Corey Harris

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Special Rider Blues


Vocal Riff & V Chord

Corey Harris Lesson >

Special Rider Blues > Vocal Riff & V Chord

In this second lesson I review some of the essential licks from lesson one. I also discuss how to start with a basic riff and add some embellishments that are not in the original. I started doing these extra riffs after sending time playing with Ali Farka Toure. He liked Skip James music very much and the first time he heard it he said he thought it came from Mali. Anyway, please pay close attention to he parts where I slow down the riff.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Thanks.

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Delta Blues
Corey Harris
Skip James
Open E Minor Tuning
Special Rider Blues

Print Print Chords & Tab

Special Rider Blues background listening: Skip James

loop @ 0:43 open E minor tuning (E A E G A E)

loop @ 1:12 ending line feedback

loop @ 2:58 vocal part overview

loop @ 4:02 breakdown of 1st vocal riff

$4.5.$1.5 $1.5 $1.5 $4.5.$1.5 $1.5 $1.5 $4.5.$1.5 $1.5 $1.5 $1.3/5 $5.0 | $6.0 $4.3.$1.3 $4.0.$1.0 $4.3.$1.3 $1.3 $4./5.$1./5 $2.3^ | $5.0

loop @ 4:26 breakdown of 2nd vocal riff

$5.0.$2.0 $5.3.$2.3 $4.0.$1.0 | $4.5.$1.5 $1.5 $1.5 $4.5.$1.5 $1.5 $1.5 $4.5.$1.5 $1.5 $1.5 $4.5.$1.5 $4.7.$1.7 | $6.7.$1.8 $4.7.$1.7 $4.5.$1.5 $4.0.$1.0 $4.3.$1.3 $1.3 $4./5.$1./5 $2.3^ | $5.0

loop @ 6:50 breakdown of V chord riff

$2.0 $2.3 $2.5 $2.6 $1.0 | $1.3^v $4.0 $1.0 $6.0 $4./5.$1./5 $4.0.$1.0 | $4.3.$1.3 $2.3^ $2.0.$1.0 $2.3^ | $6.0 $5.2 $5.5 $4.0 $4.3 $4.0 $5.3^ |
$5.0 $2.3^ $2.0.$1.0 $6.3

loop @ 7:06 2nd vocal riff and V chord riff together

loop @ 7:54 variations on basic riff

loop @ 10:51 closing thoughts

 

Comments

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Alex Barbera
Alex Barbera Mar 09, 2013

@Corey...grazie!!! I wait for the next lesson then and keep on work on this tune....I was takin a look also to Cherry Ball...they have something in common....In the next open mic I'll post my version!!! :)

Peter Wolf
Peter Wolf Mar 08, 2013

Thanks Corey,

Music theory aside, am I singing over the correct riffs in my video?

I am basically singing over A for two measures, and playing E for two measures, finally I sing over the first two measures of the four measure turnaround riff.

I think it's right, because that's what I hear when I listen to you and Skip.  It also feels right when I do it.

Also, I feel that I am missing something important in the E riff.  Mine seems almost like a march, and yours dances.

Thank you for the great lesson

P

 

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Mar 08, 2013

@Dave...just read your comment...didn't see it at first when I responded.  I think of the tuning as open Em but using the A as the one (I call this playing in the fourth position).

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Mar 08, 2013

@Peter Wolf...No this is different from .44 blues.  Special rider starts on the 1 (A7) and then resolves to the 5 (E7).  It really doesn't go to the fou at all, though it is implied in the melody line.  The bass is a steady 1 to 5 movement.  So I think of the singing as happening over the 1 and the 5.  Does that help?

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Mar 08, 2013

@Alex...I can show you in the last lesson how to do the chokes.  Your tempo here is good and you sound relaxed in your approach.  Nice job.

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Mar 08, 2013

@Dave...thanks for posting.  It  looks like you got the form down pretty good, just pay closer attention to the turn-around. I think you are playing the song too fast and it might help you also to lighten your touch on the strings.  Nice work and thanks.

Dave-ja -voo
Dave-ja -voo Mar 07, 2013

Hi Correy ,hope this finds you well,

        This what I've sort of got so far, just few questions the tuning is that really Em or is it open A7 I know the tune is in A  but the tuning also the Tab for the V riff on the 2nd string its tabed 0 3 5 6 is that right or is it 0 3 4 5 and last of all I don't  think Ive got the end of the V riff down I cant seem to make it fit with (for lack of better words)the turn around,

I would also like to say sorry for not singing but you would have to trust me when I say nobody wants to hear that and the speed as that was the first for me recording myself and was nerves cheers for all your great work it is very very much appreciated Cheers Dave

Dave-ja -voo
Dave-ja -voo Mar 07, 2013

Peter Wolf
Peter Wolf Mar 07, 2013

Wasn't really singing... more like talking-in-time ;-)

Better next week (hopefully)

Alex Barbera
Alex Barbera Mar 07, 2013

@Peter....nice job...I like the timber of your voice! :)

Peter Wolf
Peter Wolf Mar 06, 2013

Hi Corey,

I am working matching the notes to the words.  I am trying to keep the beat going while singing, and playing stripped down versions of the notes you show.  I am trying to understand the basic song before going into any variations.

I appologize for my lack of singing.  I am still concentrating too hard on playing and singing at the same time.

Alex Barbera
Alex Barbera Mar 03, 2013

@Peter....

for this verse...

V                                             I...
I ain't got nobody To love and feel my care

after "love and feel my care"  you do that conclusive part that corey does sometimes in the I and II string or one octave lower on the 5 and 6th string...

As far as I understood in this tune the voice really is connected note by note with the guitar..It's like the guitar is speaking...So if you try to do it real slow matching every single word note by note with the guitar you realize that if you're doing wrong it shouldn't sound properly. As Corey was sayin dissect each part in even small pieces and try to match them. This is the way I do...

Said that I'm writing you this things just like a student talkin with his class mate...but the teacher, maestro here is Corey..I think it works like this but take my words with the benefit of the doubt..:)

Peter Wolf
Peter Wolf Mar 02, 2013

Thanks Alex,

I'm trying to learn to sing the song while I play.  I am figuring out when to play each riff

I am calling the "main riff" I

$5.0 $2.3^ $2.0 $6.3 $2.0 $2./5 |

The "singing riff" IV

$5.0h3.$2.0h3 $4.0.$1.0 $4./5.$1./5 $4.5.$1.5 $1.5 $1.5 $4.5.$1.5 $1.5 $1.5 $4.5.$1.5 $5.0 | $6.0 $4.0.$1.0 $4.3.$1.3 $4.0.$1.0 $4.3.$1.3 $4./5.$1./5 $2.3^ |

And this is V

$2.0 $2.3 $2.5 $2.6 $1.0 | $1.3^v $4.0 $1.0 $6.0 $4./5.$1./5 $4.0.$1.0 | $4.3.$1.3 $2.3^ $2.0.$1.0 $2.3^ | $6.0 $5.2 $5.5 $4.0 $4.3 $4.0 $5.3^ |

From listening to Corey and Skip, I'm pretty sure the verses go like this

IV                                            I...
I ain't got no, special rider here

IV                                            I...
I ain't got no, special rider here

V                                             I...
I ain't got nobody To love and feel my care

and then between verses, they improvise on I.

Is this correct?

 

Alex Barbera
Alex Barbera Mar 02, 2013

@Peter..I'd really like to be helpfull but I'm totally ignorant in musical theory and related lessic...I just rely on my ear..I should study more of this stuff :))

Peter Wolf
Peter Wolf Mar 02, 2013

Hi, this is is for Corey, Alex or anyone else who knows Special Rider

I have a quick question on form:

Is this song like 44 Blues where the intro is

I I I I 

and each verse is

IV IV I I

IV IV I I

V IV I I

where the riff is I and one sings over IV IV and V IV?

Thanks

P

Alex Barbera
Alex Barbera Mar 02, 2013

@Corey...I slowed it down I think..that variations are still difficoult for me...The matter is not only how to do them, but I think make them not too much repetitive...I'm tryin to find a kind of main variations pattern :D

.I've got a request if possible...would you show us how to do properly that chokes? They're crucial in gettin the sound of this tune...I don't know..maybe even some kind of exercise...I remember Gordon about these chockes, advisin me not to move the fingers too far from the neck as the consequence should be loose precious time...that was really usefull..

Thanks for the lesson...no worries for the delays..Fortunately last 2 weeks you have been very busy in spreading the word in South America..

 
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