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How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) #2976141
02/17/19 06:11 AM
02/17/19 06:11 AM
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St. Louis, MO
J. Dan Offline OP
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I don't normally cross-thread, but this seemed like a decent topic all on its own. It started with THIS fill-in/sub/dep/whatever gig that I got.

TON of songs to learn, and it's pop so lots of splits, many parts, I'm not a pop guy so I have trouble even identifying the song by the title. (note: already did this gig, so not looking for tips for this particular gig - it's over)

The Bass player also does fill-in gigs and when we were in the green room, he was astonished that I didn't have notes. He's like, "I can't believe you'd just memorize all that". Well, I did have SOME notes. The Kronos Setlist lets you put notes in there and I used it plenty, but there's only so much you can put in there.

So I put in stuff like this: If it's a song that starts with keys, I would put "Start" and maybe WHICH part starts (i.e. there's 5 different splits, which one is the one it starts with). I put basic chord chart type stuff. I put anything pertinent to starting volume pedal, controller assignments, etc. A couple times I put stupid stuff trying to make sure I remembered which song it was. I literally put in "Bah ba ba Bah Bah" on one to remember how the song starts (and it worked).

Now I could have, as the Bass Player suggested, had tons and tons of notes sketched out, but I can't imagine managing that on a gig (playing standing, front of stage). I could see if you're seated with music stands and stuff, but this wasn't that kind of gig.

I guess depending on the gig, there's always a balance. What kind of notes would you guys bring to a gig like this to help keep you on track?

Last edited by J. Dan; 02/17/19 06:16 AM.

Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
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Re: How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) [Re: J. Dan] #2976146
02/17/19 07:53 AM
02/17/19 07:53 AM
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Adelaide, Australia
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I use notes at all my shows Dan, sometimes even for songs I know well. I never used to when I was younger, but these days I suffer from CRS.

It depends a little on the band and the song. It could be some or none of the below:

I try and write out elements of the arrangement for myself so I know who's doing what when. Things like "guitarist plays outro riff x 4 then finish on A"

I'll also often throw in the chords.

Sometimes I'll write out the notes for a certain riff or solo if I can't quite make it stick in my head.

Sometimes I use the actual sheet music.

And in one of my bands I write down the patch changes for the songs. This is because there's a lot of them and due to the fact I operate so manually I'd rather have it all written down than have to remember it under the pressure of trying to put on a slick show for paying customers.

Basically I just use whatever works to jog my memory so I can get the job done and deliver a professional performance.

Re: How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) [Re: CowboyNQ] #2976154
02/17/19 11:35 AM
02/17/19 11:35 AM
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I prefer to memorize everything, but find it difficult in some genres and can't always get it done in time.

So make notes while learning the song. I'll usually jot down the chords for intro/verse/chorus/bridge/outtro, and describe the song flow in those terms inline. Any tricky licks that I'm worried I might forget get a little hunk of sheet music of at least the first bar or two to remind me. Solos are noted in terms of song structure (solo over chorus x2).

Everything fits on one iPad page with big fonts (I can't see, either). Any vocals cues are noted, harmony parts described (oooo 3rd below 2nd time). "Last chord" is noted when not the tonic.

The important thing when making notes like this is that I have to have the screen well organized so that I can find what I need at a glance, because I won't be looking at it 99% of the time.

The other important thing is figuring out where to put the iPad. On my two-tier stand, it goes above the top board. Playing organ, it goes where the music rest goes. Playing piano, it goes on top of the piano, flat. I have a board made up which I put it on and the board has little feet so it doesn't push any buttons. Playing piano on top of organ, I will put it on my mic stand if I am stage right so that I look at the audience when I look at the iPad. Stage left is a problem, my head doesn't turn that way very well due to a bulging disc in my neck. Triggers migraines and interferes with my right hand.

Last edited by WesG; 02/17/19 11:37 AM.

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Re: How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) [Re: WesG] #2976170
02/17/19 02:02 PM
02/17/19 02:02 PM
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On a one off I make out chord charts for the songs I need to with brief notes on what kind of sound, any trick I need to remember, etc... I'll also have a sheet of paper with notes for any songs for which I don't need a chart, but say I need to remember the key because it's not the key I'm usually playing the tune, or it's a blues but organ would be the instrument of choice, or piano on the verse and add organ pads in the chorus, etc...

I finally decided to get more organized about it and actually put the charts in folders (separate folders per group/artist/whatever) and file them away, so when I have to do the same gig a couple years later, I don't have to put all that work in again. facepalm freak idea


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Re: How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) [Re: kanker.] #2976178
02/17/19 03:19 PM
02/17/19 03:19 PM
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Victoria, BC
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In busier days subbing in for a half dozen bands, I used cheaters on 4 x 6 recipe cards Ė an inconspicuous but readable size that fit on a top panel of whatever board I was using.

I made them up for bits and pieces Ė sets, forms, different keys of the same songs, modulations, tricky sections, BG harmony starting note, etc and the odd full chart (shorthand hybrid of number charts and traditional chords).

I did find in a lot of cases that the act of writing things down helped plant the info into my memory, but the cards were always on hand.


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Re: How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) [Re: kanker.] #2976180
02/17/19 03:23 PM
02/17/19 03:23 PM
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Like CowboyNQ, my notes are as extensive or as sparse as they need to be to ensure that I can nail the song in real time. I have a template that I made and customize it for each song. Up top it tells me key and patch, whether I am in at the top. If itís not 4/4, it tells me time sig. If there is a mnemonic that will quickly convey the feel (like another song it sounds like), Iíll note that too.

The most crucial requirement for my notes is that they be glanceable, so my template color-codes each part of the song. That way the notes work not just for chords and parts, but also as a form guide even if I know the various components.

If there is a rehearsal, I bring my computer so I can edit in real time. For a show, notes come on iPad, and where I put it depends on the kind of show and how dependent I am on the notes. The three options are 1) I insert one bracket for my Z standís second tier, point the arm straight up, and mount it there (for when I want it in front of my face), 2) clamped to a mic stand down to one side of me, for when I may need notes but it would be awkward to have the iPad featured prominently, and 3) clamped to the Z-standís cross-bar, at the precise point between my legs that allows unimpeded access to swell pedal on one side and patch-up/patch-down pedal on the other. This is for gigs where I *might* need notes for a song or two, and no more, so I donít want the iPad to take up any real estate in my set-up.


"
Re: How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) [Re: MathOfInsects] #2976188
02/17/19 03:52 PM
02/17/19 03:52 PM
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timwat Offline
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I play at least as many 'sub' (or 'dep') gigs as band gigs these days, so find myself constantly being asked to play songs I'm somewhat unfamiliar with (or never played before).

I keep all my notes on my phone, as that's the one constant I know I'll always have with me. I always bring a small rectangle of non-slip drawer liner to I can rest the phone on the blank panel surface of the Kronos, Wave, or whatever board I'm using.

I use iReal Pro, and primarily use chord charts with short text cues. I then duplicate playlists across my phone, iPad and the laptop serves as the 'master library'.

This method may not work for some - I differ from some in that I don't include extensive written notes about who starts, patch splits, etc.

For pop and rock tunes, my typical needs are iconic riffs (which I write out as a text note, notes but not time values), the form and anything else really special.

For true notation needs, I use iGigBook on the iPad Pro, but that's primarily on jazz gigs. I also use the iPad on no-set-list-and-continual-flow gigs like my main band, as a companion to the iPhone.

As example, yesterday's 2.5 hour sub gig ran the gamut from Just A Closer Walk With Thee to Rocket Man to Grazing in the Grass. 95% by iReal Pro or ear, two pieces of notation required.



"I'm not just untalented. I'm multi untalented."
Re: How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) [Re: timwat] #2976197
02/17/19 04:53 PM
02/17/19 04:53 PM
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MathOfInsects Offline
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Ah, yes, I should add: plenty of iReal gigs, and a combination of exported ireal charts and my own one-line chord reminders imported in ForScore. Sometimes a "chart" there will be, literally, "Bm G F# Bm etc." Just a memory jog.


"
Re: How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) [Re: MathOfInsects] #2976242
02/18/19 12:06 AM
02/18/19 12:06 AM
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Tom Williams Offline
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Ah, for the days I could've kept notes on a phone. I used to live on a PDA, until the presbyopia of my mid-40s moved my focus point to about 2 meters away. My arms just weren't long enough....

Nowadays I use >=24 point type on letter (A4) sized paper. If the gig is outdoors, I put the paper in plastic sheet protectors, mainly to add enough mass to keep 'em from flying in the wind.

I will usually create a chord or chord-and-lyric sheet of the song, at least for learning/rehearsal. In extreme cases I will transcribe specific notes in Finale and then cut-and-paste a phrase into the chord sheet.

The above is also handy when I get into conflicts with other band members regarding what the chords are. The fact that I took the time to write them out usually suffices to convince them to play it my way. :-)

I was pretty proud of myself last night, as it turns out. In addition to the set lists, which are tables of song titles, keys, and voice registrations, I only needed a couple of lyric sheets instead of a page or two per song. I'm finally starting to learn my band's repertoire.


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Re: How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) [Re: Tom Williams] #2976246
02/18/19 12:55 AM
02/18/19 12:55 AM
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St. Louis, MO
J. Dan Offline OP
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IPad could potentially provide a way to manage more detailed notes without having to manage a bunch of paper and a music stand or something. But technically my iPad is company owned and I'm not REALLY supposed to be suing it for that kinds of stuff - I guess I can as long as something doesn't happen to it at a gig. But trying to keep my overall setup as simple and compact as possible. So even a n iPad, charger, mic stand and holder is more than I would want to bring out. Although I could see maybe doing that if I did a gig where the songs were just too complex to NOT do something like that. I would prefer that to fumbling through written notes.

The Kronos setlist with notes is a life saver, though as I mentioned, there's a balance to be struck in maximizing use of the available space. I normally have it set with the maximum available slots showing, which only leaves about 2 lines of text notes. Usually that's enough. But there have been a couple times when I have more notes, and for that song, I'll switch it to 4 slots or something to show more text. I charted out entire songs that way, and also put in lyrics to sing.

I would be curious if anybody has any short hand tricks for doing text only notes. For instance, when charting chords, I'll use spacing to give SOME indication of timing. I also use the controversial notation of RH/LH instead of the true chord. So a note might look something like this:

Start piano: F/D....... C/E F........... A Bb.........D/Bb Bb. C-repeat. Hook starts F

(I changed spaces to dots for this because the forum software doesn't seem to maintain the space of multiple spaces - it squashes down multiple spaces into a small space)

Funny, I can't tell you the name of that song, but I can play it and hear it in my head. So when I see a name on a setlist, if I have to start, that's the issue - chords aren't enough by themselves. I wish I had an easy way if needed to just pump about a second of the next song into IEM's if needed as a refresher. I suppose I could cue up a playlist in my phone and run it into my IEM mix.

But again, if anybody has any really clever shorthand that works, I would be interested in hearing some of it.

Last edited by J. Dan; 02/18/19 12:57 AM.

Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
Re: How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) [Re: J. Dan] #2976249
02/18/19 01:14 AM
02/18/19 01:14 AM
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Adelaide, Australia
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Originally Posted By: J. Dan
I would be curious if anybody has any short hand tricks for doing text only notes. For instance, when charting chords, I'll use spacing to give SOME indication of timing.

Not sure it's overly clever or original, but if I feel the need to give myself an indication of timing I put the measures in.

An example might be something like |C....G....|Am.....F..Dm..|C........|

[like you Dan I don't use dots, they're just there to indicate the rough spacing I might use]

I should have mentioned in my first post I run all my notes off a tablet - you can see it pictured on the right of my current avatar.

Re: How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) [Re: CowboyNQ] #2976255
02/18/19 02:27 AM
02/18/19 02:27 AM
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For a jazz gig, I use the classic Rwalbook natation S where I have put extra name of the chord like Imaj7 etc or even the name of the modes or scale I'm supposed to play on. It's for the solo, for the basic melody, I just read and play the chords as written....Avoiding the root as it's for the bass and putting any 9 and doing it flat or sharp according to the mode.
For pop gigs, I print the lyrics plus chords coming from Ultimate guitar website. Then I highlight the chords in yellows put notes at the top for no any programs or starts that are important. If I need to change presets during the sing, Imwrote it on the sheet music and Imalso reprinted when other instruments parts rats when it's Important for me.
And of course, Imuse Bandhelper which means that all themprig and changes are made just with a clock and it opens the "notes" I put in (name of the programs for each synths, in case I need to be back to "manual', what is important to remember and done...)
Lot of work at first but Imcoild play the song right even of I haven,t practiced it in a while....
I just "read" my notes and the chords/music notes....
Finally, after a while I realized I even didn't need any glance at all for both notes and music so, I know the song by heart....
Blues gig:
Easy, just the 3 chords, and any variations, so, Piano plus organ mainly or EP....
So, longest time on prep is for pop but playing is easy, shortest time on prep is jazz but learning the song and making the solos sound good is long....


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Re: How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) [Re: Quai34] #2976287
02/18/19 11:46 AM
02/18/19 11:46 AM
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CEB Offline
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I run a tablet with MobileSheets Pro. It is a app like SetListMaker but for Android. I'm a cheap ass an bought a $100 10" tablet instead of something good.

I like the app. It was $12. Most every song has a chord number chart and Notes like..... "bridge - mute Zone 5". I will note the split points if I need. Whatever info I may brainfart on I notate.

The app will send MIDI patch changes to the rig but I do this from the Kronos. I broke the screen on the tablet and was without it one weekend and found out I don't really need it. But I'm glad I fixed it and it's always there. I use it heavily When I sub other gigs. I use number notation because if I play the song with another act in another key I can still use the same chart.

I don't have the patience to type all this stuff out. I make charts on 5x8" index card using the blank side then photograph the chart with the tablet's camera. The app will do edits to the chart If I want to add more info or make edits. It would take days to type all that stuff. I can scratch it all out with cards and a pen in real short order.

Last edited by CEB; 02/18/19 11:59 AM.

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Re: How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) [Re: CEB] #2976300
02/18/19 12:43 PM
02/18/19 12:43 PM
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Iowa City, Iowa
Sam Mullins Offline
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I use the Comment Pad in the Kronos Set List. I put shorthand notation for chords, song structure, and lyric reminders. Most of the time, I'm not looking at it all. But it's very handy if someone requests a song we haven't played in a long time.

I used to use an Ipad with OnSong, which was nicer visually. But it was just another thing to deal with. Very nice to just punch one button on the Kronos, get my patch changes and notes in one fell swoop.

Last edited by Sam Mullins; 02/18/19 11:50 PM.

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Re: How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) [Re: Sam Mullins] #2976325
02/18/19 02:57 PM
02/18/19 02:57 PM
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I memorize everything. All the Pink Floyd stuff, all the party band music I commit to memory. I did a Peter Gabriel 1 off tribute last spring and by the time we played that show I didn't need any music for it.

There are a couple songs where I use the Kronos notes in setlist to remind me of the start of a lyric line. I do have 1 project that is mostly originals (not mine) and I have an excel spreadsheet with the changes/arrangements. I only use it because we only gig once in a while and will do 1 rehearsal prior. I don't need it on all of them now but it's good to have just in case. I just programmed all of those songs into my Kronos for a 1 board solution (I was using my Nova and Nord, but a new song we are doing needs a decent grindy B3 which neither of those can do well). I'll at some point use the set list notes to write out what I need for those tunes and skip the spreadsheet.


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Re: How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) [Re: DanL] #2976363
02/18/19 06:30 PM
02/18/19 06:30 PM
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The Real MC Offline
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I'll have notes on some songs initially, but once I play the songs enough I won't need them. I can memorize everything, although for jazz I do use charts & I'm a fast reader.

The only reference I take to gigs is the patch #'s per song for the MIDI Master controller.

Sure a tablet would be cool, but I prefer pen & paper - don't have to worry about backing up, or keeping the battery charged.

Re: How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) [Re: The Real MC] #2976385
02/18/19 08:55 PM
02/18/19 08:55 PM
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Re: How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) [Re: EscapeRocks] #2976416
02/18/19 11:39 PM
02/18/19 11:39 PM
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OB Dave Offline
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I run OnSong on an ancient iPad 2. It still holds a charge long enough to get me through a gig and thatís good enough for me. Iím happy enough with OnSong. I use it in night mode for text based notes, and I made a few .pdfs with white text on black background for stuff thatís either more complicated (notated lead lines) or for simple stuff where I have 20 or 30 song chord progressions on a single cheat sheet.

Re: How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) [Re: OB Dave] #2976418
02/18/19 11:49 PM
02/18/19 11:49 PM
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J. Dan Offline OP
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Regarding a few of the comments, Iím specifically referring to one-off short notice film-in gigs......learning 30-40 songs in a couple days.


Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
Re: How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) [Re: EscapeRocks] #2976420
02/18/19 11:59 PM
02/18/19 11:59 PM
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Piktor Offline
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I don't do one offs a lot, but for the last couple jobs that I took I made charts in Finale with brief notes re instrument, patch, etc. For a one off, I figure that I can either spend a bunch of time memorizing the tunes, or I can spend an equal amount of time charting the tunes and using charts on the gig. As Kanker suggested, if long after you forgot how to play the tunes that you played that one time, you get called to play them again, then you have the charts to use. Since the info is in Finale, I can easily manipulate the charts in any way in the future.

As a side note, I was wondering if anyone, after making a conscientious effort to prep for the sub gig with notes actually created a negative impression for bringing paper/iPad, etc. onstage.

Re: How Many Notes? (information, not musical notes) [Re: Piktor] #2976423
02/19/19 12:30 AM
02/19/19 12:30 AM
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Actually, I use OnSong for my infrequent and one-off gigs as well. Band Leader will give me scribbled notes, I'll scan 'em in and make PDFs, and load them into their own songbook in OnSong. Best thing ever. Plus I'll still have the notes if any more gigs come out of it. I hate dealing with paper anymore, and lights, and batteries for the music light, and wind blowing my notes away, etc. Tablet + iKlip is such a nice way to go.

If you don't want to go the iPad route, I'm sure there's an Android equivalent, and you can pick up a used Galaxy tablet for $50 - $75


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