Friday, May 23, 2008

FAQ: How Do You Arrange Something

I just sent this as an email to somebody and thought it would make a good blog post:

If i'm arranging something completely on my own, i save the song on my computer so i can stop and start the track easily. I use Itunes for this. (space bar is stop/start; mouse pointer on song progress bar to pinpoint locate spot you want to work on).

First I'll get a feel for playing the song as if i were just going to sing along (the key, the chords, basic stuff). Do I need to change the tuning of the guitar or use a capo? Adjust as needed.

Then I try to add bass lines and melody and work on various tricks to make stuff come together. Consider what can be strategically left out that the listener will not notice. Can you trick them into thinking they hear something that you're not really playing? (octave displacement, etc)

When I've got something reasonably down, I'll play this version for a long time without listening to the original track. That way, when I *do* go back to listen to the track, the harmonies that I've left out or forgotten or that I'm doing wrong are *immediately* obvious. So I fix that up or add more or make other adjustments.

Then I try to get it all under my fingers, record it, and forget it.

That's pretty much it

54 comments:

FM Tiempo 90.9 said...

hi hi
hi friend hi friend
hola amigo
Is very faboulos if you click

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_Ip1k47_Gk

If you like video put a coment on it thanks

I have a radio program..in internet call Imagine
and like to have a interview with you
to tell us what you do in your life, work etc


Thanks Oscar

mi blog www.imaginemos2007.blogspot.com

my mail
imaginemos2007@gmail.com

write me ok

Dauro Veras said...

Hi! Saudações do Brasil. I've included your blog in my list of five blogs to Blog Day 2008.
http://dauroveras.blogspot.com/2008/08/blog-day.html

C.S. said...

hey what's up? i dont speak english very well cause i'm brasilien, so..
i saw ur video [playing 'penny lane'] and i want to know if u cant teach me how to play that song

thnx
xxoo

Ewright said...

Tony,
Do you ever play events such as a wedding ceremony? I am getting married in NH in september or 09 and would love to have you play. Any Interest?

jubjub said...

Hi Tony-

With all the requests you get for tabs, I wanted to voice some support for your no-tab policy. It's better for everyone that way. Stay strong!

Nick

Luria Sacks said...

Hi,
If you wrote a tab book, I'd buy it. I'm sure thousands of other people would too :). p

Fernando Alves said...

Hi Tony,

great inspiration on your explanation. Thanks a lot for the videos in youtube, they are really nice songs and arangements.

Regards,
Fernando.

J said...

Excellent work. You hooked my on the RAIN SONG. I am 43 and just started seriously playing 1 year ago, after walking around the guitar, literally and figuratively for 2 years....my progress is wonderful and the farther I go the farther I see there is to go.

Katsbah123@yahoo.com

DoctorCastille said...

Hey Tony - I've been following you for some years now and though I rarely comment on videos, I just want to tell you that what you do is truly awesome and often makes me want to set fire to all my guitars. I find it very encouraging somehow, to learn that you often forget the songs once they're done and recorded. I thought it was just me who did that. Anyway...thanks for the many hours of great listening.
Mike
(doctorcastille)

James Tarling said...

Hi,
Just found your version of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - your arrangement and playing are wonderful.
In your approach, you mention "Do I need to change the tuning of the guitar" - are you able to describe how you come to a decision? Alternate tunings have always been a mystery to me.
Regards,
James

假日的 said...

Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.............................................

sidney said...

Hi Tony , really amazing your guitar arrangement for great Brazilian songs, very good taste. Why dont you write a songbook with your guitar tabs arrengement? Everyone who plays guitar will want to buy something like that. Congratulations for your beutiful video songs.

GelatinaPlateada said...

do you really forget the sogs that you play!? it's a really good idea!, do you have a group or somthing or you play for your own? do you work in something related for the guitar or plays it in your free time as a hobbie?

香蕉哥哥 said...

thank for share, it is very important . ̄︿ ̄

彬彬 said...

IT IS A VERY NICE SUGGESTION, THANK YOU LOTS! ........................................

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bog said...

Hi Tony,

I was wondering if you could speak about your Martin specifically. It sounds very unique, with its warm, loud sound. What's the key ingredient in getting that trademark sound anyway? Is it the slothead? Is it that it's a 12-fretter? I know that no two guitars sound the same, but I'm trying to get something that's within my budget (which is $500 top) to get that warm, loud sound. In my mind, the Martin's sound is the very ideal, I will be happy with anything that's close to it.

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新手上路哦~請大家多支持(・ˍ・*) ........................................

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Working from Home said...

Hi Tony,
Thanks for the wonderful Beatles' music. They were indeed a wonderful Latin band as well as everything else. Your version of "Something" makes me like the song more. Like you I prefer the other Harrison songs.

Have you ever been tempted to do a Grateful Dead song? Perhaps Friend of the Devil?

Or Jim Croce material?

Recently, I wrote and directed a 34-min music/dance/ballet film. I used China
Cat Sunflower in one of the scenes (posted on-line: www.lookingfornick.com). I invite you to take a look if so inclined. I also used some Chopin, Debussy & New Riders compositions as well as originals.

Thanks! Sandy (lookingfornick@gmail.com)

El Médico said...

hey, i saw your video of i´m only sleeping fingerstyle in youtube and I think is awsome.... I really love if you could send me the tab for that... I think you´re a great guitar player