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So I'm gonna ask you to clap in rhythm. Don't become afraid. We know that old saying. I didn't ask you if you could play basketball, I just said clap in rhythm - Jerry Ricks, Saturday evening concert, Port Townsend 97

Author Topic: Miller's Breakdown  (Read 106171 times)

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Offline ScottN

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Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #150 on: July 25, 2014, 09:37:59 AM »
I'll vote for E position (I'm away from my guitar so no guess on where pitched).  From the intro, the V7 chord sounds like a typical walk up into B7 also the turnaround in bar 11 sounds like a variation of the common E move.

The activity in the bass in the E and B7 reminds me a lot of some Of Buddy Moss's playing. I wonder if one was influenced by the other. Anyone know the date of this recording?

Thanks,
           Scott

Offline Old Man Ned

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« Reply #151 on: July 25, 2014, 12:52:06 PM »
I'm agreeing with E with capo on the 2nd fret.  The opening sounds like it's played high up, barred at what would be the 9th fret (with the capo on the second) and playing around E & E7.

The second part of the puzzles been a bit of a scunner.  I think between :9 - :10 it's an open 5th str to the 4th fretted at the 2ndand then open first to the 2nd fretted at the 3rd.  Not got past that as I can't help hearing the D in there, but the IV chord would be a A or A7 right?

The next question: it sounds like he's faffing around the E and B7 positions at the neck.  I was sort of running out of steam here but I think around the :24 mark he's playing around the open E, 2nd str 3rd fret, 3rd str 4th fret and back to the E (3rd str 1st fret, 4th str 2nd fret.

Need a lie down now........

Offline dunplaying

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« Reply #152 on: July 25, 2014, 01:03:24 PM »
What I got for the lick was similar but in all honesty I don't know if it starts on an open 5th or at the second fret. I opted for the second fret,
2f5s,2f4s,0f1s,3f2s,2f2s,0f4s,0f1s

Offline One-Eyed Ross

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« Reply #153 on: July 25, 2014, 01:27:15 PM »
Ok, as far as I was able to get was that it is E position, capo at 2, but that assumes he started in standard A440.....

The rest I'll leave to someone who has a guitar working - broke my E string and haven't gotten to Centralia yet...
SSG, USA, Ret

She looked like a horse eating an apple through a wire fence.

Offline uncle bud

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« Reply #154 on: July 25, 2014, 09:07:18 PM »
I'm late to the Reese Crenshaw party for "Trouble" but just wanted to say what a tune. Thanks for that.

Offline Pan

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« Reply #155 on: July 26, 2014, 05:13:55 AM »
Hi all

I think I'll agree with dunplaying and everyone on standard tuning, E-position, pitched at F#.

I think Old Man Ned pretty much got the IV chord lick at :09 -:11, except that I think the chord is still ringing, when the next lick starts at the 7th fret on the 1st string. If I'm not imagining this, the previous lick has to be played at the 5th position, to be able to reach that note. Therefore I suggest that the lick starts with the open 5th string; then 5th string 7th fret; followed by 2nd string 5th fret; then 3rd string 7th fret; to 4th string 7th fret; then 3rd string 6th fret; back to the 2nd string 5th fret; and back again to the previous 3rd string 6th fret note. I also think the open 5th string is not ringing throughout, as it could be in the open position, which also suggest the 5th position to me. The fingering is a bit tricky, but you could play the consecutive 7th fret notes on 3rd and 4th strings with your little finger followed by the ring finger; or by playing a partial barr? with your ring finger.

I also agree with Old Man Ned about the E - B7 - E move at :14 - :15. Sounds like he's playing an open low E string; followed by a hammer on from open to the 1st fret of the 3rd string; then hitting the 5th string 2nd fret; then changing to a B7 while retaining the low B note, and playing a triplet on the 4th string 1st fret; open 2nd string; 3rd string 2nd fret; then repeating the hammer on on the 3rd string; then hitting the 4th string 2nd fret.

The lick he plays at :23--:24 sounds like it is  starting with the open 1st string; followed by a triplet starting with the 2nd string 3rd fret, followed by the open 1st string repeated twice; then follwed by a triplet of descending chromatic notes on the 2nd string, 2nd to first to open string; then a triplet starting on the 3rd string 2rd fret, down one fret to the 1st fret, to the 4th string 2nd fret.

I agree with Uncle Bud about the Reese Crenshaw. These field recordings are really something. Makes one wonder again how much talent and great music must have escaped from any recordings!

Cheers

Pan
« Last Edit: July 26, 2014, 05:16:37 AM by Pan »

Offline One-Eyed Ross

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« Reply #156 on: July 26, 2014, 09:01:41 AM »
Just an aside to compliment this idea.  It's great training for the ear!  I need more of this kind of thing.  Thanks!
SSG, USA, Ret

She looked like a horse eating an apple through a wire fence.

Online Johnm

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« Reply #157 on: July 26, 2014, 01:56:22 PM »
Hi all,
Thanks for the responses to the questions on Boy Green's "A and B Blues".  For the first time I can recall, every response was in agreement as to the playing position, E position in standard tuning, and every response was correct.  Well done!
As for the questions about specific places in the piece, here goes:  For the IV chord phrase that falls at :09--:11, it is as follows, with pulse indicated as 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +.  The phrase begins with a pick-up note that falls on the + of beat four, coming out of the fourth bar of his opening E phrase:

   +       |     1       +        2        +       3       +        4      +      |
Open       2nd     Open   3rd     Open   6th    5th     7th 
5th         fret,     1st      fret,    5th      fret,  fret,    fret,
string      4th      string  2nd    String  3rd    2nd    4th
   T          string             string            string  string  string,
                  T                             T                          6th
                                                                             fret,
                                                                             3rd
                                                                             string
                                                                             T brush
I've put a T under every part of the phrase that is stuck by the thumb.  You can see he starts with a thumb roll, from the fifth to the fourth string in an A chord at the base of the neck as Old Man Ned had it.  He had the first part of the phrase spot on, and the second half is very close to what Pan had, with the thumb re-hitting the open fifth string on the + of beat 2, and the thumb concluding the measure with a brush stroke of the fourth and third strings on beat four.  It's really neat the way Boy Green shifts from the A position at the base of the neck to the A out of the F shape at the fifth fret half-way through the bar.  The way Boy Green syncopated his thumb work here is operating very much the way Buddy Moss used his thumb, as Scott aptly noted a Buddy Moss sound in Boy Green's playing.
The passage from :14--:15 where he starts in E, rocks briefly to B7 and returns to E is as follows.  Pan mapped this out dead on in his post, but I'll put it here with the exact timing indicated so you can see how the phrase flows through the bar.

 |    1         +              2               +        3 (triplet)                    4              +         |
   Open                  Grace           2nd      1st       Open   2nd     Grace         2nd
   6th                     note            fret,      fret,     2nd     fret,     note           fret,
   string                 hammer,      5th      4th       string   3rd     hammer,     4th
     T                     Open            string    string              string   Open          string
                            3rd string       T           T                             3rd string
                            to 1st fret                                                  to 1st fret
                           3rd string                                                   3rd string
                                T
So it is that Boy Green does an alternation in the bass, on beats one and two from the 6th to the 3rd string, then does a thumb roll in the B7 from the + of beat 2 on the 5th string into beat 3 on the 4th string, starting a triplet that switches from the thumb to the fingers in the right hand after the thumb hits beat three.  The phrase has a tremendous lilt and rhythmic lift to it--wow!

The lick he plays at :23--:24 sits as follows.  I'll include the downbeat of the measure, although it doesn't fall in that time sequence.

   |      1            +          2 (triplet)                        3(triplet)                    4(triplet)               |
       2nd         Open      3rd        Open    Open       2nd    Open    3rd      2nd     1st      2nd       
      fret,         1st          fret,      1st       1st          fret,    2nd      fret,     fret,    fret,    fret,   
       4th         string      2nd       string    string     2nd     string   3rd      3rd     3rd      fourth       
      string,                    string                              string              string   string  string  string
     and open
     6th string
      (T)

Pan had this all right except the beat 3 triplet, where instead over walking down the second string chromatically from the second fret, Boy Green skips the first fret of the second string, which gives him time to pick up the b5 note at the 3rd fret of the third string on the last note of the triplet, a grungy sound that really gives a nice oink in the middle of the run.  I was only able to piece together this run by trying it out on the guitar--it goes by pretty quickly!

As mentioned earlier, Boy Green's playing on "A and B Blues" appears to show a Buddy Moss influence.  Another player whose approach seems even closer to Boy Green's is Ralph Willis.  I'm attaching an .mp3 of his song "Just A Note".  Check out what he plays from :08--:09; it is very, very close to Boy Green's I-V7-I turn-around at :14--:15, and there are other similarities in the course of the two performances.

Boy Green was obviously a really accomplished player, as were Buddy Moss and Ralph Willis, but one thing that strikes me about these moves is that with the exception of the A phrase where he shifts positions half-way through the bar, these licks are models of economy.  In the E-B7-E lick, he never ventures above the second fret, and in the concluding E phrase, he never ventures above the third fret.  For that last E phrase, if you assign a finger to a fret, using the index finger to fret everything on the first fret, the second finger to fret everything on the second fret and the third finger to fret everything on the third fret, it actually lays out pretty easily and naturally, despite the speed at which he plays it.

Thanks, as always, for participating.  I think this kind of close listening is hugely beneficial in terms of hearing how different players got around on the guitar and used their hands.  And if you understand how they did it, you can figure out how to do it yourself.  Like every faculty, this kind of listening, hearing and analyzing sharpens with use, too.  Onward and upward!

All best,
Johnm         
« Last Edit: July 26, 2014, 02:11:07 PM by Johnm »

Offline Pan

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« Reply #158 on: July 26, 2014, 06:02:30 PM »
Thanks for the analysis and the Ralph Willis mp3, John!

I'm hoping that I (and others) will now instantly recognize the E - B7 -E lick, when I (we) hear it!

Cheers

Pan

Offline dunplaying

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« Reply #159 on: July 27, 2014, 03:45:47 AM »
Thanks Johnm.
I have been working on the E-B7-E lick all morning. :)

Online Johnm

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« Reply #160 on: July 27, 2014, 08:11:40 AM »
I'm glad you're having fun with that lick, Pan and dunplaying, and you're welcome for the thread, One-Eyed Ross.  It has been fun picking out the tunes and I've heard a lot of music I'd not heard previously--great players, too.

Here are a couple of pretty much straight position/tuning puzzles.  The first is of a Post-War Detroit player, Johnny Howard, and his song is "Natural Man Blues".  Here it is:



Well, the sun is goin' down, and the moon begin to rise
I said, baby, the sun is goin' down, and the moon begin to rise
Well, you wake up in the mornin', and the sun rises in the east

I'm gon' do just like the eagle, I'm gon' rise and view the sun
Yes, I'm gon' do like the eagle, babe, I'm gon' rise and view the sun
I can look down into your heart, and tell ev'ything goin' on

SOLO

Yes, I want you, I don't wan-a you's do me, baby, do me like 'lilah did Samiston {sic}
No, I don't want you to do me, baby, just like Delilah did Samiston {sic}
Tame my head, clean as my hand, my strength come as a natch'l man

SOLO

The questions for "Natural Man Blues" are:
   * What tuning/position did Johnny Howard play the song out of?
   * Where is he fretting the opening of his solo, at 1:28--1:34, and how does he get the texture he gets in the treble there?

The second song is Sylvester Cotton's "I Tried".  Like Johnny Howard, Cotton was a Post-Wat Detroit player.  So much strong music came out of Detroit in that period.  Here is the song:



In the transcription, dashes indicate places the guitar finished the vocal line.

Now listen, all you friends, you'll hear the record I made
Remember this one thing, Lord, I did everything I could
Don't thank me, friends, just think on the one man,
Mr. Broony Bethune

That was the first man that give me my chance
Name of the place was Pan-American Record Company
Lord, I tried, I tried to do
The best I can

I'm sorry I couldn't play the piece you like best
I had to play the blues, Lord, that's the first thing I know
But I tried, I tried to do
The best I can

If you people'd understand, every man have to crawl
Every baby has to crawl, Lord, before he walks
I tried, Lord, I tried to do
The best I can

SOLO (Spoken: For Mr. Broony now)

Say hey, let me tell you something, friends
Lord, you don't know how good it's settin' a poor Mac
Lord, Lord, when you're tryin', when you're tryin' to do
The ----

Says, now you watch out the, whether when the man says,
"Now, and it's time for you to cut your boys off."
The Mr. says, "You tried, Lord, you tried to do
The ---."

I want you to excuse all the mistake in this song
Lord, 'cause this is the last one I'll every play, maybe,
But I'll try, Lord, I'll try to do
The best I can

So long, I got to go
Lord, 'cause somebody waitin' on me, don't 'round here
But I try, Lord, I try to do
The best I can

What position/tuning did Sylvester Cotton play "I Tried" out of?

The third song is Lucious Curtis' "Guitar Picking Song".  Curtis was recorded in Natchez, Mississippi for the Library of Congress.  Here is the tune:



What position/tuning did Lucious Curtis play "Guitar Picking Song" out of?

As always, please use only your ears, experience and guitar to figure out the answers to the questions, no transcription software.  Please don't post any answers to the questions until Tuesday, July 29th, so that plenty of people have a chance to listen to the song and make their own determination of the answers.  Thanks for participating, and I hope you enjoy the songs.

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: December 31, 2017, 06:27:46 AM by Johnm »

Offline dunplaying

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« Reply #161 on: July 29, 2014, 02:41:14 AM »
When I first heard "Natural Man" I thought Johnm had thrown in a duff track but ,after listening to it for several hours, I have grown to like it. I am still unsure as to how it is played but will try standard tuning,capo 4th and played from an E position.
Sylvester Cotton's "I tried" is ,I hope, standard tuning,capo 2nd and played out of an A position.
I am afraid I cannot even hazard a guess for the third track.

Offline mr mando

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« Reply #162 on: July 29, 2014, 03:57:02 AM »
Back from my vacation, I'm glad I didn't miss too much in this thread.

Here's what I hear for the current puzzle:

Johnny Howard - Natural Man Blues:
   * What tuning/position did Johnny Howard play the song out of? standard tuning  / E position at G# He accidentially hits open strings with the bass notes sometimes that are not available in an open tuning and that are sounding in dissonance with the tonality he's working in.
   * Where is he fretting the opening of his solo, at 1:28--1:34, and how does he get the texture he gets in the treble there? On the second string at frets (relative to the capo) 5 and 8 (bent) against the open first string.

Sylvester Cotton- I Tried:
   * position/tuning: Spanish Tuning @ (+/-) Bflat

Lucious Curtis - Guitar Picking Song:
   * position/tuning: standard tuning / D position

Online Johnm

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« Reply #163 on: July 29, 2014, 03:22:04 PM »
Hi all,
Any other takers for "Natural Man Blues", "I Tried" and "Guitar Picking Song"?  Come one, come all!
All best,
Johnm

Offline Pan

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« Reply #164 on: July 29, 2014, 04:51:57 PM »
Hi all

For some reason these were really difficult for me ?so I'm not sure at all, if I got them right.

Nevertheless, I'll stick my head out and make some guesses.

Quote
The questions for "Natural Man Blues" are:
   * What tuning/position did Johnny Howard play the song out of?
   * Where is he fretting the opening of his solo, at 1:28--1:34, and how does he get the texture he gets in the treble there?

I disagree with standard tuning E position here, because I hear a low V note played on the 6th string which isn't available in E,  because the lowest string is the root. I couldn't make any open tuning work either, so my best guess is that the song is played in standard tuning, A position, tuned about a half-step low.
The solo seems to start in triplets, with the low open 6th string , while the second string is played on the 10th fret, slid in, then the open 1st string is played too, so that all the three notes are ringing. The second string is then changed to a note bent up roughly a half step from the 13th fret, while the 6th and 1st strings remain open.

Quote
What position/tuning did Sylvester Cotton play "I Tried" out of?

Again, this was difficult for me. I seem to hear most of the treble licks doable in standard tuning, G-position. But again, the bass licks go down to the low V note which isn't available in Standard G. So I'm guessing the D-G-D-G-B-E or ?half-spanish? or G6 tuning, which would solve the problem.

Quote
What position/tuning did Lucious Curtis play "Guitar Picking Song" out of?

With the Lucious Curtis tune, I think the bass goes down to low D, so I'll say dropped D, while I agree with Mr. Mando, that the rest of the song sounds like it's played in D-position. The IV chord also seems to have the 3rd on bass, which is common in dropped D, while the root of the IV chord (G) is moved up two frets on the 6th string, and is difficult to reach for. I think I'm hearing some similar chords to Curtis' "High Lonesome Hill", which I believe is (in what I believe is his guitar part) in dropped D.

Looking forward to the verdict!

Cheers

Pan

 


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