Country Blues > Country Blues Licks and Lessons

Miller's Breakdown

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MarkC:
Thanks John. I thought Westonís was particularly challenging.

Johnm:
Thanks, Old Man Ned and Mark. And I agree with you, Mark, that was a tough identification on the Arthur Weston song. I meant to mention Fred McDowell's "Trouble Everywhere I Go", that Chris posted, too. It really is a lot like the Arthur Weston cut, especially in the treble, but with a couple of crucial differences:
   * In the McDowell tune, he never hits a low IV note on the fifth string, he only hits the V note, over and over, so unlike Arthur Weston, he is playing in Vestapol or cross-note tuning.
   * The way he keeps bending that bIII note at the third fret of the fourth string towards the major third wouldn't work if he wasn't bending towards a unison on the open third string, so he is playing in Vestapol. He hardly sounds the third string at all, but he gets a little bit of it in a couple of places, and it sounds like a major third rather than a minor one.
It's a great tune and performance, too, and I never heard it before. Thanks for posting it, Chris.
All best,
Johnm

banjochris:

--- Quote from: Johnm on November 12, 2021, 04:09:16 PM ---Thanks, Old Man Ned and Mark. And I agree with you, Mark, that was a tough identification on the Arthur Weston song. I meant to mention Fred McDowell's "Trouble Everywhere I Go", that Chris posted, too. It really is a lot like the Arthur Weston cut, especially in the treble, but with a couple of crucial differences:
   * In the McDowell tune, he never hits a low IV note on the fifth string, he only hits the V note, over and over, so unlike Arthur Weston, he is playing in Vestapol or cross-note tuning.
   * The way he keeps bending that bIII note at the third fret of the fourth string towards the major third wouldn't work if he wasn't bending towards a unison on the open third string, so he is playing in Vestapol. He hardly sounds the third string at all, but he gets a little bit of it in a couple of places, and it sounds like a major third rather than a minor one.
It's a great tune and performance, too, and I never heard it before. Thanks for posting it, Chris.

--- End quote ---

A friend of mine asked me how to play it a couple of years ago and it's been a favorite of mine ever since then!
Chris

Johnm:
Hi all,
I've got a couple of new puzzlers for any of you who are interested. The first is another song from John Lee Hooker's 1949 acoustic recordings, "I Wonder". Here it is:



The questions on "I Wonder" are:
   * What playing position/tuning did John Lee Hooker use to play the song?
   * Where did John Lee Hooker fret the chord he plays at :51--:54 and what is the chord?

The second song is Booker White's version of "Shake 'Em On Down", from his Takoma album, "Mississippi Blues". Here it is:



The questions on "Shake "em On Down" are:
   * What playing position/tuning did Booker White use to play the song?
   * Where did Booker White fret the descending run in the bass that opens his rendition?
   * What does Booker White fret where the V chord would normally fall in the chord progression?

Please use only your ears and your guitars to arrive at your answers, and please don't post any responses before 8:00 AM your time on Monday, December 6. Thanks for your participation and I hope you enjoy the songs.

All best,
Johnm

 

Prof Scratchy:
I confess to being stumped on both of these. I only ever saw JLH playing in E standard or Open G, so my guess is itís one of those, although it sounds like heís attempting to channel Big Bill in C!

Likewise with BW. I only ever saw him play in E standard, cross note or open D. So Iíll guess crossnote tuned a bit low. Donít know about the bass run, but he played his IV chord usually by just placing his second finger on the fifth string second fret whilst holding down the first fret of the third string. Alternatively he would fret the third and second strings at the second fret to get his trademarkíbounceí, which I donít hear on this track.

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