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KB Parts on Sinatra's 'My Way'


Bobadohshe

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I just spent the last 24 hours charting out Frank Sinatra's version of 'My Way'. (playing it at a wedding this weekend) I'm gonna cover the strings and horn section parts. I have it all done and am pretty satisfied with my condensation of it. My one question is about the sounds on the very first verse. There are 2 harmony instruments. One is a Rhodes like bell sound playing 8th note arpeggios. The other is a high guitar/mandolin type sound playing 8th note chords.

 

Does anyone know what these two instruments are exactly? I'm especially wondering about that high mandolin style instrument. Is that an organ? Harpsichord? Hard for my ear to figure it out - I could be way off.

 

[video:youtube]

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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To my ears that sounds like a "harpsichord" patch on an electronic organ or keyboard of that era. Completely a gut call though, I have no supporting evidence whatsoever.

 

Interesting choice for a wedding call, though. Hope there's a story behind that choice...or an iron-clad prenup.

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Sounds like harpsichord or something that's meant to be one. He worked with Don Costa (arranger) on the previous album too (Cycles, the year before), which has the same harpsichord sound on "Both Sides Now."

Now out! "Mind the Gap," a 24-song album of new material.
www.joshweinstein.com

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You should do this version:

 

[video:youtube]

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Theo, while I hear a harp in the live version you posted, I don't hear any way the original studio version Bobadohshe posted "bells" like a plucked, acoustic harp.

 

A little more googling seems to suggest use of harpsichord on several of Sinatra's studio recordings. I'm not familiar with many non-classical recordings of harpsichord, but if you tried one of those in your condensed arrangement I gotta believe it's going to work well for the wedding.

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Hiromi gets asked to play "My Way" at 7:00. She saying she's never played it before. I transcribed it too.

 

[video:youtube]

 Find 600 of my jazz piano arrangements and tutorials for educational purposes at patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

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Interesting choice for a wedding call, though. Hope there's a story behind that choice...or an iron-clad prenup.

 

Good point. This was a request of one of the dads - not a first dance song or anything. Putting smiles on the faces of the people paying the bill is the name of the game.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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Putting smiles on the faces of the people paying the bill is the name of the game.

 

Hell yeah to that...but occasionally things make me go "hmmm".

 

Last year I played a wedding where Whitney's "Saving All My Love for You" was specifically requested...by the bride's married mother.

 

Awkward. I don't think there is any way to interpret that call that doesn't end up with the movie losing its PG rating.

 

I told our female singer to lock eyes with the bride's father for the entirety of the song, just to triple the awkward.

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Hello Guy's

 

I actually agree that that's a harp on the studio recording as well. There is a harpsicord or clav on it also, but as I remember, the instrument was playing broken chords in that arrangement. You might also be able to tell what instruments played what by the Man and His Music videos available. I believe MY WAY is on one of these.

 

A lot of song books (like The Very Best of Frank Sinatra: Original Keys For Singers: Hal Leonard) for solo piano have the harp figure built into the arrangement.

 

By the way - that book is fantastic for obtaining accurate chord changes and lead lines for Sinatra's Classic recordings. The person who transcribed it did a terrific job in incorporting the string / horn parts into the arrangement.

 

If anyone purchases this, check out One For My Baby, with the classic intro / outro as recorded by Bill Miller, Sinatra's longtime pianist.

 

It goes for about $22.99 on Hal Leonards web site.

 

Hope this helps ~ Anthony

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Anthony (and Theo):

 

I think Bobadohshe is specifically asking about "The other is a high guitar/mandolin type sound playing 8th note chords"...not the arpeggiated figure that may indeed be a harp (or doubled).

 

That one still sounds like a harpsichord, at least to me.

 

Thanks for the reference to that book - I've admired the piano on One for My Baby ever since I bought Only the Lonely.

 

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Theo, while I hear a harp in the live version you posted, I don't hear any way the original studio version Bobadohshe posted "bells" like a plucked, acoustic harp.

 

A little more googling seems to suggest use of harpsichord on several of Sinatra's studio recordings. I'm not familiar with many non-classical recordings of harpsichord, but if you tried one of those in your condensed arrangement I gotta believe it's going to work well for the wedding.

 

Agree

 

There is something almost haunting, in a good way, like a good haunting :crazy: , about the instrument on the original.

The live harp part is underwhelming for this Sinatra convert ( I did not always care for his music ) . On relistening, I do hear harp AND harpsichord - brilliant arranger, Maestro Costa.

 

I guess at the Coda when only orchestra is stating main theme, Costa adds a nice touch with descending chromatic triads e.g. in key of Cmaj

C/ B/ Bb / I have not checked this, but those chords work.

I also learned from Mr Costa how when he went to IV he could then raise the perfect fifth of the F chord in so cool a way.

And how skillfully he travels from IV to IV minor sometimes putting the D in the bass of the Fm chord.

These arrangers are my heroes.

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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It sounds like a produced sound, with at least also some form of strumming in it, like an acoustic guitar. It's heavily produced in that nice 60s way. A little later in the OP video there's some separate harp strums. Probably the production smeared some chord idea into the drums as well, it might be hard to really reproduce that, but that nice round sound I associate mainly with the harp, regardless of other components being there.

 

Sinatra and his daughter sure know how to make a production sound good and not flat or quickly boring. It's an art in itself!

 

T.

 

T.

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I agree with the other forum members that those arrangements sound great! Arrangers like Nelson Riddle, Don Costa, Billy May and for Tony Bennett, Ralph Burns (who also shared the arrangement duties on the Broadway play Chicago) were on another level.

 

Timwat (sorry don't have your formal first name), glad you liked the book. Also pick up Nelson biography to read about how he came to be Capital Records house arranger. It's called September In The Rain: The Life of Nelson Riddle. By the way, the pianist who replaced Bill Miller (Vince Falcone) has a book detailing his time with Sinatra on Amazon. It's called Frankly Between Us. I haven't gotten a copy yet, but plan to purchase it.

 

Lastly, I bought a very inexpensive video on Amazon called "The Rat Pack Live From Las Vegas" DVD, which is the London show. Really great arrangements for Rhythm Section with a big band. The string section is simulated with keys by a dedicated keyboardist. The great thing about this DVD is that the pianist is out front to the left of the stage, with the performers. So, you can watch his hands to see whats being played. That's invaluable for pianist, especially when the piano parts of the original recordings are placed low in the mix.

 

And to Bobadohshe, best of luck with the wedding, you sound like you'll do great!

 

Hope this helps! Have a great weekend.

 

~ Anthony

 

 

 

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Thanks for the responses guys. Had our guitar playing do something alluding to the part and it came off well. I'm amazed as how surprisingly good my rompler brass and strings is sounding on this.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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I just spent the last 24 hours charting out Frank Sinatra's version of 'My Way'. (playing it at a wedding this weekend)

 

All I can say is that must be one helluva wedding! :D What's the deal is half of LA showing up? I know you're not doing this for the fun of it.

 

Details please if you are able :) for those of us who are curious how it's done in the big city...

 

My Way was a staple of mine during my piano bar days. It was impossible to take the song seriously in a bar full of drunks, but I don't know if that would be the right approach anyway. I'd ham it up both vocally and on the piano, everyone would join in, and then as Billy Joel would say throw bread in my jar. I wouldn't have a clue how to do that song with a straight face.

 

 

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I just spent the last 24 hours charting out Frank Sinatra's version of 'My Way'. (playing it at a wedding this weekend)

 

All I can say is that must be one helluva wedding! :D What's the deal is half of LA showing up? I know you're not doing this for the fun of it.

 

Details please if you are able :) for those of us who are curious how it's done in the big city...

 

My Way was a staple of mine during my piano bar days. It was impossible to take the song seriously in a bar full of drunks, but I don't know if that would be the right approach anyway. I'd ham it up both vocally and on the piano, everyone would join in, and then as Billy Joel would say throw bread in my jar. I wouldn't have a clue how to do that song with a straight face.

 

 

The answer is one word. acting

A once famous singer sat in with our trio, "in the big city", as it were. His name was Billy Daniels. He blew my mind with his acting skill. He did his one tune as follows. He starts telling a story about a Mother saying goodbye to her son going off to war.. ( I wish I could recall his words ) then he sings "Oh Danny Boy"

That was the first time I realized the power of that song, the classic idea of Mom saying Bye to son. He owned that NYC supper club crowd before he sang a note. He was a consummate actor. A life lesson for me.

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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I just spent the last 24 hours charting out Frank Sinatra's version of 'My Way'. (playing it at a wedding this weekend)

 

All I can say is that must be one helluva wedding! :D What's the deal is half of LA showing up? I know you're not doing this for the fun of it.

 

Details please if you are able :) for those of us who are curious how it's done in the big city...

 

My Way was a staple of mine during my piano bar days. It was impossible to take the song seriously in a bar full of drunks, but I don't know if that would be the right approach anyway. I'd ham it up both vocally and on the piano, everyone would join in, and then as Billy Joel would say throw bread in my jar. I wouldn't have a clue how to do that song with a straight face.

 

 

+1 :) We've had a hell of a lot of fun with the lyrics at Karaoke too, a real barrel of laughs :D

Brett.

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All I can say is that must be one helluva wedding! :D What's the deal is half of LA showing up? I know you're not doing this for the fun of it.

 

Details please if you are able :) for those of us who are curious how it's done in the big city...

 

It went well. Gig was in San Diego last night. It was a destination wedding of a bunch of people from New York and Massachusetts. We have our young male singer singing it and he's got a fantastic voice. He still has some homework to do on Sinatra (don't we all really). We've been coaching him in that he needs to realize that if you don't want the song to sound cheesy, you can't do an impression of an impression of Sinatra (which is easily done as they abound in popular culture) and you have to imitate his ballsy direct delivery with no vibrato, and his incomparable phrasing. The band did a great job with the dynamics of the song and it was pretty impactful. I'm sure this will make it into the rotation for regular use.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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While there is obviously a harp in there, I believe the strummed sound is in fact a guitar. I know all the major studios back then had those harpsichords (I forget the brand name, but I played one at Fame a bunch), but I'm pretty sure we're hearing a strummed guitar (possible "high strung) but a guitar none the less).

Perhaps this will shed some light.

Clonk

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While there is obviously a harp in there, I believe the strummed sound is in fact a guitar. I know all the major studios back then had those harpsichords (I forget the brand name, but I played one at Fame a bunch), but I'm pretty sure we're hearing a strummed guitar (possible "high strung) but a guitar none the less).

Perhaps this will shed some light.

Clonk

 

Thank you, very informative. Freddie Green and Al Viola, two greats, whose style seems to have gone away into the abyss of time. Don't quote me :)

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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