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Thread: Best Version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps

  1. #1
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    Default Best Version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps

    Just saw Jake in concert last night! He was awesome!

    It re-inspired me to pick up my re-entrant tuned ukulele and maybe learn that "holy grail" song I've always admired "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."

    What's the best version to buy for sheet music?

    I see that Amazon has two books that happen to have that song.

    https://www.amazon.com/Peace-Love-Uk...W9B2SSKKHDGG51

    https://www.amazon.com/Jake-Shimabuk...s=books&sr=1-4

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrdr View Post
    Just saw Jake in concert last night! He was awesome!

    It re-inspired me to pick up my re-entrant tuned ukulele and maybe learn that "holy grail" song I've always admired "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."

    What's the best version to buy for sheet music?

    I see that Amazon has two books that happen to have that song.

    https://www.amazon.com/Peace-Love-Uk...W9B2SSKKHDGG51

    https://www.amazon.com/Jake-Shimabuk...s=books&sr=1-4

    Any thoughts?
    Did you read the reviews? The first one requires multiple players on most of the songs.

  3. #3
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    Check the reviews of both and if one has a song list more to your taste. From the reviews it sounds like most of the songs on Peace are multi-part, so not so useful if you want to play solo.

    Price wise, ...Japan is $16 and Peace is $13, so if that's all you're buying Japan is cheaper today with the Primeday $5 off $15.

    I love that some people seem surprised that note-for-note transcriptions of Jake's songs aren't beginner friendly

  4. #4
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    Another Jake book with a version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps:

    https://www.amazon.com/Jake-Shimabuk...s%2C247&sr=8-1

    This one comes with audio and video, it says, so that might be helpful.

    I haven't tried to play the song yet, so can't help you decide which book to get, though.
    Last edited by Joyful Uke; 07-15-2019 at 05:44 AM. Reason: Add link

  5. #5
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    The performance transcription in Live in Japan turns into a challenging pseudo-improvisational jam after the first few minutes, and it's a fun arrangement. You can buy the arrangement from a prominent sheet music website for a few bucks.

    Note that while the arrangement is for solo performance, it benefits from some effects (compression for increased sustain, reverb for atmosphere, delay for texture). Without the effects, certain aspects of the arrangement (in particular, some of the left hand slides in the first half) might be unduly difficult and should probably be omitted.
    "Who hears music, feels his solitude Peopled at once -- for how count heart-beats plain / Unless a company, with hearts which beat, / Come close to the musician, seen or no?" - Robert Browning, "Balaustion's Adventure"

  6. #6
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    For me the best version is probably by Eric and co at George's memorial concert.

    Edit, oops sorry you were asking about sheet music, not actual performances
    Kamaka HF-2LD - Kanile'a Custom 5 string Super Tenor - Koaloha Special Issue Tenor - Mya Moe Maple & Spruce Tenor - Pono MGTDP

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AQUATOPAZ View Post
    Did you read the reviews? The first one requires multiple players on most of the songs.
    I did read the reviews and my conclusion was that that one did not have multiple parts but perhaps that is wrong. I was hoping someone Here actually tried to learn this song from one of these arrangements. The improv portion of the Japan book is curious.

    Thanks for the feedback so far! Looking forward to everyone’s thoughts.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrdr View Post
    The improv portion of the Japan book is curious.
    It starts at about 2:15 on the CD track. The first 30 seconds or so isn't difficult assuming you are competent in your strumming dynamics, but after that, the arrangement turns into a showpiece that makes extensive use of chunk strums, ghost notes, right hand placement, slides, barre bends, spread voicings, etc. On the CD, there's a keyboard-bass backing band providing accompaniment and trading solos, but the arrangement also works pretty well as a solo (especially if you scat a bit).

    If that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, the first campanella-esque 2:30 is more approachable for most players. It's a beautiful arrangement.
    Last edited by bacchettadavid; 07-15-2019 at 06:10 AM.
    "Who hears music, feels his solitude Peopled at once -- for how count heart-beats plain / Unless a company, with hearts which beat, / Come close to the musician, seen or no?" - Robert Browning, "Balaustion's Adventure"

  9. #9
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    I guess my question is... Do you currently play any version of guitar gently weeps?

    When I learned the song years ago, the Central Park version was pretty much it and it is probably a good starting point. In my opinion it is the strum speed and patterns that are the real killer in playing that song, I have never come close to mastering them. I suspect not too many others have either. Never-the-less I play the song and have added a few tweaks along the way. And honestly, even my rudimentary version still blows the average person away.

    In 2010 Corey Fujimoto did a 3 part video tutorial for Hawaiian Music Supply (Ukulele Site). It is a really basic version, and without an Intro or Outro, (which I added), but it really helped me and sets up a foundation for whatever more advanced version you want to learn.

    I have no idea if this will help or hinder, but it might provide an aid when working through whatever version you settle on, but here they are:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eY5AJiU0aD8

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GaDo5lmFrA

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfn24i6OHsg

    John

  10. #10
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    I just remembered that there is also a nice arrangement in Fred Sokolow's The Beatles for Fingerstyle Ukulele. I know it's not a Jake interpretation, but you might want to check it out.
    Last edited by bacchettadavid; 07-15-2019 at 08:31 AM.
    "Who hears music, feels his solitude Peopled at once -- for how count heart-beats plain / Unless a company, with hearts which beat, / Come close to the musician, seen or no?" - Robert Browning, "Balaustion's Adventure"

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