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Well she shakes like the Central and she wobbles like the L&N.. well she's a hot-shot mama and I'm scared to tell her where I been - Blind Willie McTell, Scarey Day Blues

Author Topic: Three Frets Up, and What You Find There  (Read 3088 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Three Frets Up, and What You Find There
« on: April 10, 2017, 04:35:27 PM »
Hi all,
We were discussing recently, in another thread, how in Country Blues guitar playing you can often get interesting-sounding effects that particularly suit the harmonic language of the blues by taking a chord shape, or just a part of a chord shape, and moving that shape up three frets.  I thought we could take a look at why this works in different contexts, how it has been used by various players in the style, and why it has ended up being used in some shapes but not others.  It seems to make sense to confine each post to a particular example of this movement rather than taking up the phenomenon in the larger sense all at once, so here goes.

Moving the I chord up three frets:  One of the most widespread uses of the "three frets up" idea involves moving the I chord of whatever key you're playing in up three frets, while maintaining the I note in the bass.  Here is an instance of that, in Washboard Walter's "Overall Cheater Blues".  Listen to what Washboard Walter's accompanist, John Byrd does at the front of the verse beginning at 1:23 of the rendition and running until 1:31.



John Byrd is playing the song out of E position in standard tuning, and in that four-bar passage from 1:23--1:31 he is taking an E chord played out of the D shape, 4-5-4, going from the third string to the first string, playing it in the first bar, moving that shape up three frets intact, 7-8-7, for the second bar,  taking it back down three frets for the third bar, and taking back up, once more for the fourth bar, to open that verse.  If we look at the notes involved when you do that, we can see the effect of moving the shape up three frets.  At 4-5-4 on the first three strings, John Byrd's notes in the E chord, moving from the third string to the first string are B-E-G#, or 5-R-3, expressed as voices of an E major chord.  At 7-8-7 on the first three strings, his notes are D-G-B, which expressed as notes in an E chord are flat7-flat3-5.  A chord consisting of Root-flat3-5-flat7 is a minor seventh chord.  So we can see that by moving a major I chord up three frets, you move from a I major chord to a I minor seventh chord, a more highly colored chord by virtue of containing a seventh, but also with an additional bite or snap because of the minor third note that it contains.  Rocking back and forth between these two chords as John Byrd did on "Overall Cheater Blues", then, sets up a rocking back and forth between major and minor in the song's tonality.

Another instance of this effect can be heard in Lil' Son Jackson's song, "No Money, No Love".  Here is the song:



Lil' Son Jackson played the song out of A position in standard tuning, and he begins the song strongly emphasizing the "long A" chord sound, 0-2-2-2-5, ascending from the fifth string to the first string.  At the :04 mark, he moves the shape up three frets, intact, ending up at 0-5-5-5-8, playing a fill out of that position until the :07 mark, at which point he moves the shape back down three frets, where upon he plays an answering fill.  He starts his first verse at the :14 mark, and moves the shape back up three frets for the beginning of the verse, holds there for the first bar, comes back down three frets for the second bar, returns to the "three frets up" position for the third bar, and comes back down three frets for the fourth bar.  In looking at the notes in the two A chords, the "long A" at the base of the neck and the position three frets up, we find this:  The "long A" chord, from the fifth string to the first consists of A (root)-E (5)-A (root)-C# (3)-A (root).  The position three frets up gives you A (root)-G (flat7)-C (flat3)-E (5)-C (flat3).  So, based on the voices that each chord has relative to its root, A, we find the "long A" chord is an A major chord, and the same shape moved up three frets while keeping the open A string in the bass is an A minor 7 chord.

What Lil' Son Jackson did in "No Money, No Love" once the first verse started is the exact opposite of what John Byrd did on "Overall Cheater Blues", for John Byrd alternated major-minor 7-major-minor 7 in the four bars of his verse, and Lil' Son Jackson reverses that alternation to minor 7-major-minor 7-major.  What Lil' Son Jackson played would have sounded great if he had simply moved the shape back and forth between the two positions, but he did much more than that, playing treble fills in both positions that sit comfortably and naturally under the hand and which also sound great.  In the three frets up position, he went from the eight fret of the first string down to a triplet from the fifth fret of the first string to the eighth fret of the second string and back, followed by the eighth fret of the first string resolving to the fifth fret of the first string.  The notes?  C-AGA-C-A, or flat 3-root-flat7-root-flat 3-root.  In the long A position, he starts at the fifth fret of the first string, plays a triplet from the third fret of the first string to the fifth and then third frets of the second string, followed by the fifth fret of the third string resolving to the second fret of the third string.  The notes?  A-GED-C-A, or root-flat7 5 4-flat 3-root.  So it is that he gets contrasting pentatonic runs from both positions that sound great and sit easily under the hand.  Hats off!

A third example of moving the I chord up three frets can be found in Gabriel Brown's "Going My Way".  The track starts at the 32:00 point on the linked video.  Here it is:



Gabriel Brown is playing out of dropped-D tuning here.  He concludes his intro at the 32:09 mark, resolving to a D chord at the base of the neck, 2-3-2 on the first three strings, going from the third string to the first, A (5)-D (root)-F# (3).  At the 32:17 mark he hits the first accompanying chord of his first verse, and what he has done is move the D shape up three frets to 5-6-5, C (flat7)-F- (flat 3)- A (5), once again getting a I minor 7 chord by moving the I chord up three frets intact while keeping the low root in the bass. 
Gabriel Brown expands on the idea we've been talking about in his solo, though.  He concludes his second verse re-establishing his D chord at the base of the neck, around 33:16.  He opens his solo at 33:18 in the "three frets up" position, but at 33:22, he take the shape an additional three frets up from the three frets up position, walking it back down to the three frets up position via the position sounding two frets above the "three frets up position".  What notes does he get at these higher positions, and how do they relate to the original I chord?  At the three frets up from three frets up position, he is at 8-9-8, Eflat (flat2)-Aflat (flat5)-C (flat7) an Aflat major chord, so he he is essentially playing a flat5 chord over the I note in the bass--no wonder it sounds like it's going to put hair on your chest!  The walk-down position, 7-8-7, is simply a G major chord, which has relatively less tension and sort of smooths the transition down into the "three frets up" position.  I think the sound Gabriel Brown gets with this move is pretty spectacular--tense, to be sure, but is it ever arresting!  And there's a logic to it, too--if three frets up sounds good, maybe three frets up from that will sound good, too.

If you think of the examples we've examined, in every instance, the chord position that was moved up was a self-contained, closed position, employing no open strings other than the root in the bass.  And this is the way you'll almost invariably see this move utilized, because if you take a position like a C or G chord at the base of the neck, you have to completely switch your fingering around to move the voices of the chord above the low root (some of which are open strings) up three frets while keeping the low root in the bass.  It's awkward as hell, and it would be especially difficult to rock between the base position and the three frets up position in these chords.  That having been said, there are plenty of opportunities to use the three frets up idea over different I chords that have not yet been utilized as far as I know, and there are some great sounds out there waiting to be discovered--sounds that will fit right into the style.

All best,
Johnm

   
« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 08:04:48 AM by Johnm »

Offline Zymeguy

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Re: Three Frets Up, and What You Find There
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2017, 10:39:37 AM »
Wow John! Great post-- a lot to think about! I'm excited to see what other I chords people have experimented with to good effect!

-Zach

Offline Johnm

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Re: Three Frets Up, and What You Find There
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2017, 12:15:02 PM »
Thanks for the good words, Zach.  One thing that occurred to me when I read your post is that apart from people playing slide, this three frets up device for moving between a I major chord and its I minor7 chord has been all but unused by Country Blues guitarists playing in open tunings like Spanish and Vestapol--this despite the fact that these tunings make the effect available in the absolute easiest way, technically.  Pick any three strings that give you a root, third and fifth in these tunings and move three frets up on those strings doing an index partial barre, and you've got it!  It's made additionally easy by the fact that in these open tunings you will have an open-string I note in the bass.  I've got to try it myself and see what kind of sounds you can get, and also what sorts of runs become available, along the lines of what Lil' Son Jackson did in "No Money, No Love".
All best,
Johnm

Offline jrn

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Re: Three Frets Up, and What You Find There
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2017, 05:42:51 PM »
Thanks John!

I wasn't aware of this. It definitely gives me some new ideas.

I especially liked the Lil' Son Jackson song. It was the runs that really did it for me.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

Quitman, Mississippi

Offline eric

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Re: Three Frets Up, and What You Find There
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2017, 06:45:43 AM »
Thanks for posting that analysis, John, interesting stuff.  Hanging around here is like sitting in on a master class in country blues.
--
Eric

Offline Zymeguy

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Re: Three Frets Up, and What You Find There
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2017, 09:57:27 AM »
I like these kind of posts because they illuminate the theory behind things a lot of us do without knowing why...but they work. I think most people that play Statesboro Blues probably use this 3 frets up idea when going back to the I chord instead of the V in the 9th bar. I don't think any of us know where Mctell got this idea but it is super effective and one of my favorite movements in the song. It seems like a great technique to employ when playing in D or A position for really interesting call and responses possibilities.

Someone I could imagine using this technique to really interesting effect is Bo Carter but I can't think of any songs of the top of my head where he does that. Thoughts?
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 11:02:35 AM by Zymeguy »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Three Frets Up, and What You Find There
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2017, 10:53:13 AM »
Someone I could imagine using this technique to really interesting effect is Bo Carter but I can't think of any songs of the top of my head where he doesn't that. Thoughts?

Bo does it in lots of the tunes he plays in DGDGBE tuning, moving the D-shaped G chord at 7-8-7 on the top three strings up to 10-11-10. Mostly in solos. He uses it in an interesting way in "Don't You Do It No More," which is an alternate version of "I Want You to Know."

Pretty sure he does it in tunes in E as well with moving 4-5-4 up to 7-8-7.

In tunes in the key of D he'll do it with the A-shaped D chord at 7-5 on the top two strings, moving it up to 10-8. Pretty sure he does this in "Policy Blues." In the versions of "Stop and Listen" Walter Vinson uses the same positions, but also moves it up to 12-10 to get an A-shaped G chord. Can't remember if Bo does that but he might. Mance Lipscomb uses the same positions in "Tell Me Where Did You Stay Last Night."
Chris


PS. John, thanks so much for this topic. It's great to think about the theory behind these moves, and especially thanks for reminding me what a great number "No Money, No Love" is!
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 10:54:20 AM by banjochris »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Three Frets Up, and What You Find There
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2017, 10:49:05 PM »
Hi all,
Thanks very much for the positive feedback, and I think banjochris's post provides a good segue into the next "three frets up" topic, so here goes:

Double stop shapes taken three frets up:  Double stops are partial chord shapes in which two strings harmonize with each other.  The double stop shapes derive from more complete chord shapes, but suffice to express enough information about the underlying chord (especially with the thumb supplying the bass underneath) to keep the listener oriented as to what is going on.  In a purely statistical sense, I would guess that using double stop shapes for "three frets up" effects is more common than moving full chord shapes.  Let's take a look and listen to several examples drawn from Country Blues recordings. 

Our first example is from Buddy Moss, in the solo to his song, "Baby, You're the One For Me".



Buddy Moss is working out of A position in standard tuning here, and if you listen to the beginning of his solo, from 1:07--1:13, you'll hear him moving a double stop up and back for the first three bars of the solo.  The double stop he starts on, 10-9 going from the second string to the first, derives from a D shape moved up the neck, and place A (root) on the second string and C# (3) on the first string.  He plays four triplets of that double stop in the first bar of the solo.  In the second bar, he moves the double stop up three frets to 13-12 on the first two strings.  The notes there are C (flat3) and E (5), so in moving his double stop up three frets he suggests an A major chord in his starting position and an A minor chord three frets up.  Buddy somewhat complicates things in his three frets up position, though, by bending the second string in that position, ending up with a "blue third", sort of halfway between the minor third he would have had if he had not bent the note and the major third that lies one fret higher.  In the third bar of the solo, Buddy alternates triplets between the base position and the three frets up position.

This first example sets up a sort of conceptual precedent that will hold true for all of the other "double stops three frets up" examples, and that is, whatever voice of the original chord is on a given string in the base position you're starting from, in the three frets up position, the next higher voice in the chord will be voiced on that string, and the voices will walk up in the following manner: 
   *  Root walks up to flat 3
   * Major third walks up to 5
   * 5 walks up to flat 7
Bending voices, as Buddy Moss did in "Baby, You're the One For Me" provides a sort of wild card element to the process, and makes for additional color.

Our second example is Lonnie Johnson's "Life Saver Blues".



As Buddy Moss did in "Baby, "You're The One For Me", Lonnie Johnson opens his solo with a double stop three frets up move.  He played the song out of DGDGBE tuning, in D, and he begins his solo at 1:08, with a measure of four triplets, playing the double stop 7-5 on the second and first strings, with those notes being F# (3) and A (5), in the key of D.  In the second bar of the solo, he takes the double stop up three frets for the first to beats, playing triplets at 10-8, A (5) and C (flat7) in D, before moving the double stop back down three frets for the last two beats of that second measure.  For the third bar, he goes to a D chord at the base of the neck, fretting the first two strings, D (root) and F# (3), holding that for the first two beats, and then moving to 5-3, E and G on the third beat, 6-4, F and A on the fourth beat.  In the fourth bar, he returns to his starting position, 7-5 for the first beat, goes to 8-7, G and B, for the second beat, and for beats 3 + 4 goes from 7-5 down one fret to 6-4, then returning to 7-5.

We can see that Lonnie Johnson started out his solo using the double stop three frets up concept, but then expanded on it, using double stops to play the first four bars of his solo in harmony, not always relying on the same shape in the left hand.  Actually, all of the double stops except the one at the base of the neck, coming from the D chord, did use the same shape.

Our next example is from Lane Hardin's "Hard Time Blues".



Lane Hardin starts his solo at 2:24, and from there to 2:32, he employs the double stops three frets up in a way we've not encountered thus far.  He is playing out of an E position, either in standard tuning, or EAEGBE, though tuned quite low, and for the purposes of our example, let's simplify things and say he was sounding in E.  You can transpose to the key he was sounding in later, if you wish.  He begins the solo after hitting the open sixth string by picking a double stop between 1 on the third string and the open first string, G# (3) and E (Root) in the key of E, respectively.  On beat two, he frets a double stop at the fourth fret of the third and first strings, B (5) on the third string and G# (3) on the first string.  On the + of beat three, he takes that fourth fret double stop up to the seventh fret, three frets up, getting D (flat7) on the third string and B (5) on the first string.  He re-hits the seventh fret double stop on beat four, and then returns to the 1-0 double stop he started with on the third and first strings on the + of beat four.  He plays this same series of double stops two more times, with a time stroke between the second and third iterations of it.

One of the things that makes what Lane Hardin plays here on "Hard Time Blues" sound so special is that the double stop he chose to play three frets up is between non-adjacent strings.  That space between the non-adjacent strings really opens up the sound, and in this instance, instead of the two strings in the double stop harmonizing in thirds, as they did in the first two examples, Lane Hardin's double stops harmonize in sixths.  I guess the most all-encompassing sort of idea you could take from what he did is that it is not necessary that the double stop you take three frets up be voiced on adjacent strings--you can have gaps between the strings, and as long as you take two voices of the original chord up three frets, the same effect will result, though altering the distance between the two strings in the double stop may change the color of the move, as it did in "Hard Time Blues".

I found many more examples of Country Blues guitarists using double stops three frets up, but rather than inundate you with examples, I'll let you look for more and maybe try out some in your own playing, where you think they might fit.

All best,
Johnm   
« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 08:06:24 AM by Johnm »

Offline blueshome

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Re: Three Frets Up, and What You Find There
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2017, 01:59:43 AM »
Hi John,
Great post. Isn't it fairly common, especially in blues in D to apply the 3 frets move in reverse, starting at 5th fret and dropping back? Scrapper Blackwell springs to mind.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Three Frets Up, and What You Find There
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2017, 06:04:00 AM »
Yes, Phil, Scrapper used the "three frets up" position in his D blues for both the full D shape on the first three strings moved up three frets, or just the double stop in that shape between the second and first strings up three frets, as you say.  Seems like when he took the entire D shape up three frets, he tended to stay there for the first four bars, and didn't bounce back and forth between that position and the base position, as John Byrd and Lil' Son Jackson did in their tunes.
All best,
Johnm

Offline lindy

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Re: Three Frets Up, and What You Find There
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2017, 09:48:10 AM »
Boats Up the River -- John Jackson, wonderful way to start a song, C to D and back down.

Robert Wilkins' Police Sergeant Blues also immediately came to mind, but he's actually going from C to F -- 5 frets. It's an amazing sound thrown in the middle of the song.

These may not fit the discussion, in both cases the players move up for the briefest of visits, then immediately go home.

Lindy

Offline banjochris

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Re: Three Frets Up, and What You Find There
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2017, 10:44:52 AM »
Boats Up the River -- John Jackson, wonderful way to start a song, C to D and back down.

Robert Wilkins' Police Sergeant Blues also immediately came to mind, but he's actually going from C to F -- 5 frets. It's an amazing sound thrown in the middle of the song.

These may not fit the discussion, in both cases the players move up for the briefest of visits, then immediately go home.

Lindy

I think the difference in these cases, Lindy, is that in both of these instances, it's either a move to get melody notes or, in the case of Police Sergeant, actually changing chords (and getting the melody). The "three frets up" thing is more of a chord substitution. We have that "taking the bass for a ride" topic that covers what Jackson and Wilkins are doing in these tunes.

Wilkins does do the "three frets up" thing that we're talking about here in "Falling Down Blues" and "Old Jim Kanan's" (where he is holding out the D chord in the breaks).
And he does the double-stop three frets up in "That's No Way to Get Along" (where he never plays what would be the original position you move up) and in "Jailhouse Blues" as well.
Chris

Offline Pan

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Re: Three Frets Up, and What You Find There
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2017, 02:20:30 PM »
Hi all,

First of all, thanks for a very interesting topic, Johnm!

I was just listening to some cb instrumental songs, after reading this thread, and while listening to Sylvester Weaver's "Guitar Blues" from 1923, I realized that he's doing the 3 frets up thing on slide guitar,  not on the I chord, though, but rather on the IV.

Essentially, I believe we're still talking about the same musical idea; changing from a major chord up to 3 frets might sound like it's been followed by the minor version of the chord with a same root, if I'm understanding John's idea correctly.

Weaver plays out of Vestapol tuning, if I'm not terribly mistaken, and he doesn't incorporate any open strings on the move, I think. But since the root note of a key is the 5th note of a IV chord, you could let that note ring throughout playing the IV and the bVI chords as well.



Cheers

Pan

Offline Johnm

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Re: Three Frets Up, and What You Find There
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2017, 03:54:10 PM »
Hi all,
Pan's post immediately prior to this one provides a good segue into the next "three frets up" topic.  He noted Sylvester Weaver's moving the IV chord up three frets with his slide in his "Guitar Rag" to go to a flat VI chord, a move that Al Young noted in another thread was a favorite move of Oscar Woods, who similarly did it while playing slide.  What about non-slide players moving the IV chord intact up three frets?  Here goes:

Moving the IV or IV7 chord up three frets:  It's a relatively common move among Country Blues players to use a flat VI chord in the sixth bar of a 12-bar blues, following the IV chord in the fifth bar of the form.  They may or may not get this flat VI chord by moving the the IV chord shape up three frets intact, but it is a sure-fire way of getting the flat VI chord when it works.  Let's look at a couple of examples of people using the flat VI chord, and arriving at it by taking the IV chord up three frets.

Our first example is in Little Hat Jones' "Rolled From Side To Side Blues", in his solos.  Here is Little Hat Jones' performance of the song:



The first instance of Little Hat Jones moving his IV chord up three frets intact to get a flat VI chord occurs in his introductory solo, from :08--:10.  He is playing out of G position in standard tuning, so his IV chord is C.  He fingers the C chord 3-2-0-1-3,  with notes C(Root)-E(3)-G(5)-C(Root) and G(5), respectively, moving from the fifth string to the first, and holds that position, just running his right hand for the fourth bar of the solo.  In the sixth bar of the solo, he moves that shape up three frets intact, to 6-5-0-4-6, with the notes Eflat(Root)-G(3)-G(3)-Eflat(Root) and Bb(5), running from the fifth string to the first string.  That chord is an Eflat major chord, and it is designated a flat VI chord because in a G major scale the VI note is E, so the chord is built off of the flat VI note of the scale.  The flat VI chord is very close to a IV minor chord, and shares two notes with it--the IV minor chord would be C-Eflat-G, and the Eflat chord is Eflat-G-Bflat, so the two chords have the Eflat and G notes in common.  This is one reason why The flat VI chord is said to function like a IV minor chord.

One thing I really admire about Little Hat Jones' concept here is that he is able to make the open third string work in both chords.  That is really clever, because it has to function as a different voice in both of the chords, the 5 of the C chord and the 3 of the Eflat chord.  I should say that Little Hat Jones moves the IV chord up three frets to get a flat VI chord twice in his later solo in the song, as he uses a 16-bar form to solo.  You can hear him do it again from at 1:24--1:27 and at 1:30--1:33. 

Another instance in which a Country Blues player moves a IV chord shape up three frets intact to get a flat VI chord occurs in Mance Lipscomb's "So Different Blues".  Here it is:



Mance moves his IV chord up three frets to get a flat VI chord in his first verse, from :10--13, and the move once again happens as he moves from the fifth bar of his form (IV chord) to the sixth bar (flat VI chord).  Mance is playing out of C position in standard tuning, so his IV chord is F.  His flat VI chord, then, three frets up, is Aflat.  Since he is working out of a closed position for his F chord, 1-X-3-2-1-X, with a thumb wrap, it is a cinch to move the position up intact to 4-X-6-5-4-X.  And since Mance is playing a pretty sophisticated version of a 12-bar blues, the flat VI sound fits right in with the overall feel of the song.

For a less common move, taking a IV7 chord up three frets intact, we go to Bo Carter's "Trouble In Blues".  Here it is:



"Trouble In Blues" is an unusual performance, even by Bo's elevated standards.  It's an 8-bar blues with the "Key To The Highway" progression that Bo played out of DGDGBE tuning in the key of G.  Bo's IV chord is C7, which he fingered 0-2-3-1-3, G(5)-E(3)-Bflat(7)-C(Root)-G(5), ascending from the fifth string to the first string.  In an 8-bar blues of this type, the IV7 chord will normally fall in the third and fourth bars of the progression. Bo holds the C7 for the  third measure, and then moves his shape up three frets intact in anticipation of the second beat of the fourth bar, to an Eflat 7, and then down one fret intact to a D7, in anticipation of the third beat of that bar, resolving down two frets and returning to C7 for the fourth beat of the fourth bar of the form.  The first time he does this move in the fourth bar, from :19--:21, he really just plays descending harmony lines on his fourth and first strings.  In the second verse, from :39--:41, he voices the chords more fully.

This was a pet move of Bo's and he used it in several songs in the DGDGBE tuning, but I don't recall having heard him do a version of the same thing in other positions/tunings, so he may just have felt that the tuning and key particularly lent themselves to the move.  It is much less common to move a IV7 chord up three frets than to move a IV chord up three frets.

Why is it that so often we found that when the I chord was moved up three frets intact we ended up with a I minor 7 chord, keeping the same root as the base position, but when the IV chord is moved up three frets, instead of getting a IV minor 7 chord, we get a flat VI chord?  It's because in the instances we looked at in which the I chord was moved up three frets, the low I root was maintained in the bass in the higher position.  In the instances we looked at involving moving the IV chord up three frets, when the shape moved up, the low root moved up three frets as well, so we no longer had a low IV root in the bass, but had, instead, a flat VI note.  This is not to say that it would be impossible to move a IV chord up three frets intact and end up with a IV minor 7 chord, but to do that, you'd probably have to do it in a key in which the root of the IV chord was an open bass string, like the A string in the key of E, or the D string in the key of A.  These places, not surprisingly, are places where this move has already been utilized, but for I chords, not IV chords, so if you try it with those chords functioning as IV chords you will have a new sound that should fit right into the language of the music. 

If any of you find some cool stuff in the course of experimenting and working with these ideas, I think people would be really interested to hear what you've come up with.

All best,
Johnm

   
« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 08:07:53 AM by Johnm »

Offline Gmaj7

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Re: Three Frets Up, and What You Find There
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2017, 11:25:35 PM »
Thanks JohnM for explaining the theory behind this.

One player who frequently moved the same shape up and down many frets, not just three, was John Fahey. Not a country Blues player, but heavily influenced by it.

Some examples:

Crossnote tuning:
https://youtu.be/QJ2vHWfssPg?t=78
Here I think he plays a power chord and covers frets 1-5 inclusive, and then slides up three frets to the 8th fret, back to 7th fret then to the 5th fret.

Open Gm tuning:
https://youtu.be/PRu3NyeVrt4?t=872
He is playing a shape x05045 which he slides up three frets, then back three frets, then up three frets again (and elsewhere too). When he slides up to the 8th fret, I think he is playing a Gm7 chord (?). Then he plays a similar pattern on the bass strings 5050xx, which he slides up three frets, back down three frets, up three frets.

Fahey sought dissonance quite often. So not all of his "shape moving" would fall into JohnM's discussion, I think. But he often favoured sliding up three frets, and that seems to create great tension.

Examples in non open tunings where he shifts a shape up three frets (I believe) are, but not limited to:
When the Springtime Comes Again (drop D)
Yellow Princess
Stomping Tonight...


thanks to JohnM for making me think about this and shedding light on why a player might do it.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 11:59:23 PM by Gmaj7 »

 


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