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Author Topic: Guitarists who were recorded playing in only one position/tuning  (Read 2494 times)

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Online Johnm

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Guitarists who were recorded playing in only one position/tuning
« on: February 17, 2012, 12:45:11 PM »
Hi all,
Listening to Roosevelt Graves recently has made me think about country blues guitarists who were only recorded playing in one position or tuning, and made me think it might be interesting to compile a list of such players.  In order for the distinction to have any significance at all, perhaps we could limit the distinction to players who recorded more than four titles, just because it would be hard to generalize about the playing position/tuning repertoire of someone for whom there were only two recorded titles.

Just to get the ball rolling, I'll select Roosevelt Graves, whom I believe recorded only in Spanish tuning.  Any other such players out there?  Please only name one or two at a time to allow more folks to participate, and name the tuning/position the player used.

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: April 10, 2012, 04:07:02 PM by Johnm »

Offline blueshome

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Re: Guitarists who were recorded playing in only one position/tuning
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 01:51:25 PM »
Big Joe Williams - Spanish
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 01:52:42 PM by blueshome »

Offline blueshome

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Re: Guitarists who were recorded playing in only one position/tuning
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2012, 01:53:34 PM »
Buddy Boy Hawkins - Spanish

Offline unezrider

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Re: Guitarists who were recorded playing in only one position/tuning
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2012, 01:55:03 PM »
hello friend,
not exactly 100% in one key or tuning. but maybelle carter really liked the C position in standard tuning.
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Offline banjochris

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Re: Guitarists who were recorded playing in only one position/tuning
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2012, 02:19:53 PM »
Are all of Charlie Hicks' pieces in Spanish; likewise Willie Baker? I know Barbecue Bob recorded at least one tune in out-of-tune standard C position, but all the rest of his are Spanish as well, yes?

By the way -- I also remember reading somewhere about Big Joe Williams occasionally playing slide in some kind of weird high-bass Spanish variant; was that recorded at all (not that it really counts as different, I don't think, but I'd be interested to hear it).
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 02:21:28 PM by banjochris »

Online Johnm

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Re: Guitarists who were recorded playing in only one position/tuning
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2012, 02:27:23 PM »
Charley Hicks/Lincoln had only "Mama Don't Rush Me" in Vestapol, otherwise everything was in Spanish, out of 12 titles.
While Maybelle Carter certainly played the preponderance of her repertoire out of C, she also played a fair number out of F position, and early on, a couple out of G, as well as some Hawaiian guitar numbers.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Guitarists who were recorded playing in only one position/tuning
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2012, 02:27:48 AM »
Quote
By the way -- I also remember reading somewhere about Big Joe Williams occasionally playing slide in some kind of weird high-bass Spanish variant; was that recorded at all (not that it really counts as different, I don't think, but I'd be interested to hear it)./quote]

Chris - the variant I saw him do regularly was to detune the sixth string to B. I asked him about this tuning and he grudgingly (and mendaciously) replied 'E'. He wasn't about to share his secrets readily! He then went on his break and I took the liberty of strumming the chord on the guitar to determine what he'd lowered the 6th string to. That was in about 1972 in Frankfurt.

Online Johnm

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Re: Guitarists who were recorded playing in only one position/tuning
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2012, 08:21:27 AM »
Hi all,
I believe everything recorded by Connie Williams was played out of Vestapol.  And I'm glad it was, given the way he played in Vestapol!
All best,
Johnm

Offline unezrider

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Re: Guitarists who were recorded playing in only one position/tuning
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2012, 01:45:01 PM »
thanks for the maybelle info, john. i didn't realize she played any tunes out of the F position. not exactly an easy position to play out of.  :)
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Online Johnm

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Re: Guitarists who were recorded playing in only one position/tuning
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2012, 07:41:37 AM »
Hi all,
I believe that everything Doug Quattlebaum recorded was played out of Vestapol.
All best,
Johnm

Offline frankie

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Re: Guitarists who were recorded playing in only one position/tuning
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2012, 09:35:30 AM »
I know Barbecue Bob recorded at least one tune in out-of-tune standard C position, but all the rest of his are Spanish as well, yes?

I remember California Blues being in std tuning, A position...  Atlanta Moan is in vestapol...  I think there are a couple of other examples, but you're right about the preponderance being in spanish.

By the way -- I also remember reading somewhere about Big Joe Williams occasionally playing slide in some kind of weird high-bass Spanish variant; was that recorded at all (not that it really counts as different, I don't think, but I'd be interested to hear it).

I think he occasionally tuned the 6th string down to B and I know I've heard at least one recording of it, but I can't think of the album or song title... mebbe later...

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Guitarists who were recorded playing in only one position/tuning
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2012, 10:57:00 AM »
...and here seems to be Big Joe playing a regular A7 chord on a 6 string electric!

Online Johnm

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Re: Guitarists who were recorded playing in only one position/tuning
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2012, 11:26:29 AM »
Aw man, he's messing with us!

Offline blueshome

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Re: Guitarists who were recorded playing in only one position/tuning
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2012, 11:31:11 AM »
Or maybe he's not fretting at the 3rd fret and is just about to make his regular slide 2-3 on the top strings....

Online Johnm

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Re: Guitarists who were recorded playing in only one position/tuning
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2012, 07:59:36 AM »
Hi all,
I believe all of Guitar Shorty's music on his recordings was played out of the EAEGBE tuning.
All best,
Johnm

 


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