2008-06-01

Classical Bass

Here’s the tab for Bach’s “Minuet in G”, arranged for bass guitar in E:

Minuet Tab

It’s written based on hazy memory, but I think it’s mainly right. And, as tabs only include 50% of the information needed to play a song, here’s an MP3 of what it should sound like (more or less):

Minuet MP3

I’m always surprised when I hear that another tab site has been closed down by threats from the music industry, because tab sites actually work in favour of the industry. Music essentially consists of two pieces of information: pitch and duration. Standard notation supplies both of these. The vertical position of a note on the stave represents its pitch, whilst the note glyph itself (ie. the picture used; I forget the technical term) gives the duration. Guitar tabs give pitch but cannot communicate duration, so it is essential that you have the original recording in order to make sense of a tab (unless you know the original recording really, really well). You could argue that, given the notes, you could eventually work out a timing that sounded reasonable. However, this is easily countered by pointing out that most tabs available on the internet are almost always slightly incorrect, frequently contain obvious mistakes, and occasionally include such massive, showstopping blunders that they become little more than vague starting points for the guitarist’s own tab.

In summary:

In order to read the Sweet Child o’ Mine tab, you need to own a copy of Sweet Child o’ Mine.

Thus, guitar tab websites not only encourage musicians to learn their craft (where would the music industry be without musicians? Perhaps that’s a stupid question…), they encourage music sales too.

My wonky bass

Anyway, I don’t play the bass very much, mainly because it buzzes like crazy whenever I try to do anything with it. The bass I currently have is an ancient (up to 21 years old, I discovered today, with at least two previous owners) Aria Pro II SLB-2, which Aria themselves disavow virtually all knowledge of ever producing. Aside from being listed on their “we made these in the dark ages” product archive page, it doesn’t exist.

Fortunately, I’ve got a Fender Jazz Bass on order. I’m giving this one away to a pal as soon as the new one turns up.

2007-11-18

GP2x Dev Environment Setup; Some Tunes

I thought I’d have a play with the GP2x this evening, so looked into setting up the dev environment. I’ve cloned my DS development installation of Windows into a new virtual machine, and got it set up as a GP2x dev environment. Nearly, anyway. Thanks to a pre-configured installation of Code::Blocks available on GP32x.com, getting the IDE and compiler set up was easy. However, the Windows builds of the “Hello world” test app won’t run because of missing SDL libraries (the libraries don’t exist in the standard SDL distro, so I don’t know where they should come from), and the GP2x version quits straight back to the menu, even after I coded in a button-checking while loop. I think either the dev environment is just knackered, or it’s having problems with the F200.

And now for something completely different. When I’m not tinkering with homebrew and have nothing better to do, I write the occasional tune. As I’m never going to use these for anything else, I figure I may as well upload them on here. At least I’ll have backups should my hard drive die…

This first one is a Renoise tune that I finished off today. I was browsing the web one day absently-mindedly whistling this, when I realised I’d inadvertently come up with a new melody.

Song4_6

Just after finishing this I found another version of the same tune, recorded back in March on the guitar. I’ve got the tab, too:

Song4_2 Song4 Tab

Here’s a snippet of something else I came up with today, that might turn into something more substantial:

Song6

Here’s another Renoise track from a while ago:

Song2_9

This track uses a Creative Commons sound from here, one from here, and another from here. (Hopefully that’s enough detail to comply with the licence.)