Corey Harris

Lesson >

Keep Your Lamp Trimmed

Post 4

In this last lesson I review the melody and talk about brushing the strings as opposed to digging in too hard.  Muting/damping techniques are also discussed.  Check out the original version by Blind Willie Johnson on youtube.  Good luck.

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Open E Tuning

Print Print Chords & Tab

loop @ 3:50 to slow practice the melody variations


loop @ 4:54 to practice the lower string melody variations


loop @ 7:58 to practice with the final run through



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Alex Barbera
Alex Barbera Mar 01, 2012

@Corey....thanks for the advice and the citation of Dexter Gordon...Actually I come from Sardegna ( Sardinia)!! :))I've never thought before about listen more carefully my native music and traspose it into guitar..the most typicall instrument we have here is called Launeddas in this video played by the master Luigi Lai...

I think even Ali farka Toure did the same reproducing the sound of ngoni on the guitar...I'm not sure about it..I remember I've heard this on one of his beatifull interviews!!!

I have to say that when I think about goin back to my roots my first thought immediately go to Africa :))

Thanks again....I will make treasure of your words :))


Corey Harris
Corey Harris Mar 01, 2012

@Alex...thanks.  Yes I think he is hammering on with the slide.  This works really good with a lap slide and high action (strings high from the neck) so that there is little fret noise.  As for getting a more personal guitar style, dig deep into your roots.  I know there is a lot of roots music native to Italy, Sicily, Sardenia...listen to some of that and adapt it to your instrument.  That will take some time but I think it will be worth it.  Then you will be doing something that has not been done before.  I remember meeting a cat in Ireland who played resonator guitar (slide) but he played mostly traditional Irish music.  Also, listen to all instruments and different styles, not just blues guitar.  I get inspiration from listening to the saxophone and I try to play lines that sound like blowing a horn instead of picking a string.  Dexter Gordon said that style is not something that you pick off a tree; style is the tree that grows inside of you.  Good luck.

Alex Barbera
Alex Barbera Mar 01, 2012 girlfriend here is saying that you're really a good teacher....she's not referring only to the tecnichal advices ;)

I didn't know he used to play lap slide!!! I was always conviced he played embracing the guitar!!! I've heard his version and I tried but I can't understand how  he is using the right seems also that his hammering a lot with the slide...I've tried, again without success :DDD, to reproduce that flavour but the result was a sound similar to a cat scratching a table!!! :ppp...I've found a very interesting guitar method named "the guitar of blind willie johnson" taught by Tom Feldmann...maybe I could add your lessons to his lesson to get better results...

I'm only worried about a thing Corey...Since I started playin' the guitar I've always tried to reproduce others song using tabs, by ear or video method...I know that this is a part of the process to become a better musician but I'd like to start developing a more personal guitar style...I'm not sayin that I don't want to study others musician anymore because this is presumptuos and would be really deleterious for me..I'd like to take care also to the other part of the story...So when I'm thinkin about creating something I find myself in front of a wall...I'm blocked..

What would you reccomend me to do to overcome this limit? 

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Feb 29, 2012

@Alex...nice song at the end.

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Feb 29, 2012

@Alex...yes I see you are making progress.  I can see that your touch is lighter and that you are brushing the strings more with your thumb.  I would only say to keep practicing and listen to the original version, the rhythm, and how the slide sounds.  Remember that he was playing lap slide so the sound will be a little different.  Also, work on isolating the string you are playing.  I can hear that the E string is also making noise when you are playing the B string (second string).  Good luck.

Alex Barbera
Alex Barbera Feb 27, 2012

@Corey....welcome back from Romania but we're still waiting for you here in Italy!!! There's always some good ingera and zighny prepared by my African Queen ready for you and Mike here in Bologna :)))

Here's my last upload....thank you so much for the explanation about palm muting...I've tried to do it your way without success so I showed you the way I do...Do you think it's good enough?

In this video I wanted also to start only with the melody so that was easier to check about any kind of mistakes adding later the bass line...In the second part I play another tune of bwj that I first heard by Eric Bibb...You're gonna need somebody on your bond..I did this not to show myself but just to thank you for this really usefull lesson...First time I've heard that tune I felt that there was something special for me in it and I wanted to learn it...I've tried to play it but at that time was pretty difficoult to get more in touch with it...after studyin keep your lamp it went easier...It's not perfect, there's still a lot of work to do, but I applied the same approach of this lesson....divide melody from bassline, keep more attention with the slide and vibrato...etc..and I get a better result in less time :))

I'm using my made in china Aria resonator guitar...I can't afford a national at the moment :DD..I avoided again thumbpick just to have that lighter touch you were talkin me about a couple of lessons ago!!!


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