This month I bring you one of the happiest moments of this strange year of 2020. I played with my gipsy-jazz / manouche project Djangoland at the wedding ceremony of my former student Catarina. This moment, where the bride sings “La Vie en Rose” really captures the loving atmosphere that we all need to endure through the tough time. Love conquers all and, may I say, Music as well!
Finally, #playforChris6 – is ready! Feel free to share it with your friends or communities.
It was a long journey. Thank you to all participants for the sounds and images you have given me to play with. You don’t know… but I have developed a relationship with each one of you by seeing you and listening to you every day in the past 2 months. You were my band mates, my friends. I felt the love that you have put in your recordings, even those who, previously, were not so emotionally connected to Chris’ music.
Thank you to my Patrons for supporting me financially, for believing that what I do is worth it. Thank you to all my friends who encouraged me and shown me excitement in seeing the final result, as I was describing what I wanted to do.
This is was huge task, something hard to top, as some friends told me. I would like to say that the purpose wasn’t ever to do better than previous editions. It never is about outdoing myself. The only important purpose is to gather Chris’ fans and celebrate his music together, whether we do another one like this or we get back to the original format… or.. who know what might happen… as long as we Play for Chris!
Here is the remaster of my 2010 arrangement of Onward. The picture quality hasn’t improved but hopefully the sound is much better and you will hear the effect of the resounding guitar harmonics.
Below I have copied the commentary of the original post from 2010.
Thanks for watching!
I am playing my 4001 CS bass which is unplugged. Holding it against the back of my (plugged) 360 guitar… a Rickenbacker Kiss.
I experimented with different guitar tunings that would resonate well with the song’s tonalities. Onward is a based one the I, VI, V and vi of C major, and modulated a step higher afterwards.
The guitar tuning I did (eventually using a capo) was selected to accommodate all these chords. Ones sound better than others. B minor was, for example, a bit less successful, as well as all passages with an F sharp.
Then I adapted the whole piece – melody and a sort of accompaniment with the lower register which is not related to the actual bass line. The initial riff is my transformation of the original intro, and the coda.. I came up with a way to modulate back to C major. A bit dangerous too cause B flat (G minor) and A flat (F minor) were used… but then finally I got the best resonance spot to end the piece on an improvised Safe-like finale.
One very interesting thing is that – after tuning both instruments with the tuner, I found the resonance wasn’t happening… so I fine tuned on my bass by ear, and found the resonance spots for each string… maybe a few cents lower than the “right” tuning. I know it’s still not perfect but it’s a fact that it wasn’t working with both guitars tuned by the tuner. I think this has to do with the tempered scale of the fretboard that is “fighting” with the natural harmonics of the guitar’s open strings.
While not optimal, I decided to post it to show you the idea. It has some interesting sounds and with more time I will come again to it!
Tunings (bottom to top)
Bass – E A D G
Guitar (Capo 8th fret) – C F A D G B
For over 12 years I have been creating artistic bass cover/tutorial videos, especially Chris Squire bass covers, as well as other related stories, original music and different musical topics content.
I am starting a Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/miguelfalcao for those of you who wish to support financially my musical activities. As you may know, since the beginning of 2020, I am exclusively working as a musician and music teacher, including online bass lessons.
By becoming my Official Patron, you will have access to the several benefits of this page, such as early access to content, video updates, polls or even recovering your monthly fee as a discount on a private bass lesson with me.
I hope that with my Patreon page, you will find a new exciting way to interact with me, which will provide you good moments, inspiration and useful guidance in your relationship with Music, while helping me with my musical career, taking its first steps in its full-time life.
As it is a new experience to me, as it is to you, I would also please ask you to send your thoughts and ideas on how to make this new project even more interesting for you and the community.
Thank you for being here!
Here is an update and remaster of my 2008 cover of Roundabout, including new guitar overdubs and a some corrected notes on the secondary bassline, at the “Drifting Cloud” middle section.
Here are the latest news concerning #playforChris6.
Remember the limit date for your contributions to arrive is May 15th.
Longtime internet Yesfriend Steven Sullivan of Forgotten Yesterdays suggested to me a very nice idea – to make a collaboration video among all of us playing “The Fish”. After some thought, I begin to imagine (Can You?;)) a long version of “The Fish” (expanded from the album one) in which you can play separately one or more of the parts, even if you play other instruments, or improvise along. It would basically be played along a backing track I would provide. Each one would then make a video with your performances and I would compile everything for a final “Mega-Fish” ensemble. That could be actually “Play For Chris 6”! – What do you think of the idea? Would you be willing to join it? See some instructions below:
1-Please let me know (by email email@example.com) which instrument(s) are you thinking of playing, and/or if you want to sing.
2-If you can, add info on which the bass part(s) of the original recording you would like to play, that would help managing all parts so I can have a bit of everything for the final mix. UPDATE – upon several requests, you may use soloing bits from live shows (e.g. versions of “whitefish”, Yessongs, Live at Lugano/Montreux, etc, but preferably the parts that fit in the main 7/4 pattern (the continuous harmonics)
3-I will provide you a backing track, with a click or guide, that will allow you to play along with it so all players will have matching tempos.
4-Ideally the backing track would not sound in the recording. You can do this by recording the bass direct, or recording while listening to the backing track in headphones. However, if you do not have the means to do any of the two alternatives, you can record whilst the backing track is sounding in your room, just make sure your bass is predominant in the recording (e.g. place microphone of camera closer to the bass amp and play the backing track not too loud and not too close to the mic).
5-Record one video (or one per each part you will play/sing). The duration of each shall be between 30 seconds and 90 seconds, so I may edit freely according to the length of the video, number of entries, etc.
6-Send your file(s) to my email, along with information about Name/Location and a text message dedicated to Chris, which will be displayed in the final mix. WeTransfer, Dropbox, Google Drive are some of the preferred ways to send the files.
Here is the video I have made to celebrate the 72nd birthday of Chris Squire. It’s “And You and I” and I have tried to go through the various possible overdubs in the recording, while also adding some of the live features, such as the inclusion of bass pedals.
Last December I had the pleasure to perform a free improvisation session with Marcelo dos Reis, on the occasion of the anniversary of Marcelo’s own label Cipsela Records.
Free improvisation is a completely musical ground for me, although I have been regularly participating in some improvised music events, but the challenge is always renewed, especially because this was the first time I ever played with Marcelo – hopefully there will be more!
I announce to my dear friends in the channel that this year I leave my regular job, and dedicate myself to Music in full-time. Therefore I am at your disposal for musical services and of course continuing with the online lessons.
In 2020, the fee for online lessons will drop from 20 Euro (one hour). This will also apply to the current students, of course! Please do check all information at the Online Lessons page. I will be glad to answer your questions by email and help you to accomplish your goals learning the bass.
Thank you and Happy New Year “Hopefully, Eventually”.