Monthly Archives: June 2015

Manalili | End of the World


 
About this Video
Another vintage tune that has kept the test of time, thanks to Cesar Manalili.

Originally written by Arthur Kent and most notably recorded by Brenda Lee, Cesar Manalili took it on and produced a nice instrumental version for guitar. Flowing, dramatic, great guitar sounds.

I would say the instrumental backing to Manalili’s guitar is pretty classy and adds to the dramatic musical effect.

I’m playing this musical work in the Key B and to the original Manalili arrangement and tempo with some added phrases and improvisations.

 
…oops pay attention to these points
There is a lot of points here to consider to do this tune any justice. Manalili has earned his nick name guitar master for a reason. This tune has many tough bars to work on – for an amateur. Concentrated finger work, heavy vibrato and reverb on some bars – making for very dramatic effects. Applying nice but difficult lead breaks which I’m still learning to finesse. Do lots of finger exercises.

I would highly recommend you review and learn guitar bends and slides from the guitar gurus on Youtube. It will provide lots of heads up in getting this tune start to sound good.

You will have to work on finding a working reverb setting and maybe use an expression pedal to get the variations used throughout the tune. It’s deep and sustaining. Tremolo is also a subtle but influencing factor in getting the tune to sound good in my view. String bends with vibrato combos. This tune has got it all. Give yourself lots of time to learn this tune. Learn it in pieces. This is where software tools like RIFF station will be of huge benefit – looping, segmenting, tempo control etc.

Additionally, I have produced a practice backtrack using Chordpulse. The backtrack is free to download – (see Resources menu item on the top of this page), but you will need the Chordpulse software product to play it – Just $22 USD bucks A great deal.

I think all this stuff I just mentioned is best pointed out in a ‘How to’ video. A video will best describe what has to be done to make this tune work. Even coming from an amateur like me may be very helpful in the end. Compromise here is very thin. This has been and continues to be a challenging tune to learn. It is by far the toughest tune I have undertaken so far.

I keep mentioning getting ‘that sound’ in my past meanderings. Well here is an example. In a few bars at the start of the tune, you will have to play the guitar strings very close to the bridge for that twangy sharp attack (bright) sound. Country guitar players use this technique a lot. Don’t get too close to the bridge – you will loose volume and it will sound too sharp. You will have to find a place on the string that works for you. The key thing is to have consistency in the sound of the strings, too flat, too bright. You must find that spot on the strings you plan to play and stay there for the duration of the music phrase. Use a hard pick to help add to the sound attack.

Just a note and I’ll say it gain, that some of the effects you are hearing could very well be studio magic (done in post production) and may be quite difficult to emulate if you want to perform it live. So don’t loose any sleep over it. Just experiment with your pedals until you are happy. You may very well find that a single effects setting will work quite well throughout the tune. Then again Manalili makes it look easy.

Bottom line, choose an effects setting you like. Fighting for that studio sound can be a real uphill battle.

This where my desire to get an expression pedal to fool around with comes in (there is one that works with the Flint). I gotta save my pennies for that, so I’ll make do with what I have.
 
Equipment Used and Settings

  • Fender Jazzmaster guitar; pickup switch in treble position, all controls mid range
  • Strymon Flint Reverb, (long and sustaining) reverb effect heavily used. I use a mild but obviously present tremolo setting on the Flint. It will mix well with the vibrato to give a nice dynamic ebb and flow to the overall sound.
  • Use the vibrato bar in some key spots. See the video for where and what I mean.

Backtracks

  • My orchestrated BT version (not yet ready for download. I need an indication of interest before I release.
  • Listen to selected backtracks from my Playlist above
  • I have a nice Chordpulse rendition as a practice track – select from my playlist above. Recommend you get Chordpulse. Its only $22 bucks. It won’t disappoint. A good investment overall.

 
Artists and Versions
Listen for the Manalili, Brenda Lee versions on my video Playlist above this text for more context. See Playlist location in upper left hand corner of the video frame – Playlist.

Guitar TAB Sheets
Written in MS WORD 2003, using generic Courier type font. Any version of Word after 1997 can open this file. Must be a member for access to my guitar tabs and/or backing track(s).

A blank guitar TAB work sheet for your own edits and mods are also available. Must be a member access. Join Us – see menu item on top of this web page to Join.

Please make any comments below regarding this video. I’ll get back to you if you have any questions. Thank you.

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Electromaniacs | I Miss You So


About this Video
In my view “I Miss You So” is the signature tune for the Electromaniacs, a 60’s based Filipino band whose musical influence is still heard today, primarily in the worlds of Youtube and other popular video hosting sites, enjoying cult status. The tune has all the elements I like to hear and play in music; a nice flowing melody, dramatic breaks, smooth guitar lines and is easy on the ear, all in one neat package.

It might be me in old age talking, but this tune covers a lot of musical ground for me.

Penned and played by Ernie Delgado on lead guitar, this tune has not lost any of its appeal. It just grows on you.

Though disbanded some years ago, several attempts were made to re-assemble the band as short as a few years ago, but to no avail. The band itself may be a memory for now, but not its music.

Cesar Manalili, another Pinoy legend has taken on this tune as well and made a few changes to suit his style, but for the most part the musical arrangement has stayed a intact. Adding yet another sound to a great tune.

This musical work is composed in the Key C and set in 6/8 time (get my TAB sheet from links below). In my version an entire post section of the tune (the second bridge section) has been removed and replaced by a shorter improvised more driving section played to the end. I feel it brings another dimension to the tune, yet still keeping the same chord progressions. Let me know what you think after having a listen.

As in Faithful Love, I have had a fully orchestrated backtrack produced that is more modern sounding with a jazzy driving feel. That’s why the guitar has to be played with the neck pickups selected and tone controls set to a mid to high roll off to get that smooth jazzy sound the Jazzmaster can produce. I am not using an EQ pedal like before, but now use just a delay and reverb pedal only, to get the ‘plucky’ Delgado sound. I’ll post a video on how this is done. Suffice it to say the sound track recorded for this video uses my pedal combo setup. I’m still experimenting.

 
…oops pay attention to this…
This is not so obvious, but the opening note sequences before the main melody begins appears to be deceptively slow. It sounds mellow and smoothly paced by the original artists but you will find out this is not the case when you get down and practice these first set of bars. There is a lot of notes to play in those early sequences over what feels to be short period of time.

To learn it, you will probably be slowing down the tempo to get all the notes in those early bars played on time, then slowly speeding it up towards the actual recorded tempo. As you progress, you may find out that you will get to a speed cap – a personal limitation. No biggie of course, but don’t be surprised if you don’t get to full speed. I slowed down my version by about 5% -7% from the original speed just to get the timing correct and still having the backtrack sounding right and the pace feeling good. I use RIFF Station software to slow or speed up the tempo along with its looping ability so you can play a selected section of bars. A real boon to learning the tune faster.

If you adapt and accept a much slower tempo just to get the opening sequence squeezed in, means the rest of the tune will also be played slower, resulting in a plodding along effect, unless you add more filler notes. This doesn’t have to be the case as the rest of the tune can be played comfortably faster.

Conclusion, learn to play the opening and closing sequence as fast as possible, yet keep its intended smooth flow. The rest of the tune will benefit.

Still on the opening sequences. There is some question in my mind regarding the use of a slide or a hammer-on to the intro notes. See notes in TAB below on just the D string. It just sounds bad.

E ————–
B ———7-5–
G ———6-5–
D —–4h5——
A ————–
E ————–
Hammer on or
 
E ————–
B ———7-5–
G ———6-5–
D —–4/5——
A ————–
E ————–
Slide on D string

I’ve played with it and it always sounds choppy. I slowed the note sequence down in RIFF Station and discovered there is no hammer or slide, it’s just plain picking the notes. I use a down stroke on the first note and an up stroke on the second. See my updated tab sheet to see what I mean on the Resources page. The intro now works well in terms of tonal sequence. To get the sound with less of an attack or more mellow sounding, choose the neck pickups and flatten out the tone control. Now it really sounds the way I think it should.

 
Equipment Used and Settings

  • Fender Jazzmaster. Neck pickups, flat tone controls, max volume
  • Strymon Flint Reverb – heavy, tremolo effect to very subtle
  • No vibrato needed, though it may sound more dramatic if you plan to experiment for your sound. Try it out yourself and let me know how she goes.
  • Digitech X Series, Digital Delay set for short rep (I’ll explain in my equipment video)

‘I Miss You So’ Backtrack(s) Info

  • I have a fully orchestrated version for release, please ask if available.
  • I can’t find any other nice back tracks for this tune. I’ll post if I do find any.

 
‘I Miss You So’ Artists and Versions
Listen for the Manalili, Electromaniacs versions on my video Playlist above this text. See Playlist location in upper left hand corner of the video frame – Playlist.

‘I Miss You So’ Guitar TAB Sheets
Written in MS WORD 2003, using generic Courier type font. Any version of Word after 1997 can open this file. Must be a member for access to my guitar tabs and/or backing track(s).

A blank guitar TAB work sheet for your own edits and mods are also available. Must be a member for access. Join Us – see menu item on top of this web page to Join.

Please make any comments below regarding this video. I’ll get back to you if you have any questions. Thank you.

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Manalili | Among My Souvenirs


 
About this Video
Originally written in 1927 by Lawrence Wright, Among My Souvenirs has been performed by many great artists since then like Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. The song itself then languished for a decade or so through the forties until Connie Francis in 1959 brought the song back to life and into the pop forefront. It’s the updated arrangement at the time that gave the song its more popular appeal and it didn’t hurt having the song performed by a rising star like Connie Francis.

It’s the Connie Francis arrangement that has been adapted by the master guitar player Cesar Manalili on his release of the song done somewhere in the 1980’s at the height of his musical popularity.

Manalili, using his trademark sound along with the backing of a pop orchestra is what appealed to me when I was first researching the next tune to adapt for Bill’s Music. I only made one significant change to my adaptation and that was the choice of guitar. I opted for a classical guitar rather than an electric guitar. After much comparison, the acoustic won out. It just sounded better.

I’m playing this musical work in the Key A and to the original Manalili arrangement in 12/8 time. I had a fully orchestrated backtrack produced that matches the pop musical style and sound I wanted.

I will be releasing (if it is not already) this back track.

Check out status of copyright release and other info on this track right here.

See below for additional information that may be of interest.
 
…oops pay attention to these points
There are several areas that need attention when playing this tune. One, the opening bars have no music for proper intro timing. Any practice track must have timing ticks inserted (at first) to make sure you enter the song correctly (there are three areas in the tune like that). I”ll provide a practice backtrack with the timing ticks inserted soon. Two, keep time with the bass player. You’ll know what I mean when you hear the backtrack.

Surprisingly, my Flint pedal with reverb set to a longer sustain is all I needed to get the sound I wanted. Good ‘ol Flint has come through.
 
Equipment Used and Settings

  • Takamine – Classical acoustic guitar, nylon strings. Flat tonal range set using builtin EQ
  • Strymon Flint Reverb, tremolo effect not used
  • No vibrato needed, though it may sound more dramatic if you plan to experiment for your sound. Try it out yourself and let me know how she goes.

Backtracks Info

  • My fully orchestrated version may be available. Must be a member to verify.
  • Can’t find any other nice tracks. I’ll add them to the playlist above if I do find any.

 
Artists and Versions
Listen for the Manalili, Frank Sinatra and Connie Francis versions on my video Playlist above this text. See Playlist icon location in upper left hand corner of the video frame – Playlist.

Guitar TAB Sheets
Written in MS WORD 2003, using generic Courier type font. Any version of Word after 1997 can open this file. Must be a member for access to my guitar tabs and/or backing track(s).

A blank guitar TAB work sheet for your own edits and mods are also available. Must be a member for access. Join Us – see menu item on top of this web page to Join.

Please make any comments below regarding this video. I’ll get back to you if you have any questions. Thank you.

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