* Member Info

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Like Us on Facebook

He would sit all night long feeling bad and just continue singing and playing, improvising one song after another, and tears would stream from his eyes. And he'd get other people crying. Then, sometimes, he would be on another kick, you know . . . love. He'd just love women. Listening to him he'd make you think you were, well . . . this can't be written down, but you know what I mean. That is, you couldn't understand what the hell he was singing, but you didn't have to - Blind Lemon Jefferson, remembered by Josh White

Author Topic: John Lee Hooker Tuning(s)  (Read 6496 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline framus12

  • Member
  • Posts: 20
John Lee Hooker Tuning(s)
« on: August 03, 2006, 11:32:37 AM »
I may not be 100% on this but I think almost all of John Lee's stuff is in open tuning and usually Spanish at about G (boogie chillen, dimples, boom boom...) Although some of it (decoration day and Tupelo, Mississippi for instance) do sound like vestapol, at around E or D but it's hard to tell with all the drone and crazy hammer on riffs. Some of the more learned weenies should respond and please correct me if I am wrong.
Hope it helped some.

Offline a2tom

  • Member
  • Posts: 347
  • stickman's got 'em
John Lee Hooker Tuning(s)
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2006, 02:12:33 PM »
A band member once said of John Lee, in response to John's comment that he could play in a variety of keys, (paraphrasing, here) "sure, John can play in any key, as long as its E" (from Jas Obrecht's book Rollin' and Tumblin', highly recommended).  Basically, I have been led to understand that John had a great ;) preference for E standard.  This is what he was doing in the several thing I've seen him do on videos.  For example, check out:

Watch long enough and you'll see his nearly constant home hand position, which is a two-finger E chord (maybe he covered the 4th and 5th string 2nd fret with his middle finger, but you don't need to - and in fact I think he left the 5th string open a lot).  This left his ring finger free for hammers all over the place.  I play like this all the time.

Here's another one, a great version of Tupelo:

Again, watch long enough and you'll see that hand position at around 2:30.  Some classic John Lee riffs up close and personal.  Unless I'm wrong, it's all E standard.

All that said, in this thread you will see that apparently in his early career he used more open G - I need to check out some of those earlier tunes, since I most know his later stuff which I think is mostly E standard.


Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
John Lee Hooker Tuning(s)
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2006, 09:48:25 AM »
I'm guessing it's the United Artists release, Coast To Coast Blues Band, check it out here

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
John Lee Hooker Tuning(s)
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2006, 10:55:58 AM »
We Brits had to be content with a release which dispensed with the wonderful gatefold...cheapskates! This was noted by reviewers and even prompted a letter from Andrew Lauder, the UK label manager. I can't now recall what excuse/reason was given.

Tags: John Lee Hooker 

SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2021, SimplePortal