Free Electone sheet music and registrations for Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock.
Like I wrote in my recent review for the 2022 cinematic biopic, I can only name two Elvis songs prior to watching the movie. One of which is Jailhouse Rock. (The other is Love Me Tender, one of the earliest songs that I played on the Electone)
Why am I familiar with this ’57 Rock n’ Roll classic? Well, I can’t remember the details for sure, but it probably began with me hearing snatches of the tune on TV sometime during the late 80s. Following which, I xeroxed a copy of the drawbar organ arrangement I found at Yamaha’s resource library.
About this drawbar score, I ended up chucking it into my drawer the next day. There’s nothing very wrong with it, of course, but on the whole, it didn’t much sound like Elvis’ recording. In fact, the way the melody was tweaked, the way the bassline used quarter notes rather than eighths, the whole arrangement would be better off played as a Swing, in my opinion, not Rock n’ Roll.
Having now tried my hand at arranging the song, though, I finally understand why the changes were done. Not that it’s entirely impossible, but to attempt to capture Elvis’ bluesy, masterfully pitched stanzas with a drawbar would have resulted in some truly odd moments. Or a really, really complicated arrangement.
This challenge exists even for the modern capabilities of the ELS-02C, despite all its tricks and effects. I thought I could complete this arrangement within three days. In the end, I ran through the whole gamut of articulation effects for a week and I still couldn’t find a lead sound that felt completely right.
Is this the magic of the King’s singing? A man with a voice so rich, so soulful, so affecting, even modern audio tech struggle to remotely emulate?
I think it is! My gawd, the man is indeed a king! Deserving of every accolade he has received.
Yamaha Electone Sheet Music and ELS-02C Registration Data for Jailhouse Rock
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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- I wanted to get this done quickly so the chords and bassline are on the simpler side. I’m heavily relying on accompaniments of the preset Rock n’ Roll rhythms too.
- I’ve trimmed the song. The original recording is essentially the King repeating the same tune several times. With his singing prowess, that’s phenomenal to listen to. Not the case when you’re replicating with an electronic instrument.
- After much frustrating experimentation, I settled for using S. Tenor Sax Growl as the lead voice. I also added increased touch, very minimal LCR delay, and heavy tuning, so that texture of sound could be achieved by touch variation. Oh, there’s a lower register brass sound too. That’s to boost, what’s the phrase, overall “fruitiness.”
- I experimented with S.A. effects and P.B.s for the Tenor Sax lead and ultimately settled for S.A. I don’t think I did it well in my recording, though, I ought to have held some notes longer for the full effects to kick in. If only we can finetune S.A. effects, especially the duration and attack!
- I can’t do all the curly signs used by Yamaha, so please refer to the footnotes on page 1 of my arrangement to know what I mean by S.A. 1, etc. For example, H.T. (R), means lean to the right.
- In my recording, I played the first repeat with a slight variation in melody. I didn’t include this change in my score as I wanted to minimise page count.
- To be honest, this arrangement didn’t turn out the way I hope it would. In a nutshell, my main problem is the Tenor Sax lead; it just doesn’t sound “right” to me? If you have any suggestions for improvement, please do message me!
- Last but not least, notice the LED lamp above my score? Check out my gadget review for that!
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