Fun cool tune to learn and play but time to move on to the next one to see what happens.
I wish someone would drop a comment before me every once in awhile but in this case I couldn't help myself (again) because my face almost broke from the smile when I saw this lesson. When that record came out (Avalon) I literally listened to this 10 times a day ha ha. Love it dude ... I'm old but I'm not dead and this rocks and probably means Under the Double Eagle gets a little less work.
Haha! I was about to comment the joy I felt when I saw that Chris had posted "Mean mother blues"! :D I guess I just chickened out before falling asleep with a smile on my face thinking "can't wait untill tomorrow, waking up, make a cup of coffee and watch this lesson!" Next time I'll try to post before you, Kip! ;)
Have a great day! :)
This has been such a great lesson and a lot of fun for the whole family as they watch me still trying to master the Norman Blake "mechanism". The going is slow but it's going better everyday. This one is another whole ball of wax but too cool.
Yep, slow and steady wins the race!
Your lessons always bring a big smile to my face - I appreciate them so much on many levels. I'm not moving into this lesson quite yet because I'm still trying to get the Norman picking mechanism down from the 1st lesson but wanted to say that I'm pretty sure if you asked Norman to break this down he'd smile and say he plays it different everytime. That being said, he always has that basic picking feel - mechanism - to whatever notes he happens to play. I'll catch up someday.
Thanks Kip, that means a lot! I think you’re right: Norman would do it differently every time, but that superhuman relaxed drive that he has would always be there!
Hmmm ... damn ... um ... Kip to command could you put those little loop marker things in this lesson ... thanks.
Ever since being introduced to Norman's playing (by you) a couple of years ago, I have completely fallen in love with his style of picking. He makes the melody sound so simple all the while sounding like an entire band with all of his dipsy doodle in between. Just great. I'll be learning this one from scratch and look forward to working on it.
Ha ... Allen that's funny thank you.
Thanks Chris - it's good to hear that I'm on the right track and making progress. Hey to your girlfriend.
Hi Chris - it's been awhile since I uploaded anything so I figured I'd show you my progress with Angeleine the Baker. It's not note for note with the way you taught us but it's close here and there. Thanks much!
Kip, this is just so wonderful! You’re playing with so much essence and spirit! And - no lie - I was playing this over the speakers on my iPad just now and my girlfriend (a great musician in her own right), having no idea what I was listening to, literally got teary-eyed and remarked that this was a beautiful rendition of Angeline the Baker.
If we’re looking for areas that could use improvement, it could be cleaner and more relaxed, but I really have to commend you for playing with so much spirit, commitment, and musicality. I would much rather hear that. The best of both worlds is when you start putting the great guitar playing with the committed musicality. Keep going.
James - very cool man.
I thought I'd mention that there is a wonderfully in depth, informative, and entertaining extended interview/conversation with Chris on the Everyone Love's Guitar Podcast (a very recent episodeI. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend giving it a listen. I post it here, not only because I can but because Chris mentioned something during the podcast that struck a chord with me. Actually he mentioned a ton of things, and he's mentioned it to us here on occasion, but for some reason having heard it again during the podcast it's suddenly sinking in and that is to give yourself permission to be sloppy sometimes when practicing. I think following that advice will allow me to post something on this lesson soon. I hope you give it a listen.
Kip, thanks for mentioning the podcast! It was a fun interview for sure. Nothing like talking about yourself for 2 hours ;-)
One of the biggest lessons I've ever learned about playing and working on music is that it's important to extend compassion to yourself. We can really get in our own way and obstruct our own progress by being too harsh which can create blocks in the form of physical and mental tension.
Sorry about the light not being quite up to snuff ... it was dusk and I'm not much of a videographer (either). Here is my go at the first 2 lessons on this tune and maybe a little of the 3rd by accident. Everytime I improvise a little it turns into Copperhead Road ... sounds like an entirely different tune so we'll save that for later.
Sounding awesome Kip
What Bryan said! It sounds great and you changed a few things and did them in your own way, which I love. That’s the whole point of this thing. But you are playing with strength, conviction and fearlessness and those are attributes that have impact to the listener. I was totally rocking out listening to this. Great job, keep it up, and keep flirting with improvising, even if it does turn into Copperhead Road. Eventually it won’t!
I'm still with you on this man and I keep thinking back to something you said earlier ... maybe last lesson ... play like a child . You know when a child is sitting there playing with cars or soldiers and stuff just playing ... not thinking too much ... just moving stuff around .. knocking things over ... setting them up again ... trying stuff and having mindless fun ... just playing. Good stuff and a solid message.
Adding a little ever so slight thought to the process ... or maybe awareness ... or knowledge and I see things sort of conceptually coming together where I didn't think it would ever be possible in regards to "letting go" or 'improvising" ...
When I hear the word "IMPROVISE" in a sentence such as, How in the world does he improvise like that? It sends me the message that there is a formal procedural process that can be taught, memorized, and learned, and maybe after years and years of practice you'll get it right. Maybe that's why it's such a tough thing to teach ... when you say ... just play mindlessly ... eyes can glaze over.
I guess all I'm saying is you're doing a really great job teaching me this concept
None of which has anything to do with my fingers going where I want them too dang it.
Kip, thanks so much for this thoughtful comment! I think you hit the nail on the head when you wrote,"when I hear the word 'IMPROVISE' in a sentence such as, 'How in the world does he improvise like that?' it sends me the message that there is a formal procedural process that can be taught, memorized, and learned, and maybe after years and years of practice you'll get it right. Maybe that's why it's such a tough thing to teach...."
I think that's the thing - people tend to have a fundamental misunderstanding of what the essence of improvising is. And therefore that essence gets neglected because there is a lot of learnable information that, of course, can be applied: scales, notes, chords, etc. But the misconception is that if you know all of that stuff then you will be able to improvise. One needn't look beyond most trained classical musicians - who know their scales, notes and chords inside and out, but can't improvise at all because there was no room in their training for them to exist in that pure state of play - to see this borne out in real life.
unteachable yet learnable ... improvising over a vibe ... now you're talking my language ...
I know it sounds crazy, but it's true! Some of this stuff, especially the part where you can make the leap into real improvising, has to be learned by intuition. The fun starts when you begin putting the intellectual, teachable knowledge together with the intuitive knowledge.
Chris and Julian Lage have 2 tremendous records that I never put away. I'm hoping for a 3rd. Fngers crossed.
Chris - although growly and very cool .. your arrangement is elegant and beautiful. Great tune and I'll be having much fun with this.
If you're here I figure you like cool guitars and Chris .... a lot. So, I ran across this today on the Fretbnoard Journal Web Site. The restoration of an old Stella guitar and Chris plays it. I hope you enjoy ... and I don't know where to post this stuff so sorry.
This seems like as good a place as any!
Mike and Chris -
I think this single note picking advice on a G string is one of the most important lessons I have ever recieved during this journey. I spend at least 5 to 10 minutes everyday during the course of my practice to warm up in the beginning and cool down at the end. Although I won't be playing as fast as you are anytime soon ... I play tempos at interval of 5 bpm ranging from 75 to 95 spending about a minute or so at each. I've found some days are better than others but the mindfulness aspect is always helpful to stay loose and relaxed. Accuracy is also a by product but secondary to form and technique. Thank you!
Thanks Chris ... challenging crooked song to play and so far impossible for me to sing. As with most things I'm hoping to solve with time and practice. Great lyric. I had dismissed John Hartford for years based soley on appearance and banjo ... what a mistake that was. Thanks again!
You're gonna have to help me with a couple lyrics - I can't find them anywhere. For instance,
people come out in the Mississippi Valley - Western Kentucky ??????? in south St. Louis
Have a good ride on the ?????? Swango?
Thanks - I just can't seem to piece those together.
Hi Kip, these may not be right because I couldn’t ever find an official lyric sheet. But the first word you’re looking for is Cairo (a town south of St Louis that locals pronounce Cay-row).
The other words you’re looking for are ”the Julia Belle Swain” which was a steamboat that John Hartford used to write about in a lot of his songs.
You can take me back to a good old home I love
And the people that taught in that Mississippi Valley
Even on a Sunday morning you know that I'll be there
And we all come back for to be with you good neighbor
Live a good life in the Mississippi Valley
Down on the river you know that's where I want to be
And the night comes on like a blanket, chilly winds,
People come out in the Mississippi Valley
Western Kentucky, Cairo, over in South St. Louis
There's a baseball game at the Legion Post on Tuesday
Have a good ride on the Julia Belle Swain, go down to the river
And you know that's where I want to be
And the fields of corn and the banjo music
Catfish fry and a towboat payload
Pushing upstream against the stars
And a letter come back from a girl in Calhoun County
Here in the middle of the Mississippi Valley
I'm in love and you know that's where I want to be
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