Why I Love Music Notation

“Songs”. “Pieces” if you're a classical nerd (I am). They're what we live for, and there are far too many to remember. This is why we write down music. 

And there are SO many ways to do it. Indeed the classical tradition is by far the most complete and accurate, but it is over-gunning for most pop tunes. I for one superbly enjoy the challenge of writing down music; particularly for my students, finding ways to aide the memory without blowing out the brain cells. And we are all students of music. 

Songdog Music has more than a dozen different music writing paper blanks available for free download.  https://songdogmusic.com/music-paper-blanks . We keep coming up with more for the above reasons. Here's an example of a favorite 

Single Line Staff with Percussion Clef: 



I love this thing! 

Long the domain of percussionists only, I have used it extensively in recent years. Why? 

1. PERCUSSION CLEF. This versatile baby allows you to simply name whatever you want as the “Pitch” of your music. No 'everygoodboydoesfine' needed (hallelujah). You got one chord you can strum? Strum it! You got nothing? Strum the open strings. Pluck a single string. 

The Percussion Clef allows beginning guitarists (uke-ists, others) to focus on 

2. RHYTHM. Count it. Do it. Eat it. Be it. 

With only one single line, Rhythm is the primary focus. This is how I teach it. There is nothing else there, you have to think about Rhythm. Even better – I often print one single measure of a rhythm only. The beginner can play it once, play it twice, play it four times. One focuses on the Pattern, without having to worry about what brand-new-thing the next measure may throw at them. 


An example: in 2/4 time, if you use only quarter notes and quarter rests, there are four - and only four - different combinations. 

That's it. As a new musician, if this is your assignment you cannot possibly fail. One week is more than enough to do these four patterns. Boom. You have mastered quarter notes and rests, in this time signature. Now, I can teach you to write them, combine them, mix and match. All of a sudden you are a composer. Try playing these combinations on the fly: you are improvising, taking a solo. 

You can also use Single Line Staff with Percussion Clef to write out lead sheets with chord changes. 

There are a dozen other papers we have. Each offers precise ways to write what you need to write. I could go on and on, but for now . . . 

What Do YOU Like to use? What's your hot paper? Let us know and we'll put it on here too. In fact, tell us more! We got a quick survey. Check it out! It's open ended, so answer, or don't, or write us a thesis. 

Really Quick Survey! 

We're in this together. 


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