Thursday, 27 February 2020

What's happening Feb 2020

I've got a few arrangements cooking at the moment, "If You Leave Me Now" by Chicago, based on a video from Naudo, "Band on the Run" by Wings, based on a video from Jake Reichbart, and "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon, which I heard on the radio and it got stuck in my head. The ones where I see one of my mate's videos and then have a crack are often "more or less" what they did. These days I don't attempt to completely transcribe, but since they have done most of the heavy lifting I leverage off it!  I'm also continuing to re-arrange and re-learn "Never Tear Us Apart". It's getting a bit smoother now. 

I find if I play through my learning pieces at least once every second day - not trying to nail it, just trying to push it into my brain - it works well. If it's just fingerpicking in chords, easy. I remember chord progressions pretty quick. If it is chords put you then pick around out-of-chord notes, not too bad. But when it is non a normal chord it is hard to push into my brain. For instance imagine F, thumbing the bottom F, but change the top F to a G. Or a C# maj 7th but with a G# bass. Or the worst one I have at the moment, it's a G7 but put an A on the third string.  I really struggle to get the brain to suddenly switch to those crazy shord, the 'ole CPU glitches for a bit before it throws the fingers out.

Maybe if you were a master of the fretboard, and every jazz chord out there made sense, you'd be fine. It's the bane of teaching yourself - you only focus on the fun stuff, leaving big glaring holes in your musicianship!  Oh well. One of these years I'll get around to it.

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Did I inspire Sammy G?

I find Sammy G quite an engaging internet personality and quite often watch his videos when they pop up in my feed. I was watching this one and he mentioned he'd seen a cover of "Here Comes The Sun" when he was in grade 11 or 12, and then played a bit of it. It sounded _a lot_ like my cover, the timing is about right (I posted it in 2006), and that video has over a million views as it was featured back in the day.

The arrangement is basically a copy of an arrangement by John Keans, I changed very little. But he never played it on youtube as far as I know (I wish he had!) So... maybe I was there just at the right time for Sammy G and I didn't know it. There sure were a lot of other players who were there at the right time for me...the universal cookie jar continues to supply cookies! :-)

Check it out below, I've set the relevant start times for you.


Sunday, 19 January 2020

Tabs into Musescore backlog

For years I have been tabbing out my arrangements and transcriptions. It's part of my music arrangement process. I don't need to do it so much anymore, especially on songs that aren't complex. So I have around 70 tabs from the last 15 years of effort. In the early days I used PowerTab version 1. It was fast and I knew it well. But it had known bugs, was no longer in development, and as Windows moved through versions it was increasingly less supported (I have a Windows XP virtual machine I use if I ever need to make PowerTab changes).

So I switched to Musescore a few years back. It is fully featured, I'm talking fully. So fully that I barely remember how to achieve all the different things I want. I'm constantly googling it, and saying "oh, that's right". Which says to me that it is a tool that you need to use regularly, and it is not completely intuitive. I still struggle with the hotkeys, I find myself pressing escape a lot and "starting again". Its concept is great (it is more "strict" than powertab) and the flexibility is outstanding and the scores are beautiful.  So I'm sticking with it.

But now I want to convert 50 of my old tabs from PowerTab to Musescore. Musescore does not support old PowerTab, but GuitarPro5 supports both. So I managed to PTB->GP5->MSCZ. Unfortunately I need to spend at least 10 minutes on each to standardise templates, fix errors, that sort of thing.

"JAW, why haven't you been using Guitar Pro all these years?" I have tried each version, but I always liked PowerTab more. Maybe I was being a bit anti-change and too used to PowerTab. I've scored out a few multi-instrument parts in the last few years and I have more planned, Guitar Pro is very guitar oriented, so it suits me even less these days.

So there you have it. I've got probably ten hours of effort to get all my tabs into Musescore up to a standard I will be happy with. It's only my OCD that will eventually drive me to do it - I don't need those tabs anymore, and I don't get paid for producing them, so I don't need to!

But it is really nice having them all up to date :-)