Archives for: December 2007
Europa - Herb Ohta Jr.
Hi everyone. Here it is, the day before Christmas Eve and I spent the weekend working out Herb Ohta Jr’s version of Europa from his “Ukulele Breeze” CD. This is one of my all time favorite Carlos Santana tunes. This particular version is well suited for playing with another ukulele player or guitarist since it consists of playing the melody and solos over top the progression. I’ve used a synth patch within Powertab to provide a string sound for the rhythm background. I’m also working on a solo version similar to what Brittni Piava plays on her Youtube video that I will post when it is complete. There are a few nice licks in this so I hope you have fun with it.
Files are on the Tabs page. Follow the link at the very top of this page.
Happy Holidays to all of you.
Gloria (In Excelsis Deo) MP3
A couple of days ago I posted my tab of John King’s arrangement of Angels We’ve Heard on High. I’ve spent time the last couple of nights trying to get comfortable with the arrangement. It’s the most challenging 40 seconds of music I’ve tried to record in quite some time. The harmonics are definitely a challenge to play and keep the piece moving along with sustain but the fact that there is a definite picking scheme required for the right hand makes it really difficult for me. When I first saw John’s video I thought, wow, this sounds cool and should be a piece of cake considering it was a nice, short arrangement. Boy was I in for a rude awakening. I had the house to myself for a bit this evening so I decided to record it. Well, I kid you not, 59 takes later and I still can’t play it cleanly. Here’s what I ended up with but I definitely plan to keep working to get this right. John makes it look so easy.
BTW, I posted two arrangements. The first arrangement is one that John provided input on where he was playing certain parts and on what strings etc. The Alternate arrangement is more like what I first sent him and the one I’m trying to play in the recording.
The tabs can be downloaded from the tabs page via the link at the extreme top of this page.
Angels We Have Heard On High - John King - TAB
A couple of days ago I ran into this video of “Classical Master” John King playing some wonderful Christmas arrangements on YouTube. I thought this one sounded great and since it was fairly short in duration I thought it might be a good one to transcribe and get posted with, hopefully, enough time to get it down before the holidays are over. Well, this proved to be a very challenging piece. The trickiest part is getting the natural and artificial harmonics to ring clearly while playing smoothly. The overall concept of the arrangement will most likely come very easy to those that are comfortable with classical technique which incorporates all but the pinky of the right hand.
I spent some time yesterday evening transcribing the arrangement and contacted John and received his input. I was surprised to find out that I had about 99.9% of the notes correct, however I had some of them played on different strings and in some cases added a third note to a stroke as opposed to a simple 2 note diad. John sent me his hand written transcription which I incorporated into my tab. After practicing it for a while using the positions that John uses I was still having a tough time playing the arrangement smoothly. So I decided to go back, edit and also post the tab with positions and an approach that is more comfortable for me. It’s still going to take some practice to get it down smoothly but with the alternate version I think I’ll at least have a fighting chance. The differences are in measures 5 and 6 and then repeating in measures 8 and 9.
Here is a link to John’s YouTube video. The tab can be downloaded on the TABs page from the link at the very top of this page. Happy Holidays to everyone.
Bandito Tyler - TAB
Tonight I’m posting Bandito Tyler, an amazing composition by the masterful Aldrine Guerrero. For those that may not be familiar with Aldrine’s work a quick search on YouTube will turn-up many videos for your viewing pleasure. As a matter of fact here is the YouTube video for the subject song.
Over the past year I’ve had numerous requests for this one and I finally found the time and desire to get it done. I started the tab about a month ago and a recent trip to Hawaii gave me the perfect opportunity to sit down with Aldrine and work out some of the finer details. Shortly before Aldrine left, my wife snapped this shot of us at our condo in Kauai.
We had an absolutely wonderful time playing some of Jake’s tunes together as well as jamming on some other progressions that were a lot of fun. Boy, I have so much to learn. The videos alone don’t do this guy justice. He has impeccable technique and just blew me away with his rendition of Jake’s 3rd Stream.
I’ve included some Performance Notes along with the tab for this one to point out some of the muting techniques Aldrine uses throughout the song. The tab can be downloaded on the TABs page using the link at the top of this page. Enjoy!
Here is the Eagles Desperado. I came across a beautifully played version of Desperado on YouTube a while back. It was arranged by a young, I believe 16 year old, boy from Japan by the name of Ryo Natoyama. This guy is a wonderful player who can play Jake’s music with real passion and feeling. Check out his other YouTube videos as well. I’m told from my other Japanese friends that see him play each month at a local venue that he just keeps getting better and better. I think we will be hearing much more about him in the future.
Since I was busy focusing on the other tabs (I have others in the works as well including Bandito Tyler by Aldrine Guerrero) I asked Jon if he would like to tackle this one. He gladly accepted and put this one together. This is not intended to be an exact transcription of Ryo’s performance. It is an arrangement that was certainly inspired by Ryo’s performance but doesn’t include the tremolo sections used at the beginning and other parts of the song. The files can be found on the TAB page from the link at the very top of this page.
Here is Happy Ukulele, also from the Pure Heat 2 Cd. This is another song I tried to figure out years ago and came up empty handed. At the time I didn’t realize the ukulele was tuned a half step flat but, even if I’d known, the fast tempo and quick chord changes would have been too much to break down. Getting the tuning thing figured out helped but I found it to still be a huge challenge to get all the chords figured out for this one. Basically, I did the best I could for now making use of multiple major 7 and minor 7 chord shapes. I notated a facsimile of the chords for the Outro as this section was extremely difficult for me to get my head around.
The singer in my classic rock band also plays guitar and is currently working out the chords on guitar. We messed around with this a little over the weekend, after one of our gigs, and the few parts he put together sounded really good along with the ukulele. The files can be found on the TAB page from the link at the very top of this page.
New Tabs - Pure Heart and The Eagles
Since coming home from a wonderful time in Hawaii I’ve spent the last couple of weeks working on some new tabs for the site. Tonight I’m posting a pair of songs from the Pure Heart 2 Cd. In addition, I’m posting The Eagles Desperado as transcribed by my partner Jon Prown. To keep things separated and avoid one long post I will create individual entries for each tab. Up first will be Pure Heart’s "How Can I Get Over".
Among the first Hawaiian CDs I was exposed to when visiting Hawaii for the first time, over ten years ago, were the Pure Heart Cds. One of the very first songs I ever tried to figure out on ukulele was How Can I Get Over. I desperately wanted to learn the solo section which consists of some very inspired finger picking. Well, I got absolutely nowhere. During my recent trip to Hawaii I heard the song again and decided to take another crack at it. It didn’t take long to realize that the ukulele was actually tuned down a half step. It appears this was the case for both, Pure Heart 1 and Pure Heart 2. I’m guessing this had something to do with the vocal range of the singer but I can’t say for sure. Poking around the Internet produced a lyric sheet with chords that instructs to put a capo on the first fret. This does allow you to play along with the CD using the C6 tuning shapes of G, Am and C but the only way you can play the intro melody would be with a low G instrument. And without question the song was recorded with high 4th string. In addition there are pull offs to the open first string that don’t work when using the capo. I suggest tuning down a half step while learning the song and then you can begin to play it in standard C6 tuning once you have committed the song to memory.
There isn’t much rhythm ukulele that I could make out in the recording. It is mostly guitar with the ukulele solos and fills. So I have notated a straight forward rhythm with a swing tempo all the way through the song. There are some suspended movements that you can hear the guitar move through that you can certainly add to spice up the arrangement to suit your needs. The main thing I was interested in here were the solos.
I’ve also incorporated the lyrics right into the tab so you can sing along if you wish. The files can be found on the TAB page from the link at the very top of this page.