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Maybe I should have learned Japanese, and the words to Yesterday

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  • Maybe I should have learned Japanese, and the words to Yesterday

    After all these years of playing to tourists, you would think I would have learned a few phrases of a few different languages... It really helps break the ice and increase tips. But last night even though I knew I would be playing to many visitors from other countries, and even though I knew Paul McCartney was playing in town this Sunday and thus there would be requests for Beatles music, I spent my time elsewhere.



    Foolishly, I spent my gig prep time tweaking the sequence tempos to several songs I didn't even play. And then I spent an hour or so on the velocity of some open and closed hihats in a few other songs (that I didn't even play).



    And of course, come gig time I got a request for Yesterday. Then I found I hadn't transferred the sequence to my laptop and had to play it just on guitar while fumbling for the words. And it was a request from a very nice table of Japanese visitors who applauded loudly and tipped nicely, even though I butchered the song and could only say my one word of Japanese - konichiwa.



    But lesson learned, concentrate on the big concepts, and think and plan ahead.



    Does anybody else sometimes sweat the small stuff and forget to address the big stuff besides me?

  • #2
    I've had the opportunity of dealing with large groups of Japanese tourists, and they've always been sooooo nice, and so appreciative of even the smallest effort to communicate. Beyond konichiwa and arigato, I get a little lost, but that always seems to bring a smile from these wonderful people.



    I was jamming with an old school chum, who happened to be married to a beautiful Japanese lady named Iko. Well, at one point, I started playing an old and very beautiful Kyu Sakamoto melody that I remembered from my youth,, called Sukiyaki. My lyrics consisted of humming, but the effort garnered the most wonderful smile and applause. Beautiful song. This song was a huge "hit"here, back in '63



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9OGRKTd9rk
    Veni, Vidi, Velcro;

    (I came, I saw, I stuck around)

    Comment


    • #3
      well, here is your lesson in basic Nihongo: (simi ma sen, mata, jozu jari ma sen*)

      konichiwa is good afternoon (hello), kon ban wa (good evening), ohio go zay emas (good morning)



      arigato is thanks. More formal equivalent to 'thank you very much' is domo arigato go-zay-emas

      familiar version is just domo (among friends)



      when you or someone else is leaving, you can use matinay or jah-nay (familiar)





      Admittedly, you can't know every song, and you can't speak every language, but if you live, as you do, [and I do], in a tourist trade locale, then knowing some basic phrases in a number of languages can't hurt.





      *forgive me, but I am not very good at it
      _"We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminant period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

      Comment


      • #4






        Quote Originally Posted by Bobby1Note
        View Post

        I was jamming with an old school chum, who happened to be married to a beautiful Japanese lady named Iko. Well, at one point, I started playing an old and very beautiful Kyu Sakamoto melody that I remembered from my youth,, called Sukiyaki. My lyrics consisted of humming, but the effort garnered the most wonderful smile and applause. Beautiful song. This song was a huge "hit"here, back in '63



        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9OGRKTd9rk




        This is probably the most famous international hit from Japan (before Pink Lady), and sadly, some marketing idiot here didn't think we could deal with the Japanese title, and called it 'Sukiyaki', probably a spur of the moment brainstorm, trying to think up a Japanese word they knew. The title means, 'As I walk, I look up', IIRC. Sukiyaki is soup. Yeah, it was 1963...were we so incapable of dealing with a foreign title? Sad, really sad...beautiful song about lost love, failing hope and feeling disenfranchised..reduced to people thinking it was a soup commercial.

        Even the Ventures covered it!




        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cam7m2VBh4
        _"We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminant period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

        Comment


        • #5
          B1N, yes I work with a piano player that knows that song. It goes over big time with the Japanese tourists and I should probably learn it.



          daddymack - thanks for the condensed lesson. I've heard these phrases before but have never learned them. As I said before, it's time I did a little language shedding. Just like a good hotel concierge should know all the good restaurants.... close to the hotel, I guess a good lounge lizard should know his/her market and have a few value added tricks up their sleeves.



          BTW I did learn the words to Yesterday, and played it Saturday for a table that was going to hear Sir Paul. Learning the words was time well spent.

          Comment


          • #6






            Quote Originally Posted by daddymack
            View Post

            Yeah, it was 1963...were we so incapable of dealing with a foreign title? Sad, really sad...beautiful song about lost love, failing hope and feeling disenfranchised..reduced to people thinking it was a soup commercial.

            Even the Ventures covered it!




            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cam7m2VBh4




            Funny how a song can communicate and stir emotions and passion, even if you don't have a clue what the words mean. That song got a LOT of air-play back in the day when radio, was nowhere near as fragmented as it is today. The baby-boomers were also plugging nickels into the juke-box, and hugging their main squeeze to a "slow" dance.



            Speaking of "slow-dancin'", do people even do that anymore? Or are they too worried about getting "gored" by their partners' spiked jewelry?



            That Ventures version is Gawd-Awful,,, OMG.
            Veni, Vidi, Velcro;

            (I came, I saw, I stuck around)

            Comment


            • #7






              Quote Originally Posted by Bobby1Note
              View Post



              That Ventures version is Gawd-Awful,,, OMG.




              No argument from me on that, but not really any worse than, say, the Beatles version of 'Til There Was You'...but yeah, sadly, the Ventures did a lot of covers of pop tunes they probably shouldn't have; blame the label...

              Because of this thread, I have decided to learn Ue O Muite, Aruku in the original Japanes (phonetically), and I will try it out on my son-in-law (who is not a musician, but is Japanese ). The changes are pretty straight forward, the melody is easy to follow, but the lyrics ...maybe I'll stick to the whistling parts
              _"We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminant period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

              Comment


              • #8
                daddymack, that sounds like a very cool project. I wish I had the ear for dialects, but I have a hard enough time mastering English, let alone mastering the subtleties of a vowel-intensive language like Japanese. I'm tempted to try though. Also, the chords in that song, are a little more complex than first meets the eye, especially in a solo arrangement. They're not that difficult to "play", but may be a bit more difficult to "find". There's a "harmonic tension" (my uneducated terminoligy) that exists between various instruments in the orchestrated version. I get a kick out of finding those subtle nuances.



                Regarding ""til There Was You", The Beatles version is the only one I know. Is there another version that's better in your opinion? That's another song where "cowboy chords" just don't do the job properly. I love playing that song, and had a great time figuring it out.
                Veni, Vidi, Velcro;

                (I came, I saw, I stuck around)

                Comment


                • #9






                  Quote Originally Posted by Bobby1Note
                  View Post

                  daddymack, that sounds like a very cool project. I wish I had the ear for dialects, but I have a hard enough time mastering English, let alone mastering the subtleties of a vowel-intensive language like Japanese. I'm tempted to try though. Also, the chords in that song, are a little more complex than first meets the eye, especially in a solo arrangement. They're not that difficult to "play", but may be a bit more difficult to "find". There's a "harmonic tension" (my uneducated terminoligy) that exists between various instruments in the orchestrated version. I get a kick out of finding those subtle nuances.



                  Regarding ""til There Was You", The Beatles version is the only one I know. Is there another version that's better in your opinion? That's another song where "cowboy chords" just don't do the job properly. I love playing that song, and had a great time figuring it out.




                  'Til there was you' is from "The Music Man" (in the 1962 film, Shirley Jones and Robert Preston)...


                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLDsLeVxOaU





                  I'll bet there were a ton of covers done back in the day. Here's a more 'recent' one I like:


                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwDHfKNETsQ
                  _"We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminant period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for those links Daddymack. Leave it to Ray Charles to put his own original twist to such a great song. I found a few other versions by Peggy Lee and Rod Stewart, but I gotta admit I still like The Beatles version best. Great song.
                    Veni, Vidi, Velcro;

                    (I came, I saw, I stuck around)

                    Comment


                    • #11






                      Quote Originally Posted by Bobby1Note
                      View Post

                      daddymack, that sounds like a very cool project. I wish I had the ear for dialects, but I have a hard enough time mastering English, let alone mastering the subtleties of a vowel-intensive language like Japanese. I'm tempted to try though. Also, the chords in that song, are a little more complex than first meets the eye, especially in a solo arrangement. They're not that difficult to "play", but may be a bit more difficult to "find". There's a "harmonic tension" (my uneducated terminoligy) that exists between various instruments in the orchestrated version. I get a kick out of finding those subtle nuances.

                      .




                      I don't think you need all of the nuances of the orchestration, some of them might sound funny anyway.



                      For instance in this version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9OGRKTd9rk the intro chords are basically (written in 4/4 not 2/2) // G / Em / Bm / Am D9 // but the orchestration is implying / G G6 / Em7 Em / and so on. that's not really necessary or desirable for a stripped down version.



                      Or in the first verse // G / Em / G / Em / G / Bm / Esus4 Em / Dsus D / but for those last two bars you could just play / Em / D / It will still sound good IMHO.



                      More than one way to approach a song, and sometimes less is more.

                      Comment


                      • #12






                        Quote Originally Posted by Shaster
                        View Post

                        I don't think you need all of the nuances of the orchestration, some of them might sound funny anyway.



                        For instance in this version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9OGRKTd9rk the intro chords are basically (written in 4/4 not 2/2) // G / Em / Bm / Am D9 // but the orchestration is implying / G G6 / Em7 Em / and so on. that's not really necessary or desirable for a stripped down version.



                        Or in the first verse // G / Em / G / Em / G / Bm / Esus4 Em / Dsus D / but for those last two bars you could just play / Em / D / It will still sound good IMHO.



                        More than one way to approach a song, and sometimes less is more.




                        Yeah, that sounds ok for back-up rhythm guitar. I'm finger-picking the melody and strumming the chords and/or partial chords at the same time, so there are "key" notes that need to happen as I progress from one chord to the next.



                        I'm not good at chord names, because I play by ear, but according to a guitar chord-name finder I just looked at, something doesn't sound right with that 1st verse you posted. (Highlighted in red)



                        "Or in the first verse // G / Em / G / Em / G / Bm / Esus4 Em / Dsus D / but for those last two bars you could just play / Em / D / It will still sound good IMHO."



                        After the Bm, I go Cno5/E (like an Am, with the 3rd string open), then a C(1 note) with a hammer on the 3rd fret 2nd string, then a 4 note progression in D (D5/F#mno5). Sorry if that's not clear. I had a heckuva time finding a chord-name finder that worked well, and in some of the chords I'm playing, I'm plucking only one, two, or three notes at a time. It's a heckuva lot simpler when you actually see it being played.
                        Veni, Vidi, Velcro;

                        (I came, I saw, I stuck around)

                        Comment


                        • #13






                          Quote Originally Posted by Bobby1Note
                          View Post

                          Yeah, that sounds ok for back-up rhythm guitar. I'm finger-picking the melody and strumming the chords and/or partial chords at the same time, so there are "key" notes that need to happen as I progress from one chord to the next.



                          I'm not good at chord names, because I play by ear, but according to a guitar chord-name finder I just looked at, something doesn't sound right with that 1st verse you posted. (Highlighted in red)



                          "Or in the first verse // G / Em / G / Em / G / Bm / Esus4 Em / Dsus D / but for those last two bars you could just play / Em / D / It will still sound good IMHO."



                          After the Bm, I go Cno5/E (like an Am, with the 3rd string open), then a C(1 note) with a hammer on the 3rd fret 2nd string, then a 4 note progression in D (D5/F#mno5). Sorry if that's not clear. I had a heckuva time finding a chord-name finder that worked well, and in some of the chords I'm playing, I'm plucking only one, two, or three notes at a time. It's a heckuva lot simpler when you actually see it being played.




                          If you're doiing a guitar arrangement then whatever sounds good is good IMO. Personally I like the Esus to Em (or Em11 to Em7) rather than the Am/E (I think that's what you mean by Cno5/E) to C but it's all good if you're doing a solo piece. And in reality I would just play Em and D - or actually for a guitar arrangement I would probably put the tune in "C" because the melody seems more suitable there. Yea, I just tried it there, works well with the open strings....



                          Funny that the second position Am chord over E (or Am/E chord if voiced E,C,E,A) is like the Classical Gas chord that occurs right near the end of that piece (okay it's voiced as an Am7/E in whatever key the piece is in). Billy Joel also uses that type of chord in the intro to Just the Way You Are. And it's also used in Takin' It To the Streets (Doobie Bros.) with a different root.



                          So it's // Fm/G / C/G / D7/G / G7sus4 / http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rxWPEdYCnI



                          Lots of reoccurring patterns in music. Anyway have fun with Sukiyaki.

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                          • #14
                            Ahhhh The Doobie Bros. Probably the "tightest" band I've ever heard. I gotta get into summa that tonight,,, Thks Shaster.
                            Veni, Vidi, Velcro;

                            (I came, I saw, I stuck around)

                            Comment


                            • #15






                              Quote Originally Posted by Bobby1Note
                              View Post

                              Y

                              I'm not good at chord names, because I play by ear,




                              interesting, I just use my hands..but I'll try anything once....OWWWW, now my ear hurts






                              After the Bm, I go Cno5/E (like an Am, with the 3rd string open), ....



                              we generally just call that chord an A minor 7
                              _"We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminant period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

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