Music Theory 101

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by AZ_Brad, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. AZ_Brad

    AZ_Brad New Friend

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    Jan 18, 2007
    Peoria, AZ
    I'm in need of some music help. I am starting to play at church, and the "music" they provide is a little Greek to me. I have to create my own parts based off of what is pasted below, and I'm not sure where to start. To date, I have just played by ear, but I would like to understand what the format is supposed to do.

    Am I to assume that they are chords? If so, is there so refference I can acces that tells me what notes a Bb Trumpet can play within those Chords? I assume the chord notations are in "Concert C"??

    P.S. I have NO ego when it comes to this area of music, so you can treat me like a dummy, and I'll take no offense. :-)


    G GM7
    You are beautiful beyond description
    C G
    Too marvelous for words
    G GM7
    Too wonderful for comprehension
    C Bsus B
    Like nothing ever seen or heard
    Em Asus A
    Who can grasp Your infinite wisdom
    C G/B Am7 D
    Who can fathom the depth of Your love
    G GM7
    You are beautiful beyond description
     
  2. crash

    crash New Friend

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    Dec 6, 2006
    Maryland
    yep, them-there's chords... or guitar tabs. They're meant for guitars or pianos to be able to strum and/or fill in with the song and keep everyone in tune! With the trumpet we don't have the luxury of playing chords so I would think your best bet is to play the melody by ear. I'm not very good at this so I have to find the starting note and practice first several times before I am comfortable playing along.

    I'm sure a real musician (someone who studied enough to transpose and improvise on the fly) could use these tabs to generate the right notes to create a counter-melody that 'fit' with the song but that is beyond me!
     
  3. DL TPT

    DL TPT New Friend

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    Jan 19, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    Yes you will need to transpose. Just think 1 whole step higher than what is written and this will give you the root of the chord you will play. For example what is written as G becomes A for you. So you can play an A, C#, or E.

    If you want I can let you know what all of the chords would be for you. Let me know.

    DL

    PS: Or use a C trumpet and read it "as is."
     
  4. Fudleysmith

    Fudleysmith Pianissimo User

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    1
    Jan 5, 2006
    Niantic, CT
    I had the exact same situation when I started playing at church (a Hispanic Baptist Church where the piano, guitar, and bass play by ear) and found that the best approach for me was to record the tunes during rehearsal, transcribe the melody lines [a lead chart], and add some appropriate trumpet fills.

    Don't forget that the chord notation on your example is in concert pitch and will need to be transposed up a full step (C becomes D) for your Bb trumpet.

    Now that I have done it for over a year, it is much easier to add fills "on the fly", but I still transcribe all of the songs that are new to me so that I at least have a basic road map of the chart.

    I use Noteworthy Composer (shareware) for the notation and now we have added a tenor sax, a violin, and a flute to the group so the transposition function is very handy.

    Hang in there. It gets easier with practice and it has helped my jazz playing considerably because I'm no longer terrified to go "off the sheet" on a solo.
     
  5. AZ_Brad

    AZ_Brad New Friend

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    Jan 18, 2007
    Peoria, AZ
    Thanks guys for your replies. Great insight! I like the idea of Noteworthy Composer...I'll search on it. Also, DL, I apreciate your offer. Where can I find the information you offered?

    Many Thanks,
    Brad
     
  6. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    Mar 21, 2006
    Toronto
    Here are all the notes in each chord as written for trumpet. I left them all in root position except for the A/C# because the / in this music means its an inversion.
    The accidentals are implied for the whole bar.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. DL TPT

    DL TPT New Friend

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    Jan 19, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    Brad,

    Brekelefuw has it presented in a clearer and more concise manner than I have. But as others have mentioned, with practice it becomes easier. You may think about making you a chord chart that shows the concert pitch and then your chord and notes you can play. Two things happen when you do this. 1) You will remember them better and understand the concept of transposition as you write them in a notebook. 2) They become a great reference source when you get new music. You can look them up quickly.

    I hope this helps.

    DL
     
  8. Bourbon City

    Bourbon City Pianissimo User

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    Jun 8, 2004
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Yes sir, in my opinion, this is a great excuse to buy that C trumpet.
     
  9. AZ_Brad

    AZ_Brad New Friend

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    Jan 18, 2007
    Peoria, AZ
    So if I am understanding correctly, the above chords show all the notes that could be played in a given bar.
    As an example, if the Tab show a "A" (Concert) chord, I could play "my" A, C#, or E? Or do I need to take "my" notes up to B, Eb, f?
     
  10. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    Mar 21, 2006
    Toronto
    I transposed it from the chords you put in the original post. Those notes I posted are all for Bb trumpet. They are merely the notes that make up the chords you posted. You can play them, or make it a bit more interesting by connecting them with other scales degrees.
    Look for notes that go between each chord by only a whole step or a half step. Playing them as the chords go by will make it seem like a counter melody to the one the church it singing.
     

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