annotating music sheets/guitar tabs

24 Jan

This morning, I woke up and decided the first thing I was going to do is practice ‘Going to California’ by Led Zeppelin. For a few weeks running in a row, my guitar teacher has assigned me this song. Slowly, I went through and played the entire song once and by the end, I was overwhelmed by the four pages in front of me. Then I decided I needed to annotate the pages. Once more, I went through the song from beginning to end. The second time through, I highlighted and found the patterns. I marked down the places I kept forgetting to play notes. I wrote down how many times a rift or measure repeated, figured out chord shapes and which fingers to use for my left hand. Without listening to the recording, I found the prechorus instrumental and verse/chorus sections. After finishing my annotation, I listened to the recorded ‘Going to California’ in its entirety. All of the sudden, the song made sense to me. I understood the song, the rhythms and the way the song moved. And in that glorious moment, a new stroke of daylight shined on me. I figured out a few things. I only needed to practice from page 1-2 and the rest repeats. Annotating sheet music/guitar tabs make playing songs easier.

I know some people who don’t understand or appreciate music. Someone recently told me in a manner that sounded like I should go get a life because teaching and playing guitar is not a real job. These words have lead me to asking why I do, what I do. I would like to disagree with all the odds I’m running against. Besides being inspired through music, I like the thought process behind music. I’ll admit, I am somewhat obsessed with music theory. Music theory has never been my forte. I was never quite interested in music theory until my former guitar teacher emphasized intervals, scales, learning chords in a key and so forth. There’s a thought process behind music theory, similar to solving a math problem. One has to look at each problem, one at a time and go step by step. I annotated a guitar tab today. Annotating a guitar tab requires some thinking. I go back and think about what I did, I marked down AB patterns. I remember I did this years ago when I was in elementary, playing the piano. And so, I really like thinking in musical aspects. There’s that saying, “do what you love and love what you do.” I play music and I love playing music. I think with a musical perspective and I love having a musical perspective. I couldn’t be happier about making music my life. I am certain that if I keep doing what I’m already doing, I’ll never be disappointed. And I never need approval from others about the way I live or what I do with music.


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