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Transcriber team

Andry Ravaloson

Specialty: Guitar and ukulele arrangements of international Pop, Jazz, and Blues pieces.

Biography: Andry started learning the music on his own at age 9-10, then animating weddings, dancing nights (Rock, Latino music, Waltz...) until the age of 17. As soon as he arrived in France in 1979, he turned to Jazz and improvisational music, and became a professional musician.

Andry also collaborated with a great many Jazz bands (Passages, ORJ Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Collectif Ondes Parallèles) and got credited on 11 studio albums throughout his career.

He has taught several years at the Valenciennes CMA school (Campus des Musiques Actuelles) and at the Lille Conservatoire. He currently holds a position of artistic advisor with Arobas Music.

Transcription and me: "My main role in mySongBook is the creation of guitar/voice and solo guitar arrangements. Here is how I go about transcribing my arrangements.

Guitar and voice:
1 - I start by writing the chord chart down on paper, together with the structure of the piece I must arrange.
2 - I write the guitar part as simply as I can (usually with half or whole notes).
3 - I create the melodic track and transcribe it.
4 - I go back to the guitar track, and I add the rhythm to it. I try to group together everything in the piece that is to be arranged, making sure that it will be possible to play and sing at the same time, and that the guitar's rhythm is not too different from the voice's rhythm.


Solo guitar:
Same principle as with the guitar/voice arrangement:
1 - I start by writing the chord chart down on paper, together with the structure of the piece I must arrange.
2 – I write the melody and bass lines simultaneously. The bass line remains basic (1 note for each chord change) and I make sure that the melodic and bass notes are not too far from each other on the fretboard. Guitar Pro's "Fretboard" tool then comes in very handy to solve this type of problem.
3 – All that's left to do is embellish the arrangement within the technical limits of the instrument. The guitar has its own limitations, one must therefore choose which notes to use. A "C13" chord, for instance, contains 7 notes. You cannot use them all. And this kind of personal choice is what will differ from one arranger to another. In case the bass part is really too different from the melody, I use the "Move/Swap voices..." tool in Guitar Pro to move it to another voice and be able to manage the nuances/accents."

Favorite transcription(s): "You've Got a Friend" by Carole King and "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin.

Thomas Bressel

Speciality: Arrangements of 90's Rock/Metal tracks for guitar, bass and vocals.

Biography: As well as being a heavy Rock 'Shred' guitarist, Thomas has also made three instrumental albums: 'Influences of Time' (2006), 'The Land of Chaos' (2008) and 'Virtual Tragedies' (2011). The album 'Influences of Time', produced by Youri de Groote, included renowned guest players such as Ron Thal (Guns N'Roses, Bumblefoot) as well as several other big names like Christophe Godin, Yann Armellino and Youri de Groote. 

Thomas Bressel has appeared on several compilations: 'French Metal vol. 3', 'T2JSinfonie', eGuitar magazine's 'le CD de Noël' and, more recently, on the famous compilation 'Guitar Addiction' (which brought together no less than 60 renowned musicians from around the world). In 2011, he founded the band Morzienda which was influenced, among other things, by the new wave of American metal bands. This project marked the start of Thomas taking a break from instrumental music. Thomas endorses Vigier guitars, Rocktron effects and the well known software Guitar Pro 6, all brands for which he takes part in showcases and masterclasses. 

On the educational side, Thomas was classically trained at the CNR of Caen. He teaches guitar in various music schools in Lower Normandy, with his focus really being centred on developing classes in electric and acoustic guitar but also on developing workshops for live music. President of the Guitar Xperience Association, Thomas organises masterclasses (some of the invited guests have been JJ Rébillard, Christophe Godin, Patrick Rondat, Guthrie Govan and Jean Fontanille) and also helps to develop bass lessons. He's the author of a work on how to play the electric guitar (which came out in 8 volumes in 2006) as well as a DVD teaching the tapping technique (8 fingers) in 2007. His teaching encourages a clear path of progression and is flexible to suit both beginners and more advanced players right up to DEM level. 

Thomas can be found in the specialist music press (e.g. Extreme Guitar magazine) and in videos on the net (Guitariff) as well as in masterclasses. In addition, Thomas has been active within the CMF (Music Confederation of France) for three years and has worked in collaboration with Francis Darizcuren, Patrick Rondat, Frédéric Szymanski and Pascal Mulot. 

Favourite transcription(s): "Yankee Rose" by David Lee Roth.

Links: http://www.thomasbressel.com

Personal comments: "Having started learning the guitar with commercial scores in printed songbooks, which were often inaccurate, I'm proud to be part of this innovative project mySongBook. Using various digital tools makes it much easier to be precise than was possible with methods 10 or 20 years ago - it makes a huge difference to standards, and I'm really pleased to be involved in it"!

Jérémy Cauliez

Specialty: Picking/Fingerstyle arrangements for solo/duo guitar, in all styles.

Biography: A self-taught musician, Jérémy Cauliez started playing the guitar with various Rock bands. After a year at the Valenciennes CMA school (Centre de Musiques Actuelles), he created the gypsy Jazz band "Manaswing" with Eric Legrand and Yann Gérardin. 6 years of playing live and one album followed.

Jérémy then decided to turn to Fingerstyle and Picking. He has been writing arrangements for mySongBook since February 2012. He is now working on an album of his own compositions for solo guitar.

Transcription and me: "When I work on an arrangement, I start by looking for the most suited tone for the guitar (favored tones for that are A, E, and G). You can sometimes add a capo to fall back onto the original tone while keeping it easy to play. Then I look at how I can write the melody with as many open strings as possible, once again so that left-hand fingering patterns are easier. For the bass line, I don't try to transcribe the original bass, but I rather adapt it with regards to the chords and style (generally Picking with alternate bass notes). I sometimes use a completely different style from that of the original piece (for instance, a little boogie bass line on "Eight Days a Week" by The Beatles, to boost it up!). And as soon as I can in the piece, I will endeavor to add the complete chord positions. 

As far as Guitar Pro 6 tools are concerned, I use muffled bass notes and chord diagrams for Picking style, just above each bar."

Favorite transcription(s): "Saturday Night Shuffle" by Merle Travis.

Links: https://www.facebook.com/MyPickingSongBook

Mathias Berchadsky

Specialty: Flamenco and Classical guitar.

Biography: Mathias Berchadsky was born in an artistic family, and was surrounded with musicians at the youngest age. He naturally picked up the guitar when he was 12.

He accompanied singers and dancers, and worked with some great Flamenco figures: La farruca, Alejandro Granados, La tremendita, Laura Vital, Inma la Carbonera, Pastora Galvan, El Pipa… Besides, he worked and recorded with many World Music artists in France and New York, such as Minino Garay, Bevinda Ferreire, Benoit Morel, Vernon Reid…

A composition enthusiast, Mathias writes for television and cinema, and composes for many Flamenco companies in France, Canada, and Spain. He also takes part in the recording of many movie soundtracks (Joseph et la fille, Le mac, Une petite zone de turbulences…).

Transcription and me: "Three elements are fundamental for a transcriber to master: the pitch, a deep knowledge of the instrument you're writing for, and expertise in the rules of music writing. You don't need to have perfect pitch to work in transcription — it is even more convenient in many respects to have good relative pitch (i.e., hearing the intervals).

Since I mostly transcribe for the guitar, besides the notes themselves one of the biggest challenges is knowing how to interpret fingering patterns. You can play any given note in several different ways, on a guitar. Thus you need to determine on which string and where on the fretboard such and such note or phrase is being played.

The other great challenge is the translation of music into musical theory. It is a very rich language that will allow you to represent a great many nuances and effects. Nonetheless the feel for musicality and groove are entirely up to the interpreter, and such information cannot be transmitted through standard musical writing. Guitar Pro 6 offers a great number of options to make up for such shortcomings, and this is a true step forward for guitarists who are often rather poor readers of music.

To achieve a good transcription, one must first have the right tools. You can nowadays find a number of software programs that make it possible to slow down the music without altering the pitch of notes, which allows you to gently approach certain tricky passages.

A good method would be to proceed one section at a time, identify repeats (while still checking possible variations and subtleties), and work out the transcription little by little. I personally work directly in Guitar Pro: it allows me to play back any noted phrase without need to play it on the guitar, which is extremely time-saving. As a last resort, you can find a lot of videos on the web that will help you figure out certain fingering patterns that are hard to hear. In certain cases, it is extremely useful to have access to several video versions of a same piece."

Favorite transcription(s): "Ganaina" by Diego del Morao.

Linkshttp://elmati.com

Reli Suyskens 

Specialty: Classical pieces for guitar.

Biography: Reli Suyskens started studying and playing the classical guitar after he heard Julian Bream playing Paganini's Romance on the radio in the middle of a summer night some thirty years ago. Ever since that time until today he has always enjoyed and prized the ever-so new excitement of being able to learn to play music. One of the tools that were very helpful for him at the beginning was a beautiful Revox tape recorder with which he listened again and again to recordings by guitarists like Julian Bream, John Williams, Laszlo Szendry Karper, and his later teacher Baltazar Benítez.

Nowadays, with Guitar Pro, he has a superior musical tool to even take with him outside for great walks, studying and playing the guitar where he wants it most: à la Campagne!

Favorite transcription(s): "Vals opus 8 no.4" by Barrios and "Milonga del Angel" by Astor Piazzolla.

Links: http://www.relisuyskens.nl

Personal comments: "I hope that my mySongBook arrangements for classical guitar will inspire many guitarists in the world to play their instrument with ongoing and never-ending pleasure."

Amadeus

Specialty: Reviewing complete pieces in 70's Rock style.

Biography: It has been 15 years that Amadeus has been playing the guitar. He has been seriously practicing the instrument for ten years, and making a living out of it for 5-6 years.

He has studied music at the Valenciennes CMA school and at the Lille Academy of music, but he has also taught himself a great deal.

Following a few health issues, he decided to leave live playing aside and focus instead on web-based pedagogy.

Favorite transcription(s): "A Day in the Life" by Jeff Beck.

Linkswww.amadeusguitar.com 

Personal comments: "My website is designed to be collaborative, and can be read in various languages. I am looking for motivated people to participate in it (lessons / translations). Don't hesitate to contact me!"

Tom Strandberg 

Specialty: All-round guitar, bass and vocal transcriptions.

Biography: Tom started transcribing for fun in 2001, first only focusing on his favorite Power Metal songs (a lot of Dragonforce). In 2006, he completed his musical degree, for which he studied music theory, transcribing and composing. To make a long story short, his skills developed more and more and eventually he was lucky enough to get a position with Arobas Music.

Favorite transcription(s): "I’m Alive" by Jackson Browne.

Links: Check out his band “Fall Of Emotions” and give them a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fallofemotions

Thibaut Basely

Specialty: Electric arrangements of Classical music.

Biography: Thibaut originally came from the "Metal/Hardcore" scene, but soon started to broaden his personal musical range by taking part in many Pop music projects. He toured with a variety of known 80's artists.

He also taught music at the Valenciennes CMA school and at "L'atelier Rock". In 2006, he endorsed Mayones guitars.

He has been the guitarist of bands such as In Memory Off, Apex, Morgane, Manukeen, Dylath Leen, Fusion 4 Freedom, Scape, Anthony Sinjerald, Raggacity, Remember The Time, Abba Forever, La Part du Lion.

Favourite transcription(s): "Symphony n°5 in Cm opus 67" by Ludwig Van Beethoven.

Links: https://soundcloud.com/tibo-basely

Magali Hotton

Specialty: Bass, double bass, piano and keyboard.

Biography: Magali Hotton is a Jazz and Classical double-bass player. After being awarded a Gold Medal in classical piano studies, she decided to turn to double bass.

Magali was curious, passionate and open-minded, she got furiously interested in Jazz music, and went out to meet the greatest Jazz musicians. She notably attended masterclasses by Hein Van de Geyn, Marc Johnson, Joe La Barbera, Eliane Elias, Yaron Herman and Daryl Hall. In 2012, Magali joined the Bruxelles Conservatoire Royal and studied with Jean-Louis Rassinfosse, Phil Abraham and Arnould Massart.

She accompanied Julien Marga when he played in San Francisco (5 concerts, including a TV appearance) and took part in the jam sessions of the Brussels Jazz Collective band in Madagascar.

Favorite transcription(s): "I haven't yet been able to pick out my favourite pieces, as I have especially worked in a rush to finish already-started transcriptions, to rework some, and to correct them sometimes. But I will soon!"

Links: https://www.facebook.com/BrusselsJazzCollective

Bara Ravaloson

Specialty: Guitar, bass, drums, percussions, voice and guitar/voice arrangements.

Biography: Bara Ravaloson is a self-taught musician who plays the double bass, electric bass, drums, and percussions. A savvy musician, he has studied a variety of styles throughout his career: Rock, Classical, Jazz. He is now teaching music (Jazz bass and drums) in the North of France.

Collaborations: Clark Terry (trumpet player with Duke Ellington), Michel Grailler (pianist with Chet Baker) and Francis Bourrec (French saxophonist, member of the National Jazz Orchestra).

Favorite transcriptions: "Tutu" by Miles Davis, "Have You Ever Loved a Woman?" by Derek and the Dominos and arrangements for solo instruments (ukulele, guitar and bass arrangements...).

Tohery Ravaloson

Specialty: Transcriptions for voice, guitar, bass and drums arrangements.

Biography: A Madagascan drummer and bassist living in France since 2007, Tohery started his musical studies at age 10 and took part in several Jazz workshops organized by the Alliance Française in Antananarivo, Madagascar. Aged 18, he played live at the "Madajazzcar" Jazz festival and launched into a great number of collaborations with various bands.

After he arrived in France, he joined the group of singers "Aristide & Jean Zégarés" who won the "Fontainazik" talent showcase in 2009. That prize allowed him to record his first album entitled "Mes Âmes et mes Cieux".

Following various projects with French, Madagascan, Belgium and Polish musicians such as Rytmo y Julieta, Thibault Dille Expérience, June Bug, he decided to join the jazz drums class at the Lille Conservatoire managed by Guy Gilbert, Jeremie Ternoy, Christophe Hache and Cyrille Wambergue.

He is now a bass and drums teacher.

Favorite transcription(s): "Waiting on the World to Change" by John Mayer.

Links:  http://www.judducombo.com http://jm4tet.wordpress.com

Mathieu Harlaut

Specialty: Piano, organs, keyboards in all genres, as well as strings and brass.

Biography: Training as a classical pianist as a child, as a touring Rock musician from age 17 to 20, in Jazz at the Conservatoire, Mathieu now teaches keyboards and workshops, theory and arrangements at the Conservatoire.

Projects: European tour with a Jazz trio, accompanying singers all over France, acting and composing for theatre, writing music for films (Gum collections/Cézame Music Agency), arranging for and producing singers. Mathieu has also been involved with electronic music under various pseudonyms.

Favorite transcription(s): The whole "Shine on your Crazy Diamond" by Pink Floyd and songs by Deep Purple.

Links: www.soundcloud.com/lapalma / www.facebook.com/music.lapalma.

Personal comments"Transcribing a piece for mySongBook involves a lot more than just turning what you hear into notes. It means emulating the musician's gesture so as to get as close to the tone and to his musical intention as possible. And it also means getting to the heart of the best productions".

Guillaume Deffrennes

Specialty: Drums transcriptions for all styles.

Biography: Guillaume studied Jazz for ten years in private schools and at the Lille Conservatoire, as well as at the London Drumtech school, and now he himself teaches privately and in music schools. Taking part in various musical projects since 2004, in Jazz, French Pop, Rock, covers and street art, he has acquired a solid experience of the stage with over 300 concerts to his credit. He has created the website www.jouerdelabatterie.fr, a web-based drum-playing method.

Favorite transcription(s): All transcriptions of Rage Against The Machine.

Links: www.jouerdelabatterie.fr

Guy "Wildo" Gilbert

Specialty: Transcriptions for drums, percussions and brass.

Biography: After he studied drums at the Agostini school in Paris, Guy Gilbert completed his training with a great many workshops and classes, notably with Daniel Humair, François Laizeau, Kim Plainfield and Billy Hart. He also studied music pedagogy, analysis, harmony and piano-playing in various Conservatoires. Other workshops led him to develop his rhythm expertise with percussionist Carlo Rizzo and to get trained in soundpainting (or instantaneous composition) techniques with saxophonist Vincent Lê Quang.

His career as a drummer has led him to work in a great variety of musical environments: Music for the theater, Chanson (Renaud, Jean Bodart, Juliette Kapla), Rock (Opale, Les Malades). On the Jazz scene, he has accompanied a great number of jazzmen touring the Nord region of France (Stéphane Gueraut, Gérard Badini, Julien Lourau, Francis Bourrec…) and played with many Lille bands, notably with Cyrille Wambergue (piano), Andry Ravaloson (guitar) or Thibaut Hien (saxophone).

A certified instructor, tenured with the French Diplôme d’Etat Jazz spécialité Batterie and the Certificat d’Aptitude de professeur de Jazz, Guy Gilbert teaches at the Lille Conservatoire, of which he has for many years been the coordinator. 

His last solo album is called "Op ! Trio". It features many Guy's Jazz compositions along with 2 special covers: "Eleanor Rigby" by The Beatles and "Another Road" by Kenny Loggins. 

Favorite transcription(s): "Close to Me" by The Cure