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Some people say that a preacher won't steal. But he will do more stealin' then I get regular meals - Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe, Preacher's Blues

Author Topic: Question about Dylan's version of "Fixin' to Die":  (Read 1601 times)

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Offline tombstonehand

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Question about Dylan's version of "Fixin' to Die":
« on: December 26, 2009, 11:25:49 PM »
Bob Dylan's version of Fixin' to Die has a thumping sound that I've never been able to figure out. Allegedly it has something to do with sliding from the third fret to open on the sixth string, but I can't make it sound like the recording.

It's hard to describe, so for reference here's a link to a live version of the song where he does this "thump" pretty constantly through the song:

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Question about Dylan's version of "Fixin' to Die":
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2009, 07:49:40 AM »
Slope shoulder Gibsons of that period are known for their thump. He's also most likely tuned below standard pitch or in open tuning, probably vastapol, and I have a hunch that the engineers have EQ'd this recording a little to the bass side of things. Result...thumpiness.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Question about Dylan's version of "Fixin' to Die":
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2009, 07:55:42 AM »
Whoops I'm just on my first cup of coffee and missed that this was a video and that he's capoed up and playing in C.
I was referring to my memory of the song as it appeared on his first record...As Rosanna Rosannadana (google it) used to say....never mind.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Question about Dylan's version of "Fixin' to Die":
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2009, 08:01:44 AM »
Hi Tombstone - You've got the right idea for the technique. I assume you have the 6th string bass tuned to D, where Bob is. Without analyzing it in detail, I'm guessing this song is played in either dropped D or perhaps double-dropped D tuning (the high E string also tuned down to D), much in the way he played Hollis Brown and some others at the time (I think - it's been awhile). Probably just dropped D. I agree with OMuck: the EQ is adding thumpiness here too.

No video OMuck. Just a photo with audio. Whatcha puttin' in yer coffee?  ;)
« Last Edit: December 27, 2009, 08:10:59 AM by uncle bud »

Offline unezrider

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Re: Question about Dylan's version of "Fixin' to Die":
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2009, 06:17:01 PM »
hello friend,
either thats a remix, or an alternate take. it's definitely not the version on his first record - though the vocal seems close. (why, without comparing i think it could be a remix) i remember reading somewhere where dylan said he used a martin (i want to say D18, forget the vintage) on that album. i also remember him saying he really liked that guitar, but didn't know what happened to it. you may want to see if you can't find a version from his first album to listen to. i want to say that move you are talking about is used much more sparingly, & the recording has a much more 'natural' sound. probably easier to duplicate.
chris
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

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