Song Help Request Sound Files for Robert Johnson for Ukulele

sopher

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I've got the Hal Leonard book "Robert Johnson for Ukulele" and there isn't a CD or any sound files for me to hear what they sound like. If anyone has recordings of these arrangements, I would be willing to pay to obtain them. Please PM me.

Thanks
 
Sopher, the songs in your book are available individually on the SheetMusicDirect website. The link below will take you to the page that lists the 18 songs. If you click on any of the song titles, you will hear a digitized recording of the song. Not quite as pleasant as the real thing, but it will at least provide you with a technically accurate rendition of what the song is supposed to sound like. Hope this helps.

 
I'd just look for recordings of Johnson playing the tunes. The Uke TAB should be understandable after that.
 
You will need to make your way to the crossroads and sell your soul to the devil in order to obtain those sound files...
 
Sopher, the songs in your book are available individually on the SheetMusicDirect website. The link below will take you to the page that lists the 18 songs. If you click on any of the song titles, you will hear a digitized recording of the song. Not quite as pleasant as the real thing, but it will at least provide you with a technically accurate rendition of what the song is supposed to sound like. Hope this helps.

Jan D,

Thanks very much - I can go there, play the songs and record them on my PC. I'll have to spend some time doing this.

thanks again!

sopher
 
How do you find the book to be? Is it interesting, arrangement-wise? Difficult, or a lot of the same old same old? I want to buy it but I've burned myself on books before... Thanks!
 
I know this is an old post but don't these music books usually have a code inside the book that allows you to download the audio files?
 
Concerning the sound files, I note that most of the songs are in the pattern of the standard key of A blues that Robert Johnson used frequently. The best one seems to me to be Kindhearted Woman. If you just got that one song, you could play almost every song on there. The others, like They're Red Hot are easy to figure out by ear. There was one in F, but that will be less satisfactory, since it sits fairly high up the fretboard.

Alternatively, you can try something like this. I don't try to note-for-note Robert Johnson (pretty impossible) but just try to get some of his vibe. I am playing this in B-natural.

 
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I took a closer look at "Kindhearted Woman Blues" in the sheet music sound file link that @Jan D provided. Of the 18 songs in the book, Kindhearted Woman, Phonograph Blues, 32-20 Blues, Me and The Devil Blues, Dead Shrimp Blues, Honeymoon Blues, Steady Rollin' Man, and Little Queen of Spades are all very similar and all in the key of A. Stop Breaking' Down and Stones in My Passway are also in A with structures not far removed from the others. If I am counting this up correctly, then 10 out of the 18 songs are much of a muchness, albeit with different lyrics.

I also noted, while viewing the score for Kindhearted Woman, that what they are presenting for the ukulele part is rather focused on the 'gravy notes' and reduce much of the ukulele part to single note lines and double stops, with fewer fully fingered chords presented. I don't think this is really the way one should try to play this. The ukulele is already pretty wimpy for volume, and these spare lines are going to sound, well, spare. I think it should be played while mostly fingering full chords and pick and choose to emphasise what you will. Otherwise, I think it will sound little and fiddly, not what you want in a powerful delta blues number.

I think the abridged sound file plus the written score provided in the sample for Kindhearted Woman is quite enough to serve as a starting point for your own bold arrangements for any or all of the tunes Robert Johnson played in the key of A.
 
I took a closer look at "Kindhearted Woman Blues" in the sheet music sound file link that @Jan D provided. Of the 18 songs in the book, Kindhearted Woman, Phonograph Blues, 32-20 Blues, Me and The Devil Blues, Dead Shrimp Blues, Honeymoon Blues, Steady Rollin' Man, and Little Queen of Spades are all very similar and all in the key of A. Stop Breaking' Down and Stones in My Passway are also in A with structures not far removed from the others. If I am counting this up correctly, then 10 out of the 18 songs are much of a muchness, albeit with different lyrics.

I also noted, while viewing the score for Kindhearted Woman, that what they are presenting for the ukulele part is rather focused on the 'gravy notes' and reduce much of the ukulele part to single note lines and double stops, with fewer fully fingered chords presented. I don't think this is really the way one should try to play this. The ukulele is already pretty wimpy for volume, and these spare lines are going to sound, well, spare. I think it should be played while mostly fingering full chords and pick and choose to emphasise what you will. Otherwise, I think it will sound little and fiddly, not what you want in a powerful delta blues number.

I think the abridged sound file plus the written score provided in the sample for Kindhearted Woman is quite enough to serve as a starting point for your own bold arrangements for any or all of the tunes Robert Johnson played in the key of A.
I find the ukulele itself, sometimes comes up short for certain musical styles. I play 32-20 Blues and Prodigal Son (known by other names too) on guitalele because I can't express the proper feel with just four strings. Maybe you can, @Yukio , but not by a mere mortal like myself.
As an aside, I can sing the words to Prodigal Son, but the words to 32-20 do no sit well with me. I abhor guns and violence.
 
I think John Hammond can be a model for what can be achieved with an alternation of loud and soft, chord and riff. This performance of "Me and the Devil" has a remarkable blend of the powerful and the delicate.


 
I find the ukulele itself, sometimes comes up short for certain musical styles. I play 32-20 Blues and Prodigal Son (known by other names too) on guitalele because I can't express the proper feel with just four strings. Maybe you can, @Yukio , but not by a mere mortal like myself.
As an aside, I can sing the words to Prodigal Son, but the words to 32-20 do no sit well with me. I abhor guns and violence.
Yeah, I hear you. It is too bad that 32-20 is such a good song, because the lyric is pretty much a lead ball of violence and misogyny.

Ah, boys, I just can't take my rest;
Ah, I just can't take my rest;
With this 32-20 laying up and down my breast.

It is hard to get a good night's sleep when you sleep with one eye open and a loaded pistol under the covers.
 
I think John Hammond can be a model for what can be achieved with an alternation of loud and soft, chord and riff. This performance of "Me and the Devil" has a remarkable blend of the powerful and the delicate.



John Hammond is a good role model, indeed. He is quite young here, and probably overly excited, to boot. He lets the tempo run away a bit, but he manages to keep all four wheels on the road, just the same. Slower blues numbers are a real art unto themselves. A tight-wire balance of restraint and emotional catharsis.
 
Here is what I came up with on the basis of Jan D's sound file/ sheet music link....



I "straightened" out the form so as not to have the shorter phrase jumps like was notated in the score. I thought it would be more helpful as an example if it was done as a standard 12-bar blues with no surprises. 😇

Sorry, the lighting is rather dim, but I didn't like the glare either.
 
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