Thursday, August 09, 2007

Clientele songbook ideas

Mark & I are thinking about putting together a songbook of Clientele stuff, with guitar tabs / chords etc.

So what songs should we do?

Also, is the exact tablature for the fingerstyle guitar useful or should we just show the chords with a piano stave for the vocal melody? or both?

answers on a postcard please, on the comments page here, or to, and we'll get to work.


Anonymous said...

Full tabs of Impossible would be nice, 'impossible' is what it sounds like to play...

Jörg said...

Dear Alasdair,

it’s really a great idea to compile a Songbook!!! I would be one of the first to buy it!
I really love your songs and especially your wonderful guitar melodies! So it would be great, if the songbook featured the exact tablature for the fingerstyle guitar as well as the chords (small chordboxes above the lyrics)!!!

You’ve got so many good tunes, but in fact it would be great, if the songbook featured the following songs [ just to name a few :-) ]:

6am Morningside
Reflections After Jane
We Could Walk Together
(I Want You) More Than Ever
Joseph Cornell
An Hour Before The Light
From A Window

The Violet Hour
Jamaican Rum Rhumba
House On Fire

Since K Got Over Me
(I Can't Seem To) Make You Mine
My Own Face Inside The Trees
Geometry of Lawns

Here Comes the Phantom
Isn't Life Strange?
The Dance of the Hours
From Brighton Beach to Santa Monica
The Queen of Seville
Carnival on 7th Street
Bookshop Casanova
Dreams of Leaving

Greetings from Germany,


P.S.: Are there any plans for a tour through Germany? That would be really great!!!

Anonymous said...

I think that's a briliant idea, as long as it doesn't hold up writing your next album :)

I wrote down the full tabs for "We Could Walk Together" in case that saves you a job... but, how accurate they are, I couldn't say... :)

andrew said...

Include 'Devil got my woman' !

dave said...

Speaking of tablature, did you actually sample the solo from the first track off Revolver in E.M.P.T.Y, (I think that's the one) or is the similarity an example of belated convergent evolution? I mean no sly accusation, understand.

Alasdair said...

andrew - 'devil got my woman' is by skip james, so if he hadn't been dead since 1968 i'd advise you to contact him. but the way i play it is to tune the guitar to DADGBD and use these chords

d a d g b d
x 0 3 0 3 0

d a d g b d
x 0 2 0 1 0

d a d g b d
5 x 5 0 x 0

with lots of hammer-ons and stuff. if you wiggle your fingers around (for instance on the first chord, play on the first fret on the b string rather than the third) you can find lots of nice extra voicings for those chords.

my version has more in common with the (proper, 1960s) charlatan's cover of it than skip james' original. louis philippe tells me it's a modal chord sequence, and i really wish i'd written it cos it's so simple yet absolutely spooky.

dave: the solos on strange geometry were supposed to sound like albert ayler, who i was listening to loads at the time, kind of free-form and agressive, but yeah now you mention it they do sound a bit tax-man-ish too. sigh. i can never get away from the beatles.

speedyvespa said...

Hey Alasdair... you read my mind, I was thinking of asking you about your version of 'Devil Got My Woman' but as it's a Skip James track... but was really curious about the tuning of the guitar... so thanks a million.

(It's always reminded me a lot of Nick Drake's "Leaving Me Behind" and I can't help but think that's where his inspiration was.)

I really love the production of that track, to my biased mind, it almost sounds like you recorded it in Far Leys in 1967! How did you get the vocal effect?

I'm a blues nut as well as a Clientele nut, so thanks to you for doing such credit to Mr. James. Speaking of Nick Drake, in my mind, it puts thee on a par with the only other white boy I can think of who really could play blues.

Enough of the sychophancy. Bon Chance!

Anonymous said...

Hey Al... you've got your guitar detuned a semitone for the Skip James tune, right? I can play it standard pitch (DADGBD) but with a capo on the fourth fret, using the bottom four strings...sounds better your way, though.

Have you got a 3/4 scale guitar? Sounds particularly nice on a Guild M20.

I think the answer is yes, a tabs book would be a seller (judging by the blog...)

Alasdair said...

thanks for the nice comments, and here are more 'devil got my woman' answers:

detuning - i forgot to mention on the recording of devil got my woman i capo the guitar on the 3rd fret. just cos that suits my vocal range better.

recording - it was recorded on a tascam 488 mk I analogue 8 track, which is the same machine we used to record 'suburban light'; i think i put my voice through a sessionette guitar amp, not during mixing but actually as i sang, which again is the suburban light sound. no sane engineer in a recording studio will EVER let you record that way!

Anonymous said...

The songbook is a really cool idea, I'd love to see that.

My top picks would be:

We Could Walk Together
I Had To Say This
Joseph Cornell
Since K Got Over Me
Losing Haringey
Bookshop Casanova
The Garden At Night

Exact tablature would be really interesting - and very useful.

Jonathan said...

that would be a terrific idea. any song would be great but i would really love to see "what goes up" (no one else thinks so?) From what i figured out (Correct me if I'm wrong which i probably am) it is A Bm and then:
g: 9 7
b: 9 7
e:9 7
i don't know i am probably wrong. but anything would be great i would be sure to buy it.

Anonymous said...

Alasdair said:
" sane engineer in a recording studio will EVER let you record that way!"

Stroke of luck then, because I'm my own sound engineer and I haven't been sane for years. Result!

Thanks for the tip.

nico said...

i have found the chords of i hope i know you , but is a really good idea the songbook..

so i propose :

Dreams of leaving
Missing (both guitars)
Reflections after jane
We could walk together
Since this k got over me
i cant seem to make you mine

also the violin work in "isnt life strange?" would be nice

Greetings from Venezuela (yes , south america)

you are one of my fav bands ever you make the entire my world look like a movie... ill be in England at March i hope for a live performance during my visit :)

Jon said...

You've probably sorted your list of songs for the songbook by now. Even so, some favorites I'd like to see are:
-We Could Walk Together
-Joseph Cornell
-As night Is Falling
-Jamaican Rum Rhumba
-House on Fire
-The House Always Wins
-Policeman Getting Lost
-An Hour Before the Light
-My Own Face Inside the Trees
-From Brighton Beach to Santa Monica
-Girl From Somewhere

Hope this helps.

On a completely unrelated note: I can't believe you recorded Suburban Light + Devil Got my Woman on a F%@#ing Tascam 488! That's great! I love the sound & I need to do some recording soon, but have no means + limited $$$. However, I think I can afford to pick up a used Tascam 488. Just wondering though, how did you get the lovely backwards guitar sound at the end of "I had to say this" with the Tascam?


Alasdair said...

Hey jon
Good luck with the tascam 488. the way to make backwards sounds on it is just to turn the tape over and play the song backwards as you record. If you want the sounds on track 1, record on track 8, just use the symmetrical opposite track of where you want the sounds to be if you see what I mean. Another trick is to record with the dolby sound limiter switch on (at the back of the console) and mix with it off. This is what martin hannett did with joy division’s first record, as well as the way the Doors recorded their first LP. It gives you a sort of hyper compressed sound which is the suburban light sound.

Anonymous said...

Did the songbook ever happen?