Progress report to anyone who may or may not be trying this .... not too tough to learn and reach the notes on this one but very tough to stay loose and make it resemble the way the TR recording sounds. That is all.
Hey, practice makes perfect! Also, on a more serious note, Tony does play with a good deal of tension. In a way, that’s part of his sound, but the kind of tension that he employs didn’t interrupt him from playing the way he played and making that incredible music.
Tony is such an anomaly. I look to him for the inspiration and deep lessons that his musicality offers, but I actually don’t try to emulate exactly *how* he uses his body because it actually literally hurts me. Causes physical pain. And it wasn’t sustainable for him either. He quit playing at 61 years old because of physical issues with his hands, forearms and elbows. But I think we can take those lessons of musicality, touch, time and tone and try to figure out how to employ them into our own techniques and concepts of music and the guitar.
Hmmm ... I know you're a renowned picker and great performer and teacher and what not but in this case I'm gonna call you dude.
Dude ... got any Mary had a little lamb licks I might be able to play ... ha ha ... sorry just kidding. That was great.
This video started out to be my take or run through of the first half of the solo from this lesson but then I couldn't help myself so I dipped my toe in the second half as well before it's time but here it is. Thank you!
This site's video uploader is beginning to suck the life out of me.
Way to learn this thing! The first part sounds great! It starts jumping forward and losing the beat/bar structure on some of the syncopated bits (1:37, 1:45 for example). Make sure that you can SING it along with me before you start playing it. Then once you’ve got that down and you know exactly how those rhythms go, THEN try it again on the guitar. I’ve made a rhythm guitar video here that you can practice to. It’ll be easier to tell if you get off if you’re playing along with the chords. Otherwise sounding great!
Working on Mean Mother Blues opening and chords run through video. Been having a problem uploading to sonic junction for some reason and not sure why. Hopefully this works. The next couple of lessons are more than challenging for me (no surprise) but still trying to tackle it at much slower speeds as is this video. I think the song works a little slower than Chris plays it anyway but there you go.
Sounding really great and musical, as always. I like the tempo where you are playing this - it suits the way you play it and the vibe that you’re getting. That’s an important point I think: there can be many different “good“ tempos for a song depending on the vibe of the delivery. This tempo suits your feel and vibe really well. Now, a couple of things to point out:
-On the tag lick that occurs at 0:20 and again at 1:16 you are arriving at the end too early by dropping 3 big beats. The lick starts on the 2nd 16th note of beat 4 and the downbeat of that next measure is actually the note on the (capoed) 4th fret of the 2nd string. *From that downbeat* there’s still a whole measure of music before the start of the verse. Does that make sense? Maybe listen to my tag in that spot a bunch of times in a row using the repeat function and try to feel how the syncopation of the lick relates to the bar structure.
-The other thing, which is minor, is that when you’re playing rhythm guitar sometimes you’re skipping the D chord that comes before the G. This happens at 0:37 and again at 0:56
Fun cool tune to learn and play but time to move on to the next one to see what happens.
Yeah Kip, great job on this! You've come so far in terms of keeping your body loose. It's awesome and you really do look relaxed. My one piece of advice based on this video is that it looks like you may be planting or resting the heel of your right hand on the bridge or bridge pins. Is that right? Your wrist looks super loose which is great, but you might try getting your forearm a little more involved in the picking. That might be easier if you try wrapping your right arm around the guitar a bit more. Check out the screen grab of me above and notice the angle that my forearm is making relative to the strings. It's a bit more horizontal than yours. You might try experimenting with that angle. I suspect that if your right arm drops down the slightest bit around the side of the guitar and you flatten your forearm out the slightest bit you might find it easier to integrate your forearm into your pick stroke a bit more. Food for thought.
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! :)
Haha, you guys are the best!
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.
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