Can you get a music degree online
How do I write and save the songs you know?
I am glad that you can learn songs by watching YouTube videos. YouTube didn't exist when I started playing, so I didn't have that option. It's an excellent source for learning how to play cover songs on an instrument, but as your questions suggest, it doesn't provide a lead sheet or notation for future use.
I create my own lead sheets for cover songs - even if many versions are available online. By creating my own chords, I can choose the best chords that seem to work (and that I can actually play), and I can put them in a specific spot on my paper that will help me remember the timing .
The method I use combines technology (Word document on the computer, copy and paste, Internet search for texts - with old-fashioned means (Pencil and paper). My method doesn't require an ability to read musical notation as the timing is tied to the lyrics - which for me is easier than counting bars and having the number of beats per bar and half notes and whole notes and quarter rests and half rests etc. . Keep up.
When you become a professional musician and want to play in an orchestra with other professional musicians, learn to read musical notation. If you by the end of the week or at the end of the day want to learn to play some of your favorite songs , my method will help you get there without taking a music class or graduation.
Here is the process I may go through if I do Extract information from a YouTube video.
First, I google the lyrics for the song and find them online in a format I can use. Then I copy the texts and paste them into a Word document or an open document from the free "Open Office" software. Then I reformat the lyrics to justify everything on the left, adding a space between each line (to make room for writing chords over the lyrics), changing the font to my liking, and making the text bigger.
Once I have my lyric sheet the way I want it, I go through the YouTube video with a pencil (no ink pen in case I need to change something) and write the chord names (C, D, Em, F.) # dim etc.) above the lyrics exactly at the point where the chord change takes place in relation to the lyrics.
For licks, I skip enough lines in the text sheet to paste a copy of the tablature lines on my main sheet and use the pencil to create the tab notation. I keep a copy of a blank tab line on my computer and I can use the snipping tool to cut off exactly the amount I need and copy and paste it into my sheet wherever there is a lead break. Then I just write the numbers on the tab lines to indicate which strings and frets to play for the lick.
Once I've placed all of my chords where I think they should be I get my guitar and play with the video as I follow my sheet to confirm that I have placed all the chords correctly, depending on where the changes occur. If I find that I've placed a chord in the wrong place, I can delete and move it.
When I'm sure my lead sheet matches the way I want to learn and play the song, I'll either go back to my Word document and type in the chords I wrote in pencil, or partially scan mine handwritten sheet and save it as a PDF. I also put it in a protective film and put a hard copy in a three-ring folder.
If the song uses a chord that I don't use often enough to memorize, or uses a less common part of a standard chord, I write that chord on my sheet (at the bottom or sometimes on the back). I often use this format to write down chords on the fly
320003 = an open G major chord X32010 = an open C major chord XX0232 = an open D major chord and so on.
The strings start with the Low E string from left to right and the numbers indicate which fret. X means to mute or not play this string.
You can also copy and paste blank chord diagrams into your lead sheet and draw the fretting indicator points with your pencil to use as a reference for playing chords that are non-standard or unknown.
Or you can go to a site like Free Guitar Blank Paper and download sheets like the one shown below (I took a picture of the PDF and made it small enough to fit below). A sheet like the one shown below can be attached to a lead sheet as a reference tool that shows the location of all chord changes. You can use it to write down the licks (lick 1, lick 2) and any less familiar chords.
I understand that this is not the high tech software based solution you want, and you can certainly use it too. However, this method works best for me when I'm sitting in front of a YouTube video trying to put the chords in exactly the right place. I only have one computer and when I play a YouTube video, it is easier for me to have a piece of paper and a pencil on my desk so I can take my notes in real time instead of switching back and forth between a software program and the video. Old folks like me who have a similar question may find this solution helpful with less learning than a completely software based notation system.
I hope you have loads of fun learning more and more new songs and expanding your guitar repertoire!
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