ABC - have I got to learn another way of writing tunes ?

ABC - have I got to learn another way of writing tunes ?

When I was an embryo guitar-picker, they wrote out all the licks as tablature, so you didn’t have to learn music to play.
Then I learnt how to read music, and could slowly teach myself any tune I could find in a book, or on the internet. ( if I liked it ).
Now there’s this ABC stuff. Must I get these tired old brain cells to learn a new system again, at the ripe old age of 59 ?
You wouldn’t guess I’m frustrated at finding variations of a tune I like to play only listed in ABC !

Re: ABC - have I got to learn another way of writing tunes ?

With you 100% on that one!

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Re: ABC - have I got to learn another way of writing tunes ?

But to be honest, it’s handy to use to post tunes as you don’t need any special software for it.
Catherine

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Re: ABC - have I got to learn another way of writing tunes ?

I remember feeling the same frustration. But the advantages of abcs—being able to write out any music without staff lines or string lines (as in tab), and their ease of transmission via email—quickly persuaded me to dive in.

Try thinking of it this way—if you already know how to read and write tab and sheet music, abcs will make sense quicker than if you didn’t know those other formats. It’s all the same information—just parsed in different symbols. In many ways, abcs are the easiest—no tadpole dots or fret numbers, just the letter names of the notes themselves. Caps are lower pitched, lowercase letters are higher, and you use bar lines just like in sheet music. Once you get around some of the computer-geek labels ("L" for the "default length of note field"), it falls into place pretty quickly.

And it’s wonderful to have acces to the incredible wealth of music availabe in this format online. Go for it—learning new skills keeps us young.

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Re: ABC - have I got to learn another way of writing tunes ?

Also, there’s plenty of very cheap (even free) software programs which will covert "ABC" into standard notation. So, you don’t even need to worry about learning it. If you do though, it should only take you a couple of hours.

Re: ABC - have I got to learn another way of writing tunes ?

Just go to
http://www.concertina.net/tunes_convert.html
or search "concertina ABC"
= this site converts ABCs to sheet music - just cut and paste and click

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Re: ABC - have I got to learn another way of writing tunes ?

Initially I got ABC2Win to convert all those abc files into sheet music because I thought I would never get my head around abc notation.
Then I found I wanted to edit some of the settings of tunes that I had on my computer, so I looked at the abc code for the tune in ABC2Win. It has a pretty handy help file and before long I had learned enough to change a note here and there. A few months later - I’m a slow learner - I notated my first tune from scratch. Years later I still make the odd mistake but it has proven very useful.
Go for it.

Re: ABC - have I got to learn another way of writing tunes ?

Pete,

you can’t even imagine how useful learning a bit of ABC can be - and how easy it is, it only took me one hour. It literally opened up a new musical world to me.

Actually, you don’t even have to "learn" ABC. Let the programs do the work for you and enjoy the results. If you use Windows, please take a look at this jewel: http://abcnavigator.free.fr/. Also, have a look at the "Links" section on this site.

Re: ABC - have I got to learn another way of writing tunes ?

Pete, you really don´t need to learn abc (but you will…)

long time I used abc2win and other tools to see abc-files as standard notation sheet music. next step (as Donough said before): a little change in the setting sounds reasonable and u look in the abc code and find it doable … meanwhile I use the concertina.net tool to edit abc´s with bowings switching from abc to sheet and back after every little change to control the results. believe me: it is easy.

Re: ABC - have I got to learn another way of writing tunes ?

ABC is great - when I first started enjoying all the stuff on this site I just printed off the gifs of tunes - horribly grainy and not very nice to look at. Now I use Skink (a free download) and have saved loads of ABC files and print them off when needed - and what you don’t realise until you take a look at the ABC files on this site, there are loads of variations of tunes. So what I’d like to do is raise a cheer of gratitude to the tireless individuals who have posted all these variations - it’s a really great service that they’ve been providing.

Re: ABC - have I got to learn another way of writing tunes ?

Plucker, do you have a link for this so that I can check it out? Always on the look out for new software. Thanks meantime.

Re: ABC - have I got to learn another way of writing tunes ?

…I should add that I use the Windows version - you just need to make sure you have an up-to-date version of JAVA

Re: ABC - have I got to learn another way of writing tunes ?

If you insist on using tabs, you can convert the ABCs with TablEdit (http://www.tabledit.com/) which is the industry standard. I use it all the time, especially when I write to my ABC impaired friends.

ABC is just a way to make the music portable. It is one of the simplest and best ways to communicate the music and there are a number of very good ways to translate it into a more familiar genera if needed. I have learned to just play it off of the paper but find that notation and/or tab is easy to get. I use the concertina site all the time because it saves time and can be converted to a pdf file for publication.

Mike Keyes
http://www.banjosessions.com/jun05/woodchoppers.html