flight of the bumblebee

This is just a few tips on how to play this adaptation of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight Of The Bumblebee for guitar.

First off, loosen up your left hand’s fingers by dipping them in some warm/hot water for about 30 seconds. This is needed for me, anyway, as I don’t have great circulation. I leave the right hand alone, as it’s mostly wrist movements there.

With every tab you come across, there are some ways of playing things that just seem to be easier.

This piece, for example, is in the original:

|------------------|-----------------|------------------|------------------|
|------------------|--4--------------|------------------|--4---------------|
|--2-------7-------|--6--------------|--7-------7-------|--6---------------|
|----0-0-0---0-0-0-|-----------------|----0-0-0---0-0-0-|------------------|
|------------------|-----4-4-4-4-4-4-|------------------|------------------|
|------------------|-----------------|------------------|------------------|

For some reason, I find it easier to play it like this:

|------------------|-----------------|------------------|------------------|
|------------------|--4--------------|------------------|--4---------------|
|--2-------7-------|--6--------------|--7-------7-------|--6---------------|
|----0-0-0---0-0-0-|-----------------|------------------|------------------|
|------------------|-----4-4-4-4-4-4-|----5-5-5---5-5-5-|------------------|
|------------------|-----------------|------------------|------------------|

I’m not sure why I find that version so much easier to play – maybe it’s because there is a similar pattern throughout.

The next one, though, I can explain. Here is the original:

----0---0---0---0-|-------------------|--------------------------|
------3---1---0---|-------------------|--------------------------|
------------------|--2----------------|--------------------------|
--2---------------|--2----------------|-----------------11-12-13-|
------------------|--0----------------|--11-12-13-14-15----------|
------------------|-------12-13-14-15-|--------------------------|

--------------------------|--------------12-14-15-16-|--17--------|
-----------------------12-|--13-14-15-16-------------|------------|
--------11-12-13-14-15----|--------------------------|------------|
--14-15-------------------|--------------------------|------------|
--------------------------|--------------------------|------------|
--------------------------|--------------------------|------------|

My own version, while it may look more difficult, is actually much easier:

----0---0---0---0-|-----------------|-----------------|
------3---1---0---|-----------------|-----------------|
------------------|-2---------------|---------5-6-7-8-|
--2---------------|-2-------2-3-4-5-|-6-7-8-9---------|
------------------|-0---------------|-----------------|
------------------|-----------------|-----------------|

-------------------------|-------------12-14-15-16-|-17--------|
--------------9-10-11-12-|-13-14-15-16-------------|-----------|
--9-10-11-12-------------|-------------------------|-----------|
-------------------------|-------------------------|-----------|
-------------------------|-------------------------|-----------|
-------------------------|-------------------------|-----------|

To play the original, you would need to have pretty big hands, as it’s hard for me to play high frets on the low E and A strings. Also, there are five notes per string on the original, which means a finger would need to slip up a fret for each string. This is okay every now and then, but to do it in rapid succession can be tricky.

With mine, the trick is to play four notes from index to pinky, then move the hand quickly up to play the next four in the same way. This is not hard to do. The hardest part is actually making the transition sound clean. That comes with practice.

4 Comments.

  1. it’s not cool because you only wrote this for guitar

  2. yes? so what? I play guitar, so I wrote this for the guitar. where is the problem?

  3. I cant read what is on the pre tags of any of your posts (any special font needed?)

  4. no. the css for pre is: pre{overflow:auto;min-height:40px;margin-right:5px;max-height:300px;width:100%}. the only other css I see that applies to this is: *{font-family:sans-serif}.

    I have no idea why you can’t see the pre tags. I’ll assume it’s IE on a Windows machine (which I can’t check until I’m back in work late next week), as that’s a most-troublesome browser.

%d bloggers like this: