August 18, 2014

Santo and Johnny | Sleep Walk


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About this Video
Note: updated video -Dec 2016

If you ask most music fans of early rock n roll, Sleep Walk is Santo and Johnny's trademark tune. It has been recorded and played by a number of marquis musicians and amateurs alike over the years since it was first released in 1959. The tune was written and recorded by Santo, Johnny and Ann Farina.

There are lots of great and not so great renditions of Sleep Walk on YouTube. It's fun to listen and learn from the contributors and read the follow on comments. Check it out yourself. This release is my take on this tune. I use the 'Shadows' (or maybe it's the Ventures??) back track version in my video. It's certainly rough on the edges, so I plan to post several more versions so improvements can be seen and heard.

I'm playing this work in the original Key of C and follow the modified arrangement done by the 'Shadows' err Ventures rendition. The chord sequence for the most part is the well adapted rock sequence of the 50's of C, Am, F(m), G. There is a lot of debate whether the F chord should be an Fm. The choice is not cast in stone. Let's just say you will need both. I think the first riff through it's an F followed by nothing but Fm's other than the chorus, then back to Fm. So choose what feels and sounds best for you. See my TAB sheet link below for my interpretation of this version of the tune.
...oops pay attention to these points
The thing that gives this tune a nice feel is the blended note delays that occur after the underlying chord changes. Couple that with a well balanced reverb and string bend effect and voila. You can hear what I mean in the main verse structure. Just listen and feel as to where they are and emulate them in your playing.

I do use the vibrato bar in concert with a legato sliding effect on the guitar in my attempts to get that original pedal steel sound. Tweeking EQ will also help round out those highs. Lots of experimentation is required.
Equipment Used and Settings

  • Fender Jazzmaster guitar; pickup switch in treble position, controls mid range
  • I use a thick stiff pick for faster attacks on the strings
  • Strymon Flint reverb setting MIX -1/2 turn, COLOR-3/4 turn DECAY-1/2 turn, 80's switch, tremolo effect not used
  • Boss EQ Pedal Model GE-7, set freq sliders for high pass.
  • I use a Behringer Eurolive B112 PA speaker for practice when I want to make noise, where both the guitar and back track audio feeds are mixed. This keeps the sound tone consistant and controllable in a small room Like I have, in contrast to a separate PA for the back track audio and a guitar amp - just too much variation in tonal quality between the two audio sources. On the other hand, to keep things simpler I just put on my earphones and adjust accordingly
  • The guitar EQ pedal is first in the effects chain, followed by the Flint reverb effect before being mixed and output to the speaker PA or my earphones.

Youtube Posted Backtracks

  • My pro version back track used in my latest video release may be available for download. I will need an indication of interest first.
  • You can also use the back track offered by the Karaoke-Version web site, and yes you have to buy the customized track. It's only $1.99. This version follows the original exactly.
  • I have used in my first video, what is referred to as the Shadows version. It has been modified from the original.
  • Alternatively, I also have my Chordpulse rendition available as a practice track to get you going. It follows the original score.

Load your selected back track MP3 for practice in your favourite playback software. I use RIFF Station or if you have it instead, use Song Surgeon software for its looping feature to isolate and repeat or slowdown the sequences to practice.
Artists and Versions
Listen to the original Sleep Walk track from my playlist in the videobox (upper left hand corner) above this text to get a sense of the original.

Guitar TAB Sheets - Member Access Only
You can download the original Sleep Walk plus other Tab versions as a Member. It follows the released version of Santo and Johnny's music score to the best of my interpretation.

Audio and Video Production Tools
Audio recording is done using REAPER DAW, ART DI boxes and an ART USB based audio interface to get guitar sound to DAW.

Video production work is done in Adobe Premiere CS5. Original and final Video resolution is 1280x720p. Compression is about 7-10mb/s MP4. Youtube will transcode to their transmission specs anyway.

'Join' and be a member - Get access to my Tabs and Practice Tracks


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