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# converting a song into notation - help with the timing

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(@nichi_jin)
Trusted Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 21
Topic starter

Hey. I've recently been trying to convert a song (white orchid by the white stripes) into music notation so it'll help me better to read music and know where each note is on the fretboard. However, I'm finding the timing of the music really hard to get down - it's quite a fast song so I have to count real slow to try and figure out what note goes where and then I can't seem to count it out properly. I think it's partly the speed of the song. Does anyone have any tips on how to listen to music and then convert the timing accurately into music notation? Also, are there any good books on how to do this or do you just kinda pick it up??

Thanks, Nichi

(@bef)
Active Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 4

Notating rhythm can be frustrating, especially if you're not familiar with the symbols used. If you're starting from scratch, you need to look at a book or website that will tell you how meter and rhythm are identified in music. Any beginner guitar book will have a section at the beginning with examples of which symbol is used for what rhythmic count, so break out your old Mel Bay if you have it, or look at something online like this: http://www.8notes.com/school/theory/Note_Duration.asp . Maybe go check out a copy of Music Theory for Dummies. Once you have an idea of how that works, you've just got to listen to that song really carefully and figure out how many beats each note is and write it out accordingly.
If I'm thinking of the right song (blue orchid by white stripes), the one you're trying to convert, it's in 4/4, meaning there are four quarter notes in each measure. One type of note duration you'll want to get to know for this song is the triplet (three notes equaling one beat). I'm not a music theory expert, but I'm pretty sure a good portion of those guitar rhythms use triplets. It's not as straightforward of a beat as most, and some of the really beginner educational material I've seen actually disregards them altogether which may be why you're having a hard time. Once you've learned the basics, you've just got to sit down and think it out like it's a math problem. And don't give up.