Electone sheet music free download for God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (世のひと忘るな), one of the most famous traditional English Christmas carols.
Every year, while going about Orchard Road and the rest of Singapore photographing Christmas decorations, I would hear different Jazz versions of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen played over PA systems. Almost all would feature a Jazz Guitar lead too.
Funny thing: no matter how hard I search later, I can never find any of these recordings online. Naturally, I have searched using names of Jazz Guitar greats; Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Benson, etc. But nothing that I found quite sounds like what I’ve heard.
Could it be that I’m imagining things? Making up the bulk of a classic English carol in my head as I make my way through December festive shopping crowds?
Who knows? Anyhow, what does it matter anyway? Christmas is, after all, also about dreamy mysteries.
Perhaps the PA systems weren’t even playing anything. Instead, something from far beyond was singing to me.
Yamaha Electone Sheet Music and ELS-02C Registration Data for God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (世のひと忘るな)
Warning! The registration and Finale PrintMusic files are zip files! You might need to disable your virus/malware protection before downloading.
As I have disabled the function, do not right-click to save as. On PCs, simply click on the links and the file should auto download in a separate window.
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- Despite my original intentions, I ended up not just using a Jazz Guitar lead for this Electone Christmas Jazz arrangement. This is mostly because I’m unable to come up with a full guitar improvisation. Bleah.
- The trumpet sound has a slide effect. This adds sound texture but it can also create some awkward squeaks. (Which you can hear here and there in my recording …)
- The piano bridge is kinda short, and again it’s because I’ve lost most of my Jazz skills; I just can’t come up with a longer improvisation. If you’re able to do what I can’t, simply extend Rhythm Sequence 3.
- Not making excuses here but this classic English carol is tough to improvise. Somehow, the melody and chord progression just do not lend themselves to Jazz. In the end, I took a leaf from the recordings of Jazz greats like Oscar Peterson and “scripted” in some alternate chord progressions. Not sure how the end effect would be for you but to me, this at least sounds better than just playing an awkward melody fake atop the original chords.
- Awful as it sounds in writing, I think Jazz Quartet arrangements shouldn’t be played too accurately. I mean, spontaneity is the main appeal of Jazz pub performances, right? Especially when it’s after midnight and everyone is half tipsy? What I’m saying is, feel free to go wild if you’re playing my score!
Electone ELS-02C Technical Notes
Back in my varsity days, I attempted to learn the violin and (western) flute. These were part of my misguided efforts to expand my musicality.
I got nowhere. Lack of true devotion aside, I found it incredibly tough to even start “sounding right.”
Simply put, with these instruments, one does not purely strike a key or press something to get a pitch-perfect sound. Actual playing involves a lot of on-the-spot adjustments, slides, etc, to create that perfect but still acoustically imperfect sound.
A lot of tuning, in other words. For the experts, immaculate de-tuning too.
Coming to the Electone, the ability to consistently produce pitch-perfect sounds throughout a song results in a certain, how to put it, artificial sensation. As deriders always say, it sounds so fake. So machine-like. So without personality.
This permanently changed, however, with the tuning function of newer Electone models. To be clear, tuning here DOES NOT refer to the overall pitch accuracy of the instrument. Instead, it’s a setting for individual sounds that creates a quick pitch-bend/sliding-like effect. The setting is found on the last page, i.e., page 5 of individual sound effects.
At sensible levels, and with suitable applications of touch effects, a flat lead sound can instantly be given human character. Choir sounds will feel more realistic too; all of us sing in some sort of crescendo, after all.
If you’ve never fiddled with this setting, I strongly encourage you to.
If you have on hand those pre-made registrations sold by Yamaha, load some and examine the tuning settings too. Notice how much they could vary. Both positively and negatively.
Importantly, magical as it is, too much tuning could be disastrous. For a start, it dampens attacks like nobody’s business.
In other words, and like all sound effects, this is something that takes time to master. Perhaps also a reason to pick up the fundamentals for other instruments.
Electone Jazz Guitar Sounds
The Electone Stagea ELS-02C features several impressive Jazz Guitar sound presets, but truth be told, I am ambivalent about them. If you go through my arrangements, you’d notice I near entirely refrain from using them.
This is no thanks to George Benson; nope, I’m not kidding. A huge fan of the Big Boss since young, I’ve never quite found the correct way to replicate his style of playing using the Electone. Particularly, the way he picks. The way he often also, in layman’s terms, uses octaves and strums at the most emphatic moments.
Now, this is not to say current ELS-02C sound technology doesn’t assist with capturing George’s signature style. The Super Articulation effects are particularly helpful.
Still, AWM and effects only help to a small extent and in the end, it’s all about practical knowledge of the Jazz Guitar playing style. Techniques such as how Jazz Guitar chords are structured and strummed, how chromatic elements are employed, harmonics, and so on.
I’m an absolute ignoramus with these. Most videos I’ve watched on the topic are hard for me to digest too. Which, in turn, led to me considering taking guitar lessons.
But for the latter to happen, I’d first need to buy a Jazz Guitar, and an amp, and related accessories, and scores.
Long, expensive way to go. Perhaps, fingers crossed, Yamaha would soon release an Electone album devoted to this style of music. That would be a most valuable reference.
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