Phase 1 - learneverythingabout.comMusic Notation
(Also Called Musical Notation)

Music Notation - learneverythingabout.com Music Notation is any structured way of recording & understanding music "visually" so you can clearly communicate it to others to develop or play without a danger of misunderstanding the original work.

Without a repeatable way to note the development (and sometimes, changes) of your rhythm, melody, and song structure, songwriters would have a hard time collaborating with singers, composers, and musicians to produce their song.

Multiple Flavors Of Music Notation

There are many types of notation that were created for different elements in music. So certain musicians will prefer to use one type over the other, depending on how they were trained and their area of expertise.

The Five Types of Music Notation

  1. standard music notation - learneverythingabout.comStandard Notation - The original type of music notation that has all of the well known music theory symbols
     
  2. lead sheets music notation - learneverythingabout.comLead Sheets - The simplified version of the original that only notes the essentials like: melody, lyric, and harmony
     
  3. guitar tabulature music notation  - learneverythingabout.comGuitar Tabs - Visually simulating the six strings of a guitar, this form notates the core melody of the song (as if played by a lead guitar) with the # representing the fret (i.e. section to press on guitar neck) and line representing the string to play.
     
  4. midi software bar music notation  - learneverythingabout.comSoftware Bar Notation - This type of notation is specially made for composers who use music production software to create rhythm and melodies by placing notes onscreen.
     
  5. graphic music notation - learneverythingabout.comGraphic Notation - More so for artist expression than communication, this type of notation uses styles and symbols completely foreign to standard music notation.

If you want to become a well-rounded musician you should get familiar with the first four types of notation, but it's not necessary to master these just to learn how to write songs.

Let me show you a version of music notation we'll use to notate a song's rhythm & melody as a beginner songwriter until you learn traditional music notation.

Meter-Tabs™ For Quick Music Notation

A meter-tabs chart shows “how much can happen” within “a moment in time”.

Normally we can only "feel" rhythm, but now we have a simple way to show lyrical rhythm and melodies of popular songs even if we don't know how to read music.

Here's How Meter-Tabs Works...

Click chart for larger version. Music Notation 4/4 time signature - learneverythingabout.com

Click chart for larger version. Music Notation 5/4 time signature - learneverythingabout.com

The way lyrics are sung, and a melody is played, will affect how they're recorded on the chart. This is how we'll study songs and notate their structure.


Princess of China by Coldplay - learneverythingabout.comLet's use Coldplay's acoustic version of their song "Princess of China", showing a Meter-Tabs visualization of their first verse as an example:

Verse Lyric

"Once upon a time somebody ran; somebody ran away saying fast as I can; I've got to go, I've got to go."

"Once upon a time we fell apart; you're holding in your hands the two halves of my heart. Oh, oh!"

Melody Visualization

The acoustic version of this song doesn't use drums, but every "down-strum" of the guitar keeps the beat. So as SOON as you hear the first strum (at 0:12-0:13), that's the 1st beat.

Click chart for larger version. Princess of China Verse Melody

The above chart is just a basic layout of the chords of the melody. You'll hear the guitarist in the song adding flair with his strumming and picking, but the first chord he plays each bar is the chord in the chart.

Vocals Visualization

Click chart for larger version. verse structure - princess of china

The above chart shows the 1st line of the first verse. Listen to the 1st line a few times on YouTube, and then see if you can follow the rhythm from the chart.

Line #2...

Click chart for larger version. verse structure - princess of china

Notice the lyric is sung with the same vocal notes & rhythm style for both lines of the verse.


This is how we'll study lyrics and melodies until the process becomes automatic and you no longer need charts like the one above.

Let's Learn How to Count In Bars

Let's go in to more detail by learning how to count in bars. Join my free training group to learn everything about songwriting in 8 weeks.

Learn to write great songs like your favorite hits from the radio and train to become a great songwriter in four steps:

  1. lyric writing lessons - Seed Method for Writing Song Lyrics Download my free exercises (like my 6-step exercise manual) to prepare your song lyric. Having your song lyric fully fleshed-out before piecing it together with rhythm, melody, and structure is important.

     
  2. Learn important skills and tips about songwriting not taught in music theory class.

     
  3. Follow audio & video lessons to complete your training.

     
  4. And as a member get exclusive deals on all professional songwriting tools & courses offered on this website.

In a few weeks you'll have access to everything you need to write great songs. You've already taken the first step by searching for this info. And reading this far shows me you have a passion for songwriting.

So take the next step. There's no cost to join and no obligation to stay.

But you need to join now because space is limited.

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IMPORTANT: After you register, check your spam folder if you don't get a confirmation email within a few minutes.

- Jeezy

Updated: February 18, 2020


Do you play an instrument? If so were you taught a form of music notation? Post in the comments below.

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