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Author Topic: Adventures in EAEGBE tuning  (Read 7602 times)

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Offline Stumblin

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Re: Adventures in EAEGBE tuning
« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2014, 02:48:39 PM »
First time I've seen this thread.
I'm definitely going to try this tuning.
Thanks.

Offline Zoharbareket

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Re: Adventures in EAEGBE tuning
« Reply #31 on: February 25, 2014, 04:07:17 AM »
Great thread!!

Thanks

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Adventures in EAEGBE tuning
« Reply #32 on: August 06, 2017, 12:18:45 PM »
Hi all,
This is the only one of the ""Adventures in .  ." threads that already lived on this board, and now they're all adjacent and easy to find (for now).
All best,
Johnm

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Adventures in EAEGBE tuning
« Reply #33 on: August 06, 2017, 02:45:30 PM »
Great to have them all for easy reference in one place! Excellent.

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Adventures in EAEGBE tuning
« Reply #34 on: August 06, 2017, 03:00:37 PM »
Thanks, Prof!  Sometimes it takes the longest time to do the most obvious and sensible things--no excuse.
all best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 03:44:30 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Adventures in EAEGBE tuning
« Reply #35 on: January 28, 2018, 11:54:13 AM »
Hi all,
There are a couple of performances from the Miller's Breakdown thread that were played out of EAEGBE tuning that were not previously noted in this thread:  Ranie Burnette's "Hungry Spell", Arthur Weston's version of "Stack O' Dollar" and Myrt Holmes' "Come Here, Fairo" [sic].
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 06:39:48 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Adventures in EAEGBE tuning
« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2019, 01:27:38 PM »
Hi all,
I have long suspected that two Lemon Jefferson songs that have long been considered to have been played in A position in standard tuning were, in fact, played in A position, but in EAEGBE tuning.  The two songs are "Shucking' Sugar" and "Stocking Feet Blues".  Here is "Shucking' Sugar":



Lemon is sounding in G on the recording, so he is tuned a whole step low, whether in standard tuning or EAEGBE.  What aspects of Lemon's sound point to the possibility that "Shucking' Sugar" might be played in EAEGBE tuning?
   * Lemon never hits a note lower in pitch than an E note (relative to his tuning) on the fourth string, from beginning to end of the tune--this despite the fact that for a song played in A position in standard tuning the root of the IV chord is sitting there, waiting to be played on the open fourth string in standard tuning.  Lemon does not play that note once in the course of his rendition, choosing instead to leap from the open fifth string up to the second and first strings every time he goes to his IV chord.  Were he in EAEGBE tuning his choice to avoid the root of the IV chord would be less quixotic, and would be driven by the tuning itself, and the fact that it makes that root of the IV chord unavailable, except at the fifth fret of the fifth string.
   * When Lemon goes to his "Shuckin' Sugar" mini-refrain in the seventh and eight bars of his form, he is maintaining an octave alternation from a low V note on the sixth string to the V note on the fourth string against a I chord in the treble, while playing melody on the first two strings.  Were Lemon in EAEGBE tuning, his octave alternation would be between two open strings and would not require any fretting in the left hand, thus enabling him to do his melody work in the treble free-handing, and not having to hold down any chordal position while playing it.  In standard tuning, to get the octave alternation from the open sixth string to the fourth string, the fourth string would have to be fretted at the second fret for the entire phrase.  It's not that that is so horribly difficult, but it is so much easier in EAEGBE tuning, because the tuning gives you the open string alternation.

Let's take a look at "Stocking Feet Blues".  Here is Lemon's performance of it:



Not surprisingly, "Stocking Feet Blues" has some different moves in it.  What is it in its sound that suggests EAEGBE tuning as a possibility?
   * When Lemon goes to his IV chord in verse one, he hits a sharp V note on the fourth string as a pick-up note, resolving up from there by half-step into a VI note, the third of the IV chord, D.  In standard tuning, this would have him working out of the following chordal position, going from the fourth string to the first: 4-2-3-5.  This is a fairly "spread out" position in the left hand.  In EAEGBE tuning, the same pitches would be fingered 2-2-3-5, which ends up being much easier to finger and find with the left hand.  In the second verse in the D chord, Lemon goes from an A at the fifth fret of the first string to an F# at the second fret of the first string.  In standard tuning this would require a partial barre at the second fret.  It would in EAEGBE tuning, too, but would be easier to finger.
   * In the verse that begins "Don't mistreat me because I'm young and wild", Lemon goes from a V note to a VI note on the fourth string under the I chord, which has the high root at the fifth fret of the first string.  In standard tuning, this would have Lemon fingering 4-2-2-5 on the top four strings, going from the fourth string to the first.  Putting the VI note on the fourth string in EAEGBE tuning has him fingering the same sound by playing 2-2-2-5 on the top four strings.  Once again, EAEGBE makes for an easier left hand.
   * As in "Shuckin' Sugar", Lemon never hits a note lower in pitch than the V note of the key he is playing in on the fourth string in "Stocking Feet Blues".

I don't believe any of this aural evidence proves conclusively that Lemon played "Shuckin' Sugar" and "Stocking Feet Blues" in EAEGBE tuning, but it sure is plausible, and the choice to do so would make a number of Lemon's musical choices in the songs more logical, and a function of the tuning as opposed to a quixotic choice made more difficult by standard tuning.  I think I'll figure out both tunes in EAEGBE (I've already transcribed them in A position in standard tuning) and see which way of playing the songs I prefer, both for sound and ease of execution.
All best,
Johnm   
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 06:49:01 AM by Johnm »

Offline matt milton

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Re: Adventures in EAEGBE tuning
« Reply #37 on: January 04, 2020, 03:34:52 AM »
I've been recently trying to learn Clifford Gibson's Ice and Snow Blues. I found the lyrics here, for which many thanks, really helpful -
https://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?Itemid=128&topic=169.msg54976#msg54976

But I've been wondering if he really does play it in Vestapol, rather than EAEGBE? Main reason is the second note in the recording, which is very pronounced minor third (i.e. a "G" rather than a "G sharp", capo and pitch notwithstanding). Personally I'm also finding it a lot more comfortable and natural to play in an EAEGBE tuning, but that might just be a reflection of what I'm accustomed to. There is admittedly a lot of "G sharp" in the song.

Ice and Snow Blues, Old Time Rider and Keep your Windows Pinned have very very similar vocal melodies. Did he definitely play the first two in Vestapol and yet the last one in EAEGBE?
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 05:54:49 AM by matt milton »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Adventures in EAEGBE tuning
« Reply #38 on: January 04, 2020, 09:35:04 AM »
Hi matt milton,
I re-listened to "Ice And Snow Blues" to check as to whether the identification of it being played in Vestapol was correct, and it is.  The second note of the song is in fact a major third note played on the open third string.  The song begins with a triplet moving from the open second string to the open third string and then the open first string.  The triplet is a pick-up triplet, falling on beat four of the phantom measure preceding the downbeat of the intro.  For the downbeat of the intro, Clifford Gibson lands on a bent third fret of the first string, which is a minor third of the key, holding it for a full beat.  On beat two, he plays a broken triplet, going from the bent third fret of the first string to the open first string, landing on the open second string on beat three, following that with a downward brush of the first two strings, open on beat four.  In the second measure of the intro on beat 1+ he goes from the third fret of the first string to the second fret of the first string.  On beat 2+ he moves from the open first string to the second fret of the second string.  On beat three he sounds the open second string, and on beat four he hits and releases a bend of the second fret of the first string.  On beat one of the next measure he hits the open first string.  On beat two he plays a triplet, pulling off from the second fret of the second string to the open second string and following that with a bent third fret of the fourth string (a minor third of the key). On beat three he plays another triplet, moving from the open fourth string to the second fret of the fifth string and finishing up with a brush of the open fourth and third strings.  On beat 4+ he brushes the open fourth and third strings and then hits the open fourth string, resolving to the open sixth string on the downbeat of the fourth measure of the intro.
Other give-aways that Clifford Gibson played the song in Vestapol rather than EAEGBE tuning:
   * He never once hits the hammer from a minor to a major third on the third string that is easily available in EAEGBE, cross-note and E position standard tuning.  The lowest-pitched note he ever sounds on the third string is a major third, which is the open third string in Vestapol.
   * He never once plays a IV chord with its root in the bass, an option which EAEGBE makes easily available but which is not possible in Vestapol except by voicing the low root of the IV chord at the fifth fret of the sixth string.  For "Ice And Snow Blues", Clifford Gibson routinely plays the Vestapol IV chord, X-2-0-1-0-0, and he never frets a note lower in pitch than the V note on the fifth string, which in Vestapol is the open string.
   * He plays a Vestapol V7 chord, X-0-2-1-0-2, throughout the course of the song.  To get the equivalent voicing in EAEGBE tuning, one would have to fret X-2-2-2-0-2, and Guitar Shorty is the only player who played in EAEGBE tuning who recorded using that voicing of the V7 chord.

I hope this helps.  I hope you'll post the song, once you have it figured out--it's not one that many people have covered or played since Clifford Gibson recorded it.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 12:13:28 PM by Johnm »

Offline matt milton

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Re: Adventures in EAEGBE tuning
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2020, 04:24:07 AM »
I re-listened to "Ice And Snow Blues" to check as to whether the identification of it being played in Vestapol was correct, and it is.  The second note of the song is in fact a major third note played on the open third string....

Wow, many thanks John for such a detailed and helpful response. I had been playing it EAEGBE but I've switched to Vestapol. I'll post it up when I've got it down properly.

It's an odd one. Part of its oddness, to my ears, is that he starts playing considerably more solidly in the bass in the last two  verses or so, when compared to a relatively bass-free and much more elusive first couple of verses.

 


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