Acoustic Covers

Math and Blues with Dylan

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Uh oh. Two days in a row. I’ve been messing around with a cover version of Bob Dylan’s Rainy Day Women 12 and 35. I was driving a few weeks ago when it came up on my music shuffle– a song I’ve heard plenty of times, but this was the first time I said- wow, that sounds like just a basic 1-4-5 blues riff.

When I looked up the tabs, as usual they were all a bit different; the one I settled on was just E-A-B7 but with a capo on the first fret. When I listened to the song, the tabs I noticed was missing that whole series of dropping tones- you know “WAHHHHH WAH WAH WAH”.

Just plucking around on the low E, I found what worked to me B-A#-A down to E. And down on the open E, if you hit the A string with the next note in the chord (a B on the 5th string) you could do that shuffle but by going back and forth from the B to a C# along side the open E string.

Huh? Well I tried the first time to use a Guitar Tab Creator, here is a basic bit to show the notes

E|------------------------------------------
B|------------------------------------------
G|------------------------------------------
D|------------------------------------------
A|--2--2--4--4--2--2------------------------
E|--0--0--0--0--0--0------7--7--7--6--5--0--


E|------------------------------------------
B|------------------------------------------
G|------------------------------------------
D|--2--2--4--4--2--2------------------------
A|--0--0--0--0--0--0------7--7--7--6--5--0--
E|------------------------------------------

It’s the E progression, then up a string repeat for the A, back to the E, and then top of with a B7 chord (this is all capo-d at the 1st fret but no reason why you could not do it standard).

I like the shuffly feel to it. Here’s a one take sloppy recording

As usual, with TABs, I shop around, mix and match, and then try to morph it with my own bits (usually simplifications).

But if it’s three chords, 1-4-5, that’s mint.

Heck, even the Beatles blues it up (or down)

I’m no song meaning expert, but everybody knows it as the “Everybody Must Get Stoned” song, with a wink suggestion as a drug reference. But my hunch is that Dylan was never that literal. To me it’s the stoned as in your society pelting you with stones. No matter what you do, being good, playing your guitar, sitting down in your grave, they’re gonna come at you with stones.

Performance Goal this week: Learning an acoustic jam by the 1975

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This week I’ve joined up with a few seniors from the block two drama class (which is coming to watch our performances this Friday) to join them in an acoustic cover of the 1975’s song, “Settle Down.”

Jayden, Mitch, Paul and Dylan are in a band in part inspired by their mutual affection for the 1975, and I’m grateful for the invite to play with them this week. It’s always interesting to work with a group of musicians who have a method, or at least some loosely formed habits, for arranging songs and performances, as my own musical studies of late have revolved around just this sort of band-collaboration.  The gents from drama have been particularly gracious in setting aside lunchtimes to teach and rehearse the song with me, and I’m looking forward to seeing the song come together.

I’ve embedded a recording of our rehearsal today at lunch (my first stab at rhythm guitar on the song), and in the next few days, we will be looking to tighten up our timing, as well as the dynamics at work in the catchy, originally-synth-based tune.

Acoustic (-ish) Cover

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It’s always a real challenge to re-interpret a song with one guitar, especially one that is notable for a very “full” production. Hopefully I’ve not taken too many liberties here with the source material.

Improvisation with borrowed riff – Drew

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I took some liberties in regards to timing, but I played some chords, then added in the riff from Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd.

Tunings and Timing

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Hey there, here’s a video that covers a Billy Bragg song, No One Knows Nothing Anymore, which is off of his latest CD. As mentioned in the video, I played it with my guitar tuned down a full step which is instead of standard tuning of EADGBE, it was tuned down to DGCFAD.  It’s not an open tuning like the previous post by Pete, but rather a variation on standard tuning. There is also a time signature jump in the tune where he goes from 4/4 time to 3/4 time. I’m not sure I have it nailed yet, but hopefully you get the idea!