Beatles Blackbird

jimmybcool

Member
Messages
2,778
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.
 

StevenA

Senior Member
Messages
3,976
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
 

AD

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,776
He's using is index finger (picking hand) to strum back and forth, the open G and fretted B
 

jimmybcool

Member
Messages
2,778
Originally posted by McLenison
Jimmy, I have the Beatles To-a-Tee videos where all this is explained in much detail. Here is an excerpt that may help you get an idea of the strum you ask about.

http://www.to-a-tee.tv/videos/Blackbird.mpg
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
 
M

McLenison

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.
 

jimmybcool

Member
Messages
2,778
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. :)
 
M

McLenison

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.
 

jimmybcool

Member
Messages
2,778
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:
 

ddeand

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,543
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
 
M

Michael Rooney

Originally posted by jimmybcool
OK. So I am a bit new. And this is a pretty simple song.

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

Lyle Caldwell

Member
Messages
542
It's a good introduction to Travis Picking as well (McCartney is far from the only guy using that kind of picking pattern).
 

Bengal B1

Member
Messages
113
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
 

StevenA

Senior Member
Messages
3,976
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
 

lhallam

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
17,369
Originally posted by Bengal B1
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
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".
 

t0neg0d

Member
Messages
332
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.
 

jeffhef

Member
Messages
1,011
Originally posted by ddeand
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
I think I read somewhere that CSN used an alternate tuning to play this. Can't remember where I saw it.

jeffhef
 

Jerad

Member
Messages
82
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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