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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
HI Everyone

I found a piano piece from a movie that I really liked. Because I can't play the piano that well yet, I decided to play it on guitar. My challenge is that I'm not one of those guitar gurus who can finger tap the bass line with their left hand and finger tap the melody with their right hand. Instead, I'm limited to fretting chord shapes with my left hand and finger picking with my right hand (ie. the traditional way of playing a guitar). As such, whenever the music sheet suggests that the bass line is about to make a wide movement that covers more than 1 or 2 octaves on the piano, I will instead transpose it to just 1 octave on the guitar, that way I can either a) not have to spread my left hand more than 5 frets just to cover the notes I need or b) make use of some of the open strings. On the melody line, I will try to stay consistent with the octave that the music sheet implies -- that is, I want the melody line to be as close to the original sound as possible, but I am willing to cheat with the bass line to make it more playable.

For example, I circled two parts in this image:
Rectangle Font Line Parallel Slope


Notice I circled the B-G. On my guitar, I am playing those two notes 1 octave higher than instructed.
Notice I circled the D. On my guitar, I am playing that note 1 octave higher than instructed.

I've done stuff like this elsewhere in the score...whatever to make it more playable for myself and still sounds ok to my untrained ears.

I think casual listeners probably won't care what I did. But I recently heard a discussion that voice-leading is a multi-year lesson in most music graduate school, and that there are lot of strict rules to follow. So my question is, will experienced musicians who some day might listen to me play say, "Hey, you can't do that! That is wrong! You violated principles 1, 2, 3, 4 etc... If you do this type of contrary motion, it must be this many octaves or something."

For referenec, this is the original score that I'm trying to get through

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EDIT
One issue I'm trying to avoid is having the bass line overlap the same notes as the melody line. SO far I found ways around this...but I can imagine if I do this octave change process to keep them bass and melody closer together for play-ability, then I could be running into more of these problems.
 

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Short answer: No, it's not "cheating".

You do what you can with solo guitar. Even if you use techniques like fretboard tapping with the right hand, or make use of alternate tunings or extended range guitars, you're still going to run into limitations. If that means shifting the melody up or down an octave, so be it.

It's more about leaving an overall impression of the piece rather than 100% accuracy.
 

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You aren’t cheating, you are just choosing not to be an asshole like John Mayer or Eric Clapton to impress 56 year old virgins.

The simplest method of delivery is sometimes all that is needed. Unless you want to spend 7 years mastering a set of Jazz chords that translate into inverted open chords lol.
 

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That's not cheating: it's arranging.
Yep. A piano arrangement is one person's take on how the piece should go on piano. If what you play is still recognizable and musically satisfying then you're fine.

The "rules" of harmony and counterpoint are actually descriptions of how music was played by musicians somewhere and sometime. They're very useful to know but they remain descriptions of musical practice and not rules that will render your rendition wrong if not obeyed.
 
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