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Beatles Blackbird

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by jimmybcool, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. jimmybcool

    jimmybcool Supporting Member

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    OK. So I am a bit new. And this is a pretty simple song.

    I mostly got it. I play along with the album and it sounds right. Except one little ol thingy.

    I assume it is McCartney on the guitar. Anyway, he slides up the neck for the chord progression. Simple enough. But when he gets to the top and there are the extra beats before changing chords again there is SOMETHING he is doing to get a scratchy/ringy sound. It almost sounds like he is tickling the middle strings and I have tried that but it isn't quite right. Whatever it is, he does this throughout the song when he is not changing chords.

    I know I am doing a piss poor job describing this and I apologize for that. Thanks for any help.

    Edited cause I kant speel.
     
  2. StevenA

    StevenA Member

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    Blackbird is an exercise in 10ths which any first year classical guitar student could perform without thinking about it. I wouldn't spend much time tickling or scratching. Get this tune and then move on.

    Steven
     
  3. AD

    AD Supporting Member

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    He's using is index finger (picking hand) to strum back and forth, the open G and fretted B
     
  4. jimmybcool

    jimmybcool Supporting Member

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    Thanks Alex. I'll give that a shot today.
     
  5. McLenison

    McLenison Guest

  6. mwoeppel

    mwoeppel Member

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    Thanks for sharing something useful!
     
  7. jimmybcool

    jimmybcool Supporting Member

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    Thank you. I tried just strumming the open G and fretted B but still, it isn't what they do on the album. Truth be told, I'm not sure I can pick it up from the mpg, but I am going to work on it some more.

    Thanks
     
  8. McLenison

    McLenison Guest

    Jimmy, make sure you pluck the "A" string at the 10th fret with the "B" string at the 12th fret. Then, with you right hand (assuming your righty) alternately flick your index finger against the open "G" and fretted "B" string (12th fret). The "D" string should be muted by your left hand index finger. It takes practice; McCartney is the only one I've heard that uses that type of technique... probably because he made it up.
     
  9. jimmybcool

    jimmybcool Supporting Member

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    OK, I think the problem is the timing of the strumming. I need to work on it. Also, I thiough the rythm was him doing something on the guitar but I think someone is hitting a wood percussion instrument.

    Thanks for the help. I know this is junior league stuff but that is where I am at this point. Perhaps in a year I will progress to the bush leagues. :)
     
  10. McLenison

    McLenison Guest

    According to a book I have on the complete sessions of the Beatles, Paul is playing Blackbird with a metronome going in the background. Hope that helps.
     
  11. jimmybcool

    jimmybcool Supporting Member

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    Thanks. Thats it. The metronome is the ticking.

    I thought he was tapping the guitar while doing his little strum thing. Yup. I think my plans on being the next guitar god on the scene are gonna take longer than 3 months after all. :cool:
     
  12. ddeand

    ddeand Silver Supporting Member

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    When I was working on Blackbird, I decided to find some other versions. I found versions by Kenny Rankin, Phish, Foo Fighters, Sara McLachlan, McCartney, and Crosby/Stills/Nash. I think my favorite was CSN's version. What you find is some unique phrasing and interpretation of a very basic beautiful tune.

    Dean
     
  13. The most important lesson to be learned from Blackbird, for the novice guitarist, is that Simple is Beautiful.
    McLenison, great material, thanks for sharing!
     
  14. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell Member

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    It's a good introduction to Travis Picking as well (McCartney is far from the only guy using that kind of picking pattern).
     
  15. Bengal B1

    Bengal B1 Member

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    Hi Guys, Don't post to often but this raised my curiosity. I've heard of 2nds, 3rds, 5ths, 7ths, 9ths, 11ths, 13ths, b5ths,b7ths and so on but never have I seen 10ths. Which in my studies would work out to be 3rds. Is this new or a classical phrase. Thanks, Mike
     
  16. StevenA

    StevenA Member

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    Mike, 10ths are 3rds but the interval is greater than one octave.
    For example;

    6th string 3rd fret G
    5th string 2nd fret B

    is an interval of a 3rd

    6th string 3rd fret G
    2nd string open B

    is an interval of a 10th

    The classical lick at the end of the introduction to Roundabout(Yes) is done in 10ths

    This is just a technical distinction. Hope this helps, Steven
     
  17. lhallam

    lhallam Member

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    The classical gtr repertoire at large incorporates close and open voicings.

    In Blackbird, McCartney is using a harmonized G scale which also works with Little Feat's "Willing".
     
  18. t0neg0d

    t0neg0d Member

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    I saw someone mention a metronome in the background... it isn't a metronome... he is playing in a studio with (get this) lanolium floors! He is tapping his left foot then right foot... then left again and so on... thats the sound ya here.
     
  19. jeffhef

    jeffhef Member

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    I think I read somewhere that CSN used an alternate tuning to play this. Can't remember where I saw it.

    jeffhef
     
  20. Jerad

    Jerad Member

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    Thanks for that Beatles To-a-tee video. That was rad. Students of mine always ask me about this song. That helps.
     

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