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Piano Man minus harmonica

Billy Joel's famous song, with harmonica part removed (to allow singer to provide it)
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Although there are many karaoke versions of BillyJoel's songs, including his famous "Piano Man", I am unaware of any commercially-produced versions that have the harmonica part elided* to allow the singer to play harmonica himself.
(*elided--To elide is to leave out)

I have produced a decent, though not great, track for this purpose using a .MID I downloaded from the net and some self-written CD+G lyric-adding software (has a cool cross-fade effect; no bouncing-ball yet, though). A somewhat higher-quality rendition would be nice, though; in addition, since I'm probably not the only person to play harmonica when doing that song, I suspect others would benefit from the more widespread availability of a commercially-produced disk.

Since it should be possible for a commercial house to release such track without any work beyond remastering with a different mix (set the harmonica-track slider to zero) I shouldn't think the cost would be too bad.

supercat, Sep 16 2002

Hohner Super Chromonica 270 http://members.mada...er_Chromonica_2.jpg
I've got one of these - very large & has sweet tone as there's 48 reeds in 12 holes - yes, that's a slide on the right, and yes again, the member's name is "madasafish" [thumbwax, Sep 19 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

(?) Halfbakerman http://www.purple-p...ry/Halfbakerman.mp3
[wagster, Oct 19 2009]

Music Minus One http://www.musicminusone.com/
The world leader in sheet music with accompaniament since 1950 [csea, Oct 20 2009]


       Could this not be extended to include faded-out guitar solos, drum solos, tambourines etc?   

       [Opinion: Piano Man is the greatest karaoke song ever. Excluding "U Can't Touch This", of course.]
calum, Sep 16 2002

       If elide = Extension Language for Iterative Design Encoding, what is elided?
It's a good idea, but I hate Billy Joel, so - neutral. Besides, everyone knows "The Love Boat" theme song is the kewellest song to karaokicize.
thumbwax, Sep 16 2002

       I mention the harmonica part in particular because such an instrument can be had for under US$4.00 and carried in one's pocket. Being able to do my own fill-in on e.g. the pinao instrumental break late in the song would be cool, but even the smallest portable keyboards are rather bulky to carry around.   

       BTW, I believe I already posted a karaoke idea involving use of multiple selectable soundtracks. My idea here is simply to have the harmonica-less version of "Piano Man" on a commercially-produced CD+G disk so that it can be played anywhere.
supercat, Sep 16 2002

       I've got to imagine there is an extremely tiny market for this.   

       Join a band that does BJ covers. Knock yourself out. Get paid for it. Drink while you're working.
waugsqueke, Sep 16 2002

       To be sure, the market is probably pretty small, but since any house with masters for Piano-Man-with-harmonica should be able to produce Piano-Man-without-harmonica merely by doing a remix, the investment required should be pretty minimal.   

       My expectation would be that a company would include the with-harmonica and without-harmonica mixes on the same disk; including the latter could offer such a disk a competitive advantage in the marketplace.   

       As an alternative, more general approach, companies could get in the habit of doing their mixes such that something someone might want to remove is on the left channel, but everything else is adequately represented on the right, ** AND INCLUDE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE STARTUP SCREEN INDICATING THAT **. Many tracks have something that could be usefully deleted in certain cases (e.g. the backup vocals for "Summer Nights" or many other songs), and a number of CD's already do this with "demo vocal" tracks.
supercat, Sep 16 2002

       I must admit that the joy of karaoke is lost on me too.   

       I'd almost support this idea though, if you promise not to play the removed harp part. I hate that bit.
waugsqueke, Sep 16 2002

       I favor a mission to travel back in time and kill the grandfather of the inventor of the harmonica. Could we do that instead? (And also take out Mr Accordion, Mr Bagpipe and Mr Swanee Whistle while we're back there.)
pottedstu, Sep 17 2002

       Now, now - the slide whistle should only be in competent hands, er lips - Here's my fave anecdote about Blind Blake, ragtime guitar's foremost fingerpicker:
In the spring of 1928 Blind Blake cut his most ambitious records. Jimmy Bertrand warbled slide whistle on "C.C. Pill Blues," while the great Johnny Dodds soloed on clarinet. "Oh, that record!" enthuses Ry Cooder. "That's it, see. That's the whole thing right there. That's all you need to hear. And then you know: There's a whole world we've all missed and will never know." (The "C.C." stood for "compound cathartic.")
This song takes my breath away, time and time again - just wouldn't have woiked without the slide whistle.
thumbwax, Sep 17 2002

       I enjoy listening to a good harmonica player. In the hands of an incompetent (such as myself) it's horrific, just like every other musical instrument.

I'm not a great fan of Billy Joel or karaoke so a fishbone for the supercat. But, having said that, now seems to be a good moment to confess that I've always wanted to do a karaoke version of 'Leader of the Pack'.
DrBob, Sep 17 2002

       I know quite few blues harpists - nononono - they don't play a *harp* - they play a harp - shorthand for harmonica. Few of these guys have at least 2 dozen harps, and can grind that sound out - particularly helpful to have an easily overloaded mic/amp combo - as that is what is key to the electrified sound. If a system is "clear" like a Roland amp - it just won't cut it. The great Snooky Pryor is the first harpist to have made this important discovery.
thumbwax, Sep 18 2002

       I'll give you a croissant for that, just because that's one thing I can play on the harmonica, and I might just try it! Of course, I'd be playing OVER BJ, since this idea is not yet baked... If it gets baked, please post an update!   

       That makes me wonder - have any halfbaked ideas gone on to become successfully baked? Is there an idea alumni page somewhere, for those who have graduated?
stephee, Sep 18 2002

       It's a correspondence course sans diploma
thumbwax, Sep 18 2002

       stephee: I have, as I noted, burned and performed to a CD I produced from a midi track. I used Von Basco's MIDI Karaoke player to play it without the harmonica part, and simply recorded the result as a 44Khz stereo .WAV which I then wrote some code to combined with on-screen lyrics into a .BIN file which could then be put on CD.   

       Copyright restrictions (and sheer size!) prevent me from posting the .BIN anywhere, but if it would be useful I could probably post the .CDG file somewhere.
supercat, Sep 18 2002

       No offense kids but this part isn't exactly harmonica science. About all you need is a C-Hohner and working lungs.
waugsqueke, Sep 18 2002

       //No offense kids but this part isn't exactly harmonica science. About all you need is a C-Hohner and working lungs.//   

       Quite true, but it's more fun to do the part with an actual harmonica than to simply stand there doing nothing during the harmonica riffs.
supercat, Sep 19 2002

       I'll grant you that. Wouldn't you rather play the piano part, though? Piano Man minus piano. (= "Man"?)   

       I guess we should be thankful it's not called "Harmonica Man".
waugsqueke, Sep 19 2002

       //Wouldn't you rather play the piano part, though?//   

       Yes, but getting a real piano into most karaoke places would be pretty much out of the question. Even the smallest semi-usable keyboards are still over a foot long and cannot be played one-handed without a suitably-placed table top.
supercat, Sep 19 2002

       Edgar Winter used to play a Mini-Moog on a strap round his neck, and those things weigh more than your average modern keyboard.
angel, Sep 19 2002

       //And also take out Mr Accordion// Huh, you just don't appreciate real music when you hear it, p'stu.
salachair, Sep 19 2002

       Winter also hung a Clavinet around his neck (30 lbs plus). (Coincidently also manufactured by Hohner...)
waugsqueke, Sep 19 2002

       Never seen this one before. But now I have I'll totally have to link my version - sans harmonica, avec kazoo.   

       Lyrics courtesy of [UB] who's been a bit quiet on the lyrics front recently.
wagster, Oct 19 2009

       [thumbwax] in September 2002 mentioned Blind Blake and C.C. Pill Blues.   

       It's for real, I have Grooveshark running right now. I love that site. My coworkers are not so sure.
normzone, Oct 19 2009

       Music Minus One [link] has been doing this since the 1950's. They have "Piano Man;" I didn't check what part's missing.   

       I suppose they would produce a version without harmonica if there were sufficient demand.
csea, Oct 20 2009


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