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SoundGround >> So, am I a blues man yet?


6/16/09 11:46 AM
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whaledog
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Edited: 06/16/09 11:46 AM
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Critique my guitar playing.

I've been learning fingerstyle blues for a few months now. This is Mississippi John Hurt's 'Spike Driver Blues.'

The song is simple, it's all based around a 'G' chord. But most people I've seen play it on youtube did not come close to capturing the groove of the original. I'm not quite there yet, but here's my try.



So you can compare, here's the original:

 
6/16/09 2:23 PM
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Hillbilly
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Sounds good but where are the vocals? ;)
6/16/09 3:08 PM
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whaledog
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Edited: 06/16/09 3:10 PM
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Believe me, you don't want to hear me sing. If you know any singers, I'd be happy to add one to a complete version of the song. :)
 
6/17/09 8:42 AM
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sreiter
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Edited: 06/17/09 8:47 AM
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unmistakable john hurt - so i guess ur doing it right i play a few MJH tunes - all very easy - but he just had a a certain smoothness - like glass to his playingmost polished blues finger style guy there was IMOif ur really looking for Critique my guitar playing - you made a few mistakes, but good over allafter playing some tunes for 30 years, i make mistakes too - like weak dull/dead pull offs, not fretting hard enough etc. - same stuff as u - GREAT for a few months
6/17/09 11:55 AM
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whaledog
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Edited: 06/17/09 11:58 AM
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sreiter - unmistakable john hurt - so i guess ur doing it right i play a few MJH tunes - all very easy - but he just had a a certain smoothness - like glass to his playingmost polished blues finger style guy there was IMOif ur really looking for Critique my guitar playing - you made a few mistakes, but good over allafter playing some tunes for 30 years, i make mistakes too - like weak dull/dead pull offs, not fretting hard enough etc. - same stuff as u - GREAT for a few months

Thanks for the comment.

I could definitely play it cleaner/tighter.  For example, in two different parts of the song  I skipped playing a bass note, which made things sound a little uneven.  (I never realized I was doing that until I saw the video).  I also had issues with my fingernails hitting the strings differently.   A few times they got caught on the strings, which messed up timing and tone.

My main goal when recording was to make the song swing and have a good groove.  But I think it'll sound much better when I add some tighter playing to go along with it.

Any other tips would be appreciated, btw. 
6/17/09 9:18 PM
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sreiter
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the things u heard are the same ones i heard - but it GREAT for a few months

i like the way skin sounds on the strings/not nails - so mine are short - if u use nails angle ur hand so the nail strikes the string on the edge - its a better tone

im gonna start lap steel, i wish i had gotten used to finger picks way back them - something u might want to do now instead of later
6/17/09 10:53 PM
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Hillbilly
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oooh I want a lap steel also! I use a thumb pick on guitar, but don`t like fingerpicks. I can use finger picks on the banjo,square-neck Dobro and the times I`ve had lap steels. My last one was a Fender 10 string with 3 legs. It was a 1950`s model, seafoam green and had tele pickups. What a cool rig. Of course I traded it off..don`t even remember for what.
6/17/09 11:18 PM
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sreiter
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Edited: 06/17/09 11:38 PM
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i picked up a gold tone for dirt cheap at the namm show -same one that Gary Morse plays

i emailed him a few times - super nice guy the only time i played lap dobro was when i was jamming with my ex's Dads blue grass band (flatt creek something or other ..been a long time) and i used bare fingers

always played spanish style, and used a pick most of the times, unless i was playing country blues (blind willie johnson, etc) then I just played with fingers

i got a cool set of finger picks - i use complete plastic for thumb - dont like any metal on thumb, and the finger ones have holes cut out at the pad of fingers so you get a little metal, like a finger nail worth, and the rest is skin - makes the transition easier because the metal isnt slipping off the string
6/17/09 11:40 PM
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sreiter
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Hillbilly - oooh I want a lap steel also! I use a thumb pick on guitar, but don`t like fingerpicks. I can use finger picks on the banjo,square-neck Dobro and the times I`ve had lap steels. My last one was a Fender 10 string with 3 legs. It was a 1950`s model, seafoam green and had tele pickups. What a cool rig. Of course I traded it off..don`t even remember for what.


was it that "mother of toilet seat" material most had back then ?
6/18/09 8:44 AM
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Hillbilly
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Yep. What a tone that thing had.
6/18/09 10:10 AM
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whaledog
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sreiter - the things u heard are the same ones i heard - but it GREAT for a few months

i like the way skin sounds on the strings/not nails - so mine are short - if u use nails angle ur hand so the nail strikes the string on the edge - its a better tone

im gonna start lap steel, i wish i had gotten used to finger picks way back them - something u might want to do now instead of later

By coincidence, I cut my nails last night to experiment playing without them.  Now, I can't get a good tone at all. 

How do you make a decent sound without hitting the nail?
 
6/18/09 11:27 AM
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sreiter
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Hillbilly - Yep. What a tone that thing had.


some of the best ones i heard were made of that lucite/whatever - so weird it has good tone but they do -

even the org frying pan from rick was plastic iirc
6/18/09 11:35 AM
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sreiter
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whaledog - 
sreiter - the things u heard are the same ones i heard - but it GREAT for a few months

i like the way skin sounds on the strings/not nails - so mine are short - if u use nails angle ur hand so the nail strikes the string on the edge - its a better tone

im gonna start lap steel, i wish i had gotten used to finger picks way back them - something u might want to do now instead of later

By coincidence, I cut my nails last night to experiment playing without them.  Now, I can't get a good tone at all. 

How do you make a decent sound without hitting the nail?
 



skin tone is a tone in and of itself

obviously the country blues players who did use thumb picks, or even those who did got tone,

as do guys like leo kottke, etc, all the elec players like albert king, toy cadwell, etc -

you just might be use to the less organic sound of skin -

i'm pretty packed up, but i'll see if i can do a quick "stack o' lee blues" on my acoustic, or electric (all i been playing for the last few years and post it -

the actual guitar makes a difference too

i get better tone on a martin, or blue ridge or goodall, then i do on a taylor, etc

but that makes sense. there are certain woods that are more conducive - so skin tone
6/18/09 2:41 PM
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DasBeaver
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Great tune, sounds pretty good whaledog, coulda done without the visuals though.
*barf*
I've been mutilating MJH's Frankie and Johnny lately.

"skin tone is a tone in and of itself"

Once you're fingertips get used to being abused you can really add some punch and begin to control your tone better. I personally hate having long nails. I also kinda stink.
6/18/09 2:45 PM
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DasBeaver
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You're not quite a bluesman yet according to JCMcGee
6/18/09 2:55 PM
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tourist
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yall's a blues man

you should look into some Mance Lipscomb - he plays a monotonic bass style that sounds hard driving, but is technically very similar

And you gots to get into the Lightnin' Hopkins stuff in E.
6/18/09 3:32 PM
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whaledog
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tourist - yall's a blues man

you should look into some Mance Lipscomb - he plays a monotonic bass style that sounds hard driving, but is technically very similar

And you gots to get into the Lightnin' Hopkins stuff in E.

Thanks. 

I taught myself Mance's "I Want To Do Something For You" and I'm in the process of learning "Come Back Baby"  in his style.  I'm definitely hip to Mance.
6/18/09 3:33 PM
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whaledog
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DasBeaver - 

You're not quite a bluesman yet according to JCMcGee
Damn.  Gotta keep strivin - it'll be a fight between the blues and my wife for the beard.

If being a blues man was easy, I guess I wouldn't have the blues.
     
6/21/09 11:18 AM
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Hillbilly
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I love Mance! Here is my version of come back baby recorded about 5-6 years ago..

http://www.myspace.com/ragtimered
6/22/09 11:42 AM
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whaledog
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Hillbilly - I love Mance! Here is my version of come back baby recorded about 5-6 years ago..

http://www.myspace.com/ragtimered

That was great!  I'm just getting to the point where I can make it sound like a song.  It'll be a while before I make it sound nice like that.

What kind of setup did you use for Walkin Blues?  It sounded like there might have been some kind of effect. 
6/22/09 2:51 PM
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sreiter
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Hillbilly - I love Mance! Here is my version of come back baby recorded about 5-6 years ago..

http://www.myspace.com/ragtimered



nice - i cant play that nearly as well - i play it the same way, but without the accents
6/22/09 2:57 PM
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sreiter
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just fyi

"Him and his brother Jerry toured the country as the Jones Brothers playing festivals, clubs, house concerts etc over a 15 year period."

i think that should read "He and his......."

i see alvin hart is a "friend" - his pony boy blues is the best version - better then charlie pattons
6/22/09 3:19 PM
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whaledog
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Edited: 06/22/09 3:36 PM
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sreiter - 
Hillbilly - I love Mance! Here is my version of come back baby recorded about 5-6 years ago..

http://www.myspace.com/ragtimered



nice - i cant play that nearly as well - i play it the same way, but without the accents
I'm learning a slightly different version.  Droning bass and melody line to match the vocal (more or less).  It's in the neighborhood of Hillbilly's instrumental break, but less fancy with a simple droning bass.  When I get it down a bit better I'll try recording it.
     
6/22/09 3:49 PM
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sreiter
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the version i learned was from stefan grossman during a lesson i had with him, but its the same as you can find in his books/vids

it doesnt have as many bass notes as HB's, and there are a few less notes -

i've been lpaying electric exclusively for the past 2-3 years, so i'm not as sharp - but i'll record a few tunes and throw them on soundclick - well i'll record a verse or two
6/22/09 3:51 PM
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sreiter
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btw - on jorma's fur peace ranch, theres a link to his on line vid lessons


theres usually one free lesson

best on line lesson bar none

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