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Author Topic: Miller's Breakdown  (Read 165686 times)

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Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2325 on: November 03, 2021, 03:52:34 PM »
Iím going to go for D standard for Arthur and open D tuned low for JLH.

Offline David Kaatz

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2326 on: November 05, 2021, 05:24:23 PM »
Cryin' won't Make Me Stay is in open D tuning, actually pitched around C#, so lowest to highest strings are D-A-D-F#-A-D.
I think the signature lick is a pull off where the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd strings are fretted at the fifth fret and pulled off to let open strings ring, then a thumb roll in the bass: Fourth fret 6th string, then open 5th string. Then the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd strings are played as before, followed by the thumb playing  the open 5th string and the open 6th string.

It maybe, or sometimes, he slides into the fourth fret 6th string when moving from the 6th to the 5th string. Or hammers from open 6th to the fourth fret, then strikes the open 5th.


Rabbit in a Log sounds like a C tuning - I came up with low to high: C-G-C-G-C-E. Although I couldn't hear the low string at all. The first 3 notes are open 3rd string, hammered to the second fret, then open 2nd string.
The interlude melody is fretted like this, and the third fret of the second string is squeezed/bent for a higher note:
(sorry for the crude tab)
           |downbeats here |             |             |
string:1     3   3           3 1 0         3             0
string:2 0 3   3   3 0   0 3       0   0 3   3   0   0 3     0 0
string:3                                       3           3
string:4
string:5
string:6

There's a bunch of rhythmic strumming or brushing of available lower open strings whilst playing the melody.

Online Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2327 on: November 08, 2021, 09:56:53 AM »
Hi all,
Any other takers on the Arthur Weston and John Lee Hooker puzzlers? I think both of these tunes have legs and can keep going for a little while longer.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Old Man Ned

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2328 on: November 08, 2021, 01:22:50 PM »
For Arthur Weston's "Cryin' Won't Make Me Stay" I'm thinking open D tuning too, though where he frets his signature lick and how he articulates it have me scunnered at the moment.

John Lee Hooker's "Rabbit In A Log" is like nothing I've heard from him before. I'm going to take a punt on this and go for G, standard tuning, capo at the 5th fret, so it sounds like C. That's my first impression. May come back to it after I've had a lie down. For some reason I can't get 'Boogie Chillun' out my head now.

All the Best,
Ned


Offline MarkC

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2329 on: November 08, 2021, 06:33:53 PM »
Crying Wonít Make Me Stay
Sounds to me like open G tuning turned down a half step, but played in D (C#). Top repeating phrase - 3rd fret 2nd string to open 2nd string to second fret third string. Sounds to me like he might be playing the open first
string in unison with the fretted (3rd fret) second string and also droning the open top string along with the open 2nd string.

Rabbit in a Log - sounds to me like open G tuning capoed at the 5th fret, so in Key of C. Starts off on fourth string open, hammers up two frets then open 3rd string.

00:19 section - bends third string at 3rd fret, then open first string. Throws in a fourth note (F) on first fret second string. Also plays the 7th at 3rd fret fourth string.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2021, 07:03:05 PM by MarkC »

Offline Slack

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2330 on: November 08, 2021, 07:37:18 PM »
Quote
how he articulates it have me scunnered at the moment.
/quote]

Lol, I've never heard the word 'scunnered" before... very expressive.

Hope things in the EU are ok, US opened its borders today.... which makes it a glorious day here on the border. 


Offline banjochris

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2331 on: November 09, 2021, 01:16:45 PM »
Weston's song reminds me of Fred McDowell's "Trouble Everywhere I Go":



Chris

Offline blueshome

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2332 on: November 10, 2021, 04:25:45 AM »
Quote
how he articulates it have me scunnered at the moment.
/quote]

Lol, I've never heard the word 'scunnered" before... very expressive.

Hope things in the EU are ok, US opened its borders today.... which makes it a glorious day here on the border.

We are no longer in the EU in the UK and our country is being destroyed by our mini-Trump, Johnson.

Online Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2333 on: November 12, 2021, 10:08:56 AM »
Hi all,
It's been a little while since there has been a new response to the Arthur Weston and John Lee Hooker puzzlers, so I'm going to post the answers. I'm going to do something a little different in this response--for the questions as to what playing position/tunings were used to play the songs, I'm going to post the playing positions/tunings that were suggested, without attribution, so that it can easily be seen what possibilities were suggested in the responses. Then I'll post my answer. I'm going to go into a bit more detail than usual on the Arthur Weston puzzler because I think it's a particularly interesting song in terms of making a determination of playing position/tuning. So, here goes:

For Arthur Weston's "Cryin' Won't Make Me Stay", the playing positions/tunings suggested were C position, standard tuning, D position, standard tuning, Open D tuning, Open D tuning, Spanish tuning, but played in D.

The answers:
   * Arthur Weston's playing position/tuning was, I believe, EAEGBE tuning, but tuned to sound in C#: C#-F#-C#-E-G#-C#. It's also possible that he played the song in E position, standard tuning, at C#. Before we get to the second question, here is the rationale for my identification of the playing/position.
   If you listen to what he plays underneath his singing, he slides from a V note on the fifth string to a I note, answering it with a I note followed by a slightly bent bIII note. That slide from the V up to the I note is the emblematic E blues slide from the second fret of the fifth string up to the seventh fret of the fifth string that is encountered in a host of Mississippi blues like "Pony Blues", "Stone Pony", "Depot Blues" "Lonesome Home", et al. The I note in the treble going to the slightly bent bIII note are achieved by hitting the open first string and bending the eighth fret of the second string, which is handy because you're already up the neck from doing the slide up to the seventh fret of the fifth string. Based just on that much information, C position in standard tuning and D position in standard tuning are eliminated as possibilities. Open D and cross-note (which was not suggested as a possibility) are also eliminated, because the slide on the fifth string is from a fretted note to a fretted note and in both those tunings the V note on the fifth string is the open string. So what we're left with as playing position possibilities are E position standard tuning and EAEGBE tuning, both of which make the fretted V note available at the second fret of the fifth string. I opt for EAEGBE tuning because Arthur Weston never plays a note on the fourth string except a I note, which leads me to believe it is an open octave above the open sixth string which he never has to fret, making it possible to free-hand things more in the fretting hand. I should say that Spanish tuning played in D position would also make a fretted slide available on the fifth string from the second to the seventh fret, going from V to I, but will be eliminated as a possibility on the basis of what Arthur Weston played in the treble in his signature lick.

For most of his signature licks in the front end of his verses, Arthur Weston starts on the + of beat four of the second measure of his form, hitting the I note there and bouncing up an octave on the downbeat of the third measure. He answers that octave jump with the open first string on the + of beat one going to the second fret of the second string on beat 2. On the + of beat two he hits the IV note on the open fifth string resolving up to the V note at the second fret on beat three. On beat three in the treble he often hits the open second string simultaneous with the bass note and on the + of beat three, he repeats the open second string (a V note), going from there to the second fret of the second string (a VI note) on beat four, re-starting the signature lick on the + of beat four. His picking hand sounds very "rough and ready", and I'm reasonably certain he's doing everything with thumb an index finger, with the thumb picking everything on the sixth, fifth and fourth strings and the index finger picking the first two strings. Two things in the treble portion of his signature lick that eliminate Spanish tuning played in D as a possibility are that he hits both the V and VI notes on the second string, and were he playing in Spanish tuning in D position, the second string would be tuned to a VI note, and the V note would not be available there. Also, in the course of playing his signature lick, Arthur Weston also often brushes the open third string, which is a bIII note relative to the key in which he's playing. We're he playing Spanish tuning in D position, the third string would be tuned to a IV note, so his sound is not possible there. I"d add that the fact that he hits a IV note and a V note on the fifth string in the course of playing his signature lick eliminates Open D and cross-note as possibilities since they both voice the V note on the open fifth string.

I wanted to go into this degree of detail in making this identification because I think this is a sensational piece and I really think Arthur Weston was outstanding. Earlier in this thread, we had his version of "Stack o' Dollars", my absolute favorite version of that tune, of which there have been many terrific ones. You can hear it at: https://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=10188.msg91982#msg91982 . It was also in EAEGBE tuning, tuned low.

For John Lee Hooker's "Rabbit in a Log", the playing position/tunings suggested were Spanish (two people), Open D, Open C, and G position, standard tuning.

John Lee Hooker played "Rabbit in a Log" in Spanish tuning pitched at C, as Phil (blueshome) had it in his initial response to the puzzler and Mark C. had it as well. I was made aware of these 1949 acoustic recordings John Lee Hooker made by a student who requested a lesson on any one of about six or seven tunes, all of which John Lee played in Spanish, capoed up. They're a neat selection of tunes, too, with a lot of songster type material and religious numbers like "Ezekiel Saw the Wheel" that I never knew John Lee Hooker played.

John Lee Hooker played his instrumental interlude very much as Mark C. described it in his post. in the course of his performance, John Lee fretted only the second and third frets of the fourth string, the second, third and fourth frets of the third string, the first and third frets of the second string, and the third and fifth frets of the first string, so the piece is very minimalistic in the left hand. One neat thing about John Lee's performance is that he goes back and forth between a major pentatonic scale with a major III and a VI note and a "blues" pentatonic with a bIII and a bVII instead of the major VI note.

I really love this piece, and it provides a reminder, was such a thing necessary, that a piece doesn't have to be complex to be beautiful and musically strong. If you put your guitar in Spanish tuning and capo to the fifth fret, I would venture to guess that you'll have the piece pretty much figured out in a half hour or less.

I hope folks enjoyed these tunes and I hope those of you who participated will get in tune with the recordings and try them out. Thanks to those who participated, and I'll look for some more puzzlers.

All best,
Johnm
 

 

 
 

Offline Old Man Ned

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2334 on: November 12, 2021, 01:01:50 PM »
Thanks for the detailed response John. much appreciated as always.
All the Best,
Ned

Offline MarkC

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2335 on: November 12, 2021, 03:09:34 PM »
Thanks John. I thought Westonís was particularly challenging.

Online Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2336 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.
All best,
Johnm

Offline banjochris

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2337 on: November 13, 2021, 09:37:54 AM »
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.

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

Online Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2338 on: December 02, 2021, 03:55:05 PM »
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

 

 


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