Author Archives: Bob

About Bob

… is an award winning, Canadian finger-style guitarist and the 2003 U.S. National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion. He combines an eclectic mix of contemporary finger-style guitar and traditional roots music with a warm vocal style, tilted sense of humour and down to earth stage presence to provide a refreshing performance experience for music lovers in general. Definitely not just for “guitar geeks”.

Good King Wenceslas … or is it?

Transcription available

Level: Int/Adv     Tuning: Standard Tuning

ATTD011-good-king-wenceslas-thumbnail

Includes Transcription + MP3

Good King Wenceslas always struck me as a bit odd when I was a kid. I liked the tune. But the lyrics seemed a bit different from other Christmas carols in that they didn’t seem to specifically reference Christmas itself.

“Away in a manger … “ , “Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the new born king”, “O holy night! The stars are brightly shining, It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth. “. Those sort of carols are pretty obvious.

But “Good King Wenceslas looked out, on the Feast of Stephen …”? We didn’t even know what the Feast of Stephen was. For me, it always brought up an image of him watching people eating.

Interestingly, Good King Wenceslas was originally published in a collection of carols for Easter, not Christmas. It is only over time that it has become so closely associated with Christmas instead. Thank goodness the Feast of Stephen is on December 26, so there is at least a proximity connection.

Tempus adest floridum

Tempus adest floridum

But setting aside the original connection to Easter, for me there is a much greater issue I wrestle with when I have too much time on my hands.

The lyrics for Good King Wenceslas were written in the mid-19th-century. But the tune itself is taken from Tempus adept floridum, a 13th-century Finnish carol.

If I play an instrumental version of the song – ie. without the lyrics – am I really playing Good King Wenceslas? Or am I actually playing Tempus adept floridum?

This sort of existential angst always gives me a headache and provides an excellent excuse to reach for the eggnog and rum.

Happy holidays, everyone.

Blackbird

Video lesson available

Level: Int/Adv     Tuning: Drop D

Includes 30 minute Video Lesson + Reference Video + Transcription

From the album
4 On 6 – The Beatles for Solo Guitar

4 On 6

Also available on iTunes

Blackbird is one of Paul McCartney’s many little masterpieces. Sparse and efficient, like Yesterday, it is one of those “just right” moments The Beatles managed to hit so many times.

Over the past fifty years Blackbird’s guitar accompaniment has become one of a relatively small handful of influential guitar pieces – like Classical Gas, Stairway to Heaven, Windy and Warm and their ilk – that “everyone” seems to either be able to identify or has actually taken a stab at while learning to play guitar.

Interestingly, the inspiration for Blackbird’s guitar part was found in yet another well-known guitar piece, J.S. Bach’s Bouree in E minor. More recently, Sir Paul has explained how he and George used to play a bastardized version of Bouree as a party piece to impress people with how musically worldly they were.

As you can hear, and as Sir Paul acknowledges, they got it wrong – real wrong. But part of The Beatles’ genius was being able to take little seeds like that and turn them into brilliant music of their own. McCartney did just that in this case, using some of the fingering from their twisted version of Bouree as the seed for what became the guitar part for Blackbird.

With my penchant for arranging Beatles tunes this is one song I couldn’t ignore. Usually when arranging The Beatles for solo guitar it is an issue of compressing the full sound of a band down onto six strings. Given Blackbird features just a single guitar and voice, one might assume that made it much easier to arrange for solo guitar. Paradoxically, not so. But that is a story for another time.

Enjoy.

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Acoustic Tonic Music
129 Douglas Ave. E.
Regina, Sk S4N 1H2
Canada

Transcriptions


The Slippery Slope

An original Bob Evans composition celebrating a slippin’ and a slidin’ on the fretboard.

Includes a transcription, 30 minute video lesson, and reference performance video.

Read more …

Tuning: Standard

Level: Intermediate/Advanced

The Slippery Slope

Includes Transcription + 30 minute Video Lesson + Reference Video


Christmas Time is Here

Vince Guraldi’s seasonal classic Christmas Time is Here arranged for solo guitar.

Read more …

Tuning: Open G

Level: Intermediate

Christmas Time is Here

Includes Transcription + 40 minute Video Lesson + Reference Video


Maple Leaf Rag

Scott Joplin’s 1899 classic that put ragtime music at the forefront of popular music at the turn of the 20th century.

Read more …

Tuning: Standard

Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Maple Leaf Rag

Includes Transcription + 30 minute Video Lesson + Reference Video


Blackbird

An original instrumental arrangement for solo guitar of Paul McCartney’s classic, Blackbird.

Includes transcription, 30 minute instructional video with playing tips and a reference performance video.

From the album 4 On 6 – The Beatles for Solo Guitar”.

Read more …

Tuning: Drop D

Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Blackbird

Includes Transcription + 30 minute Video Lesson + Reference Video


Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

One of my favourite tunes for the Christmas season. The title says it all.

Read more …

Tuning: Standard (EADGBE)

Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Includes Video Lesson + Transcription


Dune

A moody piece suitable as a soundtrack to accompany images of camels on sand dunes in silhouette against a sunset.

Read more …

Tuning: Standard

Level: Intermediate

Dune

Name your price $


Good King Wenceslas

Perhaps the most popular traditional Christmas carol that isn’t about Christmas.

Features full transcription and high quality MP3 (320kbps)

Read more …

Tuning: standard

Level: Intermediate

Good King Wecenslas

Includes Transcription + MP3


Hark! It’s Harold’s Angels – Oh Joy …

A tongue in cheek take on two iconic carols from the standard Christmas music catalogue.

Read more …

Tuning: Drop D

Level: Intermediate

Hark! It’s Harold’s Angels

Includes Transcription + MP3


On the Tip of the Tongue

A song for my mom.

Read more …

Tuning: Open G (DGDGBD)

Level: Intermediate

On The Tip of the Tongue

Includes Transcription + MP3


The Noodle Kitchen

A relentless bass line paired with a sparse legto melody line. Did someone say chocolate and peanut butter?

Read more …

Tuning: Standard

Level: Intermediate

The Noodle Kitchen

Includes Transcription + MP3


Sensation – A Rag

A classical piano rag written by one of the Big Three composers of classical ragtime – Joseph Lamb. Arranged for the six string piano, of course.

Tuning: Standard (EADGBE)

Level: Intermediate

Sensation – A Rag

ATTD012-sensation-a-rag-thumbnail

Includes Transcription + MP3


Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Before Big Brother had the internet to keep track of you he had Santa Claus.

Read more …

Tuning: Standard

Level: Intermediate

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Name your price $

Includes Transcription

If you’d like to show your support, name your own price, or enter 0 to download it for free.


Silent Night

The ultimate guitar based Christmas carol.

Read more …

Tuning: Standard

Level: Intermediate

Silent Night

Name your price $

Includes Transcription

If you’d like to show your support, name your own price, or enter 0 to download it for free.


Take 3

My imagining of how Christmas carols might have been played in Dave Brubeck’s home.

Read more …

Tuning: Standard

Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Take 3

Name your price $

Includes Transcription

If you’d like to show your support, name your own price, or enter 0 to download it for free.


Arthur McBride

A classic ballad of resisting press gangs.

Read more …

Tuning: Csus2 (CGCGCD)

Level: Intermediate


Lord Randal

One of the most popular of the traditional murder ballads.

Read more …

Tuning: Drop D

Level: Intermediate


CDs

Dr. Bob's Acoustic Tonic

Dr. Bob’s Acoustic Tonic


A mix of vintage and contemporary ragtime-blues tunes for solo guitar and vocal. (More …)


4 On 6

Outstanding Instrumental Album

2008 Western Canadian Music Awards

A collection of 12 classic tunes by The Beatles arranged for solo guitar. (More …)

Physical CD

Or Digital Download from iTunes or CD Baby.

The Voice in the Grain

Nominated for Outstanding Instrumental Album

2004 Western Canadian Music Awards

Nominated for Best Instrumental Album

2005 Canadian Folk Music Awards

Solo instrumental guitar. 6 original tunes and 6 unique arrangements. (More …)


Caffeinated Coffee

Outstanding Instrumental Album

2000 Canadian Prairie Music Awards

The album features 7 original compositions by Bob Evans, along with his arrangements of tunes by Lennon and McCartney, Ray Bell and Joel Fafard, and his cover of two fingerstyle guitar classics: Leo Kottke’s Bean Time and Tom Rush’s Rockport Sunday. (More …)


Six Strings North of the Border


3 CD Box Set

A three volume collection of 47 of Canada’s finest acoustic guitarists. (More …)

Copies can be ordered directly from Borealis Records