I'd like to ask for help about figuring out the exact "fingerpicking path" of a song played with a guitar. I think I figured out most of it by listening to and watching a live recording but it's not quite right yet.

So I went to the help page, "What topics can I ask about here? section", in order to find out if this type of question is on topic here and this is what I found:

[...] if you have a question about...

  • technical analysis of a specific, complete work, or well defined section thereof

[...] and is not about...

  • transcription of specific works, including identifying notes/chords/meters/other elements in songs

Since those two sentences look a bit contradictory, I'd like to know whether I can or cannot ask this question.

  • I think one criterion that could help explain where the line is drawn is whether a good answer to your question would be useful for other people or mainly useful to you. This does mean that questions about works considered more meaningful or archetypal are more likely to be favored over questions about obscure music. Jan 21 '17 at 5:03
  • @ToddWilcox I think every answers to a question about transcribing a piece can be really useful to anyone trying trascribing the very same piece of music. So i don't think that's a criteria, at least for this particular site.
    – user36102
    Jan 21 '17 at 13:06
  • The policies of this site can be changed by the decision of the community... you are welcome to suggest on meta that the policy is changed but I suspect the idea would not find much support.
    – topo morto
    Jan 24 '17 at 23:35
  • "...anyone transcribing the very same piece of music..." I think the assumption behind the policy is that very few people will want to transcribe most music. Jan 27 '17 at 11:57
  • @ToddWilcox There's a lot more to it than that. There are legal issues attached to hosting transcriptions as they are copywritten works and hosting them can be viewed as a type of redistribution of the original. Also transcriptions are a good source of work for trained musicians and helping people learn it will make them better musicians rather than just giving them the notes.
    – Dom Mod
    Jan 29 '17 at 21:44
  • @Dom the very same fingerpicking pattern/techniques are used in hundred of thousand of songs so maybe it's I who is unable to find out which one it is. This would fit the <What technique helps me play this song?" is a good question and "What are the chords for this song?" is not.> sentence found in one of your link. Without knowing the exact question how would you know?
    – user36102
    Jan 30 '17 at 17:08
  • @mahatma if you are having trouble with the technique that's a different question then "what is the pattern in this song" or "what are the notes of this song". We're always open to helping out if your having trouble with a techniques.
    – Dom Mod
    Jan 30 '17 at 17:29
  • @Dom so, do you think that posting a youtube video and asking if the guitar is playing a recognizable fingerpicking pattern would be acceptable?
    – user36102
    Jan 30 '17 at 17:43

It's a transcription question so it will fall under the "is not about" section. The difference between the two is distinct.

We want analysis questions which is represented by the first bullet point, but not transcription questions represented by the second bullet point. In transcription you are just saying what is there. If you had the sheet music you would just know by looking at it. For analysis you need to look at what's there and look at it on a deeper level.


I think you are confusing the "technical analysis of a ... work" with the technical analysis of a performance, or rather the performance practice of a specific work.

Maybe others will disagree, but when I see the phrase "technical analysis of a ... work", I think of music theory: form, harmony, etc - not performance practice.

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