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Author Topic: Miller's Breakdown  (Read 102792 times)

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Offline harriet

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1890 on: May 23, 2018, 10:48:00 AM »
With due respect, nobody got the run right so I don't think its that easy, he probably switches that up throughout the song and tailors each verse and fills to the song as well, adjusting rhythm, making up for what one might say is lack of instrumental complexity, so as a participant in the thread it's beyond my capabilities at this point to work out the music. The music is vocal driven IMHO, and needs both the voice and guitar. Just my two cents, and again with due respect for the other participants who might feel up to the task and are interested.

Harriet

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1891 on: May 23, 2018, 03:47:34 PM »
Hi all,
When I suggested doing the whole thing, Harriet, I was including the vocal in the suggestion.  While the piece is not without its subtleties, it is technically one of the easier pieces to play that you will encounter in the style.  There are no chords or chord changes, the thumb in the picking hand never hits anything other than the open fifth string, you never have to fret more than one note at a time and the universe of possible note choices is quite small. 
For anyone willing to try figuring it out, I would suggest being very empirical--get in tune with Ranie Burnette in Spanish tuning, and figure out what he plays from :00--:06.  Once you've got that, go on to the next phrase.  Continue through the piece that way, a phrase at a time.  Notice when he repeats a phrase or lick intact.  Listen for when he drops the bass out under his singing.  Remember that every "mistake" or phrase you try that doesn't end up being what he played is just enriching your context, filling out your knowledge of why the right notes sound right and the wrong ones don't sound right.
I think of transcribing songs as basically engaging in wars of attrition--I know I'll get there eventually, and I know it may take a while, but that all I have to do is stick with it until I've got it.  And you can stop at any point and say, "I've got enough of this.", or "close enough is close enough".  The current vogue for exactitude in transcription is just that, a stylistic choice.  None of our musical heroes and heroines copied their models exactly.  The presumption was that the musical materials they were starting from  would be re-expressed in accordance with their own way of hearing things, playing time, etc.
All best,
Johnm
 

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1892 on: May 29, 2018, 04:13:47 PM »
Hi all,
I have a new puzzler for those of you who are interested.  It is Honeyboy Edwards' "Army Blues", recorded by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress in 1942.  On it, Honeyboy is joined by a harmonica player.  Here is the track:



The questions on "Army Blues" are:
   * What playing position/tuning did Honeyboy Edwards use to play the song?
   * Where is Honeyboy fretting the bend he does in the first verse immediately following his opening line, "When I first started to bumming"?
   * Where does Honeyboy fret the ascending run he plays into his IV chord from 1:02--1:03?

Please use only your ears and guitars to arrive at your answers, and please don't post any answers before 8:00 AM your time on Thursday, May 31.  Thanks for your participation and I hope you enjoy "Army Blues".
All best,
Johnm

Offline blueshome

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1893 on: May 30, 2018, 04:03:14 AM »
I believe it?s Honeyboy playing rack harp. Anyway, I?ll get my mind and ears back to the puzzle.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1894 on: May 30, 2018, 06:25:36 AM »
Thanks for the clarification, Phil.  I had read that but forgot it.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1895 on: June 01, 2018, 09:04:00 AM »
The questions on "Army Blues" are:

   * What playing position/tuning did Honeyboy Edwards use to play the song? - G standard capoed up


   * Where is Honeyboy fretting the bend he does in the first verse immediately following his opening line, "When I first started to bumming"? - 1str 6fr

   * Where does Honeyboy fret the ascending run he plays into his IV chord from 1:02--1:03? -4str 0 1 2; 3str 0

Offline Old Man Ned

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1896 on: June 02, 2018, 09:05:55 AM »
Agree with the Prof on Army Blues. Sounds capo'ed at the 5th fret assuming he's not tuned low.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1897 on: June 03, 2018, 10:41:52 AM »
Thanks for the responses on the Honeyboy Edwards puzzler, Prof Scratchy and Old Man Ned.  Any other takers?  Come cone, come all!  Answer just one question or all three.
All best,
John

Offline blueshome

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1898 on: June 05, 2018, 08:18:45 AM »
Going with the Prof although I did think Spanish at one point.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1899 on: June 08, 2018, 09:18:17 AM »
Hi all,
I think everyone who intended to respond to the Honeyboy Edwards puzzler has done so by now, so I will post the answers:

For Honeyboy Edwards' "Army Blues":
   * His playing position was G in standard tuning as all who responded had it--well done!
   * Honeyboy fretted the bend at the end of the first line of the first verse at the sixth fret of the first string as Prof Scratchy had it, with Old Man Ned and blueshome concurring.
   * Honeyboy fretted the ascending run he played into the IV chord at 1:02--1:03 as follows:  He hits a pick-up note on the open fourth string on the + of beat three in the 9th bar of the form.  For beat four of that measure he plays a triplet walking up from the open fourth string chromatically, open to first fret to second fret.  He concludes the ascending run by hitting the third fret of the third string on the downbeat of the tenth measure, landing on the seventh note of the C7 chord to which he is resolving. 

Honeyboy's playing on these early recordings is much as it was later in his life--simultaneously technically flashy and really country, with lots of metric irregularities, chords omitted from the progression and changing the form in subtle ways as he progressed through the song.  These "country" qualities made him very challenging to play with for other musicians (especially guitarists), in much the way that Robert Lowery was challenging to play with; you absolutely could not take anything for granted in terms of where chord changes were going to fall, or even if they were going to be played, in the course of a song's rendition.  I saw some pretty darn good musicians get lost by Honeyboy in the course of backing him.  Really, he was a born soloist, not an ensemble player except as professional opportunities put him in that role.

I hope folks enjoyed the song and I thank Prof Scratchy, Old Man Ned and blueshome for their participation in the puzzler.  I'll try to find another good one.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1900 on: June 08, 2018, 11:19:49 AM »
I imagine most folks will have seen by now the wonderful clip of Honeyboy Edwards from 1942. It?s amazing that these gems get unearthed after so many years. In colour and with recently overdubbed sound, you really get a sense of what a stellar player he was in his younger days:


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Offline jpeters609

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1901 on: June 08, 2018, 11:52:30 AM »

This footage is amazing. It's silent, but the "American Epic" folks expertly edited in Honeyboy's Library of Congress recording of "Army Blues," which he likely recorded at some point on the same day.

Also, the dancers seen in the footage were also filmed by Lomax, but at a different location. They were not actually there, in Clarksdale, dancing to Honeyboy's music.
Jeff

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1902 on: June 11, 2018, 09:46:08 AM »
Hi all,
I have a new puzzler for those of you who are interested.  It is Wade Walton's version of "Shake 'Em On Down", from his Prestige-Bluesville album of the same name in the early '60s.  Wade Walton had a barbershop in Clarksdale, Mississippi and it was evidently a musical gathering place in much the same way as Archie Edwards' barbershop was in Washington, D. C.  Here is Wade Walton's version of "Shake 'Em On Down":



INTRO

For my breakfast, give me, soft-boiled egg, for my dinner, give me, fish and bread, for my supper, lay me down 'tween your legs,
REFRAIN: Must I holler, baby, must I shake 'em on down
Mmmm, done stopped hollerin', b'lieve I shake 'em on down

There's no heaven, baby, there's no burnin' hell, where I'm goin', pretty baby, when I die can't nobody tell
REFRAIN: Must I holler, baby, must I shake 'em on down
Mmmm, done stopped hollerin', b'lieve I shake 'em on down

SOLO

Baby, baby, you don't seem to understand, I can get me a woman quicker 'n you can a man
REFRAIN: Must I holler, baby, must I shake 'em on down
Mmmm, done stopped hollerin', b'lieve I shake 'em on down

Mama, mama, look at sis', standin' in the backyard tryin' to, do the twist
REFRAIN: Must I holler, baby, must I shake 'em on down
Mmmm, done stopped hollerin', b'lieve I shake 'em on down

CODA 

The questions on Wade Walton's 'Shake 'Em On Down" are:
   * What playing position/tuning did Wade Walton use to play the song?
   * Where did he fret the signature lick he plays throughout the song, and for the first time, from 0:00--:04?
   * What does Wade Walton fret for the IV chord he plays from :28--31?

Please use only your ears and your guitars to arrive at your answers, and please don't post any answers before 8:00 AM your time on Wednesday, June 13.  Thanks for participating and I hope you enjoy "Shake 'Em On Down".

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 06, 2018, 08:49:58 AM by Johnm »

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1903 on: June 14, 2018, 04:14:23 AM »
The questions on Wade Walton's 'Shake 'Em On Down" are:
   * What playing position/tuning did Wade Walton use to play the song? -Spanish capoed at 2fr

   * Where did he fret the signature lick he plays throughout the song, and for the first time, from 0:00--:04? - bends then releases third fret of fifth string followed by a brush of open third and fourth strings with immediate hammer-on to third fret of fourth string. He then bounces off the 3fr 4str to play again the open 3str-4str brush.

   * What does Wade Walton fret for the IV chord he plays from :28--31- possibly x5x005
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 06:28:10 AM by Prof Scratchy »

Offline Forgetful Jones

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1904 on: June 14, 2018, 10:34:49 AM »
 * What playing position/tuning did Wade Walton use to play the song?
          Spanish tuning around A

  * Where did he fret the signature lick he plays throughout the song, and for the first time, from 0:00--:04?

     - Thumbs open 5th (and lets other strings ring)
     - Hits open 3rd & 4th strings and quickly cuts them off.
     - Followed by triplet of: xx00xx   xx3xxx  xx00xx (bending that 3rd fret     
       on 4th string)
     - Thumbs 3rd fret 5th string (bent)
     - Followed by same open strings & triplet as described above.

He seems to let strings ring throughout the song, so where I typed "x" I didn't mean that those strings are muted.

* What does Wade Walton fret for the IV chord he plays from :28--31?

     x5x505 It sounds like there's something else going on there. Maybe something alternating between
     3rd and 2nd strings.

I'm not super confident with any of those answers. Maybe not even with the tuning- perhaps the 2nd string is somewhere outside of Spanish?

 


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