Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summer Projects - Tablature for Mandolin (31 Waltzes)

31 Waltzes now available in Mandolin and Guitar tab editions

I learned to read standard music notation around 50 years ago, right when I was starting to play guitar, and I generally haven't had much use for guitar or mandolin tablature. My most efficient way to learn new music is to read the notes. I can learn by ear also but I am slower than many. My main gripe with tablature is that I like to figure out for myself where to put my fingers to make the sound that I like best. But that's just me.

I have learned over the years that many fine mandolinists and guitarists, for a variety of reasons, prefer to use tablature as a way to learn new music. So I've decided to spend some time this summer converting some of my notated music into tab as an experiment in reaching out to those players.

My first experiment has been to intabulate (I do like that word) my 31 Waltzes book in versions for both mandolin and guitar (links are to sample pages). You can see that I have chosen to add the tab below standard notation, because that makes sense to me, and that makes a few tunes expand from one page to two. Then I needed to add a couple of blank pages to avoid page turns. If you click on the link you will go to a web page that includes some text and a table of contents with further links to recorded versions of most of the waltzes, many from appearances in this blog.

Of course I want to sell huge quantities of these new editions and the page linked above will offer you the chance to Buy Now using PayPal (no membership necessary).

I should also mention that as I was working on the guitar tab versions I realized that guitarists need to understand that the book does not contain full chord-melody arrangements, only the basic melodies.

I intend to continue with this tab experiment as time allows this summer. We'll see how that goes.

I'll be playing a couple of fun gigs this week also, both on Saturday. In the morning I'll be playing with Erik Sessions at the Winneshiek Farmers Market as part of the "Saturday on the Street" special event. I'll probably play some solo stuff while Erik is busy at his farm stand and then the two of us will play some tunes together. We need to practice up some for our upcoming shows at Decorah's Nordic Fest (July 25) and Lawn Chair Night (July 30).

Saturday night Erik and I will join our friends Rob Hervey (on bass) and dance caller Bill Deutsch to play for the barn dance at the annual Seed Savers Exchange Conference & Campout. We've been doing this for a decade or so and it's always a high point of the summer.

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