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As long as I've been playing they never say I done anything. They always say that some white guy did it - Miles Davis

Author Topic: Miller's Breakdown  (Read 106285 times)

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Offline Prof Scratchy

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Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #120 on: June 23, 2014, 12:08:00 PM »
I'm going to say regular tuning, key of G. The movement at 01 to 04 is achieved by playing a second position G6 chord at the third fret, rocking to a C partial at 3xxx53. The bass run is from 6th string 3rd fret to 5th string 1st fret to 5th string 2nd fret. The harmonised run is achieved with the partial G chord at 2nd string third fret and third string 4th fret being taken down two frets to the first , then strings  2 and 3 open, then the partial G shape ascending back to land at the third and fourth frets. the lines from 2.15 to 2.17 are a boogie based around a regular G chord, as Leadbelly might have played it, 6th string 3rd fret, 5th string 2nd fret, 4th str open, 4th str 2nd and 3rd frets, then back down on the 4th string, fret 2, then open.

Offline mr mando

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Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #121 on: June 23, 2014, 12:33:33 PM »
Sounds like plain Spanish (D-G-D-G-B-D) to me. Thus, the parts would be as follows:

0:01 to 0:04 :  x-o-x-4-3-x to x-o-x-4-5-x and back and x-o-x-x-5-5 to x-o-x-x-5-7 and back sliding into the lower melody notes
0:08 to 0:10 : on the fifth string 0 - 2 - 3 - 0 - 2 - 3 - 2 - 0
0:31 to 0:32 : x-x-x-o-o-x, x-x-x-2-1-x, x-x-x-x-o-o, x-x-x-o-o-x, x-x-x-2-1-x, x-x-x-x-o-o, x-x-x-2-1-x, x-x-x-o-o-x
2:15 to 2:17 : 5th/open, 5th/fret4, 4th/open, 4th/fret2, 4th/fret3, 4th/fret2,  4th/open, 5th/fret4.



Offline Pan

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Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #122 on: June 23, 2014, 05:34:46 PM »
Hi all

Here are my thoughts.

Quote
* What position/tuning is the song played out of?

At first, when I listened to the song, I was fairly sure that it's in standard tuning in G position. In fact, most of the specific licks JohnM asks for, could well be played out of standard tuning, if I'm not badly mistaken.

However, when I had time to listen to the song some more, I began to hear things that made me doubt my initial assumption. First and foremost, I think I'm hearing a low D note on the bass, altering with the root G, for the I chord. Secondly, especially the V chord in the tune doesn't sound like your usual open position D7th chord, but something a little different. Since I believe I've figured out how to play the enquired licks in Spanish in G, without too much difficulties, I now believe this is the tuning/position the song is played in.

Quote
* Where is the movement in the treble at :01--:02 and :03--:04 fretted?

This was tricky, since the song starts so abruptly, and with some surface noise. I believe the lick could be played with something like a slide on the 4th fret of the 3rd string, followed by the open 2nd and 1st strings, then the same strings fretted at the 2nd string, going back to the previous open strings, and then down to the open 3rd and 2nd strings. This is followed in a sequence for the IV chord, with again a slid note on the 5th fret on the 2nd string, then the 2nd and 1st strings played at the 5th fret, followed by the same strings on 6th and 7th frets, then back to the 5th fret with the same strings, then 5th fret with strings 3 and 2, before going back to the open G chord on top 3 strings. What stroke my ears was the C# note on the 2nd fret of the 2nd string, against the G chord. Since C# is a #IV note and doesn't belong in the key of G major, it has a "bite" to my ear, especially, since the vocal melody in the song goes back and forth between B and C (natural) in the similar parts of the song, later on.

Quote
* Where is the bass run at :08--:10 fretted?

My best guess is on the 5th string, on frets: 0-2-3-0-2-3-0-2, followed by the IV chord. The lick could be played at the 6th string, on frets 5-7-8-5-7-8-5-7 too, but perhaps the low G sounds more like an open string.

Quote
* Where is the harmonized passage at :31--:32 fretted?

I believe the lick is played on strings 3 and 2; starting with open strings, then 2nd and 1st frets, followed by 4th and 3rd frets, then all this repeated, then followed by 2nd and 1st frets, to open strings. All this from low to high notes, on the interval of thirds.

Quote
* Where are the lines from 2:15--2:17 fretted?

Open 3rd string, followed by the top open strings for the I chord, then a bass lick starting with the open 4th string, walking up the string to the 2nd and 3rd fret, then back down to the 2nd and open string, followed by the 4th fret on the 5th string. All this, while brushing the top opens strings as well.

Looking forward again, to see if I'm anywhere near the ballpark. :)

Cheers

Pan



Offline David Kaatz

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Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #123 on: June 23, 2014, 08:21:56 PM »
Here is my take.

Standard tuning, key of G. I didn't hear a low D, I don't think. I thought I heard a F# in the bass, common for the V chord in this key.

Movement 1: Slide into 2nd string 3rd fret together with 3rd string 4th fret, then play 2nd string and 3rd string 5th fret.
Release the 5th fret notes to play the 2nd string 3rd fret, 3rd string 4th fret again, then release to play open 2nd and open 3rd strings.
xxx43x
xxx55x
xxx43x
xxx00x

Movement 2:
slide into 1st string 3rd fret and 2nd string 5th fret, also holding 3rd string 5th fret. Only play the 1st and 2nd strings
Then play 1st string 5th fret and 2nd sting 5th fret together. Then the original two notes together, then 2nd and 3rd strings together, 5th fret.
xxx(5)53
xxx(5)55
xxx(5)53
xxx55x

Bass run:
6th string 3rd fret, 5th string open, 5th string 2nd fret, 6th string 3rd fret, 5th open, 5th str second fret, 5th str open, 6th string 3rd fret.
3xxxxx
x0xxxx
x2xxxx
3xxxxx
x0xxxx
x2xxxx
x0xxxx
3xxxxx
(This could be as several posters said, ending on A or B note, I found it very hard to hear)

Harmonized passage:
3rd string open with 2nd string open, 3rd string 2nd fret with 2nd string 1st fret, 3rd string 4th fret with 2nd string 3rd fret,
repeat, then end with 3rd string 2nd fret with 2nd string 1st fret, then open 3rd and 2nd strings. This is the same as the bass lick before but up an octave and harmonized.

lines at 2:15:
open 4th string with the thumb throughout, 2nd string 3rd fret, 2nd string 3rd fret with 1st string open, 2nd string 3rd fret with 1st string 1st fret, 2nd string 3rd fret with 1st string open, 2nd string 3rd fret, 3rd string open.
xx0x3x
xx0x30
xx0x31
xx0x30
xx0x3x
xx00xx
This is the lick I felt really sealed the deal as standard tuning. I am hearing the open E 1st string ring during this movement.

Dave

Offline mr mando

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Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #124 on: June 24, 2014, 05:49:56 AM »
What stroke my ears was the C# note on the 2nd fret of the 2nd string, against the G chord.

I hadn't paid attention to that C# before you mentioned it, but now I that I listened again, you're right and I think there's also an F# over the IV chord, so 0:01 to 0:04 would be  x-o-x-4-o-o to x-o-x-x-2-2 and back and x-o-x-x-5-5 to x-o-x-x-7-7  and back again.
Anyway this makes an even stronger case for Spanish tuning.
I first thought of standard tuning, A position tuned down because of the low V note I clearly hear at 0:15 and many other instances and because of the V chord's two top voices, where I heard the familiar second interval (VII-I), like in an E7 with the pinky at the 3rd fret 2nd string. But then I realized the chord lacks ist third, which convinced me it was Spanish.

Offline Johnm

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Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #125 on: June 24, 2014, 09:53:29 AM »
Hi all,
Thanks for your responses.  It's good to see everybody pretty close to each other with regard to where they hear "Alabama Prison Blues" being played: G6 tuning, G position in standard tuning, and Spanish tuning.  Here are the answers to the questions that were posed:
   * Jesse Wadley did play the piece out of Spanish tuning;
   * The passages at :01--:02 and :03--:04 were fretted much as Pan had the :01--:02 phrase and mister mando put the :03---:04  passage in his most recent post.  The striking thing about the passage is the #IV note the Pan mentioned, and in both instances it falls on the second string.  In the :01--:02 phrase it is the #IV of the I chord.  In the :03--:04 passage it is the #IV of the IV chord, because in Spanish, you can get your IV chord by barring at the fifth fret.  In the :01--:02 passage, Wadley does a slide to the fourth fret of the third string as a pick-up, picks the first string open, then the first two fretted at the second fret, returns to pick them both open, and hits them once more open before jumping up to the :03--:04 phrase.  For the :03--:04 phrase, he slides into the fifth fret of the first two strings, picking them simultaneously, re-picks them there, picks them both fretted at the seventh fret and returns them both to the fifth fret, then picking the second and third strings at the fifth fret, resolving to the first two string open.
   * The bass run at :08--:10 is all played on the fifth string, and is started on the downbeat of a measure, falling rhythmically as 1 + 2 + 3+ 4+ , and fretted at 0-2-3-0-2-3-0-2.  The last note in the run he may sometimes re-play as an open fifth string in the course of his rendition.
   * The harmonized passage at :31--:32 was described correctly by several of you, both those who chose Spanish and those who chose G position in standard tuning, and it does sit in exactly the same place in both tunings/positions.  While the third string plays 0-2-4-0-2-4-2-0, probably using the second finger to fret that, the second string plays 0-1-3-0-1-3-1-0, probably fretted with the index finger.
   * The lines from 2:15--2:17 were one of the most telling places in the rendition for establishing Spanish tuning. Jesse Wadley at that place in the song walks a line up and down in octaves between the first and fourth strings,  going  0-2-3-2-0 on those two strings, probably fretting the fourth string with his second finger and the first string with his third finger.  That movement in octaves is a sound I associate with Spanish tuning a lot, and can be found in tunes like Charlie Patton's "Pea Vine Blues", Skip James' "Special Rider", and Marshall Owens' "Try Me One More Time", as well as several Buddy Boy Hawkins tunes.
Apart from where all of these licks were played, what were other sound characteristics that would help to identify the piece as being played in Spanish?
   *  When Wadley moves to the IV chord in his verses and is playing a simple boom-chang back-up under his singing, it really sounds like he took his chordal sound at the base of the neck and just moved it up the neck intact.  That sound is relatively easy to do with a barre straight across the neck at the fifth fret, as in Spanish tuning, but is less easy to do in standard tuning.  And Wadley never hits a IV chord with the low third that you would have, playing a C chord at the base of the neck in standard tuning, at the second fret of the fourth string.
   * Likewise, Wadley's V7 chord has the same pitch on top, the fifth of the key, as does his I chord.  In Spanish, that ends up being the open first string.  And Wadley never voices the third of his V7 chord on the first string.  In standard tuning it is easily accessible at the second fret, but in Spanish, it lies more awkwardly at the fourth fret of the first string.
"Alabama Prison Blues" has such a pretty melody.  It seems related to Ma Rainey's "Booze and Blues", or Charlie Patton's "High Sheriff Blues".  I kind of wonder if someone else was accompanying Wadley; the beginning of the song is so odd, where the singer comes in relative to the accompaniment.  It's hard to imagine someone accompanying himself being surprised by where the accompaniment starts, but it's certainly not impossible.  On second thought, Wadley may have intended to play a longer instrumental intro, but started singing on a visual cue from the person recording him that he should get going with the song. 
All best,
Johnm 
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 01:10:51 PM by Johnm »

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #126 on: June 24, 2014, 10:48:00 AM »
Doh! :'(

Offline Johnm

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« Reply #127 on: June 24, 2014, 01:09:57 PM »
Hi all,
I have a stretch coming up where I expect to have either no access or very limited access to the internet, so I thought I'd just put up a couple of tunes for identification, just the tuning/position in which they're played.
The first is Kid Prince Moore's "Bug Juice Blues.  Vocally, he sounds so much like Teddy Darby to me here.  What tuning/position does he play "Bug Juice Blues" out of?



SOLO

Love my bug juice, just as crazy 'bout it as I can be
Love my bug juice, just as crazy 'bout it as I can be
My late bug juice vein, Lord, I'm 'fraid it's gonna poison me

Took one drink last night and it made me go stone blind
Took one drink last night and it made me go stone blind
Tried to run away, but I had to take my time

SOLO

Sometime a drink make me act just like a doggone fool
Sometime a drink make me act just like a doggone fool
Two, three drinks make me kick like a doggone mule

Good man when I'm sober, hey-hey when I'm drunk
Good man when I'm sober, hey-hey when I'm drunk
See me reelin', mama, gon' hide in your trunk

SOLO

The next is a field recording, performed by Unknown.  I wish I knew who had done it, because it is really nice.  It's called "Nobody Knows My Name".  It's a little hard to hear (especially the vocals), but the tuning/position sound is very distinctive.  What do you think it is?



The third is Gabriel Brown doing "What Did the Doodle-Bug Say to the Mole".  What tuning/position is Gabriel Brown using for the song?



REFRAIN: Oh it feels so good, oh, it feels so good
Feels pretty fussinin' 'cause it feels so good

Thanks for participating.  Please wait until tomorrow, Wednesday, June 25 to answer the questions.  Thanks!

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 04:04:57 PM by Johnm »

Offline dunplaying

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Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #128 on: June 25, 2014, 09:39:29 AM »
I'll have a stab at "Big Juice Blues" being in DADFAD .

Offline mr mando

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Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #129 on: June 25, 2014, 01:58:00 PM »
Pretty tricky stuff!! Here are my guesses:

Bug Juice Blues: Standard Tuning (whole step down) E Position because of the hammer ons in the bass run (0:16 to 0:19)

Nobody Knows My Name: Standard Tuning (a little flat), F Position (didn't try to find a detail to prove it, just the whole bass run stuff sounds like it)

What Did the Doodle-Bug Say to the Mole: Vestapol at Eflat because of that distinct bIII/III dissonance on the middle strings



Offline Johnm

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« Reply #130 on: June 25, 2014, 11:19:25 PM »
Hi all,
The tunings/position for "Bug Juice Blues" is E position in standard tuning.  DADFAD would fret out exactly the same on the first three strings, but the hammers on the fourth string second fret and fifth string second fret that mr mando cited at :16 to :19 would be possible in E position but not DADFAD because in DADFAD those open strings are at the pitches that are hammered to.
"Nobody Knows My Name" is played out of F position in standard tuning.  I know it is not exactly a technical musical term, but F position always sounds kind of "thumpy" to me, perhaps because it is an altogether closed position for the I chord.  That C7 V chord in F really kind of stands out, too.
"What Did the Doodle-Bug Say to the Mole" is played in Vestapol, and the place in the song that mr mando cited in which the bIII located at the third fret of the fourth string is played simultaneous with the major III on the open third string is a good identifier for Vestapol when it happens.
You got them all spot on, mr mando, well done!
Working through a number of songs in succession in this thread has really brought home to me the extent to which the pitch at which a song sounds, or the key in which it sounds, is virtually irrelevant in making the determination of the tuning/position in which the song is being played.  In fact, for Country Blues, at least, I've come to think of the key in which a song sounds as "the key that the musician sang the song in", as distinct and separate from "the position/tuning the musician played the song in".  This is because the sound characteristics of the different tunings and positions operate independent of the pitch at which they sound.  Next time you're trying to figure out the tuning/position that a musician played a song out of, don't even bother to figure out the key in which the piece sounds, and see if not knowing that makes any difference in your determination of the position/tuning the musician used.
All best,
Johnm 
« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 11:21:19 PM by Johnm »

Offline dunplaying

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« Reply #131 on: June 26, 2014, 01:58:45 AM »
Thanks johnm for the tips. I will try and find the b111/111 today.

Offline mr mando

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Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #132 on: June 26, 2014, 04:25:36 AM »
I really find this thread extremely instructive and would like to thank johnm for starting it and chosing such great study pieces. Only the minority of the recordings I'd heard before, and especially some of the field recordings were completely new to me. Tunes I'd heard before,  like "Bug Juice Blues", showed me that earlier I had not paid a lot of attention to the intricacies of the accompaniment, e.g. when I started to search for the tuning/position, I started with DADFAD before dunplaying posted.

So far, this thread certainly showed me what I'm able to do as long as I pay attention to the details and ornaments (hammmer ons, pull Offs, slides, ringing strings) during repeated listening.

More importantly, I also learned what exactly I could improve when trying to find out tunings/positions, e.g. paying more attention to middle voices in harmonized/chordal passages or considering the possibility of octaves being played.

In this respect, I think johnm's explanations of what's really happening are more than generous and a real benefit for me, so thanks again johnm for your time and effort and hopefully this thread will continue.

I'd also like to encourage everybody who frequents this forum to participate more actively in this here thread and to not be afraid of guessing differently. I was quite off on some of the previous examples, but that didn't hurt at all and just made me want to try harder.

Offline Prof Scratchy

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« Reply #133 on: June 26, 2014, 05:25:15 AM »
As someone who's been totally consistent in my wrongness, can I echo what Mr mando says and thank Johnm for a great thread!

Sent from my HUAWEI MT1-U06 using Tapatalk


Offline Pan

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« Reply #134 on: June 26, 2014, 04:42:17 PM »
What they said!

And congratulations to Mr. Mando for the excellent detective work!
I didn't get to post in time, but I would have gotten only one out of three right, this time!

Which brings us to JohnM's excellent advice: don't look up too much for the absolute key a song seems to be sounding in, when figuring out the guitar part.

Cheers

Pan

 


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