Christmas is upon us once again which means much of my guitar teaching shifts over to arranging classic carols. To help get your guitar playing into the festive spirit I have arranged a solo guitar arrangement of the traditional english carol ‘I Saw Three Ships (Come Sailing In)’.
This arrangement is aimed at intermediate level guitarists with a good control of classical finger-style and natural harmonics. The whole piece has the harmonic structure written in the chords above, which can be strummed by another player to easily turn the piece into a duet. Alternatively you can use these chords to accompany a singer and add the solo guitar arrangement as a introduction. Think of this arrangement as a starting point for your own performance.
Before we dive into the performance notes, head over to sheet music plus and download your copy of the sheet music. Click here to open Sheet Music Plus.
It’s time again for another bass transcription! This week I wrote out the bass part for the Ben E. King soul classic Stand By Me. Stand By Me is a real must for modern bass players and a popular choice in function band repertoire. Whether you perform in a function/soul band or just love a good hooky bass line, this song is worth learning.
Before we dive into performance tips and a bit of music theory you can get a copy of the sheet music with TAB from sheetmusicplus for a princely sum of $2.99.
Click Here To Get Your Sheet Music!
I have been off the grid for a month, whilst I settled into a brand new job! I am now working as a Performing Arts Technician for local Eastleigh institution, Barton Peveril College.
Even though I thoroughly enjoyed my previous employment as a private guitar and music tutor, I was ready for a new challenge, a steady pay check and more time to pursue my work as a producer and composer. The new job sees me working with a team of people to realise the technical demands of the department. This includes; sound and lighting for performances, maintaining the recording studios, dance rooms and drama studios, amongst a whole range of other tasks for the day to day running of the department. This job feels like a perfect for me and I am really excited for the first major performances of the academic year.
Productions and New Music
As I mentioned above I am still working on my production business during the evenings, weekends and holidays. I’m currently working on a cover of Pearl Jam’s ‘Jeremy’ for my brother James Cull. I tracked his vocals and acoustic guitar live a couple of weeks back and I’m gradually building up the layers with some bass, piano and percussion. It’s almost ready I just need to track some extra guitars and master the final mix and it’s ready to do.
I’m also mid way through a cover of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Video Games’ with Lucy Atkinson that has been reimagined into an 80’s sequel pop track. I started this one to test out the new electric piano I brought in to the studio, the Casio Privia PX-110. I’m going to track the final piano and vocal parts next week and I’ll load it onto Soundcloud in a month or so. Love that song.
I have planned a number of upgrades for the studio over the next few months that will hopefully improve the quality of live tracking and workflow so I can turn tracks around faster and really get some great analog tones. If you’d like to hire me for your projects check out the page here.
I am still working on the follow-up to last years EDM EP ‘Digital Sleep’ and the trance single ‘Promise’ (link here) with a new mini album called ‘Phosphenes’. The next album will focus on more minimalistic, electronic and ambient sounds, something spacious and enticing. I’ll keep everyone posted on this project as it develops over the next few months.
Thanks as always for reading, I’m looking forward to sharing some new music with you soon!
This weeks transcription is the bass line for Queen’s ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ taken the album, ‘The Game’ (1980). The bass line, like the the rest of the composition, is built round a 50’s rock ‘n’ roll sound although there is some influence from soul and jazz in there for good measure. The rhythmic feel throughout is swung eight notes throughout with the occasional triplet fills and pushed chord changes. It is reasonably fast 125BPM so watch out for any fretboard jumps as there is the little time to change positions.
Before we dive into the performance notes you download a copy of the full score from Sheet Music Plus here.
I’m continuing with my series of transcriptions this week with a full electric bass score for the Pink Floyd classic ‘Money’ as performed on the album ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ (1973). The sheet music includes both standard notation and tablature (TAB) for standard 4 string electric bass in standard tuning.
Before we dive into the performance notes, download a copy of the sheet music from Sheet Music Plus here!
New Music – Promise (Oscar Remix)
Last month I released a new single ‘Promise’ under my solo project (you can read the launch post here). The original track was a mix of classic Trance and modern EDM and has so far been really well received. And it wouldn’t be a successful dance track without the obligatory set of remixes, enter VDV Productions.
VDV Productions Logo
I was approached by producer Oscar Vander Veldon of VDV Productions to do a full remix of the original. The result was a more chilled out House style remix that sounds really different to the original. Take a listen to remix in the Soundcloud player below and compare it the original in the other Soundcloud player below.
Very different I think you’ll agree? Much less hard hitting with a more space and really wide bass response. If you’d like contact VDV Productions for a remix, you can contact through the following social media sites.
It was a really interesting experience hearing my own track filtered through another producers composition and production style. I’d love to hear other tracks I’ve written get the full remix treatment in the future. Let me know what you think of the remix (and the original) in the comments section below. If you’d like to here more of my music check this dedicated page here. As always thanks for reading!
I had a lot of requests lately for the Gary Jules and Micheal Andrews version of ‘Mad World’. The original Tears For Fears version is an absolute classic but there is something about the haunting arrangement of Gary Jules that seems completely timeless. I think a lot of people first heard this on Donnie Darko (such a good film) but it comes around pretty regular with every generation. This was single from the 2001 Gary Jules album, ‘Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets’ and was written by Roland Orzabal of Tears For Fears.
Before we dive in to the lesson grab yourself a copy of the sheet music (with TAB) from Sheet Music Plus here!
Initially I set out to create a very basic open chord version for beginner student. As time passed I found myself bringing in elements of Micheal Andrews piano arrangement and vocal melody into my version. Before I knew it I found myself arranging a full version for solo guitar for my more dextorous students. Despite being arranged initially for solo guitar this arrangement would also work well with a vocalist for a beautiful duet.
To make the arrangement possible and accessible, the piece has been arranged in A minor. To play this arrangement in the original Gary Jules key of F minor simply place a capo on the 8th fret. If you want the Tears for Fears version put the capo on the 9th (this may be a little cramped for some acoustics).
- The arrangement requires a basic knowledge of fingerstyle technique. The bass line should be played with the thumb throughout with the remaining fingers focusing on the melody. If you are struggling to get separation between the parts try dampening the lower strings with the side of the palm.
- As the piano utilises a sustain pedal in the original, aim to let notes ring out were possible and if played amplified add reverb to increase the overall ambience.
- The only challenging chord shape in the piece is the first D chord of the Chorus which should be approached with a barred C shape.
If you have any other problems with the piece leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!
I hope you found this lesson and the arrangement useful for your own performances. I’d love to hear your performance of the piece, put a link to your video/audio in the comments section below and I’ll take a listen. The next solo guitar arrangement on the list is the 90’s classic ballad ‘Kiss From A Rose’ by Seal. Thanks for reading!