Country Blues > Country Blues Licks and Lessons

Chords on a couple Sheiks tunes, and one from big chief henry

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frankie:

--- Quote from: SassySam on April 09, 2011, 08:08:26 AM ---I was talking about On the Banks of the Kaney

--- End quote ---

Just got a chance to listen On the Banks of the Kaney today - I don't hear it as a three-part tune...  just two.  The guitar player is playing in C - haven't checked the actual pitch of the recording.  The first part is 16 bars of C major, repeated twice, and the second part is 8 bars of A minor, repeated twice:

A-part
C /  /  / | C /  / / | C  /  / / | G  / /  / |
G /  /  / | G /  / / | G  /  / / | C  / /  / |
C /  /  / | C /  / / | C7 /  / / | F  / /  / |
F / Ab7 / | C / A7 / | D7 / G7 / | C  / /  / |:

B-part
Am / /  / | Am   / / | E7 /  / / | E7 / /  / |
Am / /  / | Am   / / | E7 /  / / | E7 / Am / |:

I think what you're asking about is the last four measures of the A-part:

F / Ab7 / | C / A7 / | D7 / G7 / | C  / /  / |:

This is basically the same progression that you asked about in That's It, except that the diminished chord is replaced by the Ab7.  Ab7 is used very often in the key of C by many, many rural musicians as a kind of folk-ragtime shorthand for a diminished chord in the key of C - Blind Blake, Gary Davis, Blind Boy Fuller...  the guy that played guitar for the East Texas Serenaders, and whoever's playing the guitar in Big Chief Henry's Indian String Band.  The Ab7 is fingered like this:

e -2-
B -1-
G -1-
D -1-
A -x-
E -x-

If you were Blind Blake, you might even play the A string open, rolling from the open 5th string to the 1st fret of the 4th string with your thumb.

crustypicker:
i found yes i'm the devil is in G sharp i guess he's most likely tuned low huh? i don't think he's using a capo anyway.great tune though still kinda unsure about the second chord in the intro.


Cleoma:
Good observation, Frankie, about the similarity between That's It and Banks of the Kaney.  I love the way these rural musicians sidestep the diminished chord.  Who wants that old intervalus diabolus anyways!

Pan:

--- Quote from: crustypicker on March 04, 2013, 06:18:57 AM ---i found yes i'm the devil is in G sharp i guess he's most likely tuned low huh? i don't think he's using a capo anyway.great tune though still kinda unsure about the second chord in the intro.

--- End quote ---

If he is pitched in G sharpp, but plays out of G position, he would be tuned up a half step, I'd say (or using a capo in the 1st fret).

I think the intro is the last 4 bars of a 12 bar blues progression, so the chords in G would be something like

|| D7 | C7 | G | G ||

That is, unless this video isn't missing music played earlier on the song, and starting the song in the middle.



Cheers

Pan

frankie:
that's right, Pan...  and that's the beginning of the song as I know it. The guitar and fiddle are both playing in the same position on their instruments - G.

crustypicket - A lot of things can inform the pitch of a recording, not the least of which is the fact that a stringed instrument could be tuned to almost any pitch relative to standard tuning. The pitch alone isn't usually particularly persuasive when trying to figure out what position is being used.

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