Okay, I've redone my video of this one. I tried to address some of the shortcomings of the first rendition. Anyway, it was a lot of fun to do. Please, let me know what you think of the playing, as well as any technical comments on the video or the audio recording.
Thanks, TommyD. It sounds like you're enjoying the sound of this book, too, and are farther into it than I am. I'll try to keep some recordings coming. I really like this format where you get the rhythm part and the lead - this approach seems to help me "put it all together". I wish there were more than one chorus for these songs. I guess you can try some improvisations on them... Thanks for the feedback!
I agree. I really enjoy the tunes and would enjoy longer versions. Ahead in the book is a set of three studies called "Saying it Three Ways" which is a bit longer. The original melody is played a second time in octaves, and then again using chords. I'm looking forward to it. That may be the way to make the earlier melodies from the book a bit longer. I'm not sure I have the skills set to accomplish that, but it sure can't hurt to try.
How are you approaching these? Do you try to get down the rhythm part first, then learn the lead part? or do you try to learn both at once? or maybe the lead first? I wonder if JohnG has any recommendations in this regard? On "Old Time Blues" I had recorded myself playing the rhythm part thru about 5 times, then played the lead part over it again and again (leaving off the ending until the final chorus), or I might play the lead once, noodle on it the second chorus, then play the lead again, etc.
I guess I go through the rhythm first and then tackle the melody. I should spend much more time on the rhythm, but I just can't wait to get to the melody. When I get through the book I'll go back and do it again and spend more time on the rhythm sections. Sometimes I can't get my old fingers to bend as much as some of those jazz chords require, and that makes me skip along to the melody that much faster. I know I should be getting all those chords nailed before moving along, but this is supposed to be fun! I do go back over all the melodies in the book at least once a week. I enjoy playing the melodies and I also don't want to loose them after just learning them.
That's a great idea about recording the rhythm portion several times through. I may have to give that a try. We (my son and I) have a few amps. One of them is a Line Six Spider Jam. It has all sorts of backing tracks installed so you can jam by yourself. My son uses it a lot. I may need to figure out how to use it.
Don't know how you're fingering a lot of those chords (I'm assuming especially the 13th's). I'm not that far in to the book, but I've already seen in the first three or four lessons that using your thumb over the top (and fretting the low E string with the thumb) is the way to go. If you look at the two videos of "Old Time Blues", I switched from fretting low E string with index finger to fretting it with the thumb from the first video to the second. It also helps a lot to transpose them up a step or so - the stretches aren't quite so drastic - try the chords for Blues For Charlie (Lesson 3 -written in G), then play it in A or Bb. I'd love to hear JohnG weigh in on this, too (thumb over the top versus "classical" style).
I'm not totally familiar with the Spider Jam (though my amp is a Spider IV). Can you input your own backing tracks into the Spider Jam? If so, what form do they have to be in (mp3 files, wav files, MIDI files, etc.)? I'd be happy to share any I have or make if you'd like.
I do use my thumb on the low E on many of the chords. But I have trouble fingering some of the chords. I work around it though. The Spider Jam amp comes with many backing tracks in many genres. It's fun to use for improvisation. My son mostly uses it. I'm not that versed in its capabilities and if you can add your own tracks. I believe you can, but I'm not certain. There might be information about it on line at the Line Six web site.
Thank you for the offer of your files. If it can be installed on the Spider Jam I'll take you up on that offer!
I just got around to watching your video. Man, the video and audio quality are impressive. My recordings always sound harsh and thin to me. I have to learn how to fine tune things with Reaper.
As far as your playing goes - I think it sounds very good. I don't have any constructive criticism at all. I really like the tones your getting, especially from the SX - definitely a good cool Jazz sound.
My interest in Jazz is growing. I think as soon as I get through BYCU and More BYCU I'm going to jump into Jazzin' the Blues. That, of course, is if I live that long.
Post by blackcountrymick on Jun 17, 2014 17:37:40 GMT -6
Hey Bruce, first of all thanks for posting your take on "old times blues" (twice), I really enjoyed watching those. At the moment I am working on getting "Rockin' and Rollin'" up to full tempo, I guess its going to be all about practice, practice and yet more practice. Anyway, I needed a break, and inspired by your vids, I thought I would pick up on Old Time Blues, (I have had the book for about 2 years now and have only ever listened to the CD!!). I noticed on your 2nd take you used your thumb to fret the 6th string, I can just about wrap my thumb around to do this but no way can I stretch far enough to mute the 5th string. Would you say I should persevere and try to make the extra stretch to make the mute or maybe even this is not the right technique for muting the 5th string (my hands are not so flexible as they used to be - they are nearly 60 years old). How do you mute the 5th string? I can fret the chord shape the "classical" way but it just does not seem as stable moving up and down the fretboard as the thumb over shape does, but I can mute the 1st and 5th strings as required. Any thoughts?
Post by bluesbruce on Jun 17, 2014 18:55:59 GMT -6
Thanks for your comments. The first of these videos was the first video I ever made, and I saw LOTS of things I thought I could improve or correct (the guitar playing amongst them). But in continuing to play around with this rhythm part, I came to the conclusion that it was much easier to fret this with the thumb over the top technique. But then, my hands are pretty big and only a youthful 53 years old! As you move onward in JTB, some of the rhythm parts jump around from 7ths and 9ths and 13ths (look at Cool Shade, Jazzin the Blues, Rising Blues). I think these would be really hard to play the "classical" way. I had to pick up the guitar and see how I mute the 5th string, and yes, I do it with the thumb over the top. "Thumb over the top" was definitely NOT part of my repertoire, but now that I've developed it, I wouldn't attempt to play these otherwise. So I guess I'd encourage you to persevere and develop this technique. I don't know if anyone else on the forum has taken on these rhythm parts - I think TommyD has just done the leads, but maybe he's played some of the rhythm parts and can weigh in with his 2 cents worth. Anybody else on the forum have any input into this? Jack1982? I'd love to hear what John G has to say about it. If you look at some of my other videos, you'll see the thumb over the top has persisted with me.
Last Edit: Jun 17, 2014 18:57:12 GMT -6 by bluesbruce: bad punctuation
Hi Bruce and Mick. I do play the rhythm parts as well, I just haven't gotten around to recording those parts. I find it helpful to work on the rhythm of the tune first before learning the lead. Besides, that's how it's presented in the book!
When I fret the 6th string with my thumb I try to mute the A string with my thumb as well. However, sometimes it's easier if I mute the A string by using the finger fretting the D string. I'll slide that finger over just a bit to mute the A string. I can manage most of the chords with my 56 year old fingers, but some of them are a bit tricky for me because my fingers aren't used to creating the needed shapes. But I'm getting there!
Post by blackcountrymick on Jun 18, 2014 4:03:42 GMT -6
Thanks Bruce and Tommy for your valuable feedback, It certainly looks like the thumb over method is something I'm going to find very useful as I progress through John's books. Looks like I'm going to be needing "finger joint lube" as well as "muscle memory", this guitar playing lark is going to cost me a fortune .
Very nice job on that Bruce! Love the way you adjust your sunglasses at the beginning, you are so cool
I use my thumb to fret the low note on those chords as well, and mute the A string with it too. John mentions it on page 17 of the book. I tried it the other way but got a lot of fret buzz when releasing the chord; would have taken more practice to correct that but using my thumb everything falls naturally into place. I know there are some guitar teachers who would rap you across the knuckles with a ruler for doing it that way, but that's one of the nice things about learning by yourself.
I'm still having problems feeling that #3 beat where the second chord always falls, probably because it's shifted in time a bit due to the swing feel. Kind of sounds like it's hanging out in the middle of nowhere. But I'm starting to get the feel for it, just takes some time.
I like your guys' idea about adding extra choruses and making up your own lead parts for them, it would be a great exercise in applying this chord-scale stuff.
I'm worse at what I do best And for this gift I feel blessed Our little group has always been And always will until the end