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Dec 04

DID YOU KNOW GUITAR AND BASS ARE TRANSPOSING INSTRUMENTS?

DID YOU KNOW GUITAR AND BASS ARE TRANSPOSING INSTRUMENTS?

 All m transposing instruments.

All my transposing instruments.

 

WHAT IS A TRANSPOSING INSTRUMENT?

A transposing instrument is any instrument that sounds at a different pitch to the music notation. Most of us are aware that saxes, clarinets and trumpets are transposing instruments. These instruments fall into 2 main categories Bb and Eb, This can be quite confusing, and I deal with this subject in a previous article SAX TRANSPOSITION CHART where you will find a free downloadable transposition chart.

There are 2 more categories:

1) THE F INSTRUMENTS.

The F instruments, (which I did not include in the transposition chart) These instruments would include French Horn, Basset Horn and Cor Anglais.

2) OCTAVE TRANSPOSING INSTRUMENTS.

The last category might surprise you. GUITAR and BASS GUITAR are what are known as OCTAVE TRANSPOSING INSTRUMENTS. This means that the written note is an octave below the note that they sound.

The reason for this is is to make reading easier. By writing the note an octave below the sounded note, this will put most of the written notes  right into the middle of the stave, which is obviously easier than reading notes written on the ledger lines above the stave.

With this knowledge there are 2 important considerations.

1) FOR NON GUITARISTS.

If you are a non guitarist writing a part for a guitarist, remember to transpose the part an octave up from the concert part.

2) FOR GUITARISTS.

When reading music written specifically for guitar, play the part where it is written.

When reading from a lead sheet or any piece of music not written as a guitar part, remember to play an octave above written.

This is a skill any READING GUITARIST needs to develop. The ability to transpose up the octave on sight.

TAB.

While I’m on the subject of the READING GUITARIST, let me say I’m not a fan of TAB. I know it has become very popular. But to me has always seemed a cop out. If you take the time and discipline to learn chords and scales, why not take the time and discipline to read music. It is so much quicker than TAB, and means you don’t have to memorise everything you play.

Also check out a previous article KEYS THAT ARE POPULAR WITH GUITARISTS FOR TRANSPOSING INSTRUMENTS.

 

 

GUITAR, TRANSPOSING INSTRUMENTS.

Did you know guitar and bass are transposing instruments? guitar, bass guitar, transposing instruments, octave transposing

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