Week #534 ~ Limehouse Blues

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Well, we've got a winner (for this poll, at least)... Limehouse Blues.

    I'd appreciate if anyone is familiar with this tune, you would link to some notation and/or videos!
  2. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Christian DP, Jairo Ramos Parra, JeffD, Jim Roberts, John Kelly, yankees1
    Do one of you guys know it?
  3. Frithjof
    To get it started: Django fakebook.
  4. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Good morning dear SAW community!
    You can find mando tabs here:
    There's a lot of different versions of this song:
    From a mid-tempo vocal rendition by Nancy Sinatra

    to high-speed gypsy jazz versions

    I played it on my tenor guitar:

    If I find the time, I'll maybe do a mandolin recording somewhere in the future...
    BTW: Limehouse is an East London district.
  5. Frithjof
    Your version of this song is really great. I like it more than the high-speed playing of Django.

    As for mandolin we should certainly have a look at David Grisman’s playing.
  6. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Three very different interpretations of a timeless blues number, showing what can be done if the basic tune is strong to start with. Christian, your tenor guitar version is excellent and the backing works beautifully. Congratulations on a job well done!
  7. Robert Balch
    Robert Balch
    I like your tenor guitar version best too. Great job Christian.
  8. Michael Romkey
    Michael Romkey
    Here's a quick & dirty version. It really needs bass and guitar ... and fiddle.

  9. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Me too Christian definitely the best version, nice playing.

    Edit: Well done Mike, I’m not sure whether to jump in and do Django or go for Sinatra -the race is on!
  10. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Very nice CC. and Mike.
  11. Frithjof
    I had fun learning the basics of this song. To participate in the current tune of the week I recorded a practice video with midi accompaniment created with the help of ChordPulse.

  12. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Yay Jazzman Frithjof! Nice one, relaxed playing and it was interesting having the chords there, I hadn’t realised there were so many chord changes, it all fits in well.
    And thanks as well for the motivation, I might have a go at this and be a jazzman with you guys too!
  13. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Yay Jazzman Frithjof! Nice one, relaxed playing and it was interesting having the chords there, I hadn’t realised there were so many chord changes, it all fits in well.
    And thanks as well for the motivation, I might have a go at this and be a jazzman with you guys too!
  14. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Fine delivery, Frithjof. You have that tune really swinging there.
  15. Frithjof
    Thanks, Simon and John.

    Mike – I listened to your recording a few times. Great. I tried to throw in some chords on the end of each phrase but that’s beyond my abilities so far.
  16. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Very nice, Frithjof. I haven't heard of Chord Pulse, that's an interesting gizmo. It's like having someone to play along with. You've got a nice little swing in that song - it worked well.
  17. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Amazing swing for an electric machine, and very fine playing. Frithjof!
  18. Frithjof
    Thanks, Ginny and Christian.

    All credits for the swing feeling should really going to the ChordPulse app.

    I got the recommendation by JL277z last year. It’s easy to use and delivers a good sound out of my PC speakers.
    I can export the music but only as midi file. I used an online converter to make it a mp3 file which I could mix in Audacity [Audacity can play midi but needs a sound file to mix it with my recording tracks].

    Unfortunately, ChordPulse is developed exclusively for Windows. Hence I have to use another app for my smartphone.
  19. JL277z
    Good pickin', everyone!


    Frithjof, cool idea to do an octave-higher variation at 0:39.

    Christian, I like the subtle vibrato you use on certain notes. And neat improv/variation at 0:46.

    Michael, cool slide at 0:13! And that run that starts at 0:32 is intriguing, would probably take me many hours of half-speed study to decipher just that one passage - those types of runs are a mystery to me as they're not (yet) in my musical vocabulary but I like the sound.

    Ginny Aitchison wrote: "I haven't heard of Chord Pulse"

    Hm. I've posted a bunch of videos using Chordpulse over the last five years, often for Song-A-Week threads (examples: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (my 2nd video on Apr 7th), 9, 10, 11 etc.), including recently in a direct reply to one of *your* posts just a few months ago. Apparently you haven't seen any of those? Each video is clearly identified as using Chordpulse backing.

    I realize that many of my videos may not correspond to everyone's musical preferences, because - among many other possible reasons - in my old age I like to try new (new to me, anyway) sounds that often don't fit into the establishment's restrictive narrowly-defined "traditional music" category. I spent too much of my early life playing music the 'expected' and 'traditional' ways, adhering to rules enforced by certain adherents as to what's allowed and what's prohibited (no electric! no jazz chords! no tin-pan alley songs! no 'modern' instruments! no written music! no pre-worked-out arrangements! no amplification! no microphones! no monitors! no A440! no this! no that!), to the point where I got so bored with music that I quit playing entirely for many years, it just seemed like going around in circles.

    It's good to have new musical sounds to explore, while in some cases being able to keep true to one's roots as to the general vibe/'feeling', even though one might be using different tools to achieve that music.

    If it makes audiences tap their feet, and inspires me to pick up my instruments once in a while, then it's all good IMO.

    Ginny Aitchison wrote: "It's like having someone to play along with."

    Yes, with bonus advantages: an app won't show up drunk and run its pickup truck off the driveway and get stuck in the slough, turning what should have been a jam session into an exercise in using the forklift and a logging chain to pull the miscreant's pickup out of the mud. (Lol it's happened.) An app plays in tune, is available 24/7, keeps good time, doesn't complain when I practice a tune at half-speed for a solid hour for an entire week (often necessary in order for me to learn difficult passages).
  20. Frithjof
    Jil (hopefully I remember your first name correctly) – thanks for the nice comment.

    I love your every time very long and detailed answers in this group and in the main forum). I myself can’t do that. The keyboard of my PC doesn’t offer this many letters/keys to write such long essays.
    As much as I understand you … please are not too angry with any of our fellow group members. Each one has its own preferences. Sure enough every one here like to be polite and write nice comments. Only in rare cases happens some minor accidents.

    And… btw … … I need more and
  21. JL277z
    Thanks Frithjof! Well I'm sort of a closet nerd, so I'm often fascinated by technical details even if I only barely understand them. And I can type faster than I can think, which creates its own set of problems. I try to proofread and trim things down, but I'm not very good at that.

    Frithjof wrote: "I can export the music but only as midi file. I used an online converter to make it a mp3 file which I could mix in Audacity..."

    Depending on your soundcard, you can likely use Audacity to record straight off the soundcard. Used to be I had to manually change it to the "Stereo Mix" setting (it's disabled by default in Windows). Lately it seems to work even without that, not sure why, I haven't researched it yet... wait, lemme see... ok here's an article called "How to Record the Sound Coming From Your PC (Even Without Stereo Mix)", I haven't studied the article yet but it might have useful info.

    Anyway, I first use Chordpulse to open the Chordpulse file I want to record, then I open Audacity and click its "Record" button, then I go back to Chordpulse and press the spacebar to make it start playing. You can monitor that the audio is being recorded by watching the Audacity screen. You might have to tinker with volume levels to get the right recording level (not too low, but not so loud it records all distorted). When I'm done recording I can either save the file as a WAV (no compression loss, useful for further mixing) or I save in Audacity format if I'm immediately going to add more tracks to it.

    To record other stuff in that same Audacity session, make sure to first *mute* all the other tracks in that Audacity project, otherwise they'll get re-recorded as they play back along with the new audio, which makes undesirable echo-like interference.

    This Audacity recording method will record the audio from *anything* that's playing in any app on my computer, even the audio portion of YouTube videos which might be playing in the browser. So, before trying to record the Chordpulse output, make sure there aren't any other sounds in the background from other apps (I typically have low-res/low-bandwidth streaming TV playing on my computer while I'm working on my various music projects, listening to two things at once lol, so I have to pause my tv before recording other stuff).

    Also, unless you have some sort of super-fast computer, Audacity will do a better job of recording audio from another app *if* you don't have a bunch of random unnecessary apps all running at the same time in the background, especially processor-intensive stuff like videos etc.

    Used to be, on one of my earlier very slow computers a few years ago, when I wanted to record audio I had to go so far as to unplug the Ethernet cable to temporarily stop the computer from trying to check for its various silly updates, as even that extra little bit of background processor activity was enough to make stutters and pops in the recorded audio.

    Frithjof wrote: Unfortunately, ChordPulse is developed exclusively for Windows. Hence I have to use another app for my smartphone.

    Yeah same here. On my Android phone I use "iReal Pro" to jot down quick musical ideas (chords only) when my laptop and instruments aren't handy. Then later when back at my laptop, it only takes a little time to write those iReal Pro chords into Chordpulse so I have something I like to play along with.
  22. Frithjof
    Hey, Jil, thanks for the hint to record from ChordPulse direct into Audacity.

    I just played a little with the settings of Audacity until it worked. Great! Good to some “nerds" in our group. Although I learned so much from nearly every one in this group!

    I had to set the audiohost of Audacity to “Windows WASAPI” and choose “headphones … (loopback)” as input. [PC with Windows 10].
    Then I exported it as mp3 file and send it at my own e-mail address. So I was able to download it into my smartphone. Other proceedings were possible.
    It works fine with the standard music player. And it’s really great with Amazing Slow Downer (to change the speed and pitch in desired).

    If anyone interested, I post the mp3 file here. It runs four times through with 205 bpm.

    Limehouse Blues 205 bpm 4x.mp3

    I hope I did it right.
  23. JL277z
    Awesome, Frithjof! Sounds to me like a perfect Audacity recording. Bearing in mind that I'm no audio expert or anything, but the level (the recording volume) seems just about right too, judging by the height of the waveform - looks like it doesn't even need the "normalize" function (or maybe you already did that). Good work!

    And yes I agree with you about learning from everyone here, I've certainly learned (and am still learning) many useful and cool things from a lot of people here including you, that's what it's all about IMO, sharing music-related ideas that make it possible to enjoy music more.
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