Random question. What strings do you use on your Martin? I am playing a 46 J-45 and have been using a bluechip 48 and strumming sounds almost harsh and loud on my nickel bronze strings. Not as subtle and soft as it sounds coming out of your martin. Flatpicking sounds great but not rythm.
I'm not Chris nor do I play him on TV but I'm going to say that a 1946 J_45 with Nickel Bronze strings would, in my experience, be the very opposite of "harsh and loud." A J-45 of that vintage (I had a 1945 Banner) is one of the smoothest, warmest strumming guitars ever made, and the NB strings are quite mellow. Until I read your post carefully I would have guessed you were using some clangy brand new 80/20s that needed some time to break in. I'm guessing it's not so much the guitar or the strings as something in your strumming technique. I've found that a relaxed right hand is super important, along with actively trying to strum gently and quietly. A thinner pick can help, but you do sacrifice some flatpicking tone. You've got really good taste in guitars.
Hi Chris! I also use the Bluechip TP-48 and medium gauge D’Addario Nickel Bronze strings. Sometimes a pick can develop a bad edge that can sound kind of harsh. This is true of all picks, so bluechips, great as they are, are not immune. Try flipping it over and also rotating around the 3 corners. You may find that one sounds better to your ear than others.
OR it could be that those strings and/or pick just don’t agree with the natural voice of the particular guitar that you own. In my experience, Nickel Bronze are overall just a hair brighter across the entire frequency spectrum than regular phosphor bronze strings, but there are less high overtones that jump way out with the nickel bronze strings, so they wind up sounding less “stringy,” for lack of a better term. But they just might not agree with your guitar.
Finally, we probably would almost certainly sound pretty different even if we were playing the same guitar with the same pick and just handing it back and forth becuase every guitar player his his or her own individual touch. Would you mind uploading a video of you flatpicking and then going to rhythm? Maybe I can help get in there and see if there are physical tendencies on the strumming that would make it feel harsh?
How do you do the slide from the 2 to 5th fret? Do you do a picked 2nd fret then slide and pick the 5th again, or does the slide to the 5th and stop do the trick? I was hoping you'd include that in the lesson, so hopefully i'm asking the question right.
Yes, I usually restrike the D note on the downbeat after the slide. But you don't have to. You could also let the note from the slide hang on for a little longer for a different sound. Here is a video showing the difference in sound:
So why put the pinky on the 4th fret G string? You're not playing it. I simply move my pinky to the high E on the third fret to accomplish that portion in the first two bars. I'm wondering if putting the pinky on the 4th creates and advantage i'm not aware of.
PS saw Julian play at the Library of Congress last night with my wife. Great night.
I *am* playing that B at the 4th fret of the G string (and as those chords change I’m playing the A at the 2nd fret of the 3rd string, and the open G string as well). I don‘t write out the tablature and I see now that the line on that string was missed. We’ll correct it. But for that section the notes on the 1st and 3rd strings are moving together while the D note at the 3rd fret of the 2nd string stays still. With that in mind, the reason for using my pinky on the 3rd string is so that I don’t have to lift up my ring finger that’s playing the D at the 3rd fret of the 2nd string. I want that note to ring continuously and there are only a couple of fingerings that can accommodate that goal.
Hi Chris - thanks for the question. The tab should now be up to date.
been listening to Dawg and T. Any chance a lesson could be on the horizon for I don’t want your mandolin mister?
PS: thoughts on the pre war guitar company
Sure, it's a lovely tune! Have you seen the video from that recording on youtube? It is sublime!!! The whole thing is great and you should watch it. This link will take you directly to "I Don't Want Your Mandolins Mister."
I haven't played any of the pre war guitar company guitars, but I know Ben Maschal and have played a couple of guitars he built before this company was started. He's an excellent builder and I'm very happy for any success he's been having.
Which Martin are you using? Uncle Johnny?
I believe it is a 30s D-18 :-)Maybe a '39.
I think it's his wide neck 1939 D-28
Hi, to be honest I can't tell exactly because the resolution is a bit low and I can't make out the details, but I'm pretty sure that's my 1937 D-18 (which is the only D-18 I own).
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