SquishToGo - YouTube News & Tabs & Stuff
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YouTube page: YouTube.com / SquishToGo
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Please email me any songs you'd like guitar lessons of.
Hey, I'm Squish (Squish7 on the web, and SquishToGo on YouTube). I'm a comedian, folk/rock singer-songwriter, pianist, and wannabe-novelist (or at least I could be those things if I was functional enough to actually finish anything or get anywhere on time or make more than a few quarters singing on the street). My primary projects right now including sporadically and whimsically updating Frangles and Blorkk -- a series of free online stories & skits, but sporadically and whimsically updating my YouTube page is a close second! (Sometimes I just stare at the walls and bang myself in the head and that's fun too, so bookmark or subscribe or whatever if you really want to know what I'm up to when I'm not being a psychotic lunatic; because psychotic lunacy often translates into the best art!). I have a lot of stuff spread out over different domains and pages, but you can always check squish7.com for a list of updates of whatever I've been working on, and this page for whatever I'm up to on YouTube (as my vast plethora of billions of posts on this page vigorously demonstrate).
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As the ages drag on with the two or three songs I've been covering, I'd at times gotten increasingly frustrated with my obsession of not doing much else. Obsession's the good word describing how I've felt. Well, unproductive obsession would be closer... However, I keep re-realizing again and again that what I'm spending so much time on isn't this or that particular cover, but rather all the new guitar techniques I'm developing to do what I want to do with the song. I get very bogged down with "rolling pennies" tasks like covering dozens of songs in the same manner. So every song I pick to cover (in general I pick really challenging things to play on acoustic guitar) is like a gigantic project that when finished, will have contributed creative techniques to the art of acoustic guitar playing rather than another simple cover. I guess you could measure the start of this general endeavor when I challenged myself to cover a pop song practically unplayable on acoustic guitar, Jesse Mccartney's "Leavin", which I still "don't have down" at all. But by this time, I've realized that when I think of not "having a song down", what I'm really frustrated with is my inability to stop adding more !@#$ing stuff, and to cleanly play the techniques I've come up with. I keep playing that one difficult riff at the very start of the original song over and over and over and over and over and over and it never seemed to improve, but then I realized I was making slow progress over long stretches of time; on the level of months and years. This has been akin to learning a new instrument like the flute. No matter how much you try to play a masterpiece flute melody your first month, you won't be able to do it, or at least not do it well. That's what I was becoming so frustrated with when I started "Leavin". I thought making pop music sounds on the guitar would be challenging on the level of days, not years. But I disgustingly underestimated the task. I've improved my attitude for all the new techniques I'm working on, considering a selected cover song as a large project and not a simple cover. All those collected techniques are things I hope to start teaching you at some point if you want to learn them. But it's very diffidult to teach when you still don't have the techniques down yourself. Teaching should come from experience many levels higher than the basic skill of being able to play what you're teaching. A 9th grader who just completed a year of algebra is a poor choice for a teacher for the next year's class. But, since I'm my own teacher, there's some strange recursive logic that makes the idea a little bit easier!
Current Main Project -- STARFOX
I'm absolutely passionate about video game music. I'm currently working on the old Nintendo game Starfox. More on this later...
While it may not seem like I currently spend too much time on my YouTube page due to the infrequent posts, it's in fact a significant part of my life. I don't do quick blogs or anything, so most of the videos I post have taken a ton of work. I'm dedicating a lot of time to practicing my covers / lessons / whatever, and as you might be able to see with some of the acoustic stuff I've posted, I'm spending a lot of time studying & practicing guitar to be able to do what I do better. A lot of the techniques I use don't just require studying, they require inventing. I try to be innovative in everything I do, and guitar is no exception. (Singing is an exception, however) =P. So I may be spending more time than you think coming up with this stuff. For instance, I've spent hundreds of hours on my Jesse Mccartney cover writing/practicing it for a year or two constantly, and then the Michael Jackson cover took just 2 quick weeks to write & perform, because I could use the techniques it took me so long to develop for something else.
Now, I just keep working on them over and ooover and ooover week to week, and I still can't play them for shit, but at least when I post drafts you can see them evolving and more or less get the point. Currently, as far as pop goes, I'm (still) practicing my Jesse Mac & Michael Jackson covers, improving the techniques and trying to more closely replicate pop music on guitar. I have this drum thing going where I slam the guitar to emulate an actual drum beat, and my guitar Tranq isn't liking the abuse but I think he'll table his domestic complaints when we start dragging in billions from Warner Records... (or at least that's what I tell him to keep him from calling the NSPCG). Then I'm also practicing a Dashboard Confessional / Foo Fighters fusion song--trying to get many of the melodies to the verses, choruses, and bridges down on harmonics to play in harmony while I sing other parts--and I just started working on an acoustic render of the Sprint flashlight commercial. And the current cover I'm working on is Jars of Clay's "Worlds Apart". Yah, so that's basically it. Those five, and infintie other back burners. I also want to get more heavily into teaching guitar, perhaps posting basic general guitar lessons or developing & teaching a good guitar tab method.
If you have a song you'd like a guitar lesson of, please let me know and I'll put it on my todo list! I'm much, much, much more likely to spend time on guitar lessons if people are asking me for specific things. You can contact me through YouTube or email me at YouTube@Squish7.com
July 21, 2009
Tabs - Michael Jackson - Black or White Acoustic Cover arranged by Squish
Download and print the largest for the best quality print out, or for the screen, just use whichever size fits your monitor best. You can adjust the most browsers / art programs / basic viewers to fit your screen, but a picture often looses a certain amount of quality when enlarged or shrunken if not done properly in adobe or gimp or whatever.
This is a very rough version I threw together really quickly! It doesn't line up with the video perfectly. If you actually want to learn this please let me know and I'll try to post a more legible version =). It's a single page, as the chords are very easy and repetitive except for the harmonic introduction. It's all there, nothing's excluded, it's just a little dense so it could fit on one page.
I've been really lazy with my guitar stuff; people have asked me for Swing tabs and I keep putting it off. Some chords are below at least, and of course the two lessons are posted on my youtube page. I will write them eventually. Part of my hesitation is developing a standardized tab method that I'll use. I've never really written tabs before, and everybody uses different methods. I've checked out dozens of tabs accross fingerstyle guitar, folk, rock, and metal, and almost everything uses different styles. I'm trying to take the best from everything and develop as simple (and consistant) a style as possible, before posting different songs and revising my tab style as time goes on.
I've just arranged an acoustic cover of Michael Jackson's Black or White, and unlike a simple song like Swing, this is one of the tricky ones that not many people will bother wanting to learn (like my Jesse Mac cover), but I've written up some rough tabs if you want to give it a shot. Only the fingerstyle intro is difficult, the rest of the song is actually very very easy, it's just some horribly basic chords given the open tuning. They're the last two lines on the tab sheet. They might seem confusing but they're pretty easy. All the little o's just mean you play all open strings for all of that, so the only thing you're fretting is the couple of non-zero frett numbers. The entire verse consists of the chords 3-1 4-2 / 4-2 5-4 / 4-4 5-5, or if you play it up high, 3-13 5-13 / 3-12 5-12 / 3-10 5-10, and the chorus you're just fretting the bottom 4 strings of the fifth frett, then shifting up two fretts, then repeating a verse, then 3-3 4-2, then again fretting the bottom 4 strings of the fifth and shifting up two fretts again, then the verse again. (I use the notation "3-5" to mean third string, fifth frett, and "3-5 4-6" to mean: frett the third string fifth frett, and the fourth string sixth frett, for this particular chord. (That's the third/fourth/etc string from the high E, not the low E).
The entire bridge is basically one chord for eight measures as it is in the original, and the bridge is basically one chord too for another eight measures. So everything basically fits on one page. (The little squiggly lines in the chorus just mean "keep playing those chords for the marked beats). A line above the measure means a quarter note, then a bracket is two eighth notes, and a bracket with an extra horizontal line are sixteenth notes. The verse is all eighth notes just to make it simple, and the more complex rhythm is above it that you can play if you want.
This is really my first time writing up any tabs of any sort. If you know me I absolutely horridly detest the lack of proper tabs in the world, and the lack of exact lessons and sheet music, and also the nonstandardization of tabs and the difficulty to read so many. Listen closely, if you're not very experienced in guitar, STOP WRITING TABS. If you picked up a guitar six months ago, you can't write tabs yet and can't pick out the exact chords in a song. Or at least most of you. Almost always, the chords / lessons / tabs / tunings / etc that beginners and intermediate guitar players come up with are all half wrong or almost nothing like the song whatsoever.
Youtube and the internet are for showing the world all sorts of things you can do from doing jumping jacks in your bedroom to your independent final project short film. YouTube is here to say "look what I did!" And that works for 99% of the material you could post. If someone doesn't like your 3-min video, they can stop it whenever they like, or can watch the whole thing, and they've only wasted seconds or minutes of their own time if they don't like your video. If you post crappy tabs or lessons, you're forcing people to waste hours or more of their time just to figure out whether your lesson is any good. I posted some crappy tabs for Swing because it was the first thing I ever posted on youtube, and when people actually watched it a lot, I realized I shouldn't have possed a half-ass lesson, that's why I took the time to write a proper one and re-post it. You owe that to the people who struggle through infinite internet tabs and crappy youtube videos.
Not that it's your fault that proper tabs don't exist of course. The fault mostly lies with the artists. It's like a titanium pike splinter through my brain why professional artists, bands, etc, don't simply take the five !#%ing seconds to write out their music and post the EXACT freaking tabs so nobody, anywhere, ever has to waste their time listening to the song and trying to figure out what the hell is being played. That is an extremely difficult skill to master to the point of being able to pick out every exact note and chord in most songs. In high school and college, it seemed like one of the most difficult parts of music theory that people had trouble with. Even if you have the ear to distinguish an Fmin7 from an Fmaj7 or F or F9 or Fsus2 etc, there are many dozens of permutations of the exact chord notes: which are being played, which are doubled (or missing), which note is played in the base, and the exact octave that those notes are being played in. Then, even once you know the notes, on guitar there are many many ways to play those exact notes, since the same exact note can be played in three or four places on the neck, just in standard tuning. Then after all that, if the guitar is in a different tuning, you need to figure out which of the thousands of possible tunings are being used in order to play the notes as they're played in the song.
Please, just don't bother if you're not very good at it. I'm not being egotistical, it's just a random skill I happen to be good at, that I've worked hard and studied hard to develop. You might go to your friends about whatever opinions they might have about just about anything in a drugstore--a soda or a brand of caffeine pills--but the one thing you want a specialist in is at the pharmacy counter. You don't want anyone to tell you "I don't think combining these two will give you an allergic reaction, but my information is kinda close a lot of the time so give it a shot." Ideally the only person who should be handing out tabs is the original artist, who should give out exactly what they're playing, because that's the only thing anyone cares about. But that often never happens; even the official chord books can be very off, or only include one version of the song, and the artists never post lessons themselves. After that--since the ideal is rarely possible--leave the job of figuring out what's being played to the people who've worked hard to study ear training for a long time to be able to do that properly to the point of actually teaching it to others. Or, if you haven't done that, at least take a lot of extra time and get it really really as close as you can get it, or ask your guitar teacher to learn it for you and help you.
I'm not trying to single out YouTubers, I'm just making some general comments about the state of rock / pop / metal music in general, so don't take anything personally. It's just that in all other respectable areas of guitar music--fingerstyle, classical, jazz--not to mention just about every general category of music apart from rock across every instrument, we have exact sheet music put out by the artists; I just don't understand the horrid lack of guitar tabs and sheet music out there. All our time--you and me and all of us who try to learn a song by ear and write tabs or lessons or whatever--could just be doing other things with our time instead. No one anywhere would have to do this stuff if artists simply posting exact tabs or lessons.
ANYWAY, in complete hypocricy to everything I've said, below are some really rough and slightly innacurate tabs to my Black or White arrangement. This is a perfectly learnable playable version, it's just not exactly what I'm playing in the video because I often do it differently, and I'm not gonna write up new tabs every time I record a different version of a song. Also, nobody really wants to learn my more difficult guitar pieces; one or two people ask for them; if more people asked I'd do them more exactly. That's why I've held off on Swing, I want to make sure every note is exact as humanly possible; even in the video I messed up two chords in the intro! (more hypocricy).
As to what I'm up to, blah, I don't know, I always have a zillion projects and few ever get done. I want to cover Dr. Horrible, Dashboard Confessional, Green Day, Evanescence, and tons of other stuff, not to mention my originals which take up so much time because they have to have some type of video to go along with the song because for some reason no one likes to sit and stare at me and watch me play one of my songs for three minutes if I'm not covering something else. I'm spending more of my time on my novels / websites than anything else, but youtube is a very close back burner. If I could just get things down habitually where I can regularly learn/post covers/lessons regularly instead of spending fifty billion years on a single Jesse Mccartney cover (the Black or White only took me a week or two as opposed to fifty years so I guess I'm improving), maybe I can post more material.
Just subscribe or bookmark or link and you'll always know what I'm up to! =). And hey, if I'm never up to anything, there's that much less spam, LOL.
Right click 'save link as' here for a rough version of the Everlong / Hands Down I'm working on.
Okie so it's been a month or something since I decided that my next
distraction to putting off my first novel, would be a YouTube page.
Though I seem to have grossly miscalculated my use of time since
the decades I've spent rendering Jesse Mccartney to fingerstyle guitar
is getting about 9% of the hits of a bad 3-starred Swing Life
Away video lesson that I threw together in half a coffee break for
my brother, who was crushed he couldn't play it for his girlfriend
anyway because she learned it first (from me. Figure
that one out because I still can't). Though maybe it's because my
first use of it was for a parody and maybe the younger pop audience
just isn't searching for "bad fingerstyle pop star parodies."
Lastly here are the verse and chorus chords to Swing in my lesson video of it. The numbers to the right are the times in the video where that part plays.
Swing Life Away by Rise Against (rough, easy version)