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Author Topic: Advice on playing Screaming and Hollering by Charlie Patton  (Read 112 times)

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Offline leo5t

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Advice on playing Screaming and Hollering by Charlie Patton
« on: April 04, 2020, 02:53:27 AM »
I'm trying to learn Screaming and Hollering but I'm really confused about the beat of the song, in particular the parts in G when he sings over the descending bass runs. The Percussive bass part is played in the down beat? Tom Feldman in the lesson from Guitar Workshop is playing them on the down beats but when I listen to Patton version I really get confused.  Do you have any advice about playing this song the way Patton does?

Offline waxwing

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Re: Advice on playing Screaming and Hollering by Charlie Patton
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2020, 12:27:10 PM »
Hi Leo, Welcome to Weenie Campbell,

Here's my take on this. Hope it helps.

One thing that I think may help is not to use the first verse as your example. The real basis of the lick is the walk down on the 6th and 4th strings and Charley plays it cleanly in the 4th verse (No use Hollerin’). Once you get that you can deal with the various alterations he does as you see fit.

So if you look at this walk down there are a series of couplets with the first note on the 6th string on the “and”, and the second note on the 4th string (with a bit of over strum) on the beat just as you hear it. So starting on the “and” of the four beat: and-1-and-2-and-3-and, with an open strum of the middle strings on the “and” of the third beat and a rest on four, then starting over on the "and" of four.

I think it is highly likely that Charley plays this all with his thumb. Watch the YouTube of Sam Chatmon (purportedly Charley’s half brother) playing Brownskin Woman for an example. I think Vincson does the same in Stop and Listen, and Willie Brown in Future Blues. Willie even uses the half beat syncopation as Patton does.

So the tricky part is getting in and out of the syncopation. I actually tap the top of the guitar with my right pinky and ring fingers throughout most of each verse, similarly to what I think Patton does through High Water and other songs. In the final bar of the previous version Charley usually hits the bass on the 1 beat and strums down the open treble strings on the 2 and 3 beats. I tap on both of these and then double time my tap, “and”-4-, starting the lick immediately on the “and” of 4. You could count the two half beats in your head. To get out after the down strum on the middle strings on the “and” of 3 immediately strike the bass (5th string) on the 4th beat followed by an up stroke on the treble strings holding the 1st strings 5th fret on the “and”, which is repeated once before dropping to the 3rd fret for two more similar beats and you are off.

I might try to add a grab of a bit of tab (done!) I wrote out and you can find a video from a house concert I did years ago when I was just beinning to suss out Chaerley's playing style on my YouTube sight. I was experimenting with foot tapping on the beat. It's humerous.

« Last Edit: April 04, 2020, 01:00:47 PM by waxwing »
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Offline leo5t

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Re: Advice on playing Screaming and Hollering by Charlie Patton
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2020, 03:18:51 PM »
Hello Wax,
Thank you!!! Thank you for sharing such information, there' s really a lot of knowledge in there. I'll try to practice following your suggesions.

Thanks again,

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