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Studio Log II: Tribute To A Master


Oh well, here is the second part of my "Studio Logs". As mentioned before, I am gonna write those every once in a while, talking about recording sessions I was involved in, telling you about how they went, what kind of situations might come up, how we recorded certain things, what kind of stuff you have to be prepared for or deal with as a session-player.

OK, let´s see...
A few days ago I was going through a big pile of old papers, old kinds of stuff... old instructional material from the MI, exercises for my students, and some of the documentation I kept from the sessions I participated in in recent years. And I happened to find the lead sheets and other stuff from a session I really remember as a great one...

As you might remember from "Studio Log I", I worked with country-singer / songwriter Wolfgang Malende last year (actually we still are collaborating, and this year we´ll record more stuff and also play live). Well, he called me up and we talked about what else there was to record for his upcoming album. He told me that he was thinking about recording two cover-versions of songs he liked a lot.

When he mentioned that one of them was a cover-version of the old Curtis Mayfield / Impressions-tune "People Get Ready", I got all excited.
After all, that song and the guitar work of Jeff Beck on his cover version of it (to be found on Beck´s "Flash" Album... Rod Steward sings the song) really inspired me years ago. I loved the stuff Jeff did on his version. So we decided to record this song and base it on the Beck / Steward-version a bit, which means feature more guitar than Mayfield did back in the 60´s.

Preparation & Lead sheets

We initially planned to do this rather spontaneously, but I still took the time to prepare myself a bit. I listened to the tunes a few more times, I looked for a TAB of the intro solo that a friend of mine had done at the GIT (thanks, Rich!), and I prepared two different lead-sheets.

Now, if you don´t know yet what a lead sheet is: this is something you will find quite often during studio-sessions and band rehearsals. It´s a sheet of paper documenting the chords of a song, and also shows the structure of it (like: Intro: D / Bm / A / G, Verse: D / Bm / G / D etc.)

I did one with strictly the chords and structure of the song, and the other one with indications of the rhythm... how long to play each chord. (Example: the first chord is played for the length of a dotted quarter note, then the next one is played for the length of an eighth-note and a half note etc.)

Those two, plus the aforementioned transcription of the intro-solo are pictured below. I scanned them and uploaded them in a pretty small size. It was important for me to show you how those sheets kinda look instead of having them displayed large enough for you to read the whole thing... it´s just to give you an idea of the documentation used!

A transcription of the solo that an old friend of mine did. Used with permission.

A sheet showing structure and basic chord progressions of the song incl. the rhythmic division of the song...

Another sheet showing structure and basic chord progressions of the full song

The recordings >>