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Roboman
03-03-2008, 06:28 AM
I was just thinking about this. Like when you are improvising or working out songs by ear or just playing around, how do you imagine the notes fitting together and how do you remember them?

Instead of remembering notes and names, I remember numbers. Even way before I learned how to play guitar. Major is like 0 2 4 5 7 9 11 12, minor is 0 2 3 5 7 8 10 12, do 0 1 4 5 7 8 11 12 for some arabic shit, use 6's on minor scales to make it evil, drop the 7th on a major to make it sound more rockish etc. Raise the 6th to soften a minor scale. Use 1's to create the feeling that something is about to happen. Blah blah.

I have no idea of the terminology, if anyone asked me to find the lowest F# on the A string it'd take a while to work out. I've hardly even tried to learn all the technical names and scales and modes and stuff.

If you can be bothered reading, this is probably why:
I pretty much taught myself how the system of notes work, so never really knew what other people called stuff. It was 10 or 11 years ago back in grade 4, I found a guitar chord book but I had no guitar. But I did have a keyboard, so I went about learning as many of the chords as I could on a keyboard, using the guitar tablature diagrams and working out the positions for keyboard. If there was a "3" on the G string on the tab, I'd find G on the keyboard and count 3 steps up. I have no idea why I spent so much time on it, I probably should've been out playing sport or something haha. But yeah, I think it stems from that, imagining all the notes as the number of semi-tones from the base note.

I'm pretty sure a lot of people imagine notes as hand positions, my friend who has been a violinist for most of his life does that.

Discuss, how do you imagine notes?

Jakallica
03-03-2008, 07:03 AM
Basically by numbers too and I use them little dots on guitars to help me know what notes I'm playing too. haha,I play by ear most of the time though.

But piano helps a lot as I play both and there the pretty much the same.Everytime you move up a semi tone on the piano you move up 1 fret on guitar.Fact!

a

Roboman
03-03-2008, 07:19 AM
Just to clarify, I don't mean tabs when I say numbers. If I were playing in G-major or G-minor or whatever, then wherever G is - thats where I imagine zero to be. Sometimes when i try to describe something musical to someone it'll be like "Yeah, they just swapped into a surprise 8 in a major before shifting to a 9-minor."

Haha, doesn't make much sense really.

Skaterdude
03-03-2008, 12:21 PM
Nah man you've got it all wrong...

You don't see the notes, you hear them. You feel them.

SuperBlah
03-03-2008, 03:03 PM
I play drums. What are these "notes" you speak of?

Twinskate
03-03-2008, 03:49 PM
I play drums. What are these "notes" you speak of?
HAHA yeah.

Sadly enough, if I need to really think a drum fill out, I go into ddr/ffr mode. It's kinda scary cause I've never played either game :-|

ruckus.
03-03-2008, 05:09 PM
I know notes and scales and everything simply by imagining in my head what comes next.

Zemba
03-03-2008, 05:14 PM
If I listen to a song that has keyboard/piano

I can play it within a few minutes by just hearing it


If you ever heard the song Graduation by Kanye West, I can play the sick piano in that, just by listening

And hanyo told me about that song btw, thanks

NotoriousBigBird
03-03-2008, 05:19 PM
i've taken ap music theory, and that helped me alot with improvisation. you just kinda get an idea of how the notes relate to each other better and what kind of sounds you'll get. i don't think of it in notes at all. i just think of it in tones and feels.

Ynot
03-03-2008, 05:26 PM
i kow plenty of scales and theory. also a little ear training, but it's not like i can pinpoint the exact note if it's sharped/flatted or anything.

Gibson_SG
03-03-2008, 06:05 PM
i memorize it

Roboman
03-03-2008, 06:47 PM
i've taken ap music theory, and that helped me alot with improvisation. you just kinda get an idea of how the notes relate to each other better and what kind of sounds you'll get. i don't think of it in notes at all. i just think of it in tones and feels.

Yeah, same. I'm gradually picking up all these little tweaks to make the song feel different. I always wondered whether people who have done music courses have an advantage by learning all the theory, or whether you just "have it" or you don't or whats going on. :)

adude113
03-03-2008, 07:08 PM
Just to clarify, I don't mean tabs when I say numbers. If I were playing in G-major or G-minor or whatever, then wherever G is - thats where I imagine zero to be. Sometimes when i try to describe something musical to someone it'll be like "Yeah, they just swapped into a surprise 8 in a major before shifting to a 9-minor."

Haha, doesn't make much sense really.

I think I get what you're saying, but I don't think like that at all. I think of notes usually in relationship to how many fingers I use on each string in whatever position (I play violin).

liebherk
03-03-2008, 08:35 PM
i like thirds/triads, I see them all over the place.

With regards to improvisation, I basically just figure out what key it's in and play random stuff in the pentatonic scale.