Recording: Game of Thrones - Main Theme

Submitted Thu, 04/25/2013 - 09:10
by Bhael | View the tab

Your rating: None Average: 5 (13 votes)

auri gave me the go ahead to plonk the tab on the site, given that we already have tabs up for similar reasons. If anyone wants me to take it down, let me know.

Anyway, since I've uploaded the tab I thought I'd post the recording as per usual.

15 comments on Main Theme

fantastic as per usual bhael.


fantastic as per usual bhael. Awesome video as well.

Cheers :)

Cheers :)

Technically there's a Game of


Technically there's a Game of Thrones game that uses the song and we have aladdin and pocahontas and other shit I don't really agree with.

That being said if Auri doesn't care then fuggit.

Great arrangement, fun to play and you play it well.

edit: forgot da stahz.

Yeah it's a hazy area, but I

Yeah it's a hazy area, but I like the idea of the site including music from films/series that have, or could potentially, spawned games under their title. LOTR, Jurrasic Park etc. I think that's partially why we've always had anime tabs, which are otherwise unrelated.

Heya Bhael! I gotta say that


Heya Bhael!

I gotta say that this is an absolutely amazing recording. Both its quality and your playing are top notch. Its quality is probably among the best of what I've seen on Gametabs (though I haven't been around all that much lately).

I'm going to take the same route as I did with Lemon, though, and say that there is a lot of headroom for improvement upon this already greatly-played piece.

Firstly, there is an awful noise emanating from your right (picking) hand. It sounds almost like fret squeak, but it's not. It stands out very clearly, and has the potential to detract enormously from your otherwise great playing. Do you have nails? If not, you might be sliding too much flesh over the string and causing the noise that way. If you do have nails, then you might have too much nail and the angle of your attack may be allowing the nail to scratch too far along the winding of your steel strings.

I might try to correct this problem by spending some time looking for the perfect tone from each finger. Experiment with different angles and amounts of nail/flesh to see if that eliminates the problem. If it's still there, then try experimenting with different nail shapes and lengths.

Secondly, try to limit any fret squeak as well. Practice the measures that contain lots of fret squeak over and over until you reduce it as much as you can. Try not to use guide fingers on wound strings (which can be hard with steel strings). Practice lifting up clearly to avoid the squeak, but shifting as fast and as late as possible to allow your notes to connect smoothly.

Beyond those two issues, while the dynamic separation of your bass and melody was very good, your dynamic flow was fairly static during the melody section. You played louder during the strumming section, but strumming is louder by default. In addition, while the dynamic variance in your strumming section was better than in the melody part, it could have been more pronounced. It is alright to have some softer strums. These will allow those nastier tension filled chords to do what they're supposed to do -- cause tension. Then when you finally resolve (back to the tonic, for example), it can sound that much more soft/beautiful/sweet/whatever due to the contrast you just created... like at the end, which you did a great job with.

I do think your ending harmonic is a victim of a lack of proper dynamic resolution, though. The natural tendency is to make harmonics super loud because they're awesome. Try to fight this urge. Yours was super loud, clear, and clean. I think it would have been better if it were no louder (maybe even softer) than the previous note, but still just as clear and clean. This would have allowed it to say "Ok, we're finished" instead of "Fuck yeah! Harmonic!". Use it as a function, not a gimmick.

You also lacked a great deal of color variance and your right hand stayed fairly static. Moving your right hand up towards the neck to get a nice sweet dolce sound is great for that tension resolution. Moving your hand towards the bridge is awesome for accentuating those nasty crunchy chords that cause tension. A more diagonal angle of attack can be great for those dark sounding melodies, and perpendicular attack can be good for brighter things. Even coloring similar phrases differently can be good depending on where you are going and where you are coming from (if a key modulation is incoming, for example).

I think a little rubato during the melody part would have been cool and would have tied nicely into a ritardando at the ending (which, in combination with the aforementioned harmonic fix, would have made the ending really special). Rubato isn't necessarily totally random, either. It should follow your dynamics, color, and phrasing. The end of a phrase that resolves back to tonic is a great place to play softer, more dolce, and slightly slower, for example.

There was a also severe lack of vibrato throughout the piece, which made me sad. Vibrato may not have mixed during your strumming section well, but adding it to your melody section would have created more contrast to the strumming. In addition, it just makes beautiful things sound more beautiful, less static, and less robotic.

I really liked when you had that strumming articulation going on at 1:35, and I think it would have been cool if you had incorporated that as more of the overall strum pattern. I half-way expected some form of percussion when you did that, which would have been pretty awesome.

Nate has proved he's alive

Nate has proved he's alive and not just a zombie by emitting a textwall! Hooray!!

Ironically, the text wall has

Ironically, the text wall has drained me and I am now functioning like a zombie. I am also most likely clinically dead right now. :(

It's only your sweet text that keeps me going, Auri <3

Whooaaaaaa. Hey Nate.

Whooaaaaaa. Hey Nate. Firstly, thanks for the kind words, and for the well thought out criticism. Much of what you say is spot on, and you're right about the need for contrast within the spectrum of performance. However, the extent to which the techniques you list should be employed is something we might not agree on. I tend to prefer more subtle shifts in colour and tempo as opposed to the obvious 'see what I can do' phrases employed by many classical guitarists, which often leech away the energy and over alter the tone that was vital to the piece's atmosphere.

That being said, I agree that I did not employ them as much as I should have. Sadly, that is down to a lack of experience upon the instrument as opposed to an unwillingness to play to a professional standard. Even upon the classical guitar, which I find much easier to control without losing tone or energy, I am not at the level where I can play a challenging piece so comfortably as to allow myself breathing room to allocate the majority of my concentration towards the actual performance aspect. If I played a simpler piece you will no doubt see more colour and variance come out in my playing, though perhaps not as you think they 'should' be employed, due to differences in personality.

It's also worth noting that I have been struggling for the past year to get an ideal tone from the acoustic guitar, and while I am making miles, I am still trying to balance the aspects that you have listed and more.

I am actually gratified that you consider the faults of my playing more due to abstinence and lack of performance-awareness than lack of actual skill. Sadly, it is in fact the other way round! I'm just happy I managed to get a clean and accurate take, the musicality of the performance (of which I agree there could be more of) is simply a bonus. Rest assured that the musical recommendations you articulated are always on my mind, and on my guitar when I can get away with it!

I'd like to point out that I

I'd like to point out that I think your tone is great. It's just that the noise you get when you pick probably needs some attention. It's also possible that the noise is something your mic/pickup/whatever is picking up. Something that wouldn't normally be audible? I dunno... I know nothing about that electronic/recording stuff

The rest of the advice I gave was mostly interpretational, but can be taken as a good guideline for phrasing. As long as what you're doing is intentional and phrased the way you want it to be, then I guess you'd be ok.

However, I'd like to make a distinction between baseline, interpretation, and awkward phrasing by using a crappy analogy to sentence structure phrasing.

Read the following sentence out loud as monotone as you can with as little spacing or punctuation between the words (I'll not use punctuation here to help):

he ran through the door jumped on the box and escaped out the window then he ate a hamburger

This is baseline default. It may not be incorrect, but it is pretty boring.

Now lets phrase it in a couple different ways with accentuation on different words. Read these out loud and pretend you're reading a book to an audience:

1) He ran through the door, jumped on the box, and escaped out the window. Then he ate a hamburger.
2) He ran through the door, jumped on the box, and escaped out the window. (dramatic pause) Then... he ate a hamburger.

These are just two ways out of many to interpret these sentences. Adding more pauses, changing the speed and volume of how you read it, or accenting different words are just different interpretations. Conversely, you could be more subtle and it could still sound great.

Now lets check out some awkward phrasing:

He ran, through the door. Jumped on the box and escaped out the window then. He ate a hamburger.

Is this incorrect? If it was intentional, then maybe not, but it's definitely awkward and not as pleasant as the other examples (even if you got very extreme on your accentuation in those previous examples).

Phrasing of music can be similar. Most of those classical guitarists probably aren't doing a "see what I can do in a cliche and obvious way" interpretation. They are, most likely, phrasing in a way that makes sense and is pleasant to the listener. They aren't leeching energy or altering tone that was vital to the piece's atmosphere (unless you are talking about completely changing a piece's structure against what is clearly already laid out and indicated by the original composer, which is totally different). They are adding that stuff to the baseline default.

As far as awkward phrasing goes, a simple I-IV-V-I progression ending with a super loud I chord may not be incorrect, but I'd say it's fairly awkward just like the above sentence example. The V chord has two active tones that have resolved in the I chord. It just makes sense that the I chord should be softer due to the release of perceived tension.

Again, your ending harmonic is an example of this. If it was your intention to make it louder, then it's not necessarily wrong, but I found myself expecting it to decrease in volume. I expected it because that's what makes sense.

I didn't mean to give an actual extent as to how substantial these interpretaional devices should be other than that you probably could have benefited from more. Interpretation and expression (substantial or subtle), are the things that will create the energy and tone that's vital to a piece's atmosphere.

And just to be clear, I'm not suggesting that your playing was as baseline as the monotone reading example. I think you're at the level where critically thinking about expression and interpretation (and what those entail) will yield your largest improvements.

I'm going to save both of

I'm going to save both of your comments to my computer; I think they're great explanations of the nuances of guitar playing, and elegantly phrased.

However, since I agreed beforehand that my playing could use more phrasing and articulation, what you seem to be doing in the 2nd half of your comment is trying to sell me your own particular preference of these techniques employments, through your defense of that used by classical guitarists. I'm not sure if my comment about their majority seemed dismissive of your entire argument, but I was just using them as an example of extreme phrasing that, I believe, truly does hamper the piece.

I'm sure that you're aware that as a concert pianist, guitarist etc, much of your career depends on your own playing personality. It's in your interest to play a piece differently to other people, so that you stand out among the flock. Indeed, much of us go to see live performances with the expectation of interpretation and improvisation, so alongside the competitive need for a performance personality the played piece is likely to be fairly changed in some way. In classical music the change is unlikely to be harmonic, for traditional and preservational reasons I needn't go into. So that leaves the other areas of performance; tone, tempo etc.

In an orchestra this is fine, as you can swap around instruments all over the place, and the sonority and deep impact of the instruments allows more breathing room than a smaller ensemble. But string quartets can still swap roles, play in unison and give a voice a repeat where their would otherwise be a rest. The classical guitar is more limited in it's expression, which alongside the points mentioned beforehand, gives the performer much difficulty in satisfying both the need for a unique performance and an appropriate sound.

In my opinion professional classical guitar playing is not a great example of ideal phrasing, as the performer is torn between being competitive, pleasing the audience (many of whom have heard the piece so many times as to wish for a radical interpretation) and actually playing it how he/she wants to. This is just my opinion, of course, but I'm just giving the rationale for my earlier generalisation.

All arguments aside, I appreciate your feedback and good will. Maybe I am at the level where I can play music I find challenging to a higher level of musicality. I'll try to integrate more of myself into my playing, and see if your observation proves correct!

Actually nate, now I see how much you understand guitar playing, I regret never actually hearing you play. I don't expect you to be able to achieve a perfect performance of course, as much is dependent on how often you play, but I'd be interested to hear you play nonetheless.

Oh, and for the record I

Oh, and for the record I agree that the harmonic at the end is too loud, and certain sections could have benefited from some of your earlier suggestions. I also notice the string squeak from the right hand, which is definitely due to the mic placement. Even so, I believe it can be controlled, and I will work on doing so.

Got any plans for "Rains of


Got any plans for "Rains of Castamere"? :P

bear and the maiden fair

bear and the maiden fair

The punk version of that in

The punk version of that in the episode 3 credits made me want to pull my hair out.

Hmmm, maybe!

Hmmm, maybe!