Plastic Sitars Intro for piano

I’ve been playing more music lately, but also trying to go back and learn the fundamentals of reading/writing music and keyboard playing—I can play chords and pop melodies semi reliably but suck at playing scales with either hand. Yesterday I created a free account at Noteflight, which lets you compose scores online (you have to enter notes via mouse/keyboard, but the UI is pretty quick once you get the hang of it). The import feature successfully digested a 15 year old MIDI file of something I wrote in college.

The (yet unrecorded) French Horns song “Plastic Sitars” always started with rhythm guitar live, but for a few months I’ve been toying with a short solo guitar piece as an intro, ideally stealing Johnny Smith’s tone. Below is a piano arrangement for my tour of airport cocktail lounges.

Maria Napoleon “Think of Rain”

Louis Philippe and Maria Napoleon put together a fine version of one of my favorite tunes. I usually don’t like covers that mess with the melody, but at the end of the choruses I really love how the vocal playfully jumps to what a high harmony might sing, if Margo Guryan had written one in. I’ll have to check out the compilation this is on, “Simultaneous Ice Cream“.

StackExchange folks, KeyMinor already exists

Why is there a StackExchange proposal in the works for a “Musical Practice and Performance site” when KeyMinor already exists on the SE platform?

The proposed site is “for people who play musical instruments. On-topic questions will be about technique, practice, theory, composition, and repertoire.” KeyMinor already serves this purpose, it’s just not known about.

I’d add a comment to the proposal but I see no way to; I probably don’t have sufficient reputation points.

Why the Pernice Brothers Don’t Tour

From “Will he/they tour?“:

JP: We make any money if we tour for two weeks?

JL: You mean ten days, if rehearsals are included.

JP: Yes.

JL: No.

JP: Well then why would we do it?

RM: Because Menck wants to rock.

JL: Theoretically, the tour is just one piece of the things you do if you want to sell records.

JP: We don’t sell enough records at shows to justify that. Especially if YOU work the merch table, because people are scared of you.

JL: Theoretically, it’s not just the stuff you sell at the show, it’s the review that you get in the local paper, the placement you get in the local record store, none of which happens if you don’t play a show in that city.

JP: So you think we should tour?

JL: The extent of the fuck I do not give about whether you tour can’t really be measured.

RM: Doesn’t anyone care that Menck just wants to rock?

Chords: The Flaming Lips “All We Have is Now”

[Song on YouTube] All the tabs I could find were crap, so I wrote up a guitar arrangement. The inverted voicings in the choruses made it tough to figure out, but capoing the 2nd fret gets it pretty close.

Capo 2nd fret. / = 1/4 note

  A    3-5-5-4-3-x  (2 bars) As logic stands you couldn't meet a man who's from the
  G#m  2-4-4-2-2-x  (2 bars) future.
  A    3-5-5-4-3-x  (2 bars) But logic broke as he appeared he spoke about the
  G#m  2-4-4-2-2-x  (2 bars) future.
  B    5-7-7-6-5-x  (1 bar)  "We're not gonna
  A    3-5-5-4-3-x  (1 bar)  make it."
  B    5-7-7-6-5-x  (1 bar)  He explained how the
  A    3-5-5-4-3-x  (1 bar)  end will come.
  A    3-5-5-4-3-x  (2 bars) You and me were never meant to be part of the
  G#m  2-4-4-2-2-x  (1 bar)  future.
  B          x-0-7-6-5-x  / /
  Bsus4add9  x-0-x-4-3-x  /
  Bmaj7      x-0-6-6-5-x  /

  Amaj7      3-2-0-0-0-2  (1 bar)     All we
  Dmaj7/F#   0-3-2-0-0-0  (1 bar)  have     is
  C#m7/G#    2-2-4-2-3-2  (1 bar)  now.
  F#7sus4    0-x-2-2-3-x  / /
  F#         0-x-2-1-0-0  / /

  All we've ever had is now.
  All we have is now.

  Amaj7      3-2-0-0-0-2  (1 bar)    All we've
  Dmaj7/F#   0-3-2-0-0-0  (1 bar)  ever had     i-
  G#m7       2-4-2-2-2-2  (2 bars) is now.

  F#m7       0-2-2-0-3-x  (1 bar)
  B7         x-0-2-0-2-0  (1 bar)

  I noticed that he had a watch and hat that looked familiar.
  He was me from a dimension torn free of the future.
  "We're not gonna make it." He explained how the end will come.
  You and me were never meant to be part of the future.


  F#m7       0-7-5-7-x-x  (2 bars)
  Emaj9      x-5-4-6-5-x  (2 bars)
  D9-5       8-x-8-7-7-x  (2 bars)
  A          3-x-0-0-0-3  (2 bars)
  Bm6/F#     0-0-2-2-1-2  (1 bar)
  E7/G#      2-0-0-2-1-2  (1 bar)

  Amaj7      3-2-0-0-0-2  (1 bar)     All we
  Dmaj7/F#   0-3-2-0-0-0  (1 bar)  have     is
  C#m7/G#    2-2-0-2-0-x  (end)    now.
  C#m9       x-2-0-2-2-x  (organ adds D#)
  C#m11      x-2-0-2-2-0  (synth adds F#)

Bass for Stereolab’s “Miss Modular”

“Miss Modular” has an amazing bass line. It’s probably looped on record, but they play it live…and usually faster than the recording. I’m fairly sure it’s capoed at the 7th fret—that’s how I’ve typed it up here.

Stereolab "Miss Modular"
Capo bass @ 7th fret.
spaces/numbers/hyphens = 1/16th notes.
/ = 1/4 notes.


  /       /       /       /       /
D                       2---
A         4---              4-
E                             4---
B 0-------    0---2-----          0-------------------------------


  /       /       /       /       /       /       /       /
D                       2---
A         4---              4-            4---    4---  2-
E                             4---                          5-2---
B 0-------    0h1h2-----          0-------    0---

  /       /       /       /       /       /       /       /
D                                                 2---
A                 4---  4-- 2-            4---          4-- 2-
E         5---2---            4---                            4---
B 0------/                        2-------    2---


  • Mute all the strings, but mostly the bottom 3.
  • At the beginning of the 3rd measure, by fretting the A on the 2nd string, you can slide the end of the low B up to meet it.
  • Chords are just Bm7 and C#m7 (the brass makes A and C#m9 chords)

New Bass

Ibanez AGB140 Bass

Craigslist comes through with a huge step up from my crummy Precision bass knockoff. Sounds golden, great action (a joy to play), even volume & tone all across the fretboard. Love it.