Greybeard's Easy Listenin' Page
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Now, the chances are that you have come here from Guitarnoise. I'm not going solo or anything like that, I just know the pressure on David and Paul, so I'm putting this up here on a one-off basis.
Many people hit a brick wall at some stage or other, not knowing what to do next. What is easy but not "She'll be comin' round the mountain" or "Jingle Bells".
In the 50's and 60's there were a great number of instrumental hits from people like Duane Eddy and groups like the Shadows, Chantays, Surfaris and Ventures. Many of these have become classics in their own little way, but seem to be totally neglected as good learning material. Everyone wants to play like Steve Vai or Joe Satriani or whoever, it's only natural, but even they cut their teeth on far easier stuff than they currently play. Don't forget that some of these tunes have been No. 1 hits all over the world and that some of these guitarists were the catalyst for people like Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler to pick up a guitar in the first place.
First Things First.
To enable you to play these files you will need to download and install the Power Tab Editor. For convenience, I have put the current version here. The reason for using pte rather than just text files, is that it will play the tab files on your PC (assuming you have a sound card, of course), so that even if you've never heard the original, pte will show you how it sounds. Another reason is that as an independently sourced tab file, I don't see any possibility of copyright problems.
As far as I can tell they are all pretty close to the originals - which is another bonus of pt files, they seem in general to be higher quality tabs than most text files.
The first one on my list is No. 18 on the UKs biggest selling hits of all time
Wonderful Land - The Shadows
If you listen to the original, you can hear Hank Marvin's, then revolutionary use of reverb, by damping the strings to get a weird, wooden sound.
Secondly, I want to put a Duane Eddy classic up (especially for Nick):
This tune uses, in its original, a tremelo for effect, but I think you can get by without.
Next comes a big hit for the Ventures, that has been covered by dozens of other groups
Walk Don't Run
At the moment, the remainder of the list looks like this, because that's all I can find on the net in ptb format:
Pipeline - The Chantays
Wipe Out - Surfaris
The Boys - The Shadows
This tune is a real workout for the middle/pinkie finger combination and good practice in alternate picking. At the risk of upsetting someone and getting my wrists slapped for copyright infringement, I am including an MP3 snippet of The Boys, as the power tab rendition loses the smoothness of the bends. The snippet covers Bars 72-76 of the power tab file and may, of course, not be 100% the same as the tab (usual rules with tab).
With exception of Wonderful Land, I think all the tunes can be played on an acoustic. Wonderful Land uses notes that are probably too far up the neck for an acoustic. The bends (e.g. in The Boys) can be substituted by hammer-ons and pull-offs.
Now here's one for the acoustic crowd. Both the lead and rhythm are played on acoustic guitars. The lead line is quite easy and straighforward. The rhythm line uses nothing but barre chords based on either the E or Am chords and has some areas where you can get a nice bit of strumming practice.^
Two new tunes that I've found on the web
If there is sufficient response, I will continue to trawl the net for more. Also, if there is sufficient interest, I will try to create a backing version, without the lead, for you to play along to.
© Graham Merry 2004