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How do I explain it?

Koen88

Sax Drinker / Beer player
Messages
426
I know I've read it somewhere before, but I forgot what I read and where I read it...

I play in a few coverbands varying "folk" to Party band to a Caro Emerald coverband..

It's a question I hear regularly from guitarists, drummers and/or singers: Why do you need sheet music?
I only have a few vague feelings why but I cant put my finger on it.:

some of these vague ideas:
1: It would be like a guitarists having to play a solo through a whole song and do that 3 sets long?
2: we don't have a "fixed place" in the music we balance between melody and support and sometimes even a counter melody (probably not the correct english term for those last 2 but I hope you understand)
3: most guitar parts have fixed chords for chorus and verse (maybe a bridge or 2) and the wind instruments mostly have different notes / rythms to ensure a proper build of tension in the song?

these are just my guesses, has anyone have a better explanation or better yet a more simple explanation?
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,418
Both covers bands that I play in have 3-piece horn sections so I write out the horn parts to make sure we all hit it at the same point. If I am solo in a band, I don't bother. One horn winging it is OK, get 3 of them doing it and it dissolves into cacophony. The rest of the band pretty much start at the beginning and play to the end so they don't need cues, but a horn section typically will play the intro, stay quiet for v1, play in the chorus, play a riff for v2, a different riff for v3, do something completely different for the bridge, etc. It's also really useful if you need to pull a dep in.

Impressed that you are in a Caro Emerald coverband - great stuff, I would love the opportunity to play her music.
 

Koen88

Sax Drinker / Beer player
Messages
426
Both covers bands that I play in have 3-piece horn sections so I write out the horn parts to make sure we all hit it at the same point. If I am solo in a band, I don't bother. One horn winging it is OK, get 3 of them doing it and it dissolves into cacophony. The rest of the band pretty much start at the beginning and play to the end so they don't need cues, but a horn section typically will play the intro, stay quiet for v1, play in the chorus, play a riff for v2, a different riff for v3, do something completely different for the bridge, etc. It's also really useful if you need to pull a dep in.

Impressed that you are in a Caro Emerald coverband - great stuff, I would love the opportunity to play her music.
yeah in 2 of the 3 I play with Trombone, Trumpet, Bari / Tenor and I play Alto/tenor. For the Caro Emerald I wrote out all scores, we are playing for about a year now and a year back she wasnt that well known and there was allmost no sheet music to buy so I had to start from scratch.. that was a hell of a lot work!

But thanks for sharing your insight on this matter, I can agree to your points.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,946
Without being too unkind, guitarists are generally either playing tonic/dominant/sub-dominant chords, or the melody. You get the same issue in SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) choirs. Sops often are not that good at reading music - they usually have the tune and get away with it. The lower parts don't have the tune and so do need to be able to read music.
 

RMorgan

Member
Messages
110
That´s indeed a good question.

Well, in my opinion, if you play in one of those bands which play hundreds of different songs and get another dozen new songs to learn every week, then sheet music is very handy.

However, if you play in a cover band for a long time, always playing the same songs, you´ll probably know them all by memory, so you actually wont need the sheets.

Actually, is very comfortable to be able to read music while playing live, because you don´t have to worry about memorizing all those songs. Some players, in fact, get addicted to it.

Vocalists, as an example, have to memorize both the melodies, the whole songs structures, and, the most important, the lyrics. If they can do it all by memory, I don´t know why saxophonists couldn´t.

I was guitarist and singer of a progressive rock band for a long time and, believe me, memorizing all those notes, lyrics, melodies and complex syncronized rhythm changes wasn´t easy, but was manageable.

So I guess sheet music isn´t necessary; it´s just comfortable and, who doesn´t like comfort?

Raf.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
Why do you need sheet music?
Possible answers:
1- because it is a useful reminder
2- because you must play EXACTLY like the record
3- because you cannot improvise
4- because you work in a section

About section charts...
It often happens that you have good readers on stage.
Then the singer skips a verse and they go on counting rests, scrambling up the whole tune. "I played it right" they will say.
Other times they will get lost during the intro and will never play.
If you wrote the chart, they will complain that that is not how the rhythm section is playing that riff.
Trumpet players will warm up a lot before the gig, hiding when they will have to actually play.
In critical moments, eye contact will not happen.
 
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