Frequently Asked Questions
These are some of the questions that I guess people would ask if they come to a site like this. It's certainly not a full list, and I don't think they can be summarized in a page like this, but it will probably save me some explaining to do.
Like, the, like, list of questions
1) Why would I need to use chord notations? Why can't you just give me sheet music?
It's not that I can't do music - I can read and write scores just like any classically trained pianist (because, well, I *am* a classically-trained pianist, although I don't like to play the stuff). Chord notations are easier to do than sheet music, of course. Besides that not all people can read music, but chords are easily learnt and easier to play. Sheet music is also usually written only for piano, violin, flute and all those other classical instruments, so guitar and bass players can't benefit from it unless it also has chords on top.
I also don't do tabs because tabs are a little harder to do (it's not that I'm avoiding work - it's just that I can do more songs this way). Besides that, just giving the chords gives room for interpretation - how you want to play the song is up to you. Sheet music makes you follow everything that's written.
Lastly, I don't want to make you feel stupid for not being able to read music. I know a bunch of really cool pianists that learned everything from chords and by ear.
2) Don't you have anything better to do than run this website?
Actually, I have no life.
I do - but this website actually serves more purposes than it seems. Firstly, I get to practice my chord transcription skills everytime I fulfill a request, and this in turn helps others learn how to play anime music. It's also my, uh, objective to do notations for every anime song on my playlist - next-to-impossible, but it's a start.
Besides that, everything you see here was designed or written by me. I use the site as a testbed for learning things like PHP, MySQL, CSS and to practice other concepts and tricks that I might have learned. I freelance as a web designer (albeit a lousy one) - this allows me to try out things in advance before I actually work on projects that matter.
Then, of course, it's the "in" thing to have your own website, blog/journal or whatever, so why not join in? Well, I *do* have a LiveJournal, but as for the website thing, I'd prefer to have something that actually helps someone instead of the usual "WELCOME TO XXX WEBSITE. THIS IS MY PERSONAL DATA" kind.
3) Why only Japanese or anime songs?
I don't do English pop/rock songs unless specifically requested, because I have a great disdain for the modern pop genre. But that's not the main reason - there are plenty of tab sites out there for English songs, but a serious lack of good anime music tab sites (sheet music is aplenty, though). Anime guitarists and those who can't read sheet music are a sorely forsaken lot.
4) Can you send me the mp3s for the some of the songs?
5) How long does it take to do a chord notation for a song?
Not long, really. About 10-20 minutes for a song, depending on the complexity of the chords. I actually spend more time typing and formatting the chord notations than I spend finding the chords (let's call it experience).
6) Then why do you take months to fulfil requests? It's absurd.
Well, I have a life other than sitting here fulfilling requests. I'm a student, I'm involved in numerous activities (yes, other than anime) so sometimes I just don't feel like sitting down and finding chords for songs I usually don't like (some of the requested songs are just ... awful).
Hey - I'm doing this for free, so don't complain. :P
7) What instruments do you play?
I can play a number of instruments, including the piano, guitar and bass. I usually use a piano (or keyboard - not the computer one, though) to find the key and then test out the chords.
8) How do you hear the chords in a song?
Well, it's pretty hard to explain. When you get used to playing a lot of songs with only the chords, you begin to notice that there are certain sequences that are used and you begin to "feel" that a certain chord may fit here or there. Eventually, you would be able to guess the chords if you know the starting key. It's even easier if you are one of those lucky ones out there with perfect pitch.
The only sure way to get them is to practice a LOT. You can experiment by playing a "wrong" chord at a certain point in a song and see how it sounds like. You can tell that a chord is wrong when you play it and something seems out of place. Through trial and error you'll eventually get it.
For the moment, if you need further help, just go to the contact page and email me a question - I'll try to help you where I can. When I'm able to compile enough material for it, maybe I'll write a guide to help you learn. Maybe.
9) How do I learn chords?
There are quite a number of sites out there with more detailed instructions on chords and tabs (but I can't recall any at the moment - sorry). Try doing a search with any search engine. A more intensive (and suffering) way to learn is taking music theory lessons, but I've been through those and they're not worth the pain and anguish if you're just playing for fun once in awhile. If you need any more help, then try asking your friends who can play music or e-mail me with your question. There are also a couple of good websites and some software that can either help you learn how to play chords (using tabs) or can translate chords to tabs for you. I will try to list them in the links section when I get the time.
10) What do I need to do to learn how to listen to chords?
First off, you'll need to have a large selection of different songs. Just listening to one song won't do you any good. Next, you'll need to have the chords or tabs for the songs (make sure they're from a reliable transcriber or you might end up learning wrong chords!). After that, try and learn the chords on an instrument that you can play, then play along with the music or at least read the chords while the music plays. Learn to differenciate between a major and a minor chord (major chords sound "happy" and minor chords sound more "sad"). It's important to listen to the bass (the lowest sounding note - if possible, increase the bass boost on your music player).
You'll also need to know a bit of music theory - like which chords go together and "family chords". I'll probably write a quick guide to chords and listening to them sometime in the future - keep a lookout. And of course, you'll need LOTS OF PRACTICE! When you think you are up to it, try guessing the chords for certain parts and compare your work with a correct copy of the chords. Even if it's all wrong, keep trying - that's the only way to learn!
Once again, I'd recommend going to the contact page to ask, then I'll be able to help you specifically.
11) Can you teach me how to play a song using the chords?
Unfortunately, I can't. Unless you can see me in person, that is. Most of this needs to be shown and can't be explained in an e-mail.