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I'm long and tall, like a cannonball - Willie Baker, No No Blues

Author Topic: Miller's Breakdown  (Read 84844 times)

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Offline blueshome

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1995 on: November 25, 2018, 03:00:24 AM »
Having got round to it with a guitar and better speakers than my phone at last, Iím with the Professor.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1996 on: November 27, 2018, 08:47:51 AM »
Hi all,
It appears that everyone who intended to respond to the puzzler on John Lee Hooker's "Slim's Stomp" has done so by now, so I will post the answers.

For Texas Slim's (John Lee Hooker's) "Slim's Stomp":
   * His playing position was Spanish tuning, as all who responded had it--well done!  It ends up being capoed around the seventh fret on my guitar.  Of course, if John Lee was tuned to Spanish at A, it would gain him some neck and place the capo two frets lower than I had it, for I was tuned to Spanish at G.
   * From :05--:12, John Lee Hooker is hitting the open third string and then answering it, first with the third fret of the fifth string and then with the first fret of the sixth string.  Naming those notes, assuming Spanish tuned at G with no capo on, you get G for the open third string, which is the key center, Bb for the third fret of the fifth string, the bIII in the key of G, and Eb for the first fret of the sixth string, a bVI note in G.  The three notes actually form an Eb major chord, struck in this order:  3-5-R. 
   To me, this little lick is the most remarkable thing in the whole piece.  I have never heard anyone else play anything like it in Spanish tuning.  Eb major is so remote from G major, that when I first heard the lick, i had one of those "You can't get there from here!" responses.  All credit to John Lee Hooker for originality and big ears.
   * For the passage beginning at :39, Prof Scratchy nailed one way of playing it, spot on the money.  The notes are bent fifth fret of the fifth string which is then released to its unbent pitch, third fret of the fifth string, open 5th string or fifth fret of the sixth string as the Prof had it, then returning to third fret of the fifth string.  Named as scale degrees the run is #IV-IV-bIII-I-bIII.  I think this run is much easier to hear than the :05--:12 lick--it has less of the "unmoored" quality of the earlier lick.  Well done, Prof!
   * At 1:49, the double stop that John Lee Hooker is hitting in the treble is the fifth fret of the first two strings, which suggest either a IV chord or a I6 chord.

In many ways, "Slim's Stomp" reminds me of the music of Ornette Coleman.  By maintaining a steady pulse, but retaining the freedom to play phrases of different lengths and spritz on an idea as long as his fancy dictates, John Lee Hooker operates in a realm of much greater freedom than he would have if he adhered strictly to conventional blues forms of whatever stripe.  He also avoids the predictability enforced by metric regularity, knowing when the IV and V chords are going to arrive in the form, etc.  The extent of the degree of freedom within which he is operating, and his own comfort with that degree of freedom make for a really exciting take which operates in a realm of being perpetually in the "now!".

Thanks to all who participated in the puzzler, and I hope folks enjoyed "Slim's Stomp".  Thanks again, also, to Lightnin' for recommending the tune and to Lindy for finding it on youtube.

All best,
Johnm   
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 04:03:58 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1997 on: December 05, 2018, 01:36:21 PM »
Hi all,
I have a new puzzler for those of you who are interested.  It is Carolina Slim's "I'll Get By Somehow".  Here it is:



The questions on "I'll Get By Somehow" are:
   * What playing position/tuning did Carolina Slim use to play the song?
   * Where did Carolina Slim fret the descending run he plays in the treble from :53--:55?
   * How did Carolina Slim play and fret the passage near the end of his solo, in the bass, from 1:27--1:30?

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 Saturday, December 8.  Thanks for your participation, and I hope you enjoy "I'll Get By Somehow".
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1998 on: December 10, 2018, 06:34:00 AM »
Hi all,
Any takers for the Carolina Slim puzzler, "I'll Get By Somehow"?  Come one, come all!
All best,
Johnm

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1999 on: December 10, 2018, 11:38:48 AM »
* What playing position/tuning did Carolina Slim use to play the song? - G standard tuned low
   * Where did Carolina Slim fret the descending run he plays in the treble from :53--:55? - 1str 3fr/1fr; 2str 3fr/1fr; 3str 3fr bend/ open
   * How did Carolina Slim play and fret the passage near the end of his solo, in the bass, from 1:27-- - against open 4str he descends on 5str 5fr/4fr/3fr 3fr; 6str 3fr



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: December 10, 2018, 11:40:24 AM by Prof Scratchy »

Offline Old Man Ned

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2000 on: December 10, 2018, 12:41:42 PM »
I'm hearing this in G standard too and in agreement with the Prof on the descending run he plays in the treble from :53--:55.

For the descending run he plays in the treble from :53--:55, I'm also hearing this played against then open 4th string but hearing the 5th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd fret of the 5th string before the 3rd fret of the 6th string, though I find myself wanting to play the b flat on 5th string in place of the b which I think I'm hearing.

Offline blueshome

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2001 on: December 13, 2018, 02:19:58 AM »
Well low out of G standard and everything the Prof says.
Itís like a cross  between Lightnin and BBFuller, especially Fuller like on the turnaround.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2002 on: December 15, 2018, 08:57:02 AM »
Hi all,
It appears that everyone who intended to respond to the puzzler on Carolina Slim's "I'll Get By Somehow" has done so by now, so I will post the answers.

For Carolina Slim's "I'll Get By Somehow":
   * His playing position was G position in standard tuning, as all who responded had it--well done!
   * The descending treble run that Carolina Slim played from :53--:55 is just as Prof Scratchy had it--third fret of the first string to first fret of the first string, to third fret of the second string to first fret of the second string, to third fret of the third string.  The run is a descending "blues scale", I-bVII-V-IV-bIII, and it sits so naturally for the left hand in G in standard tuning that it became a staple of so many players there.  All who responded had this spot on.
   * The movement in the bass from 1:27--1:30 involved droning on the open fourth string while first sliding into a unison at the fifth fret of the fifth string and then walking down the fifth string chromatically, from fifth to fourth to third to second fret, at which point the bass moves to the third fret of the sixth string.  It is a turn-around that Blind Boy Fuller utilized, as blueshome noted.

For anyone who is interested, this song strikes me as one that could be figured out by ear relatively easily.  I guess the only question is whether it appeals to you.  Thanks to Prof Scratchy, Old Man Ned and blueshome for their responses to the puzzler and I hope folks enjoyed the song.
All best,
Johnm

 


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