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OK to put chord symbols below the staff ?


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Surrey, UK
I have just been revisiting and updating my transcription of Wesley Magoogan's great alto sax solo on "Will You ?". When I transcribed it originally (back in 2001) I put the chord symbols below the staff as the solo is very largely above the staff and the chord symbols would have to be very high up to be clear of all those ledger lines, articulation symbols etc. Then I have to space the staves out a lot in order to keep chord symbols well clear of the line above.

The solo doesn't go below E at the bottom of the staff, but goes up to high F# (above the third ledger line).

Is it acceptable to put those chord symbols right below the relevant staff or should they really be up above ?


PS I have also noticed that it fits quite well for Bb soprano (just one note is too low) and am going to do a transposed version as well.
Hi Rhys, although you occasionally see chord symbols below the stave they are far more often written above it. Personally I find it confusing when I try to play from chords written below the stave because I start associating the symbols with the next stave down. So IMHO chord symbols always above is preferable. Pete
Hi Rhys,
if the transcription is mainly for yourself, put the chords where ever you like. (I'm half way confident you wont be arrested for it). But if it's intended for other people then Pete is right. The chords would probably be associated with the next stave. I would prefer extra spacing between the staves rather than the whole piece in 8ve... probably
Thanks guys. I think that part of the problem is that I am trying to squeeze the whole darn thing onto two sheets of A4. If I just let it take how ever much space it should take, then the staves could be well spaced and the chord symbols would be fine. But I'm keen to have this one in my pad in case I can persuade the rest of the band to play it. Everything else in our pad fits onto 2 sheets and most onto just one sheet.

The chord symbols aren't really for playing from, just to show the harmony that the solo line fits against. Could probably do without them entirely.


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