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Old 10-25-2017, 04:21 AM
mistertomlinson mistertomlinson is offline
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Default Please help me! Proofread my sheet music for a tattoo. "Nothing Else Matters"

I know this might be asking a lot, but hopefully some kind, generous guitar players can come to my aid. I'm planning to get a tattoo in a week or so. I want the outro to "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica (homage to my mother, passed away) but my knowledge of sheet music is almost non-existent. In my defense, I started learning to read it a few years ago when taking up piano, but lost patience. I've since bought a couple books on music theory and keep kicking myself for having not read them yet, so it's still something I intend to learn.

The last thing I want is a permanent tattoo that isn't accurate, so I'm posting the hand written outro annotated with my questions as well as the PDF it was copied from. You might notice a couple of small changes to the original and I've discovered a couple more that need to be made. I've since found a couple other notations that look more accurate and answer some of my questions, so I might end up posting another hand written image if I think it'll be helpful.

But if you see ANYTHING that I may have missed or could make ANY improvements, I would be beyond grateful for EVERY response I get. Thanks to anyone who has the time to help me.

I didn't write one of my questions as detailed as I should have. I've seen sheet music that used a 6/8 time signature followed by a 3/8 time signature... and I've seen others that combine the two into a longer 9/8 time signature. Which is correct? Or is either acceptable?

(Ignore the blank measure at the end.)




Last edited by mistertomlinson; 10-25-2017 at 04:28 AM.
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Old 10-25-2017, 06:36 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
The last thing I want is a permanent tattoo that isn't accurate
Let's hope you remain a Metallica fan for the rest of your life too...

Anyway...

1. The little "8" below the clef can be omitted (it should normally be attached to the bottom of the clef if included). It signifies that the guitar clef is an octave below normal concert treble clef (middle C is in 3rd space up), making it technically a kind of "tenor clef". Guitarists know that (or more likely don't care!). If you use a normal treble clef, only other musicians - if they're feeling particularly nerdy - might remark that it's all written in the wrong octave... Question: how much do you care? If you do, just attach the "8" to the bottom of the clef.
"8va" is different, and means "play this passage an octave higher". Assuming that first E is the open 6th string, you don't want 8va.

2. Yes, the "beams" connecting the notes should be bold. (They don't really have to be, but it looks way better if they are.)

3. The beams can slant, but not totally parallel to the noteheads. Strike a tasteful balance between horizontal and in line with the noteheads, on average.

4. Ledger lines should be separate, just as you've drawn them. (The printed notation you've shown is wrong!

5. In that big group, I would lose the first tie, and make the first 16th note a dotted one, i.e. combining the 16th with the first 32nd note. Looks simpler - and a little less pain for you! The "slur" - curved line - can then be single joining all three central notes (dotted 16th and two 32nds).
The dot on the last 16th can be slightly off centre, but not as high as you've shown it. I.e., above the ledger line, but ideally level with the top of the notehead.

6. The time signatures are correct. The notes in the 3/8 bar could all be beamed together (horizontal).
You've put a staccato dot above the last note - is that intentional? (It's not in the printed version.)

7. Instead of the "4x" at the repeat barline, you can just write "Repeat and fade". More resonant and poetic, yes? (That's, like, how life is, yeah? ) Don't forget to remove the empty bar after the repeat barline.

8. Last but not least. I'm going to sound like your granddad, but think seriously about whether this piece of music is really that good that you want it tattooed on your person forever (or at least until you can get it painfully removed....) Personally I just see a bunch of rather dull Em arpeggios with a twiddly bit in the middle. YMMV!


(If I get time, I'll notate it on my Sibelius software to show how it should all look - better than your software! )
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Last edited by JonPR; 10-25-2017 at 06:48 AM.
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:21 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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OK, here you go... Notice the "8" on the clef, and the slopes on the beams.
Also notice the difference in the 4th bar. This is how I hear the rhythm in the original (yes I checked!) - and that's a staccato dot on the last note - while the extra bar at the bottom is how I'd notate the rhythm shown in your version. Take your pick!
I'll leave to you, obviously, to combine the two lines into one if you want.


BTW, you could simplify it (less pain again!). The current version has some unnecessary repetition of information. The last two bars are identical to the first two, and you don't need both pairs. You can't lose the first two bars, because then you miss that pickup note (high B). Likewise,the first bar contains the final note of the melody (top E). But you can keep both first and last melody notes if you cut the first and last bars. I.e. shift both the repeat barlines a bar earlier, and cut the 1st and last bars. Technically, you don't then need the initial repeat bar, because a final one always means "repeat from the beginning".
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Last edited by JonPR; 10-25-2017 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:41 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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OK, here's that truncated version (including the repeat and fade instruction). Trust me, this would sound the same as the original when repeated.

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Old 10-25-2017, 10:30 AM
AndreF AndreF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
OK, here's that truncated version (including the repeat and fade instruction). Trust me, this would sound the same as the original when repeated.

JonPR, I hope mistertomlinson appreciates your posts here, especially with the permanent body markings at stake.
I too listened to the official video, and just tried the last posted notation on my acoustic. It's spot on.
And whoever does the tattoo better not leave out those staccato dots! They are really crucial.

Threads like these, and those replies, are what makes AGF a really unique place.
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  #6  
Old 10-25-2017, 01:11 PM
Guitar Slim II Guitar Slim II is offline
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READ THIS (before you get your tattoo): These examples are all "improperly" scored for guitar. Sorry everyone. The notes may be accurate, but the formatting of the music is not correct...

The problem is stem directions. Bass notes are considered a separate "voice" and are written with stems down. The score should also show bass notes' full sustained duration.

The examples above all appear to be written in a single voice or "layer." They do not show the bass as a separate voice, and do not indicate bass-note duration.

I scored out the first two bars more "properly" in Finale -- but I can't figure out how to upload it or get it to display here. Help me out - or check out any serious, published collection of classical guitar music to see how this is supposed to look.

Voices, stem direction and note duration are all part of a "properly" scored piece of music.

Last edited by Guitar Slim II; 10-25-2017 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 10-25-2017, 02:36 PM
AndreF AndreF is offline
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The problem is stem directions. Bass notes are considered a separate "voice" and are written with stems down. The score should also show bass notes' full sustained duration.
You mean as in this arpeggio example?

You're correct that the above example wouldn't "look right" with stem up.

Does the bass E note in the first measure then need to appear as a dotted half-note in the Metallica piece? It's then no longer a single 1/8th note.

Quote:
I scored out the first two bars more "properly" in Finale -- but I can't figure out how to upload it or get it to display here. Help me out -
You should be able to post it as a normal pic or link to it. (If you want you can send it to me and I'll post it for you. Just pm me.)
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2017, 02:38 PM
SunnyDee SunnyDee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitar Slim II View Post
READ THIS (before you get your tattoo):

I scored out the first two bars more "properly" in Finale -- but I can't figure out how to upload it or get it to display here. Help me out - or check out any serious, published collection of classical guitar music to see how this is supposed to look.

Voices, stem direction and note duration are all part of a "properly" scored piece of music.
It would probably look more interesting graphically, too. Maybe just take a screen shot and upload that as an image? That's what I'd do.
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Old 10-25-2017, 02:45 PM
HHP HHP is offline
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If you want other Metallica fans to recognize it, should probably just have the tablature tattoed on you. And where will you tattoo it so you don't have to spin around for someone to see it?
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Old 10-25-2017, 02:58 PM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitar Slim II View Post
READ THIS (before you get your tattoo): These examples are all "improperly" scored for guitar. Sorry everyone. The notes may be accurate, but the formatting of the music is not correct...

The problem is stem directions. Bass notes are considered a separate "voice" and are written with stems down. The score should also show bass notes' full sustained duration.
Strictly speaking, you're correct. This notation has kind of merged rhythm guitar and lead guitar on one stave (it could just be played by one guitar but I'm fairly sure the original is two). As such I think this reduction is acceptable for the purposes of a tattoo. If you were to separate the melody instrument from the arpeggios, it would be even more complicated.

But by all means prepare the notation as you think it should be. It's up to the OP, of course, if he wants to undergo the extra pain involved!
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Old 10-25-2017, 04:00 PM
Guitar Slim II Guitar Slim II is offline
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Originally Posted by AndreF View Post
You mean as in this arpeggio example?

You're correct that the above example wouldn't "look right" with stem up.

Does the bass E note in the first measure then need to appear as a dotted half-note in the Metallica piece? It's then no longer a single 1/8th note.


You should be able to post it as a normal pic or link to it. (If you want you can send it to me and I'll post it for you. Just pm me.)
Precisely right. Note how the bass notes have stems down, but are also connected to the beams in the treble voice.The single stem down, no flag, indicates quarter note duration — even though it’s also stemmed up to the 16th note beam. This eliminates the need for a 16th rest over each bass note.

For this Metallica tune, dotted half notes in the bass, except for the 3/8 measure, that would be a dotted quarter.
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Old 10-25-2017, 05:40 PM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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On second thoughts, I'm doubtful about that B under the C in bar 3. Not only clashes with the C but wouldn't be an intuitive note in the arpeggio either (top E much more likely). Haven't listened again to check, just saying....

mistertomlinson! Take a listen and be really sure you hear it exactly as written! You don't want some other guitar-playing Metallica fan staring at your tattoo, trying to play it, and shaking his head....
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Old 10-25-2017, 06:25 PM
AndreF AndreF is offline
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Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
On second thoughts, I'm doubtful about that B under the C in bar 3.
I just listened to it again. I think you're right.
To me it sounds like he's just playing the C note without muting the previous open B note. So, just the one note C (on the second beat) would be my guess as to how the notation should read.
(I suppose that's also a good thing relative to the tattoo )
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Old 10-25-2017, 06:39 PM
mistertomlinson mistertomlinson is offline
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You guys are FREA-KING AMAZING! Especially JonPR for really going above and beyond what I expected. It's awesome that I can just go online and ask for help and people I've never met will take the time out of their day to help me with no benefit to be gained. Freaking... awesome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
Let's hope you remain a Metallica fan for the rest of your life too...

Anyway...
1. The nerd in me definitely wants the 8 under the clef. As a guitarist, I like that it signifies the music is for guitar. Now, does it have to be literally attached like in your image or can it hover below like AndreF's image?

6. I did mean to put the staccato in that bar. Unless I am mistaken as to how it should be notated, the duration of that note is short. I thought it was supposed to be there. Also, would you mind explaining why some of your staccato dots aren't centered? What exactly does it mean?

7. "Repeat and Fade" does look nicer than "4x."

8. As for the permanency of the tattoo and possible regret down the road, my precondition to getting a tattoo is that it be meaningful enough that I never regret it and this meets that criteria. Honestly, I'm not even a Metallica fan anymore. And while I do like the song, it's not my appreciation for the song that prompts me get it tattooed permanently on my body (although "permanent" is debatable considering laser removal. While expensive and painful, it IS an option. Though in all seriousness, I know having a tattoo won't actually have a material impact on my life. They are much more acceptable nowadays and the stigma less significant).

My reason for getting the tattoo is because I learned to play this as a teenager and my mom always enjoyed listening to it, despite not being a Metallica fan. She would actually request I play it for her from time to time. She would always tell me she wanted me to play it at her funeral for everyone. But because I get stage fright and choke pretty easily when I play for people and considering the emotional ramifications of losing your mom, I told her I wouldn't do it... and I didn't. So, I thought it apropos to get the outro tattooed instead. It's a tattoo I'll never regret. Trust me, I've been thinking about this since she died 4 years ago and I've finally decided there aren't really any compelling reasons not to do it. I know... it's permanent. I know... there's a stigma, but neither of these really matter. They won't meaningfully impact my life. Plus, it's not a skull with a cobra wrapped around it. It's tasteful. (I also plan to get it touched up as often as necessary as I hate the way faded, green tattoos look). Also, I don't intend to tell anyone but family what the song is, so I don't actually want anyone to recognize it. That's just for me.

In your notation, what does the 3 above the notes in the 4th bar signify? Also, in that same bar, I'm realizing, shouldn't that third chord be staccato as well? So, both examples for the 4th bar are acceptable and neither is the "right" one? I can pick either?

As for cutting the 1st and last bars and changing the repeat symbols, would doing it the other way be incorrect? The problem with removing bars is I actually need it to be long as it's going on the inside of my arm so I'd like it run almost the entire length of it. Would that still be acceptable?

Also, the B and C in bar 3 are correct. He plays that open B a few times where it almost doesn't seem to belong. I actually think that's one of the revisions I need to make. I think I left one or two out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitar Slim II View Post
READ THIS (before you get your tattoo): These examples are all "improperly" scored for guitar. Sorry everyone. The notes may be accurate, but the formatting of the music is not correct...
So, if I had the correct stem on the bass notes to indicate the notes' duration, would everything else be left the same as JonRP notated? Actually, they would be whole notes, right? So they wouldn't have stems but be hollow instead?
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:23 PM
Guitar Slim II Guitar Slim II is offline
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Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
Strictly speaking, you're correct. This notation has kind of merged rhythm guitar and lead guitar on one stave (it could just be played by one guitar but I'm fairly sure the original is two). As such I think this reduction is acceptable for the purposes of a tattoo. If you were to separate the melody instrument from the arpeggios, it would be even more complicated.

But by all means prepare the notation as you think it should be. It's up to the OP, of course, if he wants to undergo the extra pain involved!
Sorry but I must disagree. I am a composer and arranger, and have a degree in film scoring. And I can tell you, musicians who actually read music expect a score to do it's full job, including conveying this very important musical data about note durations and musical functions. Leaving it out just tells me the arranger or transcriber is not experienced. (It also tells me he might be using a guitar TAB program that isn't fully functional as scoring software ). )

The OP is taking great pains to get it right. And what he has now is not right. A pianist or a classical guitarist would notice...

Last edited by Guitar Slim II; 10-25-2017 at 07:57 PM.
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