Posts Tagged Fingerstyle

Transcribing Beatles

How long does it take to ready a transcription folio for publication?

For my Beatle arrangements, at least a decade, if I include the time taken to cultivate a healthy relationship with the publishers….. A few tunes from my ‘LJ Plays The Beatles’ and ‘One Wing’ CDs made it into a Popular Songs fingerstyle folio I did a few years ago, which helped smooth the way for an all-Beatle book.

Ironically the ‘hit’ from that particular collection was not a Beatle tune, but my arrangement of the Lieber-Stoller-Ben E. King tune  ‘Stand By Me’, which was featured in a diamond commercial on TV.

A significant criteria in my tune selection for ‘LJ Plays The Beatles Vol. 2′, was that keeping the repertoire to Lennon-McCartney tunes would allow a folio to match the recording. Apparently, George’s tunes are governed by some different agreements and would complicate the issue.

The challenges of creating solo arrangements of these tunes are a subject for way more discussion than is appropriate to a brief blog post. Catch me at one of my clinics or extended workshops for some in-depth study – see my schedule.

I finished recording the CD in May of 2010. I had already prepared most of the arrangements in Sibelius, my preferred notation program. Then everything was revised to match the recordings, plus transcriptions were done of the more improvised tunes – with some help from Dr. Dave. The files were sent to my excellent editor Jeff at Hal Leonard Publishing, who did a total revision and emailed me pdfs of his pencil amendments to the print-outs. After I approved the changes, and added a few of my own, the music then went to the engraver to incorporate all the alterations into the original Sibelius files. That took us to into December.

Last week, appropriately enough while I was a guest on the ‘Beatles Tribute Cruise’, I received pdfs of the engraver’s proofs, with some pencil annotations. They were final enough for me to sit in my studio for 4 days and record brief lessons on all 15 tunes for the CD that accompanies the book. I made a few corrections as I read through the tunes, but my part of the process is essentially done. I’m expecting that the book will be out in May 2011.

So, in answer to my original question, essentially a year, excluding the arranging time prior to recording the album itself. That’s with the benefits of digital technology (and some well-sharpened red pencils). I can’t imagine doing it with woodblocks…….

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