Van Halen - Big Bad Bill, clarinet part

• Feb 14, 2017 - 04:38

I'm trying to write Van Halen - Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now) for the clarinet part and I don't know how to make one of these dashed line things with a 1/2; let alone play it either (On measure 9).…


Read this:

1.) Palette → Articulations & Ornaments → bend-palette.png . Apply this to the first note.

2.) Click the applied bend symbol and the properties button in the Inspector: Change it to a half rather than full-step:

3.) The extra line extending over the tied and next note isn't a normal bend property, but it visually gives an extra cue to play the following 7th fretted note while still not letting go of the previous bend. This means you'll need to adjust accordingly if the instrument you're translating into can't bend. To keep the notation, use a regular line from the palette and change its line style to dashed. Also, if you right click the line and press Line Properties, you can check "Hook" for the end section. If you want it to look exactly like the score, you might need to use a staff text for the ending character from a complex font that has a solid hook. Freeserif has ┐for example.

Those symbols are only used for guitar, though. If you are writing for clarinet, you should use one of the symbols in the Arpeggios & Glissandos palette.

Yeah, maybe to say it in a slightly different way:

“Your purpose, here, is not to try to re-create the guitar-part on the clarinet, but rather to develop a clarinet(!) part that will genuinely add to the overall musical experience for the audience in that unnamed Symphony Hall.

In reply to by nonpareil

You seem to want to put what you are doing on paper, so lets look at what is normal. Since you play clarinet, what do you expect the music to show you to play the part properly? The dashed lines look like the bends that have been discussed so far. This is not normal woodwind notation. Perhaps a series of glissandi (or perhaps protamento) would look better with the bends hidden in another voice to make the playback more realistic. I'm a sax player so I'm trying to understand.

In reply to by mrobinson

If a clarinet can "bend" notes, which it can based on some quick research, then the 1/2 bend symbol is still usable imho. Glissandos will work fine of course, but if people can get away with telling a pianist to use a gliss, then you can get away with using a bend symbol for a clarinet :) The point being that even if you were to keep the line for the reasons stated (keep the bend then strike/breathe the note again) for the original guitar part, a decent clarinet player who reads music would still be able to interpret this and play it properly: Play this note, bend up a 1/2 step, then play that note again at that bended tone. To be safe though, a glissando with no "line+hook" followed by the next note being notated one half-step up instead of the original under the line would require less "interpretation" and is probably more standard for Clarinet parts as Marc pointed out. You'll have to judge for yourself what you want to do.

In reply to by worldwideweary

The 1/2 bend symbol et al *can*be used for clarinet, sure, but in fact they are not. Other symbols are used to notate bends for clarinet - or indeed all instruments except guitars. So if you want the music readable by anyone else, best not to use guitar-specific notation in the clarinet parts. Pianists see glissandi all the time, there is no nothing ubexpected about it. But clarinet players never normally see that particular bend symbol - they see *different* bend symbols.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

While we're on topic, how does a clarinetist differentiate between a gliding of discrete tones quickly as in what the glissando signifies for a pianist, a rapid succession of tones, versus a continuous bending like in this half-tone bend for guitar notation? Is there a way to distinguish clearly between the continuous versus discrete forms? There's a big difference in expressing a continual bend rather than that crisp rapid ascent/descent like a stream of crushed notes.

In reply to by worldwideweary

Realistically, it's a judgement call on the player's part - there's not a foolproof way of notating one versus the other. Some might say the wave line means fingered, a straight line mean bend pitches, but there would be plenty of examples of music originally notated one way but traditionally player the other.

FWIW, supposedly the original intend in Rhapsody in Blue was fingered, but the clarinet player on the original performance decided to bend it, and Gershwin liked it. Or so the story goes anyhow. Not sure where I heard that...

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hrm. Maybe a "continuous" or "discrete" expression would work for clarification in the case of dealing with an instrument that can perform both ways, or using a "key" defining the waved vs. straight lined gliss.
P.S. Most piano transcriptions I've seen of good ol' Rhaps in Blue omit the gliss. and get explicit with 64th notes. Either way, good luck to the OP with playing V.Halen on the Clarinet.

“Frankly, My Dear™ ...” ...

expect to.”

The [electric] guitar, in any modern band, is “an amplified string which feeds god-knows-what downstream electronics.”   Meanwhile, a clarinet is ... what it always has been.   In composing a proper part for it, you perhaps have no stronger ally than your very own ear.   “What sounds good to you?”   What’s going to make that woodwind player proud to play your part, even as ... well ... “as Eddie™ Does what only Eddie [Van Halen®] does?”

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