? I just tried note chaser. It doesn't recognize ANY notes in any of the wave files I've tried it on. I'd like it to, but I have yet to find a program that comes even close to recognizing what notes are played from a wav file.

Any tricks to it?


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Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 07:56 PM

I have only tested the sameple file provided with the program.

I will try some other files this week.

JAB


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Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 10:26 PM

Hey GB. I love you. How can I help? Any song. Any time. By phone.

Who cares HOW you do it, the thing is to just get the songs going, right?

Mo' music. Mo' fun. Mo' better.

~Susan (AKA Praise) Ain't these name changes innerestin'? *G*


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Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
From: ChaosCat
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 01:33 AM

I've had some success with the demo for Chord Transcriber, though I've never tried the full version.
Generally, the first few bars of a song gives me all I need to know, when I'm feeling to lazy to work it out by ear.


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Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
From: Helen
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 02:32 AM

GutBucketeer,

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled on this software while looking for a midi for a popular song. It happened to be mentioned on this page.

It recongnises chords from CD's in your CD-ROM drive.
Click here http://members.tripod.co.uk/Topband/software.htm

I haven't tried it out but I sent the site address to my brother in law, and he told me a couple of days ago that it does work fairly well. It gives a couple of alternative chords.

Try it and let us know how it goes.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
From: Helen
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 02:34 AM

Sorry, it's the ninth one in the list.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
From: M.Ted
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 02:39 PM

GB,

I really understand your frustration--believe me, I do. Guess What? I know all of that stuff you told me about you, before you told me. And guess why--I was a guitar teacher for a good many years. Guess what else? I know why you have the problems that you do--

You tell me that you have trouble working out songs, why on earth are you trying to do it in the car, presumably while you are driving? People write music one note at a time, measure by measure, and people learn to play it the same way. You can't do that if you are trying to do something else at the same time.

There are many people, classically trained, who don't play anything by ear, and don't learn anything by sounding it out. They just sit, look at the music, and play what they see, and it works out fine. Yet you have music books and charts(which are nearly exact accounts of what you need to play) and it isn't enough, and, peculiarly, you want to go on to use a computer program to transcribe the music, and that program can only give you an approximation of what is there, which, in all events, is less accurate than the music.

You said that in choir, with the music presumable in front of you, with everyone around you singing the right part, under the watchful eye of the choirmaster(All of them are rigid and demanding authoritarians!) you couldn't manage to get the melody right, and yet you insist on teaching yourself music by ear--

The biggest problem is your idea that music training comes naturally to some people and not to you--guess what? Most people who play work very hard, and for many years, to achieve that "natural" talent--

It seems like I am being brutal, and I am sorry for that, but I am just putting all the cards on the table--obviously, you have been working with music for a long time, and you are disappointed that you haven't made more progress than you have--you ought to know why you haven't done better, and also a right to know what you need to do to change that--

My experience with students who had the problems that you do (and, truth be told, most of my adult students did) is that rather than starting at the beginning, they wanted to start somewhere that was interesting to them, so they really never understood or mastered the fundamentals (like finding and playing the proper time and pitch values), when they encountered obstacles, they tended to fudge them, and also tended to jump to something else rather than work them out. And, rather than submit to the authority of either a teacher or the text, they tended to chose to pursue things on their own.

Lastly, they tended to think that they had mastered a piece, and polished their performance long before they had.

I have gone on long enough, and I am afraid that I have sounded rather mean-spirited in the bargain. It is just that, you have to set these things out so that you can deal with them, if you are going to make any progress.

I am going to suggest something, and that is that, at least for now, you stop trying to figure things out, and stop trying to teach yourself, and try to find a teacher who can get you moving on the right track.

It should be someone who recognizes the problems that I mentioned, someone who is willing and able to teach the music that you want to learn to play, and someone with exacting standards of musicianship, who knows how to teach them to you--

Good luck to you--


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Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 03:01 PM

The link to tripod above doesn't work... the page is gone, as have apparently all the Topband pages...

any other suggestions, helen?


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Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
From: ChaosCat
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 05:45 PM

The link in my previous post to the Chord Transcriber is to the same program as that on the topband link you had trouble with. I just tested the link last night, so you should have no trouble.


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Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
From: Justa Picker
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 06:39 PM

I was going to write a lengthy response to GB, but M. Ted echoed precisely the key points I would have made as well.

[Mind you I'm not nor have I ever been a guitar teacher, and would probably have made a lousy one at that. That thing called patience.] :-)


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Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
From: wysiwyg
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 06:47 PM

M. Ted,

I read your last post quite a bit ago and have been thinking about it. I decided you are right. And you are also wrong. I think from the teacher's view you are right. I think from a learner's view you are wrong. I am going to comment from the learner's view. I offer my thoughts in the assumption that as someone so committed to teaching, you not only want students to be the best students they can be-- you also want to be the best teacher you can be.

First, I think you have not allowed sufficiently for the differences in how adults and children learn. Adults tend not to learn in a scope-and-sequence pattern, but to fill in gaps in existing knowledge gained throughout their lives.

Second, I think you have not allowed for different learning styles. There are huge differences in how people learn, by sense and structure, and this is partly genetic and partly due to environment (like most everything else). I am sure there are different teaching styles too... but the burden of adjusting style would be on one's teacher, I would think. I would hope a really fine teacher, of any subject, would ferret out how the student learns best, and support that. I would hope the teacher's grasp of the subject were deep and broad and detailed enough that s/he could move around within it to help a variety of students with a variety of styles to move forward as quickly as possible.

Third, I think you have not allowed for the continuous learning process in which people are engaged as adults, whether they mean to be or not. And I think when they DO mean to be, it is a powerful thing to reckon with. Because of this, an enormous amount of theory (in any subject) can be and often is absorbed right along with the practice or other approaches to the material the person is using.

As an example of this latter factor, I can offer my own experience which is that just about any theory with which I have been presented in music, well taught though it was, made no sense to me whatever as presented. This has been true all my life as far as I can remember, and with anyone who has ever tried to "learn me" something. It is only now, through time, my own approach, and the gracious mentoring of people here and there, in small but potent doses, that I can see the theory taking shape in my mind. And now that it is, of course, I can use it deliberately, seek out more of it, and link it up with other known things for best use.

But last and I think most importantly, you have not allowed for what some people call Learning Distress (and more specifically Music Distress)-- these are terms that refer to specific patterns of emotional injury done to people, usually as children, and the lifelong blocks to learning that result unless a healing of those injuries occurs. Once that healing is underway, I think you would be amazed at how fast and flexibly people learn, and how self-directed, energetic, and effective their learning is.

I am not going to start with the assumption that GB has "Learning Distress." But I can tell you that what he describes is the same thing described by people with distress about every kind of learning on which I have ever counseled people. And I can tell you that however well-meant your words are, they can add more injury if there has already been injury.

Human beings, operating in a natural, unhurt way, do not avoid opportunities to learn from good teachers-- they actively seek and engage people who can teach them how to do what they are interested in doing. To treat someone who wants to learn otherwise is like treating a dog with rabies as though it is silly not to want water.

Good teaching is like water, and people thirst for it. Sometimes there are just things in the way, and I find it extremely fine when I see anyone trying to get around those things and learn anyway, because healing of these injuries is not easy and the people who know how to bring it about are few and far between. Music is an especially powerful need and I suppose it can draw us past our worst fears, limitations, and attitudes.

I think that however GB has found he learns best is up to him to evaluate.

Respectfully,

Susan


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Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
From: M.Ted
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 07:26 PM

Susan,

Actually, everything that you said is true (except that I was wrong about something, which I never am;-))

People have learning differences, and, sadly, teachers don't address them, don't want to address them, and don't know how to address them--I always tried to do that--

The thing is, no matter what the learning style, there are certain things that you have to master--I always told my students that playing an instrument really meant being able to do what you wanted to do with it--if you didn't want to do anything with it, then you could do that without any lessons--If there was something that the wanted to do, that was another story--


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Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 11:25 PM

M. Ted and Susan:

Thanks for the dialog. I have been at a conference and wasn't able to check the Mudcat today until now.

Believe it or not, you have both been very helpful. M. Ted, I apologize for my response to your initial post. I was in a reactive mood, and focused more on the idea that I was somehow trying to find an easy or magic solution without being willing to do what it takes to get there. I really am trying to do exactly the opposite. Right now I am taking group voice lessons but they don't address the problem I have with "hearing" the right key, etc. You're second post was much more constructive since it explained why I might not be taking the right approach.

To clarify something I said earlier, in highschool once I had an anchor note I could always sing the correct melody. I also, can follow someone else that is singing next to me very very well (that is one of my problems, I have difficulty not following someone next to me).

Right now, I do have books and practice from them, but then I know one only that version of the song, in that key. Where I want to be is knowing how to find the key that a song is in by ear, then figure out the melody (once I know the key, I can do this for many simple songs), then the chords, then being able to improvise around the song. I have laboriously worked out many songs for autoharp using charts, etc., but this creates the same problem.

People keep bringing up the need to get a teacher, and up until now, I haven't been able to for scheduling and other reasons (work, kids, scouts, etc.). However, if this is what it takes, then maybe now is the time. In your opinion, are lessons every other week, or at sporadic intervals still useful?

Also, I still think that having extra tools available to check what you figured out by ear would be useful to me. Any tool can become a crutch and be misused, or abused. I just need to find the right balance between computerized aides, books, and yes teachers too.

Thanks for the posts.

GutBucky JAB


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Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 01:36 AM

Well, what THIS puppy has learned from this thread is that there are two more people on my list now that I would really REALLY like to jam with, and do some smarts-swapping along with the song-swapping.

Let's start a club called People Committed to Continuing Thinking. A lot of people would SAY they are so bent but how many hang in when it gets sticky? I have a feeling we will keep thinking about all this long after this thread falls asleep.

And GB, I like that GutBucky name... the Bucky part is so cute! Count me a willing partner in songstering any time... I think you can find me! We can discuss the process of analyzing Bach's Mass in B minor and go from there. (And hey, how come you didn't change your name to Right Hook or Left Cross? *G*)

*G*

~S~


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Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
From: Bernard
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 07:26 AM

There is only one reliable way to teach yourself to do this, and it takes time.

Do not rely on 'artificial' aids, as you must train your ear.

Do it by degrees...

This is the way I teach my pupils (and the 'first principles' I revert to if I'm having difficulty!):

  • Pick one chord from the tune you are trying to learn.
  • Try to hum the notes of the chord, then play back the track to see if it's anywhere near.
  • Now try to find a chord which fits those notes on your guitar. Play back the track and see if you were close.
    It's agonising trial and error, but it's the only sure way.

    As you correctly identify a chord, write it into your copy of the lyrics, and build up the song that way. After some considerable time, the chords will take on a 'character', and you'll recognise each one more quickly.

    Next, you will start recognising chord patterns (chord sequences), and be able to predict what's coming next. It really does work like that.

    Nowadays I can strum along to any tune, and people really believe I've heard the tune before...

    There are occasional chord patterns that don't follow the 'norm', but that just makes them easier to work out!!

    Admittedly this is a very abridged outline of my teaching method, but it really works.


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: Bernard
    Date: 18 Apr 01 - 08:26 AM

    Just another thought - the 'tone deaf' debate:

    There is evidence that some people are 'tone deaf', but this, by definition, means that they cannot distinguish between high or low sounds, everything appears to them as a monotone.

    Anyone who has learned to play a musical instrument cannot be tone deaf (don't cite Elaine Glennie, as her profound deafness developed after her musical career), unless they literally are treating it as a 'typewriter' and are unable appreciate the music they are making.

    If you can recognise a tune you ae not tone deaf, and, more importantly, you can be trained.

    Just thought that may need clarifying!!


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: GUEST,Zeo
    Date: 18 Apr 01 - 08:48 AM

    I've perused the threads here from time to time and was ecstatic when I saw this topic. I've been looking for a similar software -- actually transcribing software that could interpret my own tunes into notation (so as I age and my brain evaporates I can "jog" my mind one day and still play the songs I made up). Then of course, I read through the compelling/controversial points of view presented that seemed to campaign for various non-software/computer related answers -- taking music lessons, working from finding the key a song was written in etc.

    Hey isn't this an internet thread, on the www, presumably written from folk's computers? When I research solutions to stuff (work-related or personal interests) the first thing that comes to my mind is -- "there must be software somewhere that can help with this". I think this way for a variety of reasons; maybe I only have a minor interest in the topic, or not enough personal time to devote to it. Or I've hit a wall in my understanding, or I can't afford to pay for a teacher to instruct me and even if I could scrap together the finances one can't always afford someone with the experience, commitment and zeal of an M.Ted.

    Via newsgroups and shareware and BB's I've enhanced my understanding of fun things like music, html, SQL, Gaelic, poetry, lacrosse, astronomy, painting -- things I enjoy in my "spare" time and can't afford to buy books for or take actual lessons. Thankfully for the price of my computer and an ISP I can enjoy (not always proficiently mind you) expressing my humble creativity.

    I heartily thank Susan for her eloquent observations regarding adult learning. Part of my job during the day is to make my company's software algorithms work in the "real world" (training adults to use our products). Your explanation of learning styles and flexibility in teaching styles completely resonates with me. I too appreciate those that get around the blocks in their understanding via whatever means necessary -- in the end the whole point is to "know" and hopefully "understand" right? Serendipity is so-o-o undervalued.

    As for mastering the fundamentals, (like finding and playing the proper time and pitch values) and failure to submit to the authority of either a teacher or the text, (eek!) -- I'm definitely guilty there. How great for M.Ted that his job requires him to have had the music training he obviously was exposed to. My job only requires me to have experience with computers, so I can't begin to dream of spending all of my spare time and financial resources to study music to the extent that he seems to advocate. (Wouldn't I LOVE to though ... )

    I only play music because I like the way it makes me feel when I do so. Those wellsprings of joy that bubble up inside and the splendid release of expressing it in melody and harmony etc.

    I'm lucky I did have some lessons as a kid and can read music, I too try to buy books and scores, but some of the things I want to play aren't published. So I pick them out by ear, and do the best I can with chords etc. Once, I tracked down a lovely piano version of "Limerick's Lament" in MP3 format. I've only been searching for this song for 10 years and finally found more about it via the web last year. I liked it so much I ponied up the $5.00 to buy the MP3 CD, and through their site I sent an email to the performer and told him how great his arrangement was and asked if the score was published somewhere. He wrote me back! He said he hadn't published the notation, but if he ever did he would keep me in mind. Guess what I got in my email last week -- his score for my most favorite song in the world! He recently published his arrangement and sent me a "pcx" file with the notation. Needless to say "my" interpretation wasn't even in the same key as his, and some of the nuances are so simple and brilliant, yet they escaped my ear.

    So GutBucky, I have a few more suggestions for your search. I've found lot's of shareware stuff by searching http://www.zdnet.com/downloads/

    Also, I stumbled across a not-so-napster-like site that has a cool tablature search (with chord interpretations submitted by members) http://tab.nutz.org/olga/index_files

    Since I don't read tablature I suggest the untrained piano player might find this helpful http://www.pianoworld.com/fun/vpc/piano_chords.htm

    Finally, for software that requires specific files like "wav" vs "mp3" you might try searching ZDnet downloads for file-type converters. I used one to translate that pcx file that came in my email into a pdf so that I could print it out.


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: wysiwyg
    Date: 18 Apr 01 - 10:42 AM

    Golly Zeo, welcome to Mudcat! Join up! Stick around! E-mail me if you like.

    (Click HERE to e-mail me.)

    ~Susan


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: Barbara Shaw
    Date: 18 Apr 01 - 11:47 AM

    Here's how I find the key of a recording on my guitar: sit and try to play chords along with the music by going through A, B, C, D, E, F, G. If that doesn't fit, I put a capo on the first fret and repeat the process. The last note of the verse or chorus is usually the key, as mentioned above. Try to match this note with a chord.

    On fiddle or piano, I would just noodle around until I match that last note, and that would probably be the key.

    Not being able to match the note is another whole issue, and there have been some interesting discussions on Mudcat about being tone deaf, monotone, etc. I believe I participated in them at length, having a family member with this condition. Try searching the forum.

    As for using teachers, I am guilty of not having the discipline or enough drive to succeed with teachers. I took piano lessons for a year when I was 5, and then violin lessons for a year when I was an adult. That seems to be about my attention span or tolerance for the hard work that is required to make progress.

    However, I taught myself to play piano from a correspondence course when I was a teenager. And I have been playing fiddle and guitar by ear for about 8 years or so, with the help of a helpful guitarist husband, and many, many, many, many jam sessions. And it doesn't hurt to have a good guitar chart. And it REALLY helps to realize that I will never be great, just good enough to enjoy myself making music.


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: Barbara Shaw
    Date: 18 Apr 01 - 11:55 AM

    One more thing. I use MusicTime Deluxe software to put my own songs into music notation. It can also read in a midi file and create the notation from it, thereby identifying the key. It lets you add guitar chords (among other things, like lyrics, symbols, etc), and guesses at the correct chord when you go to enter in one. This may help you.

    Many of these music notation programs will do the same. MusicTime is VERY good for my purposes, and was only about $60 a couple of years ago.


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: wysiwyg
    Date: 18 Apr 01 - 12:12 PM

    Our songleading group is frequently reminded, after an effective evening, that it isn't as much about being any good as it is about transferring all the joy of the music from our hearts to someone else's. And that, for us, is about letting the song be the song. Sure, we'd like to play and sing as clearly as we hear and feel the song in our souls... but that never stops us from letting it OUT of us. And it has never stopped anyone from catching it from us, either.

    I was thinking yesterday, briefly, about asking Mudcatters which "list" they are on. The "A List" could be people who are well paid for fulltime professional performing and recording, the B List would be paid part-time giggers, etc. I guess I would have to say that if I look at it that way-- which I seldom do thank God-- I'm "Brand X" at this time in my life. But I also know that there is more music to be made than any "A-list" people could ever have the time to make.

    Any time the rest of us do not make whatever music we can, and share it, an awful lot of people out there are going without hearing it, tapping their toes, and smiling like complete idiots.

    *G* I guess I'll have to redfine my mission now as a musician-- MY job is simply to make people grin like complete idiots. Sh*t, I can DO that! *G*

    G'Bucker, I bet you can too! (pron. J'Bucker)

    LOL! I cracked myself up!

    ~Susan


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: GUEST,Matt_R
    Date: 18 Apr 01 - 12:20 PM

    How 'bout if you just play for yourself?

    You can't please everyone, you gotta please yourself...


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: wysiwyg
    Date: 18 Apr 01 - 12:52 PM

    Matt, that is exactly what I thought I was doing, for over a year. It was wonderful-- hours and hours of autoharp pleasure, and all that sound coming up to me from the way I play it table top. I sure wasn;t thining of anyone else but me (and God, since it was hymns I was playing). I wasn't thinking about skills either, just letting it all happen. Then God asked me quite clearly one day, "Did you really think after giving you all this time I would not ask you to share what you developed?" And that is how I became the songleader for our Saturday night service... long beofe I felt ready or saw myelf as a songleader at all-- just as you are finding that people at Newman want what you have to share.

    It's not a conflict, you know-- pleasing yourself and bringing joy to others. It is a way of being in two places at once-- your soul, and the people's who are there singing with you or listening.

    ~S~


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: GUEST,Matt_R
    Date: 18 Apr 01 - 12:57 PM

    It's a conflict when no one knows anything I play! And when they ask ME to play something, I have to say "I don't know that one..."


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: wysiwyg
    Date: 18 Apr 01 - 01:33 PM

    We never take requests. We have what we have and we share it.

    ~S~


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: M.Ted
    Date: 18 Apr 01 - 02:29 PM

    Zeo--Just for the record, I am officially retired--don't teach music or perform anymore, I just write--as to my being zealous, I don't set the rules, you have to do what I have been talking about if you want to play, no dispensations for learning differences, no allowances for job or family responsibilities, no waivers for financial hardship--I don't ever even recommend that people take up serious pursuit of music, it is rarely financially rewarding, and it undermines everything else in your life, from work to family to financial stability--

    GutBucky--

    When you say that you want to be able to find the key, do you mean that you want to be able to hear the song and say, "Key of A?" That is a rare skill--however, it is manageable to learn to find the key by matching pitches on a properly tuned instrument(by the way, you will find it much easier to figure out tunes if you use a guitar or keyboard than using that autoharp or those harmonicas)

    If you want to learn some nice melodies note for note (and you want to use computer software) go to Contemplations and download some of the wonderful MIDI files of folk tunes that are there.

    Just pick a melody that you really like and play it over and over again til you've memorized it. Match pitches til you find the starting note on your instrument, then, one measure at a time, find the notes for the the melody.

    Next, take what you've figured out, and play it along with the MIDI file. You will make a lot of mistakes at first, but, since you are playing the file over and over again, you'll have plenty of opportunities to fix them. Keep at it until you get it right every time.

    This process can take some time, but at the when you're done, you'll be able able to play the tune perfectly, in perfect tempo. You can even open the MIDI file in a notation program and get a useable text--though you will need to trim out all the repeats and the extra parts--and of course, with a bit of reflection, the chords are there, as well. (Your "teacher" will be Lesley Nelson, or, on ocassion, one of his associates, and the reason that this works is simply that they have done such a good job of writing their arrangements)

    As to chords--well, the real secret here is that there are a relatively small number of chord progressions that are used, and you really mostly learn to recognize them--

    Improvising is a similar arrangement, even the most spontaneous seeming jazz improvisations are mostly pieces that are worked out before hand--with the player knowing what can be used in what situations.

    A good trick here is to take the chords to a song that has a common chord progress, then work out four or five solo licks that sound good over them, and practice playing through, mixing them around til you can do what you want, when you want, without a mistake--

    As to finding a teacher--the more specific that you are about what you want to learn, the better--I think that your objectives, as you set them out above, are good, except that you haven't listed any songs or styles of music that you are interested in--this is important because you're teacher has different tastes than you, you may learn to play something, but it won't be what you want--

    Also remember--one song that you can play well is better than a dozen you can "sort of" play--


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: M.Ted
    Date: 18 Apr 01 - 02:31 PM

    Zeo--Just for the record, I am officially retired--don't teach music or perform anymore, I just write--as to my being zealous, I don't set the rules, you have to do what I have been talking about if you want to play, no dispensations for learning differences, no allowances for job or family responsibilities, no waivers for financial hardship--I don't ever even recommend that people take up serious pursuit of music, it is rarely financially rewarding, and it undermines everything else in your life, from work to family to financial stability--

    GutBucky--

    When you say that you want to be able to find the key, do you mean that you want to be able to hear the song and say, "Key of A?" That is a rare skill--however, it is manageable to learn to find the key by matching pitches on a properly tuned instrument(by the way, you will find it much easier to figure out tunes if you use a guitar or keyboard than using that autoharp or those harmonicas)

    If you want to learn some nice melodies note for note (and you want to use computer software) go to Contemplations and download some of the wonderful MIDI files of folk tunes that are there.

    Just pick a melody that you really like and play it over and over again til you've memorized it. Match pitches til you find the starting note on your instrument, then, one measure at a time, find the notes for the the melody.

    Next, take what you've figured out, and play it along with the MIDI file. You will make a lot of mistakes at first, but, since you are playing the file over and over again, you'll have plenty of opportunities to fix them. Keep at it until you get it right every time.

    This process can take some time, but at the when you're done, you'll be able able to play the tune perfectly, in perfect tempo. You can even open the MIDI file in a notation program and get a useable text--though you will need to trim out all the repeats and the extra parts--and of course, with a bit of reflection, the chords are there, as well. (Your "teacher" will be Lesley Nelson, or, on ocassion, one of his associates, and the reason that this works is simply that they have done such a good job of writing their arrangements)

    As to chords--well, the real secret here is that there are a relatively small number of chord progressions that are used, and you really mostly learn to recognize them--

    Improvising is a similar arrangement, even the most spontaneous seeming jazz improvisations are mostly pieces that are worked out before hand--with the player knowing what can be used in what situations.

    A good trick here is to take the chords to a song that has a common chord progress, then work out four or five solo licks that sound good over them, and practice playing through, mixing them around til you can do what you want, when you want, without a mistake--

    As to finding a teacher--the more specific that you are about what you want to learn, the better--I think that your objectives, as you set them out above, are good, except that you haven't listed any songs or styles of music that you are interested in--this is important because you're teacher has different tastes than you, you may learn to play something, but it won't be what you want--

    Also remember--one song that you can play well is better than a dozen you can "sort of" play--


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: M.Ted
    Date: 18 Apr 01 - 05:50 PM

    Oop-didn't mean to do that--Sorry!


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: Mary in Kentucky
    Date: 18 Apr 01 - 07:15 PM

    Lesley is female.


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: M.Ted
    Date: 19 Apr 01 - 12:31 AM

    Didn't mean to do that either--originally had put this link Classical Archive-J.S. Bach, since Rick Fielding had mentioned that Bach was a great source for guitar licks, then, on re-reading, thought that Lesley's site would be more appropriate, so I scrolled down and changed Bach's name to Lesley's, neglecting the pronoun--sorry for any confusion I may have caused.

    Should have left the Bach site in, as well, because there are some very nice MIDI files there. I won't say any more, to avoid further embarrassment--


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: wysiwyg
    Date: 19 Apr 01 - 12:36 AM

    Too late, M.Ted, you are already exposed-- as a very nice, helpful person.

    ~S~


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: M.Ted
    Date: 19 Apr 01 - 01:24 PM

    Actually, I really am exposed, with a photo of me playing my little ukulele, in an interview, mostly about Mudcat, in the January 29, 2001 issue of Interactive Week Magazine.

    I am described as a "Poster Boy" for people who work with music on the internet and are not Napster-Happy college students. There is also an article, with comments from Max.

    Just to show you their priorities, some spoke to me on the phone for about ten minutes for the interview, but a camera crew spent half a day at the house setting up and taking the picture. The reason I mention it here, is because in the article, I talk about the MIDI stuff I mentioned above--


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: wysiwyg
    Date: 19 Apr 01 - 03:29 PM

    M. Ted, what I had not allowed for, until this thread, is that you just care so much about all this. I am glad to know it. It makes sense of things for me. In my long post above, I knew what I wanted to say but I went to enormous lengths to say it clearly, because I was saying it to you. And you know, it's a good thing to have to be on my toes, actually.

    ~Susan


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: M.Ted
    Date: 20 Apr 01 - 12:10 PM

    Susan,

    I have not been very active in Mudcat lately, but generally, I try to respond questions that relate to music theory, arrangement, and composition(which folk and pop musicians tend to call just "writing"), and also about performance, techique, style, and repertoire related to the different types of folk music that I have worked with.

    My main work these days is in working on preparing a number of music projects (none of which are anywhere near ready for public consumption), and I no longer either teach or perform.

    When I answer questions, I am as meticulous as possible, meaning that I regularly look things up, I play things that people post, occasional notate things, occasionally write my own arrangements of songs to find an answer to a question--and of course, I try to find a clear and accurate explanation for any question I am responding to--

    I sometimes get a bit irritated with people, particularly when they think that they know more than they do, and they won't back off, or with people who want the credit without doing the work-Mostly, I am on the side of the person who is just trying to figure things out, because I have been there--


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: GutBucketeer
    Date: 20 Apr 01 - 01:30 PM

    Whew!!! My conference is over, and I'm back (sort of).

    M. Ted asked earlier what type of music I want to lear. I am engrossed and fascinated by old-time string bands (pre-bluegrass) and more recently the jug and novelty dance bands of the 20's and their modern counterparts.

    My goal is to be able to play along with folks, and accompany myself singing. I don't want to be a flashy instrumentalist, etc. just understand the basics, and have my instruments become an extension of myself. When I play gutbucket people ask how I can play full bass lines on it. I find it difficult to explain since I pretty much think the bass line and it comes out through a combination of fingering and adjusting the tension on the string. It's also taken me sometime to settle down to playing what is needed to provide a solid bass that is interesting versus playing a lot of notes and/or mimicking the melody simply because I was able to. I now try to add to the completeness and "whole" of what is being played not stand out as that fancy washtub bass player.

    This is where I would like to be be on my other instruments: banjo, autoharp, harmonica...

    This thread captures a lot of what Mudcat means to me. The folks that have stayed involved over time have created a community that is deeply interested in all aspects of folk music, and in helping join in their enthusiasm. The thread has been very helpful in getting me to reassess how I approach learning music (see the new thread on getting beyond being a neophyte too). This has been a healthy exchange of ideas and views and in the end I think I and others like me have really benefited. Thanks M and S.

    I do practice, and listen, etc. a lot, but tend to jump from thing to thing rather than digging in and conquering my challenges.

    I don't know or practice scales enough.

    I am not learning new chords, inversions, etc. like I should.

    I don't have a teacher right now, or go to jams etc.. (Much of this has to do with tradeoffs on family, etc.. My wife is not "into" music and treats every musical thing I do as a personal selfish act versus doing something with the kids, etc. This is true no matter how much time I spend doing scouts, baseball etc.).

    It seems that I need to work on the "hard" stuff in order to reach where I want to be. So I am going to re-evaluate what/how I do. Find a teacher, and put my nose to the grind stone.

    GutBucky JAB

    P.S. I also find it infuriating when people make simple requests for songs and/or chords without checking the D.T. or other sources, inlcuding readily available songbooks. This seems to me to be the result of a certain laziness that is fostered by the modern world where everyone expects things to be done for them, or delivered to them, etc.. Don't they realize that they are asking someone else to do their work for them?


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: wysiwyg
    Date: 20 Apr 01 - 02:00 PM

    *G*


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: M.Ted
    Date: 20 Apr 01 - 03:36 PM

    GB,

    Whatever else you may lack, you do have good taste! I have often thought that my own version of "New Minglewood Blues" put the finally touches on one of my marriages, though that is, perhaps, an oversimplification--My tastes spill over from the Novelty stuff into the old standards as well., but who can tell the difference?

    It is unfortunate that your wife is not willing to make allowances for music, and, in all seriousness, I suggest you do what it takes to have an open and complete discussion--you won't change, and if she doesn't understand how important this is to you. it will continue to be a problem--


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: M.Ted
    Date: 20 Apr 01 - 03:38 PM

    GB,

    Whatever else you may lack, you do have good taste! I have often thought that my own version of "New Minglewood Blues" put the finally touches on one of my marriages, though that is, perhaps, an oversimplification--My tastes spill over from the Novelty stuff into the old standards as well., but who can tell the difference?

    It is unfortunate that your wife is not willing to make allowances for music, and, in all seriousness, I suggest you do what it takes to have an open and complete discussion--you won't change, and if she doesn't understand how important this is to you. it will continue to be a problem--


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: Bernard
    Date: 20 Apr 01 - 05:25 PM

    Mmmm, Butt Gucky...

    I used to have a wife with selfish views similar to yours.

    She eventually left me, but not for the 'usual' reasons... hope you are more fortunate.

    She was interested in music, but used to moan at me if I tried to practice. However, if she wanted to practice, that was different! And she would interrupt whatever I may have been doing, insisting that I showed her how to play something... then she wouldn't listen properly, go off and get it wrong... need I say more?

    She left fourteen years ago, and I still don't play music around the house.

    Not that I'm bitter, cynical, @*$%#!!!!

    Just remember what I posted further up - you can train your ear. It's all down to confidence, patience, and a good teacher. You can be your own teacher (I was), all you need is a plan! Self-discipline...

    Scales aren't really that important, as long as you understand the basic theory behind them. Knowing what they should sound like is very important, though. Essential to ear-training.


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    Subject: RE: Help: Software to find key/chords of CD songs
    From: M.Ted
    Date: 21 Apr 01 - 12:39 PM

    Bernard,

    What do you mean when you say that scales aren't really that important? As far as I have been able to figure it, without scales, no melody, no harmony, no chords, which is pretty much the whole game--There are probably a lot of Bodhran players out there who will say I am wrong, though--


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