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What's "Snomits"?

Yeah okay, no one ever asks. I just wanted to drive in the fact that it's pronounced snow-mitts. Like mittens worn in the winter time. Not snawmits.

And despite my avatar, I don't smoke nor condone it. Quite the opposite. Keep away from the cigs!

I spy a broken link.

Just lemme know and I'll fix it posthaste.

Can I use/link to your files?

Performance? Go for it. YouTube? Groovy. Linking? Sure. Just link back here. Please don't link directly to files (sheets, midis, mp3s) but either to my home page or the page with the sheets. Please do not upload my sheets anywhere. Link to the site. Thanks.

mp3s in the player won't load.

It's slow. Wait for it... wait... waaaaait... and if it still doesn't pop up, do let me know, thanks.

Do you take requests?

I used to back in the day when I had more time. Now? Sorry, but no. I have things of my own lined up. But I've seen many other sites that do, including personal sites, forums, and YouTube channels. Give a search. Doesn't hurt to try contacting them. Don't hold your breath that it'll get done if you request something, but many transcribers will be glad for the suggestion.

You could try dropping me a message in the chat page and I'll probably at least try to help you look for sheets.

These sheets aren't complete. When will it be?

It's not uncommon for me to leave songs halfway for months. Years, even. So I made a Partial section for incomplete transcriptions. I would indeed like to finish them all. But don't expect anything.

What do you mean by _____?

As per my use of words and short forms (no guarantees on them being "correct").

  • transcribe = listening to a song, figuring out the notes, and putting it on paper
  • transpose = moving songs from one key to another
  • lead sheet = sheet music that only includes the melody, and maybe chords and lyrics
  • sight read = playing from sheets for the first time
  • monophonic / polyphonic = instruments that have one melodic line (mono-) or multiple (poly)
  • LH = left hand
  • RH = right hand
  • b = flat
  • # = sharp
  • + = major (e.g. Ab+ = A flat major)
  • - = minor (e.g. F#- = F sharp minor)
I don't play the piano but another instrument! Can you transcribe this for ____?

It's much easier to get your hands on sheets for instruments that use lead sheets, such as band instruments (e.g. flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone). You're probably going to want to play the melody. Generally in piano sheets, the melody is played in the treble clef. If there are chords, the highest note is what you want to play.

In the example above, you'd play the highlighted notes. Most of the time you won't need to bother transposing, especially if it's from piano sheets. Piano = instrument in key of C. Most are, but if you played a clarinet it's Bb. Bb = 1 note down from C, so you'll need to move everything down one.

If the key is too difficult, you can transpose it further. The pitch will be off from the original, but at least you can play a version of it. Take into consideration both key and range. First look at the key(s) of the original song. Note key changes. Now, if you changed the key to reduce a sharp (by moving all notes up/down a certain interval), how'll it look? What if you reduced two sharps? What if you changed it to a flat? It'll take some working with. As for key changes, if a song is B+ (5 sharps) -> key change to C+ and you raise everything by a major 2nd, you'll get instead C+ but then key change to Db+ (5 flats). So the first portion will be loads easier, but the second much more difficult. But if you prefer flats over sharps, you might choose this option.

While working with the key, keep in mind whether the song is in range of what you can play. Try raising or lowering by an octave in certain areas. Then does the song still sound right/good? If yes, then you're good to go.

Piano sheets have two staves; most others only have one voice on one clef. So if you start off with piano sheets, you can play just about any other instrument. It does not work the other way around. :( Although if there are multiple instruments, you can combine for the piano. Flute + violin? Play a line for each hand. Piano + clarinet, although you're playing solo? Try clarinet in RH, piano's lower staff in LH. Sometimes you might do clarinet in RH, piano upper staff with your LH.

Help me read sheet music?

For a shortcut, find a video tutorial online where the camera shows which key to press.

But I highly recommend learning to read notes. In the long run you'll be able to play a lot more and learn pieces more quickly. Sight reading becomes possible. Case in point: I have gigantic piles of sheets and I don't play anything more than once per session. I can come back to it ages after and still be able to play it. I can look at sheets and know what a song sounds like without having heard it (useful when you find sheets online and there's no preview; also when you find misplaced pages, sigh). For people like me with short-lived memory, I'd be useless without sheets.

Get a beginner book or look for online lessons. Starting with a keyboard is easier than other instruments. But I don't think many will come across this site if they can't read sheets.

When you're getting started, you might find it helpful to tape the name of the keys onto the piano. Like "F" or "A" or whatever. You'll want to use tape that you can remove after without leaving adhesive! Or get one one of those keyboard pull-out sheets that has a keyboard with labels printed on it. Some digital pianos/keyboards also have displays that will tell you what note you're pressing.

Help me find sheets for a song!

Internet search. Try keywords like "sheet music", "score", and your preferred instrument. And yes, use the quotation marks around "sheet music" when you're searching for sheet music. It searches for that exact phrase instead of "sheet" and "music" separately. Try "transcription" or "arrangement" if you're having trouble. Look up on forums. Check out blogs. Search on YouTube.

I find a lot of sheets off google searches and http://nicovideo.jp. Vocaloid music is significantly more popular in Japan than anywhere else so browsing through Japanese sites really returns a lot more. Helps to set up the Japanese keyboard input. A lot of arrangers have videos posted and link to their sheet music in the descriptions on Nico Nico. There's a good amount on YouTube too.

You do need an account to browse through http://nicovideo.jp but you can search through http://nicozon.net instead. It lets you view videos without having to log in.

Some useful words:

  • 楽譜 gakufu = sheet music
  • ピアノ piano
  • スコア sukoa = score (less used than gakufu)
  • バンド bando = band
  • ギター gita- = guitar (just use the English letters "tab" for tabs)
  • バイオリン baiorin = violin
  • ピアノ譜 pianofu = piano sheet music (rare usage; best stick with the separate words)

Use an online dictionary like jisho.org for more words. You might get a ton of hits, so at least it might be helpful to know that "gakufu" is what you're looking for.

Look up kanji/kana for anime/games/titles, copy + paste that along with gakufu, do some ctrl+f's, et voila. If you're in luck: sheet music galore.

I gots more questions for ya/I'm lonely and wanna chat.

Drop a line in the chat section. If you've ever read my posts, you'll notice right away I like to run my mouth off.