collapse

* Member Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Like Us on Facebook

Arrest me for murder and I ain't harmed a man. Arrest me for forgery, I can't even sign my name - Furry Lewis, Judge Boushay Blues

Author Topic: Blind Lemon Jefferson lyrics  (Read 160830 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

crawley

  • Guest
Re: Lemon's lyrics - Bad Luck Blues
« Reply #45 on: April 18, 2005, 04:57:49 PM »
That's basically how I play it but I use my index, middle and third fingers. You may also, but my middle and third finger do all the work while my index picks up alot on the 3rd string in between notes that you've indicated. What is Transcribe and what does it do? It sounds helpful, but can I go by ear really fast. Tab is hard for me to use for some reason.

About the F, I bar it but don't finger the 5th string.

Of course I doubt I'm playing it exactly as Lemon did.

Blind Gabriel Crawley

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: Lemon's lyrics - Bad Luck Blues
« Reply #46 on: April 18, 2005, 06:59:22 PM »
I actually spent some time with this in Transcribe yesterday.? I have most of it (can't necessarily play it, but I know what he was doing pretty much).? However, there is one thing I wonder how others interpret.? It is the fourth beat of the repeating phrase in most of the I (i.e. C) bars.?



? |? ? ? ?|? ? ? ?|? ? ? ?|
|-----0---3-------0------(0)----|---
|-------------4-------1--(1)----|---
|-------------------------2---0-|---
|---------0---------------2-----|---
|-3----------------------(3)----|-3-
|-------------------------------|---
? |? ? ? ?|? ? ? ?|? ? ? ?|



I've tabbed out all the notes that are registering almost every time he plays that fourth beat, and it is odd, in my book.? The "melody" note the riff is driving to on that beat? is the A on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string (followed by the open string G).? Since he is playing in C, the most obvious thing to do is to move the middle finger up from the 4th string to the 3rd string.? However, there is no question in my mind that the beat - which most often he is really emphasizing with a solid 4th beat strike - also prominently sounds the E on the 2nd fret of the 4th string.

I think you are correct to this point. He is definitely hitting the E on the 4th string, together with the A on the 3rd.

Quote
So then I think, he's actually fingering an A minor - some sense to this, as A minor frequently shows up in C as a modal variant.?

A minor would be the relative minor of C. I think of this bit as kind of  working around A minor fingering though not necessarily harmonically playing an Am.

Quote
However, I often clearly still get the C from the 3rd fret of the 5th string.? So, how the heck is he fingering this?? As near as I can tell, he is playing A minor and then adding the pinky to the 3rd fret of the 5th string.? ?And, indeed, when I finger that I get the sound that I hear from Lemon - only, I do not find it easy at all to snap to that chord form.? I've been hitting it as A minor (dropping the pinky) and it still sounds decent.

I don't hear, nor play, the C in the bass on this beat. Also, I hear the bass going: C  D  rest  E    C D rest E etc. And then you're right in position the second time round when the E walks down (E Eb D) when he goes to the V chord (G).  This is coincidentally ;) what Ari has, I believe, though I haven't checked it with the tab or video yet (can't find it).

Quote
I think through much of the tune that the 4th beat is the critical one. For example I love the way with very subtle changes in that beat he hints at the chord change to the IV (F) bars.?



? |? ? ? ?|? ? ? ?|? ? ? ?|
|-----0---3-------0-------------|---
|-------------4-------1---------|---
|-------------------------0-----|---
|---------0---------------------|---
|-3-----------------------------|-3-
|-----------------------------1-|---
? |? ? ? ?|? ? ? ?|? ? ? ?|



Even though he never ends up fully sounding an F chord in the F bar repeating phrase, you still feel the chord change.? The guy was brilliant.

tom

I think he might be going from F to C in a kind of stumble bass here, working from the "&" before the downbeat that has the C bass, though not sure. So your first "3" there in the first beat for the C bass would actually be preceded by an F. I'll  have to listen to the new Yazoo, as the JSP version I have on the computer is fairly rough.

Andrew

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: Lemon's lyrics - Bad Luck Blues
« Reply #47 on: April 19, 2005, 08:12:54 AM »
I'll? have to listen to the new Yazoo, as the JSP version I have on the computer is fairly rough.

Of course, it's not on the new Yazoo, so that'll be tough. Doh. I'll check the old Yazoo then...

Offline a2tom

  • Member
  • Posts: 347
  • stickman's got 'em
Re: Lemon's lyrics - Bad Luck Blues
« Reply #48 on: April 19, 2005, 08:24:08 AM »
Transccribe! is a great software utility for slowing down and pitch correcting and looping parts of a song while learning it by ear.  Just Google Transcribe! and you'll get the web link for the company - it's not very expensive.  It really helps a lot if your goal is to try to nail what someone was playing.  Not necessary, but a very nice modern helper.

A minor would be the relative minor of C. I think of this bit as kind of working around A minor fingering though not necessarily harmonically playing an Am.

oh yes, don't want to imply that he is getting the full sound of A minor here - the A of the A minor is really just the passing note in the "melody" on the way down.  The question is simply how the phrase gets fingered.

I don't hear, nor play, the C in the bass on this beat. Also, I hear the bass going: C D rest E C D rest E etc.

I totally agree with the bass going C D rest E, and no I don't think he is striking the C in the bass.  However, using the harmonic analysis in Transcribe it was surprising to me that the C in the bass is there - at the level you might expect if the C is getting picked up as sympathetic vibration of the string below the plucked E.  Again, purely a question of how he fingered it (not how he plucked it) - if that C tone in the bass is "real", then that means he was in fact fingering what would be a C6 chord (Am plus the pinky on the C).  I find that possibility intriguing.  Largely academic, since the string is never plucked, but interesting.

I think he might be going from F to C in a kind of stumble bass here, working from the "&" before the downbeat that has the C bass, though not sure. So your first "3" there in the first beat for the C bass would actually be preceded by an F.

isn't that what I had?  Yes, the "&" of beat 4 before the 5th bar is definitely a stumble bass on the low thumbed F.  The "&" before the 6th bar has the same notes, but he usually picks up the F one octave up on the 3rd fret of the 4th string.

I've attached a PDF of my current tab of the intro and a basic representative verse.  I think it's getting to be pretty accurate at this point, but I welcome any corrections.  A couple of other interesting features I think are:

Most often he hits a low G (3rd fret 6th string) as the first note of a verse - really adds an interesting harmonic change from the C bass which starts all of the subsequent bars.

In the IV bars (5 and 6), I am thinking he is actually fingering a C chord to start.  You feel the chord change to F because of the F stumbled bass, but he never actually plays an F chord.  The key is in the bass.  There is a bass pick on beat two of these two bars - not pronounced, but there.  I have had difficulty convincing myself what pitch it is, since it is played very short/damped, but it most consisently comes out as an E (not D or F).  I wonder what other people have for that note.  If its E, the whole set up in the bass is thus very interesting - in the I/C bars he plays an unexpected D bass on beat 2, and in the IV/F bars he plays an unexpected E bass on beat 2.

The best part of the whole tune is the G7 measure with the A G A phrase on the third string "bass".  Really cool sound.

One of my main reasons for wanting to tab this out so precisely (which I rarely do) is to fit the vocals over the top - to see how his syncopations in the singing correspond to the picked notes. I've actually have made a bit of headway in being able to sing along...

tom

[attachment deleted by admin]

Offline GhostRider

  • Member
  • Posts: 1273
  • That'll never happen no more!
Re: Lemon's lyrics - Bad Luck Blues
« Reply #49 on: April 19, 2005, 08:41:28 AM »
Hi all:

Just a note. S. Grossman has TAB'd out "Bad Luck Blues" in His "Texas Blues Guitar" book, a version I learned an found to be pretty good. Might give you some ideas.

Alex

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: Lemon's lyrics - Bad Luck Blues
« Reply #50 on: April 19, 2005, 08:59:00 AM »
I don't hear, nor play, the C in the bass on this beat. Also, I hear the bass going: C D rest E C D rest E etc.

I totally agree with the bass going C D rest E, and no I don't think he is striking the C in the bass.? However, using the harmonic analysis in Transcribe it was surprising to me that the C in the bass is there - at the level you might expect if the C is getting picked up as sympathetic vibration of the string below the plucked E.? Again, purely a question of how he fingered it (not how he plucked it) - if that C tone in the bass is "real", then that means he was in fact fingering what would be a C6 chord (Am plus the pinky on the C).? I find that possibility intriguing.? Largely academic, since the string is never plucked, but interesting.

I see. I think it's likely he's fingering it more as an Am than a C6 simply because why get complicated.

Quote
I think he might be going from F to C in a kind of stumble bass here, working from the "&" before the downbeat that has the C bass, though not sure. So your first "3" there in the first beat for the C bass would actually be preceded by an F.

isn't that what I had?? Yes, the "&" of beat 4 before the 5th bar is definitely a stumble bass on the low thumbed F.? The "&" before the 6th bar has the same notes, but he usually picks up the F one octave up on the 3rd fret of the 4th string.

Yes, it sure is what you had. Sorry, I missed that last 1 in your tab. And the D in the bass. Essentially, it seems I was asleep while posting. :P


Quote
I've attached a PDF of my current tab of the intro and a basic representative verse.? I think it's getting to be pretty accurate at this point, but I welcome any corrections.? A couple of other interesting features I think are:

Most often he hits a low G (3rd fret 6th string) as the first note of a verse - really adds an interesting harmonic change from the C bass which starts all of the subsequent bars.

Yes, that's quite subtle and hard to hear. Good catch.

Quote
In the IV bars (5 and 6), I am thinking he is actually fingering a C chord to start.? You feel the chord change to F because of the F stumbled bass, but he never actually plays an F chord.? The key is in the bass.? There is a bass pick on beat two of these two bars - not pronounced, but there.? I have had difficulty convincing myself what pitch it is, since it is played very short/damped, but it most consisently comes out as an E (not D or F).? I wonder what other people have for that note.? If its E, the whole set up in the bass is thus very interesting - in the I/C bars he plays an unexpected D bass on beat 2, and in the IV/F bars he plays an unexpected E bass on beat 2.

The best part of the whole tune is the G7 measure with the A G A phrase on the third string "bass".? Really cool sound.

One of my main reasons for wanting to tab this out so precisely (which I rarely do) is to fit the vocals over the top - to see how his syncopations in the singing correspond to the picked notes. I've actually have made a bit of headway in being able to sing along...


Will print out the tab and report back with opinions. Will wear my glasses this time. ;)

Alex, Grossman's book is out of print I believe. I like a lot of his stuff but am not sure I trust him on Lemon. ?>:D

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: Lemon's lyrics - Bad Luck Blues
« Reply #51 on: April 21, 2005, 09:43:20 AM »
Hi Tom - I had a look at the tab. Nice job. I only had a couple minor quibbles after comparing it with the record and with Ari's version.

-- In the intro, bar 2, starting on the 4, you have 1st fret 2nd string, open 3rd, 1st fret 4th string. I'd say that was 1st fret 2nd string, 2nd fret 3rd, 1st fret 4th string with a slight bend.

-- In the verse, during the IV chord (F) in what you've marked as measure 5, you have it as a C. On beat 2, I don't hear that E on the 2nd fret of the 4th string, which if it's there would favor calling it a C I guess, although I still hear this as a IV chord. I think it's single strings, which means you can pretty much let go of the chord to get the D and D# on the 2nd string.? Same thing in bar 6.

--In the same bar 5, on the & of 4, you've got an F on the 4th string. I think it's on the 6th. I hear him go back down again. This is what Ari has as well.

-- In bar 10, beat 2, I don't hear that F on the 1st string downbeat, only on the offbeats, but it's damn hard to hear under the singing. Could be there. Ari has it as a simple back and forth with the 1st string on off beats and the 3rd string on the downbeats.

-- In bar 11, those D#'s sound pretty straight to me, without a bend. And what you're marking as an Am/C sounds like a strum on beat 4 to me rather than a single note (so the way you have it, but adding the 2nd fret, 3rd string).

--in bar 13, the last 3 beats are strums I'd say.

--in the first bar of the verse, on the & of 1, Ari plays an open 3rd instead of the open 1st. The rest of the time is as you've written it with the open 1st. This is too hard to hear for me and it's a coin toss. He also starts with a C bass, not a G, but I think you may be right on this one. I hear a G often as well - unless my ears are playing tricks.

Like I said, very minor points!

cheers,
Andrew
« Last Edit: April 21, 2005, 09:47:26 AM by uncle bud »

Offline a2tom

  • Member
  • Posts: 347
  • stickman's got 'em
Re: Lemon's lyrics - Bad Luck Blues
« Reply #52 on: April 24, 2005, 09:30:19 AM »
-- In the intro, bar 2, starting on the 4, you have 1st fret 2nd string, open 3rd, 1st fret 4th string. I'd say that was 1st fret 2nd string, 2nd fret 3rd, 1st fret 4th string with a slight bend.

you're right about the slight bend, but I'm 90% sure he plays the open 3rd G down to the Eb.  It sounds fine repeating the 2nd fret A, but I don't thinks that's what he did. 

Quote
-- In the verse, during the IV chord (F) in what you've marked as measure 5, you have it as a C. On beat 2, I don't hear that E on the 2nd fret of the 4th string, which if it's there would favor calling it a C I guess, although I still hear this as a IV chord. I think it's single strings, which means you can pretty much let go of the chord to get the D and D# on the 2nd string.  Same thing in bar 6.

This definitely the boldest call I made in this, and I won't swear to it.  This beat is muted every single time.  However, take a listen to the attached isolated clip of the first two beats of bar 6.  I think you'll hear that it is not a single string on the high D on beat 2 - there is a bass thump as well.  Assigning a pitch to it is the problem since it is muted.  I considered D (like in the other bars), E and F on the 4th string.  My ear tells me it really an E.  The spectrum over that beat also gives a bass E, and no D or F (see jpg), under the high D.  You have to be very careful though, that that isn't the sung pitch!  But Lemon was singing above the G there (you can see that in the spectrum), so I think the E is the guitar. 

The thing is, that bass note, and fingering it as a C chord, does not change the feel of the 2 bars away from F.  He isn't strumming the chord - the notes are played very cleanly.  Its all about the weird notes happening in the bass (like the D in the first phrase).

Quote
--In the same bar 5, on the & of 4, you've got an F on the 4th string. I think it's on the 6th. I hear him go back down again. This is what Ari has as well.

He plays the 2nd F both ways.  Sometime repeats it low, sometimes he clearly hits it high on the 4th string - thought I'd tab that variation.  Seems entirely unneccessarily difficult, doesn't it?!  But, that's what he did.  I don't think you'll lose much always playing it low. 

Quote
-- In bar 10, beat 2, I don't hear that F on the 1st string downbeat, only on the offbeats, but it's damn hard to hear under the singing. Could be there. Ari has it as a simple back and forth with the 1st string on off beats and the 3rd string on the downbeats.

probably shouldn't have put that in there.  There is one place I think he does hit the F more times like I tabbed, but I agree that the basic feel is a back and forth. 

Quote
-- In bar 11, those D#'s sound pretty straight to me, without a bend. And what you're marking as an Am/C sounds like a strum on beat 4 to me rather than a single note (so the way you have it, but adding the 2nd fret, 3rd string).

I think I was swayed by the fact that I've played it with a bend so many times!  It sounds good with a bend, I think.  But you're right Lemon played 'em straight.

As for the strums, that's just a weakness in my notation - definietley strums.

Quote
--in the first bar of the verse, on the & of 1, Ari plays an open 3rd instead of the open 1st. The rest of the time is as you've written it with the open 1st. This is too hard to hear for me and it's a coin toss.

The note is really really hard to hear throughout.  I actually think it may be most correct that there is NO note on the and of 1 in the first bar.  Or maybe it is a G just hard to hear. You are correct that he doesn't play the E there as in the later bars.  Thanks, I missed that.

Quote
He also starts with a C bass, not a G, but I think you may be right on this one. I hear a G often as well - unless my ears are playing tricks.

No question at all that he plays a low G.  Thus, it seems that he treated that first iteration of the repeating phrase differently in at least two ways.

tom

Offline Rivers

  • Tech Support
  • Member
  • Posts: 6987
  • I like chicken pie
Re: Lemon's lyrics - Bad Luck Blues
« Reply #53 on: April 24, 2005, 03:28:43 PM »
Could be a C6 collapsing the first joint of the finger playing the III (E) of the C to mash down on the A on the 3rd string. Like a closed 6th jazz chord w/root on the 5th string, X 3 2 2 1 0.. All my Lemon CDs are packed up in boxes so I'm a bit frustrated . . .

Offline a2tom

  • Member
  • Posts: 347
  • stickman's got 'em
Re: Lemon's lyrics - Bad Luck Blues
« Reply #54 on: April 29, 2005, 06:37:54 PM »
Here is my "final" transcription, in case anyone has been keeping score at home.  Added the variation and outro.  For documentaion purposes ;).  Maybe someday I'll be able to play it with singing...

As for the C6 - I can't convince myself the C tone is real - I just don't hear is when I listen, even though it is there on Transcribe.  I think  it is just a hum, not a note.  Good thing - I have NEVER been able to play "collapsed joint" chords...

tom

GreeNeye

  • Guest
Re: Lemon's lyrics - Bad Luck Blues
« Reply #55 on: May 05, 2005, 02:48:47 PM »
a2tom--Thanks for doing the 'heavy lifting' on BLB.  The Transcriber! software looks like it takes alot of the doubt (and frustration) out of the process.  I'll have to check it out.
I took your final tab and inputed it into a program that creates MIDI files.  Please listen to this and tell me if you think it sounds "close" to what you worked out (and/or the original--sort of).  I don't have the mp3, so I'm not sure about the tempo, etc.

(I'm trying to see if this would help learning new fingerstyle songs.)

Thanks, GN

Offline Slack

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8860
Re: Lemon's lyrics - Bad Luck Blues
« Reply #56 on: May 05, 2005, 04:07:04 PM »
Is that ever bizarre -- I think that's what Blind Lemon would have sounded like had he been white.  :P  The midi "whammy" cracked me up.

GN, don;t forget to listen to the original.  ;D

Offline a2tom

  • Member
  • Posts: 347
  • stickman's got 'em
Re: Lemon's lyrics - Bad Luck Blues
« Reply #57 on: May 05, 2005, 06:52:56 PM »
Is that ever bizarre -- I think that's what Blind Lemon would have sounded like had he been white. 

I don't know what you mean Slack, that's what it sounds like when I play it.  Oh, wait...

(I'm trying to see if this would help learning new fingerstyle songs.)

Once a while ago I did the same thing just to see, and have never been back for the reasons this file makes evident - the MIDI blues feel, well, isn't.  I suppose if you were working on the early stages of alternating bass picking etc, which we all have to muddle through at some point, this might be useful, but beyond that it just isn't right.

Transcribe on the other hand is a great learning tool.  Slow it down and loop the phrase that you're working on, and you can play right along with Lemon or whoever and try to cop his exact syncopation etc.  I've been doing this a lot. 

That said, I can't help but imagine what Jefferson would have thought of the technology that allows folks like us to make horrid little computerized renditions of his music!  Horrid or not, it really is amazing.  And in some perverse way convinces me my tab is pretty close...

I don't have time now, but I will try to remember to upload an MP3 of the esential parts of the tune.

tom

GreeNeye

  • Guest
Re: Lemon's lyrics - Bad Luck Blues
« Reply #58 on: May 06, 2005, 05:47:36 AM »
--I don't have time now, but I will try to remember to upload an MP3 of the esential parts of the tune.--
That would be greatly appreciated.? GN

Offline a2tom

  • Member
  • Posts: 347
  • stickman's got 'em
Re: Lemon's lyrics - Bad Luck Blues
« Reply #59 on: May 14, 2005, 01:04:24 PM »
Sorry, forgot to do this - here it is.  Alas, the sound quality isn't great - been through one too many conversions at this point, I suspect! 

If I get motivated maybe I'll do a little video of the different bits - that way people can really take exception with the way I'm playing it! 

tom

 


SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2021, SimplePortal