Saturday 27 December 2014

"Get Back" Video

I've just uploaded "Get Back" by The Beatles, I thought I'd take a moment to discuss the video process, maybe it will save you some time, I learnt a few new things while creating it.

"Get Back" fitted nicely into my current standard arranging style, it's somewhat difficult to play, but worked out well.  I'm pleased with the arrangement.  If you are new to fingerstyle guitar check out how do I get into fingerstyle? As for arranging songs to fingerstyle, check my previous posts such as Arrangement concepts or Can you arrange a song for me? or How far do you take your arrangements?

I wanted to mix up some creativity with technology, I go through spurts of trying out "the fancy new stuff" and putting a bit extra into my video productions.  Generally, fancy new stuff and a bit extra in video means only one thing - a lot of time.  Quite a lot of time.  Extra time spent recording, organising, producing and waiting for processing.  So what's new this time around, why did I spend so much time?
  • Got a bit dressed up.  As part of Movember, which I have been doing for a long time now, I dyed my hair (and moustache, and eyebrows) black.  Well, okay, it's not dressed up, kinda.
  • I recorded in the spirit of The Beatles Rooftop Concert - I played guitar standing up (which I never do), amplified, on a balcony.
  • I recorded 6 different angles, with the help of my oldest daughter on the camera.  Yes, each was a separate play through, I don't have six cameras.
  • ...but I do have two cameras, and I used them paired to be able to create a 3D video.
  • I spent some time learning yet another video editing package, my usual VirtualDub video editor of choice isn't a multi-scene editor.  I produced two videos - a 2D and a 3D.
So the video recording - I played through 6 times, keeping on tempo even when I botched it (Play through your mistakes).  Which I do a bit when playing standing up.  I don't like to play standing up.  But by playing on tempo and never dropping a beat, the later editing should be easier.  HOWEVER - unless you are playing to a metronome (which would sound forced), you aren't ever going to be able to exactly synchronise one video with another.  So what that meant was each "camera angle change" in the video I had to carefully synchronise with the audio track.  And yes, each "camera angle change" didn't synchronise perfectly, they drifted.  There were three ways I dealt with that - first, I would line the video to the audio slightly ahead or behind and end up slightly behind or ahead - but the bulk of the scene was close to synchronised.  Secondly, I would only use a length of time where it was pretty close to synchronised.  Surprisingly, I was finding 20-25 seconds of playing that perfectly synchronised to audio.  Thirdly - fool the eye.  If it looks like it is synchronised, then that is fine!

What about the audio?  No, I didn't use any audio from the day.  It was all home studio recorded (okay, my kitchen table).  Not only was it not live, I recorded the audio a month after I recorded the video!  Not only that, the audio was bits and pieces from about 6 different takes!  Why oh why JAW would you fool us like this?  Look I'm not fooling you.  In the video, yep, it's me playing.  The audio, also me playing.  All real.  But both were riddled with imperfections.  It is a hard song to play, I've only been playing it for about five or six months.  I wanted it to look and sound pretty cool, so I went a lot further in capturing video and audio than I normally would.  I didn't aim for absolute perfection (impossible) - you will hear plenty of missed notes, fret buzz, and I can clearly see some places where I played a wrong note in the video but miraculously the audio is correct.  I just wanted it to look and sound pretty cool.

3D is an interesting thing.  I have two cameras which I welded up a bracket to connect them together - one camera records the left eye, one records the right eye.  From previous experience the cameras are too wide to be side by side, that tends to "overdrive" the 3D depth.  To reduce the distance between the lenses, I mounted the cameras bottom to bottom.  This gave a separation of about 80mm - I was after 65mm, but this was better than the previous 120mm.  Not many humans have an eye separation of 120mm...

This introduced a problem - the footage was tall and narrow.  I still wanted it to be a normal wide screen video.  So, I rotated the videos, and cropped them hard, sadly throwing away most of the picture, to be 4:3. That means it's not full HD video, which I kinda like.  Oh well.  I then had to further crop the videos to "align" the left eye and right eye.  In my experimentation with 3D video I found you should find a point of interest - something in the middle around the centre point of focus - and crop the videos so that point is at the same x,y location in both the videos.  This helps make up for the too wide lens spacing and any alignment error in the camera mount.  Light physics takes care of the rest - the left and right videos have an outlook that creates the spacial difference that your brain translates to depth. Your brain doesn't seem to be too fussy - the variety of distances and angles it has dealt with (tilt your head - depth perception still works!) I guess means it's prepared to accept - it wants to accept - most stereo inputs and turn them to a depth image.

Putting the images side by side via software (more synchronising - this time synchronising left eye video feed with right eye) will create a "standard distributable" 3D video.  Then chop them up and match them to the audio. It seems like putting two HD video streams side by side (3840x1080 pixels) is too much for most systems to bear in 2014, whereas reducing the width by half (1920x1080) seems to be accepted by most 3D playback systems.  The 2D video is simply one half of the original video.

I haven't worked out the deal with Youtube and 3D videos, so I uploaded both the 3D and 2D one.  I'd hoped that Youtube would automatically play the correct video based on your playback system, but I haven't worked out how, if it even exists.

I've plenty more to say about the creation of the video, if you need more information about some part of the process drop me a comment.  Until then, check out the 2D or the 3D  video!

Get Back
Get Back - 3D 


Thursday 4 December 2014

After a lesson, the boys light up

Since the "issue" from the other day, I found another couple of hours I could spend with the guitar.  A quick test to see if I could re-record some audio, nah, "tone" won't be back for another week.  So, what have I got to work on?  Hmm...

I've been asked by several people after playing "Reckless" "Do you know any other Australian Crawl?"  I don't.  My mate Jono, when we catch it usually ends in a few beers, maybe a whiskey or two, he sings and I play guitar.  Last session he was super keen for more Crawl, particularly "The Boys Light Up". "I have the whole internet here on my phone, let's look up the chords."  After strumming, with some embellishment, I mentally noted it was a good fingerstyle candidate.

So here I am, "The Boys Light Up"

First challenge was putting the chords into fingerstyle - Bm, G, A.  Pretty much the entire song.  Hey, it's 80's Aussie Pub Rock, keep it simple.  I didn't like the idea of having to do stuff while hanging onto a Bm, so I shifted it down two steps to Am, F, G.  Better, I could work with that.  It is a seriously backbeat song, which made it both challenging and interesting.  I developed a pattern quickly, bass-pick-rest-pick, similar to my current standard, but with a rest instead of body slap.

Harmonica solo at the start.  I pulled apart a midi file I found on the internet for ideas for the whole song, there wasn't much in it but the harmonica solo was pretty clear.  It went easily onto the pattern.  No problems there.  The verses were slightly problematic, 'ole Reyney sings pretty radical (nobody has deciphered some of his lyrics) and the melody was difficult for me to work out.  But it seemed essentially in chords so I just winged it, trying to sing it in my head.

Sadly still, the melody is midrange, which puts it smack bang in the backbeat chord fragments I was going for.  If it was up high you can put it up there out of the way, but in the middle, again, makes it more challenging.  The whole song being down two steps from Bm to Am it also sounded "flat".  Capo on the second fret, ha ha, back to normal, still with open chords, yah!

There are a lot of lyrics in the verse structure, which makes it kinda boring for fingerstyle.  So I aimed for "variation" to not bore the audience too much.  There's a little bridge which follows the verse structure which is signature for the song and very cool, then it is chorus, which is same as verse.

It was just about a wrap!  A nice easy one, bit of interest, very simple phrases to remember.  I was sad to put aside some of the groovy bass and distorted guitar, which didn't immediately fit, but I slipped in a nice bend on the beat before the start of the main phrases which made up a little bit for the loss of the groovy bass.

Not my best work, but an easy three minute song to fit into the repertoire, and it is 80's Aussie Pub Rock, a personal fave.

Here, have a listen to the demo I just recorded:

Never heard the song?  I love this super-early recording where they stuffed up the backbeat for the first 20 seconds, even Reyney looks back "what the heck are you doing?"

Or, much more recently, and this one has cowbell!

Learn a lesson again. And again.

It's a familiar situation.  In all aspects of life.  But we do it to ourselves over and over again.

It started after having recorded footage for a new video on the weekend.  I'd put in a bit of effort - I recorded myself from various angles playing the same song so that I could splice pieces together from each angle.  To make a cool video.  It's a bit of an epic to compile the video as you could imagine, but one of the key issues is that each time you play it you won't play it at exactly the same speed.  One way around that is play to a beat, which makes my playing a bit stiff, the other way is to record a good clean audio track and compile the video carefully so that everything appears to synchronise.  You generally will only vary in speed slightly, so you can make 10-15 seconds worth of video appear to synchronise with the audio.

So I had the footage, which was recorded outdoors so none of the audio was clean enough, I needed the audio track.

One night during the week I had about two hours free to record the audio.  I sat down, set up the microphone and started playing. Take 1.  Take 2.  Take 3.  Take 4.  I wasn't liking any of them.  Change approach - record smaller sections of the song until I get each one bit right at a time, and then piece it together later.  I really dislike doing that, it is much better to get it all in one take.  It sounds more natural and is a lot less audio editing.

Looking back I was actually playing it nicely, I was after perfection, so nice wasn't good enough.  Because I had limited time, I put pressure on myself.  Each take I could feel my arm/hand muscles starting to clamp up - I wasn't relaxed - and each take was getting faster and faster tempo.  That generally happens to me when I'm not relaxed, I play faster.  It's a shame, because I call that a beginners trait, I should know better.  Still haven't got that beginners trait out of me after all these years.

And to top it all off, I am attacking the guitar.  Digging right in, getting a huge sound.  Sure, the guitar sounds full and crisp, but I know "it's not working."

"Whoa, it's like, music, man.  You've gotta let it flow, relax, and like, let it come to you man."  Perhaps I should have started the session with a tasty glass of liquid muscle relaxant.

And then, still playing too fast, too hard, in pieces rather than the full song, I cracked my index fingernail.  Diagonally across, right down to the base.  Cleaned it up with the clippers, basically nothing left.  Picked up the guitar, that crisp sound I get with a bit of fingernail was reduced to a mellow, kinda dull tone.

"Well that sucks."  I pack up guitar, it's all over.  Nothing recorded.  Feel tense and unsatisfied.  It will take about two weeks to grow fingernail out again.  I knew it wasn't working, but I put the pressure on myself to make it work.  And then it didn't work, and worse, resulted in a a setback.

Another lesson learnt.  One that I already knew.  Learn it again!


Sunday 9 November 2014

Get Back Experiment^3

I'm still practicing The Beatles "Get Back", it's basically ready for recording, but I decided to embrace the fad future and try some 3D video.  So if you are 3D playback equipped (or even if you aren't) have a look at this:

From a 3D point of view there are two main problems - the 3D depth is too deep, it comes across as artificial to me.  On my playback equipment there is also ghosting of the right eye on the left eye, and a little bit the other way around.  The depth problem is related to how I created the 3D, I haven't yet worked out the ghosting problem. I currently suspect it is crosstalk as a result of the over-depth 3D.

How did I do it? Yep, two cameras side by side, recording left eye and right eye.  Then a bit of synchronisation and cropping in VirtualDub.  Then putting them side by side using AVISynth.  Finally synchronising the audio from the microphone in Virtualdub.  YouTube takes the 3840x1080 file (ie two HD videos side by side) and does what it needs to do so you can see it in it's full 3D glory.  There is the problem, two cameras side by side, the spacing should be eye distance.  My two cameras side by side are a bit too wide apart even when touching.  Your eye will resolve it as 3D, but it's a bit weird.  Some thought will be required there.

From an audio point of view, it's rough.  It's cool, but rough.  When I do record it for proper I will ensure the recording is nicer, even if I have to resort to overdubbing/punch in.  Ah, they joys of editing digital audio.

So drop me a line and comment on audio and 3D - did one of the embedded videos work better than the other?


Monday 3 November 2014

What's happening November 2014

One again I have signed up for "Movember", it's the only time of the year my family (begrudgingly) puts up with facial hair.  Last year in addition to the Mo, I also got wifey to dye my hair/mo/eyebrows dark brown.  I actually quite liked it...I'll ask her to do that again.  So at the end of the month, when I'm looking fresh out of the '70s, I'll record a video of "Get Back" by The Beatles, in Beatles costume.  I've pretty much nailed what I wanted to do with the song, so it is ready to go.  I was also thinking I'll record it Rooftop Concert style, to break up the monotony of me sitting in a bare room on a chair belting out tunes...

Meanwhile, Shaun Street of after seeing me at his open mic has been discussing getting me on his list of performers for corporate gigs.  Which is pretty cool - it won't be quite as family friendly as the predictable permanent weekly gig I previous had - but seeing as I don't currently have a permanent weekly gig, I like the idea of doing something.

It would seem appearance is important.  "You can't overdress for a corporate gig", so looks like I will need to dust off my suit.  Interestingly, and comically, Shaun mentioned "If you want to wear a hat that's cool, musos wear hats."  I'm sure he didn't mean it but I translated that to "maybe cover up your balding gray head" - ha ha.  I remember for a while there Adam Rafferty was wearing an Ivy Cap in all his videos - he is balder and grayer than me.  But of late, he seems to have embraced his male pattern baldness and his videos are now cap-free.

I do like hats though.  I'm thinking maybe a subtle Trilby.


Thursday 2 October 2014

Open Mic October 2014

It had been a dry spell for gigs, I hadn't been away with work for around four months, so I started looking for a new one.  Just cruising the Internet, to see if there was anything going on nearby.  I was quite pleased to find that a tavern near to where I live was hosting Open Mic nights!  I contacted the organiser and he was happy to fit me into a spot, which I played last night.

What's an Open Mic you say?

Just that - a microphone, that is open to anyone who wants to use it.  Generally they will be set up with all the sound system you need, just bring along your instrument and plug in (and sing if you can...)  They are an excellent first step to getting out there and performing.  Polish up your best pieces, find your nearest open mic, and get down there for a slot.

I've been aware of open mic sessions around my town for a while, but the one that I was thinking of going had put me off, they only allowed original material, no covers.  So I'd never pursued any.  The advantage of the open mic over finding your own regular gig is that everything is there set up for you, just plug in and the organiser will set you up.  You don't have to be a professional musician, it's about having a go.  It's also ad-hoc, get a slot whenever you like that the organiser can fit you in.  The disadvantage is that it isn't paid (ha ha) and you only get a short slot (45 mins in my case) whereas I have about 2-3 hours of material.


I surprised myself at how anxious I was. Being up on a stage with bright hot lights in my face, plugged into a big PA system (biggest I have ever played through) with just a small foldback to know what I was doing.  I butchered a couple of songs ("what is wrong with you stupid fingers!" he thinks to himself) but I relaxed into it and played at least 5 or 6 songs at a good performance level.  When I was flicking and slapping the body I was concerned - the big PA subwoofer was pounding out a thump, reflecting off the back wall straight back at me and it sounded out of balance.  But Shaun (the organiser) assured me that wasn't what the audience was hearing.  I like being able to hear exactly what the audience is hearing, so I can play to that sound.  So I felt out of control.  But sometimes it is good to let go of control and trust in others.

There was maybe 20-30 people in the audience, which I found out afterwards that half of them were regulars on the stage too - a ha, so it's a "scene"!  The location isn't exactly Central Artsville, so it isn't currently attracting avid listeners of amateur musicians.  But you know what - a couple of people in the audience "got" what I was doing, and that is enough for me.

After the performance I spoke to a couple who do regular open mics and other musician get together things, and they gave me more insight into what/where/who.  I also spoke to Shaun for a while about what he does - he's a musician/teacher/manager, does gigs, manages some bands, runs two open nights, fills gig bookings.  He is an amiable chap, obviously loves everything about music and the scene and gets behind everybody in it.  He asked if I had cards/photos/setlist, occasionally he gets asked for my kind of gig - just one bloke playing background instrumental covers of well known and popular music.  That's what I would like to do, from time to time nice little gigs, but I have a busy day job and wifey and kids that I want to spend time with.  It's all about priorities huh?

So overall it was good fun, I enjoyed it.  Will definitely do it again.  I watched some of the other acts, there was a boy on before me singing over backing tracks, wow, I wish I had that sort of confidence, he was hitting Jackson 5 type high notes and all - not my cup of tea, but great job!  A guy on after me was playing heavy distorted guitar covers and singing, with backing instruments, a serious rocker from way back obviously knows what he is doing and was pretty good at it, again, not my cup of tea but great job!  After him was a duo, a chic singing and a bloke on guitar.  All original stuff, man they had put some serious work and effort into it from the looks of things.  And it came across great.  I even remembered one of their songs, "Hindsight", a catchy groovy piece.  Well done!  I bailed out before the final act which would have been good to see, a trio.  Next time.


Monday 25 August 2014

A look into progress on "Get Back"

I owed you all a video talking through an arrangement, so since I'm still playing around with "Get Back" I recorded this after doing a successful take of "Heart of Gold" for YouTube. I put the camera in autofocus (new camera) and it hunted around for focus a lot which is quite annoying, my apologies. I didn't spend a lot of time in post production, sorry if the content and the continuity is a bit poor. As always, I'm rambly and sometimes don't make sense, I really should plan my videos before I hit the record button. One day, when I'm good at it, and I make instructional DVDs for a living hey! :-)



Sunday 3 August 2014

What's happening August 2014

It's been a quiet couple of months on the guitar front.  No gigs, no new songs, barely playing at all.  I would of course play the guitar all day if I could, but my life is too full :-)

I have however been slightly addicted to "Get Back", it's such a rollickily grooving tune, when I have had a moment to play I'm assembling it.  I recently purchased a little tripod to put my microphone on whilst recording vidoes, I thought I'd try it out by making another rough recording of the song - the microphone is right up next to my right hand pointing at the soundhole.  It didn't make a lot of difference, other than there is a lot less background noise recorded.  (Although a little birdy recording bombed at the end!)

So here is the next stage in the progression of the development of my arrangement for "Get Back", Enjoy!


Monday 26 May 2014

Camp and 10,000 hours

When I'm at the current remote site that I'm working at, if I'm not building junky bikes out of parts I find in the rubbish bin and riding them around then I am playing guitar.  Usually, sitting with the lads have a quiet beer. It's during these times random songs tend to jump into my head. Yeah, I should be working on my staples, but once a song get right into my head it's hard to let it go. On a general evening playing I'll get requests, so I look up chords and improvise a fingerstyle arrangement, and discover that some songs work really well.

The first is a great song that I've loved for years, but never took it on. Now I have taken it on. The Tab is nearly finished, my playing is starting to smooth out, Heart of Gold by Neil Young. I've kept it pretty low down on the guitar instead of the big full Em7 and D for the theme riff, just kinda brings the tone down a little bit. Enjoying this one, it's a keeper. It fell into my standard bass-two-slap-four fingerstyle, with hand down low against the fact all three of these did...hey, the style is working for me at the moment!

Get Back - The Beatles. We all know it, we all respect it. I've never attempted it. Why? Who knows. This is still conceptual, there are a few signature riffs I need to add, no tab started, let's chuck it out there hey? :

This one, just appeared on the guitar from nowhere. One of the lads said, "Are you playing What a Feeling by Irene Cara?", and, embarrassed, I replied, "Umm, yes, but you recognised it!" I remembered Naudo has a cover of this song on youtube, and had a listen later. I think I am developing Naudo skills, just nowhere near as intricate and brilliant. But this was such an easy song to do at a basic level I may as well finish it, and let's face it, it's good fun 80's:

Speaking of Naudo skills, once again I was asked by someone who hadn't heard me play before - "how long have you been playing?" My standard answer is "36 years* so I should be better!" But it got me thinking, how many hours have I spent playing the guitar? The widely quoted "10,000 hours of practise to become an expert at anything" was interesting. From these three tunes, each of which I spent between 1 and 2 hours playing to get to this starting but reasonable level, I felt that I'm actually getting pretty good at fingerstyle arranging and playing. But had I done 10,000hrs in my guitar life?

I did a very quick and probably quite inaccurate summary of my guitar life, which looked a little like this:

Age   Point in life       Average Time   Hours
7-10  School lessons      4 hrs/week     832
11-14 Some lessons        2 hrs/week     416
15-18 Playing Electric    5 hrs/week     1040
19-22 University          3 hrs/week     624
23-27 Start Working life  1 hr/week      260         
28-31 Onto steel string   3 hrs/week     468
32-34 Song writing phase  5 hrs/week     780
35-38 Youtube Covers      6 hrs/week     1248
39-43 Nylon Fingerstyle   4 hrs/week     1040
Total:  36 years                        6708 hours

This number was quite pleasing. I haven't done 10,000 hours, but I'm doing okay. I am reminded that when I first discovered Naudo I was 37, and he was 47. It's been 6 years and I'm still way off his talent, but I've come a long way, and it feels good :)


* Current age subtract 7, which in 2014 is 36 years.

Sunday 30 March 2014

DSOTM update

Never to go away, my Dark side of the Moon fingerstyle arrangement/cover is medium warm active at the moment.  One thing that has re-sparked the interest is the many full album covers of Dark Side of the Moon I have been listening to over the past few months, while driving or doing really tedious database work.  Let me give a summary of what I have studied so far:

Listened to more than once:
  • Easy All Stars - "Dub Side of the Moon".  Reggae, really well done.  Have listened to more than ten times.  Note there is also "Dubber Side of the Moon", I found that one too hardcore, more house music than reggae.
  • The Flaming Lips - "Dark Side of the Moon".  Psychedelic/Alternate Rock.  Took me a while to "get it", but it has become good stuff for me.  A few songs didn't work, but overall, two thumbs up.
  • Poor Mans Whiskey - "Dark Side of the Moonshine".  Bluegrass cover.  The voilinist -oops- "fiddler" and banjo players are great.  Surprisingly well done, and you can actually listen to it more than once, it's silly but still musical and pays tribute.
  • Dream Theater - "Dark Side of the Moon".  Only just makes this list, a bit too close to the original, but was well done.
  • "Return to Dark Side of the Moon".  Hit and miss - various artists, some with great covers, others not so much, worth a listen though.  Time/Breathe Reprise I really liked.
  • "Moon8" - Brad Smith.  NES (yes, Nintendo) cover.  Well done, cheesy, some really impressive touches considering the limitations of the NES, but you know what, I've listened to it a few times.
  • "Dark Side of the Moon" - Roger Waters live in 2007.  I didn't like his singers much but you can't argue with The Man.  Worth a listen or two.
  • "Dark Side of the Moon" - Pink Floyd 1974.  A recording of a live show at Wembley Stadium.  Really good insight into what they were doing with the album after it was recorded and they took it on the road.  Great stuff.
Listened to only once:
  • The Squirrels - "Not-So-Bright Side of the Moon".  Aiming for comedy, but started to come over as a piss-take.  Didn't like it.
  • Out of Phase - "Dark Side of the Moon". Slightly Ambient, I wasn't a fan.
  • "Any Colour You Like" with Alan Parsons.  Old school rock feel, not bad, but the sound recording is too dodgy.  A little bit hacky in the singing and guitar department as well.
  • Trance Remix "Dark Side of the Moon".  Just couldn't get into trance style.
  • "The Moon Revisited".  It was okay, but I didn't feel the need to listen to it again.
  • Phish - "Dark Side of the Moon". Again okay, but only listened to once.
  • String Quartet - "Dark Side of the Moon".  Look it was true to form, it was just what you'd expect from a string quartet.  I guess it's not my thing, I was hoping for more "DSOTM" than "string quartet".
  • "Dark Side of the Moon a Capella".  Yeah, nah.
  • "Dark Side of the Moon" Acoustic.  I didn't like it.  The guitar work and the singing were not my style, and too much layering over the original recording. 
  • The Problemaddicts - "Dark Side of Oz".  Hip Hop.  Yeesh.  Please no.
There is a heap of stuff on YouTube as well which is worth a listen to but I haven't yet ripped the lot to mp3 for my mp3 player, all these reviewed here were only from a list I found of "proper CD albums".

For my own cover I have touched every single song.  I owe you guys this year another youtube video of where I am.  The project won't be finished this year, but hold me to another video.  This is where I'm at:
  1. Speak to me - currently just tapping guitar body.  I'm going to have to get more creative.
  2. Breathe - Done.  There are a few ways I play it, and I add lib so the "final", like all my covers, will vary from where I am toady.
  3. On the Run - I have ideas and I've played with some concepts.  It has moved from "don't include" to "will do".
  4. Time/Breathe Reprise - all but done. All concepts are in but I haven't done the Time solo.  I will.  Lower priority, I don't "need" it, but I "need" it :-)
  5. Great Gig in the Sky - Done, pending.  The work for the piano was done years ago, the skeleton is in place for Clare's oo-ah, just needs to be finished.  At the moment I just shorten it a lot.
  6. Money - Concepts are done, except for solo.  I struggle to play it, it's the newest one on my progress sheet.
  7. Us and Them.  Done, no solo though.
  8. Any Colour You Like - All concepts in place.  I struggle to both play it and remember it.  Solo not quite finished.
  9. Brain Damage - Done.
  10. Eclipse - Done.
There you have it, still a long way off, but never forgotten!

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Tabs back online...

2024 UPDATE: My tabs have finally found a legitimate home at Jawmunji's Paidtabs

2020 UPDATE: All my dusty old powertabs have been archived and as I'm freshening up my arrangements to Musescore I am releasing them all to my wonderful Patreon supporters - find out what I have released at Jawmunji's Tabs



2014: Sorry everyone, the tabs still aren't working, but I hope to have it resolved soon. My ISP recently upgraded some stuff and my old perl scripts stopped working.

I'm hoping we will be back online in the next day or two! :)


Tuesday 11 February 2014

What's happening February 2014

Merry happy new year...hmm, okay that's all over and done with, I'm a bit late, apologies. Feels like I haven't said anything for a while. I had nearly 5 weeks off over the Chrissy holidays, did a lot around the house, and "general stuff". Not so much guitar. But that can only happen for so long... m u s t. . . p l a y. . .

In a completely out of character move (and dropping what I was working on) I have been arranging a brand spanking now song. As in, it was only aired for the first time LESS THAN SIX MONTHS AGO! In fact, when I started it, it had only been out THREE MONTHS! I know, I know, where is Jawmunji and what have you done with him!?

Sadly for 95% percent of my audience you will never have heard of Eskimo Joe, a band formed just down the road from me in Fremantle Western Australia. Quite a number of hits in the past decade, alternative rock style. In September 2013 they put out a new single "Got What You Need", a well crafted pop song, nearly synth pop but I'll give them a break. Singer Kavyen smashes it out in falsetto which is good fun and not normally their style. It got a bit of airplay around November and they were playing it as an acoustic number at seemingly every morning show/muso show that screens in Australia. Considering how hard it was pushed (as part of their new album) and that it is indeed a fine pop song, I'm surprised it didn't make much of a dent on the charts. Perhaps because it was crowd sourced and self-labeled...conspiracy detection!

Anyway, it jumped out of the radio and into my brain and onto the guitar. The falsetto fits nice and high above what is essentially just an E-A chord progression, so it made me do new interesting things. I kept to a fairly standard pattern, bass/flick, you've heard it all before. But flying up to the high notes off beat and returning to low E and A bass notes has proven challenging.  I like challenging

It's tabbed out, and mostly ready to record but it might be another month or two. So I just sat out the back then "in the cool of the evening time" (song lyrics :)) and played it nice'n'slow to the backdrop of crickets and occasional rumble of the wind in the mic (sorry).

Other stuff still happening, but for now let me leave you with the recording, go look for the official video clip on youtube if you are so inclined. My playing is mediocre, quite a few mistakes, but I think you'll get where I'm coming from. Must perfect my slides up to high notes! :)