Barney Kessel - chord

Jon

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Can anyone shed any light on the chord that Barney Kessel plays at around 15 second into this clip of Basie's Blues - the chord at the start of the 4th bar which he plays down at the 1st fret? There are a few covers and transcriptions online which all seem to show it as a std C7 shape on the middle 4 strings, but to me it doesn't quite sound (or look) as though that's exactly what he's doing. There's another version of this online (I think he called it BBC Blues as it was on the BBC in the uk) where it does sound and look like he plays a std C7 - are my ears and eyes deceiving me (wouldn't be the first time)?

 

Jeff Stocks

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At very first blush, it sounds like a Gmin11 or some kind of C7sus. I can't tell exactly what his bass note is, but the two chords are essentially interchangeable.
 

Guitardave

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At very first blush, it sounds like a Gmin11 or some kind of C7sus. I can't tell exactly what his bass note is, but the two chords are essentially interchangeable.
+1

I hear it as a C7 sus 4. Whether you stick the G or C in the bass doesn't matter that much to my ears.
 

jads57

Silver Supporting Member
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6,085
Instead of focusing on just the chord , follow the bass line. It will help you analyze the progression. That way you'll figure out what type of chord it is.
 

Jon

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Instead of focusing on just the chord , follow the bass line. It will help you analyze the progression. That way you'll figure out what type of chord it is.
It's a blues in C so from an analytical point of view it's C7 (which is what he plays in the other version of this I've seen) - it's the specific notes that form the colour of the chord that I'm trying to determine, so following the bassline isn't much help.
 

Jon

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1,561
At very first blush, it sounds like a Gmin11 or some kind of C7sus. I can't tell exactly what his bass note is, but the two chords are essentially interchangeable.
+1

I hear it as a C7 sus 4. Whether you stick the G or C in the bass doesn't matter that much to my ears.
That's how I hear it - the F on the top string is fairly clear to hear, but it's a bit harder to hear some of the other notes - I prefer it to the plain C7.

Thanks for chipping in though :D
 

frdagaa

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2,189
What confused me a bit is that it looks like his 3rd finger is playing a Db. A C11b9 with the b9 that low in the voicing seems a little weird and I can’t say I hear it in the chord. Then later 0:30 he plays the same chord with the camera pointing down the fingerboard from the bridge and it looks like he is not fretting that finger. Another view is 6:30.

So it’s probably

1
1
0 (or X)
3
X
X

which would be an Fadd9 but in context function like Csus
 

Jon

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1,561
What confused me a bit is that it looks like his 3rd finger is playing a Db. A C11b9 with the b9 that low in the voicing seems a little weird and I can’t say I hear it in the chord. Then later 0:30 he plays the same chord with the camera pointing down the fingerboard from the bridge and it looks like he is not fretting that finger. Another view is 6:30.

So it’s probably

1
1
0 (or X)
3
X
X

which would be an Fadd9 but in context function like Csus

Yes - I originally wondered about that third finger, but I think you're right that it's not fretting anything - seems odd not to use it instead of the 2nd finger, but maybe he used that fingering regularly to free up the third finger for other notes?. Either way the above fingering looks and sounds right (with the thumb fretting the G in the bass) - I did wonder if he could be fretting both middle strings with just his 2nd finger, but it doesn't look as though he's flattening the tip across them so possibly not.
 

frdagaa

Silver Supporting Member
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2,189
Yes - I originally wondered about that third finger, but I think you're right that it's not fretting anything - seems odd not to use it instead of the 2nd finger, but maybe he used that fingering regularly to free up the third finger for other notes?. Either way the above fingering looks and sounds right (with the thumb fretting the G in the bass) - I did wonder if he could be fretting both middle strings with just his 2nd finger, but it doesn't look as though he's flattening the tip across them so possibly not.
yeah I wondered about those things too. I wasn’t sure about that G in the bass (listening on iPhone, no guitar around).
 

Jeff Stocks

Member
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955
Yes - I originally wondered about that third finger, but I think you're right that it's not fretting anything - seems odd not to use it instead of the 2nd finger, but maybe he used that fingering regularly to free up the third finger for other notes?. Either way the above fingering looks and sounds right (with the thumb fretting the G in the bass) - I did wonder if he could be fretting both middle strings with just his 2nd finger, but it doesn't look as though he's flattening the tip across them so possibly not.

I think he is double stopping two strings with one finger using the tip. Ted Greene does it. He even talks about it in one of his books. It’s not an easy technique to do.

There’s no Db in it. Just a c7sus4 or a Gmi11. I wouldn’t over complicate it.
 
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JonR

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14,797
There's definitely a Bb in it, and my guess (aided by Transcribe software) is:

1 index
1 index
3 middle
3 middle
x
3 thumb

There is a low C audible, but that's in the double bass. The waveform actually shows a cluster of pitches that are impossible on guitar - at least with that fingering, but I'm guessing the G that's the same pitch as the 3rd string is an octave overtone of that G on the 6th string.
It's also possible the top F is an overtone of the 4th string F and the first string is muted. That would give a more economical 4-note voicing: G-F-Bb-C.
Of course it's weird that his middle is stopping two strings, but if you can do that, why not!
 

Jeff Stocks

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Messages
955

4:20 in this vid for the double stop finger tip thing. I caught a lesson with Adam Levy years ago and he told me Ted taught it to him and he can do it cold. Despite having huge hands, I can't do it consistently...

@JonR You'll dig this vid in general. That's Steve Herberman getting the lesson, btw.
 

thecoworker

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177
Sure
Just listen...Anyhoo teachers should and try to be academically correct or at least stand to be corrected
 

JonR

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Messages
14,797
Sure
Just listen...Anyhoo teachers should and try to be academically correct or at least stand to be corrected
Sure, but again, this is not about key or chord function (clear enough), it's about a mysterious voicing/shape which is not clear at all.
 




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