How Do I read Chords On Websites

Discussion in 'Music' started by AB69, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. AB69

    AB69 Newbie

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    I've always had trouble trying to figure out chords of certain songs I like. Now, I know there are websites online that can give you the chords, but I've never been actually been able to read the chords and notes? Like I don't understand what it's suppose to mean.

    Here is an example:

    I try to look up the chords to Simon Patterson - Evoke.

    https://play.riffstation.com/search?q=simon patterson evoke

    The website gives me this:
    Chords: F D♭ E♭ A♭ Cm B♭ 7 Am

    What exactly does this mean? F chord into Db chord into Eb chord into Ab chord? I know Db = C#, Eb = D#, Ab = G#, but HOW DO I APPLY THIS TO MY PIANO ROLL IN MY DAW? If those are the chords, how do I know how long each chord is?

    When I play the song on riff station I have no idea how to read the bars at the bottom as the songs play. It's confusing, because during the intro there are no notes but it's telling me there are chords playing? Like when I start the song, it says it's Ab when it's literally just the intro with kick and percussion?

    It's so confusing, I see the chord thingys at the bottom move along to the track as it plays, but wtf does it mean? Is there anyway for it to show the notes?

    It's so frustrating. How do I translate these chords? Or better yet, is there anyway I can extract the melody in MIDI format? The reason I ask for this is for learning purposes and to see how various melodies are written, and what they look like MIDI wise in terms of peaks/valleys.

    I've had this problem for as long as I have been producing. I know the keys, the notes, how to come up with a melody, how to write songs, how to mix, and how different melody types look visually in terms of MIDI, but I absolutely have not ever been able to translate chords I found from say riff station into my DAW. I just don't understand what I'm looking at, it's like it's a guitar tab thing and I don't know wtf any of it means. I have no musical background, so I wold appreciate any help.

    EDIT: Like what does it mean when it tells you F minor chord? 1 bar? 2 bar? How am I suppose to know?

    EDIT: If I want to find the melody of a song I like myself, and to get the exact MIDI for it, what is the best way? This riffstation/chordify bullshit doesn't work. Like seriously what the fuck am I looking at? Why is it so difficult for them to show it in piano roll format?

    EDIT: Like this is what I mean:

    What the fuck is this? How the hell am I suppose to translate that into the piano roll?

    EDIT: No I don't have a premium chordify account nor do I plan to get one, unless someone here has experience with it and can tell me that if I click MIDI it gives me the exact MIDI of the melody error free, which I doubt.

     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
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  3. foster911

    foster911 Audiosexual

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    Don't fall into the trap of chords. They have been introduced by non-electronic makers and converted the serious electronic music into poppy ones. Some people can allege that they have transfigured and illuminated it but the reality is they've degraded the real place of the electronic and the philosophy behind it. When the electronic becomes harmonious it's not the electronic anymore.:yes:
     
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  4. Herr Durr

    Herr Durr Audiosexual

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    Best Answer
    Try to find the midi version of a popular song you like.. then import into your daw...
    most of them can separate the different midi tracks as well.. FL studio can... Reaper also..

    then you should be able to export just that track ... say if it is piano for the melody.. or a midi guitar track..

    then import it to another notation program of your choice.. there are some free ones.. such as this...
    http://midisheetmusic.sourceforge.net/

    if you want to know what notes make up a chord, again you need to go look it up
    https://www.8notes.com/piano_chord_chart/


    to know the actual duration of the notes? you need to feel it from the original.. , play it yourself, read music,
    or find the midi file that has it already mapped out... there's no simple way to do it.. other than putting in the work yourself,
    or finding someone else's work where they have

    those sites you are using may (or may not ) be giving you the correct chords.. but if no captureable midi output.. then
    it's up to you to find a source that has the midi data.... or play it yourself into a midi item of your DAW...by.. well
    learning the chords yourself.. actually learning to play the song

    those last diagrams are just displaying fingering for an F chord on guitar... which typically we already know the song, and the melody,
    this just helps us to find where and how to play the chords on a physical guitar... maybe not much help if you are using a
    keys midi controller...
     
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  5. flyingsleeves

    flyingsleeves Producer

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    The image you placed at the bottom are guitar tabs. Unless you're interested in learning how to play the guitar, I would just ignore them. It would be too complicated and add an unnecessary extra step to learn how to read tabs and then translate that to a piano roll.

    The Riffstation software is not going to perform well on every single style of music. During the intro there is very little except some ambient sweeps here and there, so it's just trying to find anything recognizable to grab onto. Just ignore it until it gets to an actual musical part that you want to transcribe. Ignore everything except the hook, any other melodies/arps, bassline, and chord progression. These, along with the rhythm, are the meat and potatoes of the track.

    Perhaps looking at the video is too distracting. Just try using your ears. They will tell you when there's a chord change. You will feel them. Don't look for them, listen for them. Every four kicks is one bar. You can literally count the number of kicks to figure out how long each chord lasts if you need to.

    As for the rest you will have to learn through studying music theory. If you are serious about making music then you shouldn't mind doing some studying in order to get a deeper understanding. F D♭ E♭ A♭ Cm B♭7 Am is a chord progression. Play these chords in this order and listen for when each changes. If there is just a single letter then it's a major chord. If a letter is followed by a little m then it's a minor chord. So then F Db Eb Ab Bb are all major chords. Cm and Am are minor chords. Learn how to use a Circle of Fifths and it will show you how to spell these chords. All of them excpet the Bb7 are triads, meaning they are made of 3 notes. There's a whole lot more information to give, but you should really get yourself some sort of introduction to music theory books or videos.
     
  6. subGENRE

    subGENRE Audiosexual

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    http://chords.jpglomot.com/

    I use this all the time to take basic chord progressions (3 note triads) and turn them into complex chords shapes (4 and 5 note chords) but you can use it just to find the notes of a chord and what chords will work with what keys and scales.

    When Im sketching out a new track on my acoustic, I play simple open chords. But when I start playing and clicking midi into the piano roll, I flesh them out with biger chords that I use that site to figure out. Then Ill make some of the chords into inversions so they have a common note that ties all the chords together through the progression and to keep them in the same range on the keyboard/roll. Once you figure out what key the song is in, the map is there.
     
  7. subGENRE

    subGENRE Audiosexual

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    What does that even mean? It makes absolutely no sense at all. Are you drunk? lol
     
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  8. jayxflash

    jayxflash Rock Star

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    That's because you don't speak Foster, my friend, but I do and this time it happens I am totally agree with him and below is my reply:
    https://clyp.it/fbb2tocm
     
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  9. Herr Durr

    Herr Durr Audiosexual

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    exquisitely modulated flatulas.... I'm beginning to see the light :yes::yes:

    cool site, but it shows a weird fingering for guitar chords on the fret board
    and it shows a whole series of possible fingerings below.. how would a beginner
    know the most common and "easiest" one....?

    seems like this is for someone who already has a pretty good idea where they are going
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  10. Herr Durr

    Herr Durr Audiosexual

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    Lastly, the C7 chord. Let's apply the formula (1, 3, 5, b7) and see what we get. It would give you C, E, G, Bb. Likewise, let's find these notes on the guitar. You will find that a possible way to play C7 would be like this:

    [​IMG] (A# = Bb)


    so? where is the G in the chord...? sites like this that propose to explain things.. then leave out or gloss over totally obvious points
    sort of piss me off

    http://basicsofguitar.blogspot.com/2010/06/whats-difference-between-c7-cm7-and.html

    aggravating for someone who knows how to play it.. but how confusing for a n00b... just sayin'
     
  11. subGENRE

    subGENRE Audiosexual

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    Funny, You weren't the first one to point that out it seems.
    [​IMG]
    Well the truth is, there is no shortcut, no magic plugin, no producer secrets.... I you want to be pro you got to put in the work and treat it like a job. And thats the secret. As you gain knowlege you will have a lot of "a ha" moments as the doors (of perception) open up in your head. And that is the truth.
     
  12. Herr Durr

    Herr Durr Audiosexual

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    @subGENRE I did notice that down in the comments.. but it was just gonna make me rail some more... hahah

    but good on ya for following it up :wink:
     
  13. Herr Durr

    Herr Durr Audiosexual

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    ok @AB69 and Foster.... here's the dude making waves over at weathervane
    (and elsewhere) so listen good.. :wink:

     
  14. subGENRE

    subGENRE Audiosexual

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    @Herr Durr
    Lol, I got a whole bunch of old school producers and engineers diggin my remixes. Nice! Converting EDM haters into fans one at a time.......
    I just reached out to them, lets see if I can make it official or at least get them to vouch for me:wink:
     
  15. subGENRE

    subGENRE Audiosexual

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    The ones with the most open strings is where I would start, less notes to fret. Or in the open position. But the OP is a roll clicker and seems to need to figure out timing and meters first......
    1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a
    2 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a
    3 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a
    4 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a
    Thats more important in the beginning than chords
     
  16. Herr Durr

    Herr Durr Audiosexual

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    so you're suggesting he should start out as a ... drummer ? ooooh bad move... haha :bleh:

    here's one area we might disagree..and it could be because I'm gettin' up there..
    I think getting a feel for melody and chordpro is a better way to start..
    but you fruitloop generation can do what you want.. dang ya! :guru:

    I was making a rhetorical point actually , that a beginner would really have no idea
    what the "standard" and easiest chords shapes are.. he would have to grab a guitar
    and start trying to make his fingers "do it" to see for real..

    I think a beginner would benefit tremendously from a few months to a year's worth
    of actual lessons of some kind.. even 30 min a week.. would get them rolling at least
    to understand a thing or two about playing music yourself ... then take your own initiative and dive in..

    the easiest way to do that.. a cheap acoustic guitar, and an instructor (that doesn't charge
    an arm and a leg preferably ).. playing with some buddies even would help
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  17. zorgbop

    zorgbop Newbie

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  18. subGENRE

    subGENRE Audiosexual

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    @Herr Durr Pa rumm pa pum pum...lol
    Now I can disagree with you on that, about the cheapie acoustic part. So many kids give up on guitar because they have cheapie finger bleeding acoustics with terrible action. Ive seen it first hand more than once now. If they started out on something decent like at least a Yamaha there might be more guitarists. I learned on a cheapie but I had the drive from the get go. Pussy was my motivation then, well still is kinda, pussy and gear. The first time I picked up an electric (Gibson SG) with good action I was mad that I didnt have that from the beginning. Learning would have went so much quicker and smoother. You can get a decent ibanez acoustic for little money, and they have great flat necks

    Us whippersnappers and our un-abletons and un-Reason-albes
    BTW it FLStudio now lol:bleh:
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  19. zorgbop

    zorgbop Newbie

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    Am I dreaming ?
    I f you have no musical background , then the answer is very simple :
    Do not try to make music , or learn it .
    Open your ears .
    This is absolutely dramatic , dudes that are making sounds without knowing what a chord is !
    Then developpers make software that is supposed to replace your ears brain and heart , tell you which chords are in a song , just because
    death people like you and others of your kind dont't know the smallest bit of things concerning music !
    Absolute misery .
    Music is something else , you are so far from it that you are not even aware of it !
    People like you contribute to the absolutely horrible sounds of what you call music !
    But music can thank you for one thing :
    - Making things clear .Yes things are clear . The sound of this shit we hear is made by people like you that have no ears and not the smallest
    understanding of music . Just a little understanding of machines .

    Poor you .
    Poor guys like you .
    I can't stand death people that pollute our ears with all this horrible bullshit , thinking that they are producing "music" .
    They are producing shit .
    Poo-poo

    Listen to music and try to hear and feel the difference if your brain and ears have not been totally damaged and devasted yet ,
    which i seriously doubt .
     
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  20. Elisea

    Elisea Producer

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    As long as you don't have an absolutely hearing its trial and error. Thats how songs are created if you take a guitar and use your voice to bring them together. If you know the song already, its much easier. But again, its your ears and muscial understanding what brings you further. If you listen to the song as a musician, you have to hear the chords, the keynotes, the rhythm etc. of EVERY instrument! (Sometimes its a curse, because you can't enjoy music anymore.) To learn it, you need to step by step translate and try chords until they fit the song. And if you don't know, how long a given chord is played ... common, you have to feel it!

    For a beginner i have an easy guidance to get better: Don't take a look at the chords, just take the keynotes to find out how long they got played. Play the song and take a keyboard. Use a piano sound and follow with a bassy octave the keynotes (for F minor, use just F etc.) This way you "feel" when a keynote changes (it doesn't sound right then) and learn intuitively where the chords later will change too.

    If you don't have any feeling for it, it will get very tough for you to live as a producer. Maybe you just construct your songs in a DAW (building blocks principle) and have no idea what it all means about? In this case. Buy an instrument! Sit down and play your favourite songs. Try to find and follow in the simpliest way those keynotes and i asure you, after some weeks of practicing you have "the feeling". (Please imagine me saying "the feeling" with a german accent. This way its a bit funnier.)

    In a rockband no one would ever take a look at chords or harmonies. Guitar beginns, bass tries to fit in, drummer rumbles stupid on his drums and the singer is humming in the corner to find a fitting melody. After a few runs someone calls: "How is this for the bridge?" All listen. Someone says: "Forget it. Sounds like a marching band. Must be more ..."

    This way you get "the feeling" along the way. Then you have no idea, what you are playing. But it fits together in a cool way. ;)
     
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  21. Elisea

    Elisea Producer

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    So true. I also had bleeding fingers with my stupid first guitar. And i had the same enlightenment years later, when i tried other guitars wich were so easy and clean to play.
     
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