The baby boomer generation came of age in the Clapton is God era. The guitar was a source of power in those days. Guitar players earned high status with their musical powers. I’ll paraphrase a dear friend of mine who qualifies it best: it was some time in the 70’s (I believe) where Clapton was playing a show with other acts and he refused to go on or leave till someone paid him $10k. Before that, musicians made the least amount of money in the business of live music entertainment. Now, and because of this, major acts could/would get paid. Remember The Stones couldn’t even pay their taxes and fled to France–Exile on Main St.
There was now proof that you could be a money-making guitar player, not just a guitar player.
I say all this because the baby boomer generation really seeks out and needs a ‘Guitar God.’ All along their path they’ve had one, or more. I’m not a huge fan of Joe’s musically leanings and tendencies, but I can respect his work ethic and apparent drive. However, he was also lucky–a very necessary component to monetary success, especially in the music/entertainment business–lucky that someone wanted to take a chance on a young kid who could be the next ‘guitar god’. Has he lived up to that role, opportunity?
To me, and this is just my opinion, he reminds me of Gary Moore in that he became the guitar god he always wanted to be and nobody cares.
Sure his records get pressed in the thousands and get distributed world wide which translates to some radio play, but it almost feels like it’s part of an elitist system–one that is designed to keep him successful, or rather from failing. As if there is too much invested in him to accept the possibility of him not being successful.
Ever heard of Jeff Ross? A world class guitar player.
What’s Paul Size up to? He recorded with Mick Jagger.
What defines financial success in the music business? I don’t know because I don’t make a living in that field, but I think luck appears to play a very significant role–which is not to say that those who don’t find financial success are considered unlucky, just that luck is as elusive as it is funded (someone backed (money-wise) Joe when he/she/they took a chance on him).
Remember, the business of financial gains is different than craft of musicianship.
Thanks for the heads up. That is definitely a great site. It went down just when I was really starting to sink my teeth into CC. Definitely gonna get the printer going in case it goes down again.
I too use 1.5mm and thicker picks. The advantage to how I see it is since the pick doesn’t flex at all there is more control. The pick is always where you need it since it’s not flexing and bending around the strings.
One thing I notice is at low volume playing the Tone Tubby loaded cab sounds thick and warm and really good, and the Jensen is a little too bright. However, Hearing Tommy live, the Tone Tubby just gets louder with that thick warm tone–not bad, but ends up being a little dark. The Jensen, while really bright at low volume, begins to thicken up and compress as it gets louder. The brightness kind of compresses down and at it really sits perfect in the mix of live playing. Almost sounding similar to how the Tone Tubby sounds at low volume.
Can’t comment on the quilter, but Jr often used a volume pedal to boost volume on his solos. Pretty sure he got the idea from steel players. He also had two pickups on his guitar and ran two chords into his amp. I don’t know what it is, but there is a slight change in amp gain (lower) when two guitars are plugged into it at the same time–at least for those old tweeds. (I’ve experienced it at Tommys house through his bandmaster and his pro.)
So Jr was quite unique: volume pedal, two pickups (DeArmond and lap steel) individually plugged into the same amp.
There is also some phase thing going on with those old amps. Tommy can talk about that more, but somehow on the moonshine amp the phase of the guitar changes when both inputs are being used.
Of course you here Jr play with an out of phase tone, but I’m now uncertain what was the cause of that: the two pickups, or the two pickups into both channels of the same amp causing the amp to be out of phase with the guitar.
How you can think of that E structured chord moved a whole step back is that it can function as a dominant chord–9th in this case. And that came straight from Tommy. It’s not a Ab subbing for Bb, it’s just a 9th (dominant) voicing of Bb.
Check this out:
E structure Whole step back has an 11, 7, 9.
No, It’s a II-V-I in AABA format. The II-V are split measure and the I is a full measure, so each II-V-I is 2 bars long. Essentially doing that 4 times to make 8 bars (one A section)–then do it again for two A sections (AABA).
In Eb: || F Bb7 | Eb7 | F Bb7 | Eb7 | F Bb7 | Eb7 | F Bb7 | Eb7 ||
The Bridge modulates to the 4th so in Eb (Tommy’s backing track and my video):
| Ab | Adim | Bbminor | Eb7 | Ab | Adim | Eb7 Cminor | F7 Bb7 |
The Charlie Christian/Benny Goodman version is in F so you’ll have to transpose it up a whole step if you play along with the recording.
Interesting that you bring up Flying home because during soloing I just treat the A sections as Eb the whole time, with the exception including a five chord just to create tension/resolve (sort of I-V ideas). Which is similar to attacking the essentially 16 straight bars of Eb in Flying home before it goes to the bridge.
As I approach this kind of playing, and after I have the chords of the song committed to memory, I simply see the chord at hand and how long I’m on it and essentially just counts measures or beats in my head and simply play the chords for the appropriate time. This is a major work in progress for me and I loose my place in songs all the time, but I feel that I have stripped out a lot of thinking during my playing, which was always constricting me from playing what I wanted. Now that I can move through these CAGED shapes I simply need to create ideas within them. The place for that, for me, is in connecting the chord changes. As long as I am keeping time and accurately counting the measures in my head (and know that song very, very well) I can connect the CAGED shapes through a chord progression. And that doesn’t mean I can do it musically or with any significant interests, but it’s a start.
Trying to think augmented does get confusing, but less so if you treat it as a ‘targeted color tone’ built from one of the CAGED chord shapes–then it’s no different than trying to find your dom7, or tonic, or major 3rd. Knowing how and when to apply them is then what you’re thinking about, which is no different than knowing how and when to apply any color tone.
Paul Pigat said in his clinic with Tommy that you can approach augment tones as just creating more tension for your resolve. The further you stretch an idea or more augmented you make the tones the more you create a need for resolve–more pull towards that resolve. It can get ambiguous, but if you just treat the augmented colors like any other color that wants to force a resolve, then you can strip out some of the thinking that goes into playing these types of things.
I also think that it is important to not approach this ‘caged’ system like folks approach scales (at least for this type of music)–as in a neat packaged “system”. The CAGED system as we know it is sort of a modern method approach. Rather than trying to process this as a system (which in my opinion bogs down ones playing because you’re imposing a set of rules and thus limits to the system) I think just pulling the chord shapes from the system and using them as anchor points over the entire guitar neck and then apply/approach songs by their chord progression and melody.
If you limit your chords to only those of the CAGED system (and basic major, minor and Dom7’s), but can find all the different inversions all over the neck in any given key then you can apply these different shapes to the tunes you’re working on. It is your choice which inversions to use and whether or not to use them efficiently–meaning: take Bb at the 6th fret, the next chord in the chord progression, will you choose to find an inversion near the 6th fret to maintain a similar guitar timbre, or will you choose an inversion in another area of the neck? Then the next chord, which will you choose?
Sometimes you might like to find inversions that neatly descend, or ascend or simply stay in a 3-4 fret range for a whole song.
I also find it extremely useful to practice connecting each of the chord shapes in one key; finding the notes that link the chords together. Essentially making any given key have 5 anchor points over they entire neck of the guitar. From here a chord progression essentially becomes a ‘plug and play’ approach to the tunes you’re working on. Obviously easier said than done, but that is why music is a life’s work.
Knowing all the shapes and freely playing and connecting them will open up to you any altered tone you desire–grabbing a flat 5 or raised 9 ect. will be within reach as you have opened up the specific shape by connecting them–the in between notes so to speak.
For altered chord shapes I think it’s easier to simply apply the alteration to a chord shape you already know. Take a C structured chord shape and then just find the alteration you’re looking for; flat 9, raised 5 etc., just apply the alterations to a known chord shape.
If there is an alreration that you use a lot and you’re looking to simplify it, just figure out a fingering that is moveable.
Sounds like Barnes to me.
It is true. When he moved to Chicago he hooked up with Big Bill Broonzy and I believe there may be some recordings of that. They at least played together. And some of Barnes’ first recordings were with Big Bill, and I believe Barnes is credited on some of these Gillum recordings.
Check out Jazz Gillum Complete recorded works Vol. 1 (1936-38) put out by Document.
That is a ’49 Epiphone Zenith.
Here’s one more in the same key (Eb), but this is the blues backing track from Tommy. Let’s hear from some others…