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Great piece - Old Country Stomp. Thomas apparently used to play a lot of kids' birthday parties. So did Blind Willie McTell - John Fahey, on Henry Thomas

Author Topic: John Jackson right hand  (Read 1318 times)

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Offline Chezztone

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    • Steve Cheseborough 1920s-30s-style blues
John Jackson right hand
« on: November 17, 2010, 06:15:06 PM »
OK folks -- On John Jackson's "Railroad Bill," the opening number on his 1999 Front Porch Blues CD, he does these lovely rolling chords on each chorus (and in the intro). How does he do that? Doing a slow strum across the strings (and skipping at least one) with his thumb? Or using thumb and three fingers to arpeggiate? Or some other way? Thanks! Ch.

Offline Rivers

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Re: John Jackson right hand
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2010, 06:23:57 PM »
Hi Steve, if I've got you right it sounds like what I've come to think of as the Gary Davis syncopated C-lick where the thumb goes down to start on the 4th string for a single bar (or optionally two bars).

Can you give me the exact time into the recording so I can confirm it's the lick you're referring to? I can tab it out the way I play it, which I basically stole from Stefan Grossman's RGD material.

I throw it in to a lot of things, very nice and all-around useful for breaking up the alternating bass without getting out of phase; you can transition right back into the alt bass part without thinking about it. Trick at the start is landing your thumb on the fourth string on the 1-beat as the root, and back. If it's the same lick you're referring to it's totally do-able with just thumb and index.

Great piece by the way, I agree!
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 06:42:47 PM by Rivers »

Offline Chezztone

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Re: John Jackson right hand
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2010, 10:58:21 PM »
Rivers -- It's all over the song; intro and every chorus, on several different chords each time.
I don't want tab -- I know what the notes are. Just want an explanation of how he's doing it with his right hand. Thanks, Ch.

Offline Bald Melon Jefferson

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Re: John Jackson right hand
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2010, 09:04:01 AM »
Is it one of the instances where he is playing both the down stroke AND the up stroke with his thumb?
« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 09:05:28 AM by Bald Melon Jefferson »
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Offline Kokomo O

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Re: John Jackson right hand
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2010, 02:51:52 PM »
I'm hearing him do what I'd call a thumb roll all through the tune, pretty similar to the one that Blake used to use a lot and RGD did too. Is that what you're referring to?

Offline uncle bud

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Re: John Jackson right hand
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2010, 03:21:11 PM »
At first I thought he was using a thumb drag bass (a la Blake) but the more I listen, the more I think all he is doing is thumb and index alternation in a syncopated sixteenth note pattern. But he often he stays on the low string an extra half beat rather than alternating right away to the 4th, particularly when playing the F and C chords before the G chord.



Offline lindy

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Re: John Jackson right hand
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2010, 03:50:40 PM »
I'm in the thumb drag camp, based a bit on what I hear, and based a lot on what I used to see John do on multiple songs when I had the pleasure of being in the same room with him.

But I don't think he is consistent throughout the song. I hear him dragging his thumb across three strings in most cases, but sometimes only across two. It may be that he sometimes drags across the lowest three strings, and on the third note he pinches a treble string.

He made it look easy.

Lindy

Offline uncle bud

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Re: John Jackson right hand
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2010, 06:11:10 PM »
I agree, John used to employ the thumb drag often, but I'm not sure he's doing it here.

Offline Rivers

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Re: John Jackson right hand
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2010, 05:19:33 PM »
I swear it's the RGD syncopated 8th note lick.

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