Friday, October 2, 2009

Guitar Tabbing (in Portuguese)

If you want something done (right), you have to do it yourself...

Roughly fifteen years ago I heard a Portuguese vocal/guitar combo that I fell in love with. A few years later I started playing the guitar and, determined to learn the piece, searched for the sheet music (called "tabs"). To my dismay, none existed. Off and on over the past decade I reinitiated the search. Usually, there is someone out there with the same peculiar passion for this music who will transcribe the pieces without official sheet music. After fifteen years of fruitless efforts I decided to become that someone and tab this piece.

Over the past few weeks I've spent many an hour holding my guitar and listening to the 1-3 second chunks of the piece to determine each individual note of the accompaniment while ignoring the overpowering vocals. So far I only have 1 minute of the 3 minute piece on paper (er, digital paper) but I have solved the general chord progression. This allows me to tab future measures much quicker as I have an idea of what notes in a chord should be played and am not randomly fumbling around on the strings trying to match/guess the next note . Thankfully, most of the song is played with single strings, I'm not sure my ears could pick out the harmony strings when chords are played (bass and melody strings are easier). Hopefully the next 2 minutes of the song won't take as long as the first to tab, then I can began the task of actually learning the piece.

And then comes the fun task of memorizing the Portuguese lyrics (which I have found, thank God) and IPAing so I can actually sing them. But that's a (possibly painful) story for another day...

(and yes, I am currently being vague on the name/composer of the song. But don't worry, once I am finished it will definitely be announced on this blog as well as the niche guitar tab sites who have failed me in my search for sheet music for this song)

No comments:

Post a Comment