Country Blues > Country Blues Licks and Lessons

Charlie Patton's Guitar Style--Queries and Tips

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Ignatznochops:
I think there's supposed to be a Bm7 chord in "Shake It and Break It", but in what position? I can't get it to sound right...

Joe

frankie:
Shake it Break It is in the key of F.  The chords CP uses are all played in 1st position:

F (brief detour to F6)
Bflat6
C7

I've occasionally seen the Bflat6 described as Gm7, but the chord in question sounds more right to me as a IV chord than a ii chord - that would pull more strongly to the V chord, I think, but what the hell do I know?

Johnm:
Hi,
Just to add on to what Frank said, which is right on, the B flat 6 employed by Charlie Patton in "Shake It And Break It" is the same fingering that Papa Charlie Jackson used in a lot of his tunes in F and B flat:  Index fretting the root of the B flat chord at the first fret of the 5th string, and ring finger barre fretting the 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st strings at the third fret.  I would also agree that it sounds more like a IV6 chord in root position than a ii minor7 chord with its third in the bass.
All best,
Johnm

a2tom:

--- Quote from: Johnm on January 04, 2005, 04:19:37 PM --- the same fingering that Papa Charlie Jackson used in a lot of his tunes in F and B flat: Index fretting the root of the B flat chord at the first fret of the 5th string, and ring finger barre fretting the 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st strings at the third fret.

--- End quote ---

Ouch - I thought that sounded difficult, and then I tried it, and guess what, it is.  I'll have to stengthen up the hand some to get that (I have always hated barre chords, and then you throw a ring finger barre at me!).  Out of curiosity, did either Jackson or Patton switch this B flat 6 to a barre F?  Or were they still changing to the blues standard thumbed F? 

tom

frankie:
I dunno how PCJ or CP played it, but when I play that chord, I wrap my thumb around to grab the 6th and 5th strings at the 1st fret.?That makes the change to the F chord much more straightforward, in my opinion, although it probably presents fingering difficulties all its own for someone else.

I think it's unlikely that either of those guys would have used a barre F.

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