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Thread: Help Transcribing a Piece

  1. #1
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    Default Help Transcribing a Piece

    Hi all, I'm new around here!

    So I'm fairly new to playing but I have a bit of a white whale song that I'd like to learn- it's probably a bit advanced but it's something to work up to
    Problem is, I can't find any mandolin tab or sheet music for it, all I've found is guitar chords. Now I used to be pretty decent at transcribing, but it's been over a decade and with where I'm at I absolutely could not do it myself, so I'm asking for help here!

    The song is "Annan Water" from the Decemberists album Hazards of Love. It has a really nice mandolin part (in my opinion) but again, they're not quite popular enough for there to be a lot of sheets available and that is, as far as I know, the least popular album haha.

    Any tips? If you can do it, I'd be happy to pay.

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Dave Berry
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    Default Re: Help Transcribing a Piece

    Can you provide a link and discuss the sections you want transcribed?
    dave berry

  3. #3
    Kelley Mandolins Skip Kelley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help Transcribing a Piece

    Have you listened to the song 100 times and more? No, then you have more listening to do. What key is it in? Do you know the chord structure yet? Do those things, and then, start figuring out the lead part.

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Help Transcribing a Piece

    I have "written" to the computer via MIDI keyboard and gotten reasonable good sheet music.

    I was recording a song and brought in a very classically trained bassoon player for a part, and she was only able to read music from a page, no improvisation. She even played all my keyboard mistakes that amounted to 1/32 notes. We got it smoothed out and it came out great.

  6. #5
    Registered User Theo W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Help Transcribing a Piece

    Holy cow that's a lot of Am. Do you mean the tremolo part? It vaguely sounds like a mandolin but it also kind of sounds like someone is tremoloing a piano string. I'd be happy to transcribe that for you if that's what you mean.
    Theo Wecker
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  7. #6
    Registered User Dave Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help Transcribing a Piece

    In live videos, Chris Funk is strumming chords on a mando - lots of them, and not too many changes (didn't grab an instrument to check out which chords, though). The tremolo part seems to be some kind of zither played by one of the backup singers (Nora O'Connor, I think), but not very evident in the videos.

    (My memory of them doing this one live was hammered dulcimer, but I guess I'm wrong.)

    D.H.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Help Transcribing a Piece

    It's all Am

    Then the bridges or choruses are:

    A - D - Dm - A

    F#m7 - D - Dm - A

    A - D - Dm - A

    F#m7 - D - E


    Just try to emulate the little melodic figure. We could tell you what the notes are but I'm sure you can get it with a few repeated listening/emulation attempts. You'll get it.

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  10. #8

    Default Re: Help Transcribing a Piece



    It’s in A aoelian ie. starts in Am using the key of C major.

    You can learn the C major 1st finger scale from C on by 2nd string third fret up to c on 1st string 8fret. Then do an impro on the first string using the 2nd string open A as a drone.

    Then learn all the C major double stops using the root on the first string. F, G, Am, Bdim etc. (Learn major double stops separately from the minor and dim.)

    Occasional 2235 full Am chord (maybe A augmented too) and Dm to Em full chords up neck in same shape.

    On the octave mandolin it sounds ok too.

    Have fun!

    (Didn’t get to the bridge )

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  12. #9
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    Default Re: Help Transcribing a Piece

    Quote Originally Posted by Theo W. View Post
    Holy cow that's a lot of Am. Do you mean the tremolo part? It vaguely sounds like a mandolin but it also kind of sounds like someone is tremoloing a piano string. I'd be happy to transcribe that for you if that's what you mean.
    I'd love a transcription of that little tremolo bridge! I think between everyone else's fantastic contributions and this I'll get it with some practice!

  13. #10
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    Default Re: Help Transcribing a Piece

    Thank you all! You've been tremendously helpful on this, and I've started practicing the groundwork for it and it's for sure coming together. Literally could not have done it without y'all

  14. #11

    Default Re: Help Transcribing a Piece

    So the little melodic figure - you'll note is just reiterating Colin's singing/melody line -





    --------------------------------------------------------------
    --0----2---3----2----0---------3---2---0--------2---3-----
    ----------------------------------------------5---------------
    --------------------------------------------------------------


    --------------------------------------------------------------
    --0----2---3----2----0---------3---2---0-------------------
    -----------------------------------------------5----2---3----
    --------------------------------------------------------------

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