Blackbird Harmonics - December 26, 1999

This column is a follow-up to the previous article which dealt with my system of harmonics. I have entered below, the intro to my harmonics arrangement of the Lennon/McCartney song, Blackbird, which can be heard in its entirety on my Real Songs cd. 


Page One
(Click on music to open separately for easier printing.)

Page Two
(Click on the music to open separately for easier printing.)

I advise you to review the Harmonics article before you attempt this arrangement, and you may need to refer to it periodically. A quick review of the notation:

The diamond-shaped notes are to be played as harmonics. The circled numbers tell you which string the note is to be played on. The letters L and R signify which hand covers the harmonic; L=left, R=right. When you see something like (a-8) which can be found over the Bb in measure 5, the "a" stands for artificial harmonic. This means that the Bb will be covered at the 8th fret, 4th string, while the right hand plays the harmonic 12 frets above, (at the 20th fret). 

Remember the object is to get a good, clear, bell-like tone, and to make the notes sustain into one another. This is not easy! Physically, you need the precision of a surgeon. Conceptually, down is up and east is west, because you are continually playing higher notes on lower strings, shifting from right to left-hand harmonics, and nothing is linear. Emotionally, you need the patience of a Zen master! But the rewards are great. If you can overcome the obstacles, you will enter an otherworldly dimension to the guitar where few have gone. If you have questions, I will be more than happy to try to answer them. Contact me

Good luck and have fun! 


Old School, by Paul Chasman and the "Great Gatleys"


Accompanied by Dan and Laurie Gatley on bass and vocals, Paul Chasman returns with 11 new original tunes that will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you think. With his trademark sparkling guitar at the forefront, Paul’s poetic lyrics contrast life and mortality; grief and celebration; and light that penetrates the dark.