Monday 22 December 2008

What's happening December 2008

With some summer holidays up my sleeve I've grabbed some spare time to do some guitaring...first up I came across a kiwi named Oliver Batchelor who had some responses to my videos, while checking them out I saw "Mad World", and that he had tabbed it.  Man after my own heart!  It was Ulli's version, copied by Sungha, transcribed by Oliver and I though, ah, why not learn a song from a tab!

It's been straight forward, a little tricky to co-ordinate, it's funny how the stuff you work out for yourself is "easy" but the stuff you are playing from a tab is "hard".  Well it's not funny at all really, you arrange your own stuff in your own style, which is what comes naturally to you.

Anyway,  it's played capo at 8th fret, dropped D, which makes for something interesting for sure.  What it has done however is broken my spirit, or something - it has shown me that my guitar is badly intonated.  I've been running fairly high tension strings on it (still coming off steel string), next set will be normal tension.  That should help improve it, but if it doesn't, it will be time to take matters into my own hands.

Problem with intonation on a classical is there is no adjustment at all - playing intonation means filing up bridges and possibly nuts.  I did anticipate the needs for fiddling and grabbed a couple of bone bridge blanks when I bought the guitar.  I need to read up a bit more about it before I start hacking, but the physics of it is quite straight forward...

About a week ago a potential fingerstyle tune popped into the brain, usually these things happen to me in the shower.  Hot water heating the brain up?  Anyway, and old favourite of my missus, Alanis Morisette "Head Over Feet".  I remember the missus buying "Jagged Little Pill" and noticing that one was a glimmer of hope in an album of anger and pain, not to mention it was melodically quite nice.  Never got the headlines like the other songs on the album, until later.  Perhaps when the world had had enough of the anger and needed that hope ;)

Had a noodle last night and whaddaya know, perfectly suited to fingerstyle.  In about 2 hours I had a tab done.  Just gotta learn it now.

How did I get the tab done in 2 hours you say!?

First, I youtubed the song.  Found a nice acoustic version she did a few years back.  Listened to it a few times.  Searched internet for the chords.  Easy.  Couldn't quite pick the melody (have I mentioned my ability to pick a note is really poor?) so I downloaded a midi.  This is a good trick by the way - normally tabs won't ever have the melody.  Why bother, you sing the melody don't you?  But midi files usually have the melody.  Powertab can import midi files and display as tab (you have to choose the correct midi instrument that is playing the melody.  Not always one, not always easy).  Play the melody.  Pick out a bassline, work in some chord strums.  You are there :)

It's is quite hard to play, and I still need to add an outtro, possibly might try to get the harmonica solo in the middle in as well.

I'll probably do a video of it sometime early next year.  Mad world will be soon too, if I can get over the bad intonation that is...


1 comment:

  1. Hi jaw!

    Thanx for all the tabs and vids, very inspiring. Im doing Losing My Religion right now, but got stucked at 0.40. I can play technical song, but my ear suck. And as you wrote, the tabs for that one is kinda rough skeleton.

    Guess its a longshot, but any chance to get a more detailed tab of it?

    I can offer Ullis own tab for Mad World that i got from him for it.. :D