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Now a short haired woman waiting for to carry your troubles on. Make you think through the daytime, trouble you all night long. She make you think you right, when you know darn well you wrong - Will Batts, Country Woman

Author Topic: Robert Belfour's Guitar Playing--Tips and Queries  (Read 5846 times)

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Offline Slack

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Re: Robert Belfour's bass
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2007, 01:23:34 PM »
Great clip, very nice photography - love the silhouetted back shot of his whole body moving and the shot from below  showing him back picking with his middle finger.

Thanks for posting.

Offline FrontPage

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Re: Robert Belfour's bass
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2007, 09:54:02 PM »
Yes - the video is very nicely done, and one of my favorites among Robert's repertoire. Perhaps this piece is soon to become a personal theme song?
You can see those lightning-fast hammer-ons and pull-offs too. The fingers on his left hand look like striking snakes. And it appears that he's added some decoration to the front of his guitar since last summer. Self-applied?
Cheers,
FrontPage

Offline waxwing

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Re: Robert Belfour's bass
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2007, 10:26:40 PM »
Man, Youtube must work a lot better for you guys, I get herky jerky video that makes guitar players hands look like they are jumping from one freeze to another, rarely touching strings in time to the music. Audio comes over fine but how you guys can see subtleties like that is beyond me.

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

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Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: Robert Belfour's bass
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2007, 10:38:22 AM »
OK- ive not had time to search cds, but I have persuaded my fingers to recreate a simplistic version of what I think I heard....    :-\


Offline pfunk75

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done got old-Robert Belfour
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2012, 12:30:04 AM »
hi,

there is this very beautiful song junior kimbrough done got old that i love so much. very soulful melody and the lyrics are just so true :( ... fortunatly my kids keep me alive !
I found a version of the great buddy guy but my favorite one is the wolfman balfour version ... is there any chance to find a tab, what kind of tuning is this one ...
thx for your help
felix
« Last Edit: June 23, 2012, 07:28:11 AM by Johnm »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: done got old-Robert Belfour
« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2012, 04:24:15 AM »
 ::)   His surname is Belfour with an E not an A.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2012, 07:28:44 AM by Johnm »

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: done got old-Robert Belfour
« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2012, 04:31:44 AM »
Hello Pfunk- the search facility in weenie is good, and worth using.  A quick search reveals this thread which answers your question at least in part.  I suspect that tab would be hard to find, but it doesnt seem that difficult to figure out the essence of it once you are in tune with the original.  Making it sound like Belfour makes it sound would be a challenge though!

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=2887.msg22269#msg22269

« Last Edit: June 23, 2012, 07:29:17 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: done got old-Robert Belfour
« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2012, 08:30:55 AM »
Hi all,
As per Bunker Hill's observation and out of respect for Mr. Belfour, I edited the topic title to get his name spelled correctly.
All best,
Johnm

Offline lindy

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Re: done got old-Robert Belfour
« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2012, 11:51:08 AM »

Pfunk--

Standard tuning, though he usually tunes one step low; on the "What's Wrong With You" CD version of that song he's one step low.

Take a look at the "Interesting Country Blues related video clips" thread on this forum, on the very last page of that thread there are two videos of Mr. Belfour. The song "Breakin' My Heart" is essentially the same song as "Done Got Old." There are lots of closeups, so you can easily figure out what he's doing.

I said "essentially the same." For the differences, go to youtube.com and do a search for "Robert Belfour Done Got Old," there's one video where he talks for a few minutes about house parties in the good ol' days, and then he plays the song. That vid also has a lot of shots where you can see what he's doing with both hands. Those two vids contain more than enough visual and aural info to get you playing the song.

Lindy

Offline Johnm

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Robert Belfour's Guitar Playing--Tips and Queries
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2019, 11:36:53 AM »
Hi all,
I have just had occasion to transcribe Robert Belfour's "Pushin' My Luck" for a lesson order, and discovered some things that might be of interest to those of you who are aficionados of his style.  There are a couple of live versions of the song posted on youtube, but I chose the title cut from his second Fat Possum CD to transcribe, just the intro and verse one accompaniment.  He played the song out of Spanish tuning, and after a 20-bar intro (!) he launches into the first verse, which is 70 bars long!  He does all of his singing over a IV chord, as did Booker White and Fred McDowell on many of their songs, and the verse phrases out like so, looking at vocal phrases and instrumental responses:
   * Vocal phrase--five bars
   * Instrumental response--eight bars
   * Vocal phrase--four bars, with one of six beats
   * Instrumental response--twelve bars
   * Vocal phrase--five bars
   * Instrumental response--thirty-five bars

I was somewhat surprised by how metrically consistent Robert Belfour was in his rendition.  In the first ninety bars of this rendition of "Pushin' My Luck", there was only one bar that was not four beats in length.  Such other well-known Hill Country players as Fred McDowell, R. L. Burnside and Ranie Burnette were not nearly so metrically consistent in terms of their phrase lengths.  I should emphasize that this is not a value judgement, but a simple statement of fact.  Fred McDowell and Ranie Burnette in particular liked to play six- beat measures leading into vocal phrases, thus allowing the guitar its chance to have its say without being interrupted by vocal pick-ups. 

Another impression or thought that I came away from this rendition of "Pushin' My Luck" with was the extent to which Robert Belfour's musical approach spoke to a dance/trance function in his music.  The amount of time devoted in the first verse to the vocal vs. the instrumental response is an indication of the relative insignificance of the vocal to the music's function, which was to get people up and dancing.  Some of you probably remember being at Port Townsend when Robert Belfour was given a solo set in mid-week in one of the upstairs rooms in building 204, and how long he played each number.  I remember about ten or fifteen minutes into the first number Peter McCracken getting up and hollering at the crowd, "DANCE!".

Another factor of Robert Belfour's musical approach is that it allowed for deep study and exploration of musical possibilities residing in a pretty severely restricted vocabulary of melodic choices.  In the first ninety bars of "Pushin' My Luck", Robert Belfour plays one note that is not in the minor pentatonic scale.  This pared-back vocabulary of melodic choices has consequences both in terms of sound and execution on the guitar.  The hand operates out of a pretty set position, and just mines it for all it is worth, in terms of note choices, rhythmic placement and articulation, with hammers, slides, pull-offs, etc.  And because of the limited set of melodic possibilities, a drony, trance-inducing state results.

Here is the version of "Pushin' My Luck" that I was working from, with apologies if non-U. S. weenies can not view it:



All best,
Johnm

     
« Last Edit: October 25, 2019, 09:22:54 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Robert Belfour's Guitar Playing--Tips and Queries
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2019, 11:42:24 AM »
Hi all,
I merged three previous threads pertaining to Robert Belfour's playing into this thread, thinking that have a single-source thread on his music would collect all the queries and information on it in one place.  I have not changed the titles in the original posts so that the discussions pertaining to them can be followed.
All best,
Johnm

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