Country Blues > Country Blues Licks and Lessons

Josh White - you dont know my mind


Hello Weenies,

I began listening to Josh White about 6 months ago. I find him absolutely amazing. I am surprised he doesn't get the same attention as other blues artists.

To my ear Josh Whites 'You Don't know my mind' is the most interesting and listenable version of this song. I believe it is in E, it seems to open with an E at the 9th fret.   I'm struggling with this tune and would appreciate any insight. I can't work out the shapes that he is using, particularly in the intro.

Thank you Fos.

PS: if you know of any place on this site or the web where there maybe tips about how to play Josh Whites tunes, I would be very appreciative. thank you

Hi fosjet,
Josh White is playing out of E position in standard tuning. He begins the song with an E chord out of the "long A" shape, with an index finger barre of the first four strings at the ninth fret and his little finger fretting the twelfth fret of the first string. The remainder of his chordal work is at the base of the neck, where he fingers a B7 as per normal in an E blues, and fingers his A7 chord 0-0-2-0-2-0. The remainder of what he does is free-handed (not played out of chordal positions, but just playing the individual notes he wanted), standard pentatonic blues stuff in E. I hope this helps.
All best,

It does help, thank you for your generous reply John, very kind of you  :)

I am familiar with the chords in an E blues. I am finding the groovy intro difficult to workout. I'll stop being lazy, use my ears and sit down and work on it.

Also,  'The blind man stood on he road and cried' also has a tremendous opening run. I understand the chord arrangement, but want to understand whats going on during the into. A lot more work required and focus on the pentatonic scale.

Regards, Fos

White's later career was as a cabaret singer so his emphasis was not on blues. I had an older friend who did many gigs with him in the early 60's who taught me some of his blues and guitar tricks early on.  I still like his blues sensitivity. There is a great mural with his likeness on it in Greenville, SC, his home town and near where I live.  Lots of great old blues players came from the upstate of SC.


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