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Now some people don't understand. They think a blues player has to be worried, troubled to sing the blues. That's wrong. I'll put it this way; there's a doctor, he has medicine. He's never, sick, he ain't sick, but he has stuff for the sick people. So the blues player, he ain't worried and bothered, but he's got something for the worried people. Doctor . . . you can see his medicine, you can see his patient. Blues . . . you can't see the music you can't see the patient because it's soul. So I works on the soul, and the doctor works on the body - Roosevelt Sykes, spoken on Smithsonian/Folkways Classic Blues anthology

Author Topic: help with delta blues and an electric guitar  (Read 2824 times)

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Offline croatoa

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help with delta blues and an electric guitar
« on: September 30, 2011, 09:47:36 AM »
Hi eveybody,

my first post here...

i'd like to ask you some advices to start learning delta blues guitar...the tunings, the rhythmic fingering etc...in particular i like electric works of rl burnside and the slide of houd dog taylor so i'd like to learn that styles to develop mine...

what did you find helpful when you started?and when you became skillful?

thanx in advance


Offline Johnm

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Re: help with delta blues and an electric guitar
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2011, 10:46:15 AM »
Hi croatoa,
Welcome to Weenie Campbell!  I think the best resource for learning R. L. Burnside is probably YouTube, as there is a lot of film footage of him playing there.  If you watch the videos, tune to his open strings, and then imitate what you see him doing, it will probably be about as close to a private lesson from him as you could get at this time.  I'm less familiar with Hound Dog Taylor, but I suspect the same is true for him.  There may be transcriptions published of their pieces, but I'm not aware of them.
When I was first learning, the most important things for me was seeing people in person whenever I could and listening to the music all the time.
All best,
Johnm

Offline croatoa

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Re: help with delta blues and an electric guitar
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2011, 11:06:34 AM »
I already try to do what you said but it seems to be impossible (for me  :) ) to reproduce the things he does on acoustic guitar on my electric one. expecially the rhythmic noise (so great!) and the stopped strings sound very different;

i found an electric version of poor black mattie here on weeniecampbell done by a user...http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=6613.0

but for me it's too difficult without a tab or a score to try to do myself...please help!!!!

some books you can suggest?

Offline dj

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Re: help with delta blues and an electric guitar
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2011, 11:10:42 AM »
One thing I'd recommend is that you find software that will let you change the speed of a song, change the pitch, loop on sections, tag sections, etc.  I use Transcribe!, and I find it really valuable to be able to take a phrase, measure, or just a bunch of notes, slow it down until I can hear what's going on, and loop on it until I've got it.  Also, not having the brain I had 40 years ago, I find it helpful to write down tab of what I've done.  Otherwise I wake up the next morning and have to relearn it.   :(  

Offline croatoa

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Re: help with delta blues and an electric guitar
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2011, 02:07:46 PM »
ok!!!!

i'll try it!!!

thanx for your answer...but prepare yourself for a lot of other questions!!!! >:D

Offline onewent

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Re: help with delta blues and an electric guitar
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2011, 02:51:05 PM »
croatoa..I'll second Transcribe!   It' a great program for slowing down (and keeping pitch at the same time) songs.  I've been using it for the past three years, and found it very useful, and much more personally satisfying that the TAB approach.

Another thing to consider is to begin from square 1;  be sure of the artists tuning and chord structure of the song before you try to work out the licks and phrases.  I recall back in the day trying to work out songs by ear, sometimes over years, and then someone showing me.. "it's in open G, not standard tuning.." or something to that effect, which totally turns things around.

Another thought is to try simpler slide stuff first, for example, Tom Feldmann (if I recall) posted here about his Bottleneck Gospel Guitar DVD and Blind Willie Johnson DVD, very approachable stuff if you put in the time ..there's lots of other educational resources out there, including various folks on youtube, that teach simple slide stuff.  You can get your feet on the ground that way, and, like most other learning experiences, things begin to fall in place..only took about 30 yrs for me!  ;-)
Tom

Offline croatoa

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Re: help with delta blues and an electric guitar
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2011, 03:34:17 PM »
ok!

so i'll try!!!and i hope to have also al least 30 years time of life to learn guitar!!!

Online Norfolk Slim

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Re: help with delta blues and an electric guitar
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2011, 03:27:48 AM »
I guess, as has been suggested, that finding a way in through similar players who have been given the tuition dvd/ book treatment is certainly something to consider.  It strikes me that the likes of John Lee Hooker and to a lesser extent Lightning Hopkins have similarities with what you are looking at, and have a fair amount of material available on line and elsewhere.

Best bet is certainly to figure it out from source, but if you need a key / way in to the basic techniques, a hooker lesson or two would probably help.

Offline croatoa

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Re: help with delta blues and an electric guitar
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2011, 05:32:42 AM »
The main problem is that generally books about delta blues deal with acoustic guitar...which is cool and obvious, but i really like to bring that style on a electric guitar and so the issues, the techinques, the results are different.

Do you know books/dvd about electric delta blues guitar?or some video lessons?


Offline uncle bud

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Re: help with delta blues and an electric guitar
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2011, 06:48:21 AM »
croatoa - If you do a search on YouTube for RL Burnside lesson, you will find a couple things. There's a guy who does a lesson on Black Mattie which may not be 100% note for note, but it is certainly a good place to get started on RL's style.


Offline twangmeister

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Re: help with delta blues and an electric guitar
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2011, 09:04:38 AM »
Croatoa

Like you I'm trying to learn some of R L's stuff and to be honest it is a lot more difficult than it first might appear. As others have highlighted YouTube is your best bet and there are some good lessons on Poor Black Mattie, Peaches and a few other songs.

However I find RL's stuff particularly difficult for a couple of reasons; firstly its not always easy to spot which tuning he's playing in. Although RL seemed to favour Spanish tuning (Open G or A) he did play some songs in Open D or standard tuning and of course he is not tuning exactly to pitch. I tried for ages to learn "See my Jumper on the line" in Spanish tuning, only to find out on YouTube from some much cleverer people than me that that song is is standard tuning and played out of an Em position. Even with that fact and working out what his left hand is doing, I'm still light years away from mastering it as RL's genius is what he is doing with his right hand, using I believe just a thumb and index finger approach.

Anyway for what it's worth there are some RL tabs along with lots of other artists here; http://bluestab.skyrock.com/

Incidentally if anyone can shed any clues to what tuning RL is using on THISversion of Goin Down South, I sure would be grateful.

Offline croatoa

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Re: help with delta blues and an electric guitar
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2011, 09:34:30 AM »
@uncle bud: i already looked at that vid lesson and found it very great, but don't it seems to be an acoustic way of playing the song?...that rhythmic noises, make more sense for me on an acoustic guitar...it's for this reason that i start try to study this version (and asking questions... :)) also present here in weeniecampbell.com

(and also for this guy, men, he's furious!!!!and that sound on harmonic 77!!! Greatgreatgreatgreat!!!)


@twangmesiter: i totally agree with you...when you look at RLB videos the songs seem so simple to play, so natural...then you try and you are millions of miles away from the result...and the problem is not a concerned with tabs and notes, it's connected with style...


Offline twangmeister

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Re: help with delta blues and an electric guitar
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2011, 10:13:38 AM »
Croatoa

I've not seen the electric version of PBM that you have just posted before, but having just looked at it, it seems to me that he' basically improvising around the basic song pattern as played by RL. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that and he's got some great moves and tone going there for him.

I don't think you can basically classify any type of rural blues into electric or acoustic as I'm sure RL started on an acoustic and probably wrote PBM and most of his other songs on that style of instrument, as that was all he had at the time. When electric guitars became available to him he probably just initially played his songs exactly as he did acoustically and they just evolved a bit as he got used to the extra sustain and volume of the electric.

What I'm trying to say is that using an acoustic lesson to learn a song shouldn't be a problem and you should be able to transfer the licks straight across to electric. I remember reading an interval with John Mooney in a magazine once and he said he played exactly the same slide licks whether he was playing an electric or acoustic set!

Online Norfolk Slim

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Re: help with delta blues and an electric guitar
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2011, 10:50:57 AM »
Agreed entirely...  There is a big difference between playing electric lead, or a lot of chicago electric, and rural acoustic stuff.  But the likes of RL and JLH played very similar stuff on electric to acoustic.  The same rhythms, structures and riffs.  Sure there are differences in emphasis, but if you get the basic hooker or Burnside grooves down, I think you'll find that the electric nuances follow.

Offline croatoa

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Re: help with delta blues and an electric guitar
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2011, 01:35:38 PM »
after some days of trying i finally realize maybe "Poor black mattie" is not the right place to start.

Could please somebody suggest me some piece to start from???

do you have the score/tab?

thanx

 


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