Documenting riffs and licks...

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Neill Levine, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. Neill Levine

    Neill Levine Tele-Meister

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    Hi all

    It's been literally years since I've been on the TDPRI; good to call in :)

    Can anyone furnish me with some ideas or tips for documenting (or maybe transcribing?) riffs and licks that I work out - ideally so I can teach them to my guitar students?
    I mean in genres that I don't perform in...like rock and blues riffs and the like.
    I'm a jazz standards player primarily, and have no problems remembering things related to what I perform in my trio.
    But if I work out a cool Tom Morello riff that I might teach to some of my teen students - I keep forgetting them once I work them out.

    Maybe someone has some charted examples of riffs or a shorthand system they've developed?

    I don't really want to reinvent the wheel, if possible...

    Cheers

    N
     
  2. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

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    I just spent a total of about 4 minutes checking this page out on my iPad, and it seems cool for getting a quick riff idea down… having barely used it I can't say much more. Using a tablet device is convenient since you just tap on a string to chart it, no fiddling with a mouse.
    Oh and it's free. At least it claims to be anyway.
    http://www.guitartabcreator.com/

    I'd rather use a real iPad app, but haven't checked any out yet. I'd like to find something for getting ideas down, and your post reminded me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
  3. Neill Levine

    Neill Levine Tele-Meister

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    Thanks that looks interesting. I might try it out and let you know how it goes...

    N
     
  4. Mistercharlie

    Mistercharlie Tele-Holic

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    What about just writing them down on tab paper?
     
  5. Neill Levine

    Neill Levine Tele-Meister

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    Yes, it would seem the easiest solution, but I can't stand writing in tab, I find it really aggravating.
    I'm a good standard notation reader, but I find writing chords for riffs fiddly in standard.
    I've seen some of Jim Campilongo's lesson charts using chord diagram blocks, I might investigate that system.

    N
     
  6. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Friend of Leo's

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    Why not just record them? I use my phone for a quick so-i-don't-forget-it recording.
     
  7. Neill Levine

    Neill Levine Tele-Meister

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    You mean a quick video of me playing it? Interesting, I might try that.
     
    fenderchamp likes this.
  8. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    When I got out of the hospital 11 years ago (CIDP), I bought a Tele and relearned to play blues. I'm a composer, so have many ways of capturing my ideas. In my case, I used the video recorder in my laptop. After I became a little more mobile and stronger, I transcribed the videos into standard notation, using special, fancy notebooks. After that, I input everything into Sibelius. When I decided to turn it into a book, I just added a TAB staff below the standard notation staff. From that point on, I kept my laptop at my side while I was working in my upstairs studio composing on a desktop. Whenever I needed to, I would rotate 90 degrees and type my new lick into Sibelius. I got home in 2006 and began right away on the licks. The book was published in 2012, so, what, 6 years to write that thing. Of course, I was also composing and teaching, but with increasing physical difficulty.
     
  9. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Friend of Leo's

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    I think most phones come with a sound recorder app, but a video would work as well.
     
  10. stringslinger

    stringslinger Tele-Holic

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    As a fellow teacher who has to teach a variety of styles and skill levels, I like Sibelius for notating specific material. It's easy to convert from standard to TAB if needed, and vice versa. But honestly, if you are teaching rock riffs on guitar, standard notation can work against you. Where do you play the high E: Open first string, closed on 2nd string, closed on 3rd, etc.? Sure, in treble clef you can notate open or closed, but that's another step. And writing out by hand can take a while. The location info is where TAB is benefial. The visual numbers help re-enforce any patterns that may exist. Bends and slides are easier to see in TAB. Try not to automatically dismiss TAB, that's how lute music was first notated afterward. It's more about where and how you play it, than about what the actually notes are (if that makes sense). This is all based on if you need quick documentation. The Phone recording suggestions are also good.
     
  11. Neill Levine

    Neill Levine Tele-Meister

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    Delayed reply from me - this is an interesting idea, I might cherry-pick from your great experience! My laptop is near my music area, so I'll give that a try I think. I have not looked into Sibelius, but the bass player in my my trio uses it a lot to do our arrangements, so I'll ask him how he finds it.
    Cheers

    Neill
     
  12. Neill Levine

    Neill Levine Tele-Meister

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    Yes I used tab the other afternoon to write out a quick chart to the start of "Blackbird" for a student; I found it easier than I have in the past...
    Another vote for Sibelius then?
    Cheers
    N
     
    stringslinger likes this.
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