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When I was a young boy coming up, that man was king, king, you hear me? - Muddy Waters, on Son House

Author Topic: Bill's Rag  (Read 3258 times)

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si

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Bill's Rag
« on: June 23, 2005, 07:24:03 AM »
This is based on Bill's Rag by Bill Williams of Greenup Kentucky.
However I only ever heard a sample of the first verse so after that I improvise.
Guitar is in standard tuning but tuned down by 2 frets.
Am playing from a C chord shape.
So it comes out in key of B flat.

Duke

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Re: Bill's Rag
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2005, 09:30:11 AM »
I like it very much.  It has a VERY relaxed feel to it, is that the tempo of the original?

si

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Re: Bill's Rag
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2005, 09:41:47 AM »
As I recall the original was relaxed but not as slow as me.
(the sample clip I heard on a website is no longer there).
On other tunes Bill Wiliams could however play very fast even in his 70's.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Bill's Rag
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2005, 10:34:55 AM »
Sounds nice, si. Tuning down a step adds to the relaxed feel of the thing IMO.

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Bill's Rag
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2005, 10:40:19 AM »
This one lopes along really nicely. Makes me want to go and look out my Bill Williams LP ! Thank for posting , Si.

Offline Slack

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Re: Bill's Rag
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2005, 11:50:20 AM »
Nice si, I like how you coax those bends.

Offline Bluesymel

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Re: Bill's Rag
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2005, 07:20:19 PM »
I like the easy picking on this one. The beginning sounds like Saturday Night Shuffle or Rub? You did a nice job on improvising the rest of it. And I like the nice bends also!
They say it is harder to play musically slow but you did it just fine.

Mel

dabluz

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Re: Bill's Rag
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2005, 08:25:06 PM »
very nice 8)

si

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Info and tab
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2005, 04:52:15 AM »
Thanks everyone for your comments.
I don't know "Saturday Night Shuffle" or "Rub", will try to find them.
There is a link to info about Bill Williams, plus some basic powertab for my lesser version, at http://www.bedfordunplugged.co.uk/tab/billsrag.htm
So far only part 1, will add part 2 when time permits.
Part 1 is played at the zero position using C F D7 and G chords.
Part 2 (not original) is similar but the D7 is played
 x x 5 5 5 6
followed by the G7 played
x 10 9 10 8 x
It is fun to play a longer version of this, and for bars 7 and 8 of every 8 bars, to play a different run, you can do bass runs, treble runs, Gary Davis runs, Blind Blake runs, classical, or anything you want, making some runs longer than 2 bars if desired.
I would really like to learn "Lazy River" next. Does anyone else ever play Bill Williams?

Offline Rivers

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Re: Info and tab
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2005, 10:16:24 PM »
I would really like to learn "Lazy River" next. Does anyone else ever play Bill Williams?

Slightly OT, I play "Up A Lazy River" but my own version put together from the Hoagey Carmichael piano score. The fingerpicked/chord melody arrangement I have is a total bear to play I kid you not. One day I will nail it though because it is such an archetypal piece that I remember clearly from early childhood. It's the song I'm most likely to try to play when I've had too many beers and completely screw up. Leon Redbone does a nice job on it.

si

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Re: Bill's Rag
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2005, 06:58:36 AM »
Found brief tab for 1 verse of "Saturday Night Shuffle" and yes it is very similar to "Bill's Rag".
Cannot find "Rub", who recorded it?
And thanks for "Up A Lazy River" info, have found chords and lyrics and Leon Redbone clip which will all be useful for learning it.
Woops, I described the chord xx5556 as D7, it is C7, which strangely works better there than D7.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Bill's Rag
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2005, 09:40:49 AM »
If it's the "Saturday Night Rub" I'm thinking of, it's a Big Bill Broonzy tune. Steve James does a spirited "Variations on the Saturday Night Rub" on his CD "Two Track Mind."

Stu

Offline a2tom

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Re: Bill's Rag
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2005, 12:12:56 PM »
as to playing Bill Williams, yes, I frequently mess around with his Pocohantas - great tune in A minor, loads of fun to play - like you, I only have heard a clip, and just mess around with some of my own ideas beyond what I (inaccurately so far) could glean from the clip (I heard the clip on Stefan Wirz site, which seems to have lost the BW audio links now...).   I've thought about recording it for the Back Porch, but it is a bit away from the country blues.  Maybe I will now if I get a chance...

tom

si

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Re: Bill's Rag
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2005, 05:01:25 PM »
Would like to hear your Pocohantas a2tom, what a great tune, I would like to learn it.. Have just discovered that it and lots more Bill Williams is on Jukebox.

Offline a2tom

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Re: Bill's Rag
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2005, 07:16:18 AM »
this was my first chance back from vacation to actually listen to this post - it is very nice work.? The bends are just giving everything they've go to give - I love it, great control.? I also like the percussive thumb in places (I assume you are just striking bass strings with right hand damping to kill the tone?) - I have a gathering sense that Bill Williams did that a fair amount.? As for Pocohantas, I will record it (I'll even do video maybe so you can see how I'm playing it), but right now I don't know when I'm going to get the chance - very busy...? Opporunities tend to just happen randomly.

tom

si

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Re: Bill's Rag
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2005, 10:16:51 AM »
Yes am damping bass strings sometimes. Usually I keep guitar tuned down 2 frets because it gives nice bends. Also easier on the fingers and reduces string breakage. I want a harmonica player to do this with me at an open session and he doesn't do key of Bflat, so might try tuning down another fret, he likes key of A.

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