Early in my writing journey, I’ve come to my first dilemma for which I don’t have a clear answer, and not one I don’t think anyone can provide me with an answer, either. That dilemma is how much should I be reading to learn about writing styles? A lot? A little? Somewhere in between? What I like? What I don’t like? A mix of both? And what else?
I’m often working hard to write late into the night these days, fighting a never ending battle against Writer’s Block and Written Diarrhea that it feels too epic for a human writer. As a result, I have conjured up my vision of a writing superhero to visualize my glorious quest to push me through any barrier that stands in my way. I call him Nightwriter, and his symbol is that W you see to the right!
There are tons of guitar tabs online, so why am I posting guitar tabs on my blog? Two words: more information.
More information which will help you figure out what was on my mind in creating every part of the tab and decipher it better if you use it. And for me, I eventually will have my guitar tabs set online so I can access it from anywhere that has an Internet connection!
The main problem with guitar tabs is that there is so little information compared to sheet music that you can’t hope to know what was going through the tabber’s mind when certain chords were written out. They might have been listening to a version of the song you weren’t. They might have arranged it a little differently because they sang it a little differently than the version they referenced. Sometimes they do this because with just one guitar instead of a band, certain things just don’t sound good so void of other musical support (a sign of a bad song). But overall, let’s face it, the general guitar tabs out there isn’t professional quality stuff. That’s why there are so many versions for each song.
With some advances to blogging and web technology, as well as efforts of others to post things, the guitar tabs I present will have more feature containing information you can reference to learn them and/or modify them for your own versions. First, I will have videos with recordings of the pieces I referenced so you can hear them for yourself. Second, there are notes written out, even if just letters rather than sheet music style. Notes an octave apart will be identified by capital letters for the higher notes. That way, if I modified anything, you can figure it out and understand what I did, then decide for yourself if you want to leave it or change it yourself. Finally, the chords appear exactly where they should be as I change them so there is no doubt.
In my first guitar tab on this blog, I present an exotic version of Blueberry Hill, the Fats Domino classic many people know, some of whom via the favourite song of Richie Cunningham from the Happy Days sitcom from 1974-1984. Fats’ version is the bottom of two videos below, included for comparative purposes. The version I present is by Louis Armstrong, from 1949 and recorded in Canada, no less! I like it because has a whole bunch of extra lyrics, with some scatting, that will either challenge you or allow you to duet with someone. Its video is below, meant to accompany the guitar tab above, although you’ll probably want to do it at a much slower, nostalgic sort of tempo to squeeze everything in.
One day soon, I hope to record a version so I can really demonstrate how I envisioned it to be played with solo guitar or ukulele, and not just ask you to figure it out from the video below.
I hope you enjoy!
These tabs all fit on one page to avoid the inconvenience of page turns. However, the letter size tabs (8.5″ x 11″) may be too small for your eyes. If so, you can either enlarge to tabloid size (11″ x 17″) using an automatic enlarge feature on many photocopiers, or download the tabloid sized versions for printing. The tabloid size tabs can be inserted into a typical letter sized binder on the 11″ size, and folded almost in half to fit. You just open each tab to use it.
Louis Armstrong’s version of Blueberry Hill
Artist: Louis Armsrtong with Gordon Jenkins and His Orchestra
Title: “Blueberry Hill” (Lewis-Stock-Rose)
Label: Decca Personality
Cat No: 24752-B
Release Year: 1949
Format: 10″ Shellac Record
Thanks to VinyltoVideo YouTube user for the post!
Fats Domino’s well-known version of Blueberry Hill
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 9.1