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  • Pa Duff, (Ray)
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Profile Information

Favorite Flatpickers
Doc Watson, Steve Kaufman, Brad Davis
Favorite Flatpicking Tunes
Blackberry Blossom, Salt Creek, Red haired boy, Old Joe Clark
Whiskey Before Breakfast
Favorite Guitars
Tell us more about yourself (place a Bio here if you wish)
Trying to learn a little flatpicking while having fun.

Comment Wall (35 comments)

At 3:21pm on February 8, 2010, ganon said…
I think a few of us are in the same boat - having started FE and then drifting away. However, I have never heard anyone who didn't think it was great material. So maybe we've been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of material (Flatpicking Encyclopedia Britannica might have been a more accurate name than 'Essentials'.) Anyway, I too hope that the group will allows us all to maintain better and longer focus.
At 11:00am on March 8, 2010, ganon said…
Thanks Wayne! RHB came through no problem. I used Audacity (freeware) multitrack recording software to let Brad back me up. SImply copy in his slow version mp3, then listen with headphones (half off/on so I can hear both my guitar and Brads backup - just figured out there is a monitor output on the cakewalk usb interface so now can listen to both through the headphones). Hit the record button on Audacity and it records a microphone input track at the same time it plays back the backup up. After the fact, can adjust volume of the two tracks and pan each left/right to get stereo separation. FInally 'render' it to output an adjusted MP3 (or WAV) file. I'm still figuring it all out, but it is way cooler than a 'live' recording where you just play along out with an out-loud backup and record what you get (That's what I did with Temperance Reel and it took a few tries of volume adjustment/mic placement to get a reasonable balance between lead and backup).
At 7:18pm on March 11, 2010, ganon said…
Wayne, RHB is sort of resurrected. Here is a 'slow-jam' version (132 bpm) one time through lead, version from Kaufman's parking lot picker series, pretty much the intermediate version, but with dumb-downed turn-arounds (no variations like yours), then one time through with basic rhythm like FE example 6, except that I use a high-V (open G string) for the second C-chord bass note. There are three 'count-off' notes at the start, but the end is ' on the beat', so if you edit out the 3 count notes it should loop smoothly. Maybe it will get faster, maybe not. I'm getting better at slow and basic, but I think fast and fancy may be a pipe dream. Cheers, ganon
RHB slow jam 132.mp3
At 6:44am on March 12, 2010, ganon said…
That version of Whiskey is from Norman Blake's Instructional DVD #1 @Homespun tapes. He does in in C form capoed at3rd fret, so for him it is in Eb (!) (See Stephen Finlayson's video for a more authentic rendition with variations). I only capo 2 so it is in D - I think much more common. I had previously learned Kaufman's beginner version, so picking up the Blake version was not too hard.
At 5:25pm on March 12, 2010, ganon said…
Re more recording: Good! I thing recording is a very good thing - (1) it is great feedback, giving you a chance to listen analytically and discover errors that you simply don't notice when/while you are concentrating on playing. (2) There is much more of inclination to get it 'really right', if only for one take out of many tries - once you do get it right that one time, then you have something you can 'self-jam' with, and know that it is something you can do, and slowly work towards getting it right most/all of the time (and faster with speed up software.
At 8:02pm on March 18, 2010, ganon said…
Hi Wayne,

Hope you have been using/having fun with the RHB Jam track. Even if not, I found that it was a great thing for me. Although it took considerable work to get a 'decent' take, once done it has been great to play along with - especially being forced to play rhythm as much as the lead; something that I usually woefully ignore (I'd be ashamed to tell you how many fiddle tunes that I can sort of play, but don't even know the chord sequences).

You commented on the good timing - it is not natural - it is because once I did get the chord sequence down pretty good, I made a straight rhythm track with metronome. I probably played through ~ 10 times and then picked the one with best timing/fewest mistakes, clipped it out, and made 4 repeats of that. Then I used that as my 'play along' backup while I did multitrack recording. The result, after about 10 tries, is what I posted for you (leaving out the strum-metronome backup). So, as said, it was hardly natural; however, I have been jamming with it for 15 minutes a night for most of a week now, and I think that I get it right more than half the time now (was probably 1 out of 30 a week ago) and the speed is starting to come up naturally, although still pretty sloppy at your speed. Other benefit is that it actually getting fun to play instead of being 'hard-work practice'.

Anyway, just wanted to thank you for being part of the process. It is certainly something that I am going to apply to other tunes.
At 7:00am on March 19, 2010, ganon said…
I could try to do something with Whiskey before Breakfast? (I pulled that from my player - decided it was pretty sloppy, but wanted it up for Norman's birthday). It would probably benefit me to do it with a careful, slower approach - and you said you had been working on it. Who's version do you play? As for you, is Ragtime Annie far enough along? MP3's?: that is weird - do you record .WAV first and then convert? (I do, but no problems with Audacity). I guess you could upload .WAV files, unless you run into size restrictions.
At 1:59pm on March 19, 2010, ganon said…
OK, WWB jam is now a project. I think the two versions should work together fine. Listen to attached. I like it when Curtis' fast version is ~ 120 bpm (that's my kind of 'fast' ;-)). How is that speed for you - I can bring it a little bit if you like. It'll still take me a couple of days to put together 'jam' track with a rudamentary (Ex. 6 like) rhythm round. But also want to listen carefully to Curtis' backup (as it is stereo separable) and see if I can figure out what he is doing. I've looked at Kaufman's PLP beg. Ragtime Annie and it seems do-able with a few weeks practice - look forward to your post.
WBB duet (Curtis Jones, adv fast) + ganon (NBlake).mp3
At 2:38pm on March 19, 2010, ganon said…
I multitrack recorded with Curtis, but reduced Curtis' stereo to mono (mine too) so the left channel is a 50/50 mix of Curtis lead + Curtis backup, right channel is me (NB) lead only. Since Curtis is playing D open and I am playing C capo 2, there isn't as much 'interference' as you might expect from two leads, and seems to work out pretty well as a duet. Will be interesting to see if we can do the same with jam track (lead duet as well as alternating lead and backup). Should be fun. Speed - I'll shoot for the middle (132 - same as RHB).
At 4:49pm on March 21, 2010, ganon said…
Here is a WBB jam track at 132 bpm (a bit sloppy but should be usable). I left out the 'counting notes' at the start so it should loop without editing. In the backup of the B section (measures 5 and 6) where Curtis goes |DA|GD| I use |DFm|BmD| (capoed |CEm|AmC|), which comes from Kaufman and just seems to come off my fingers that way (think it still works). Norman's chords for this are the same as Curtis's, but he doesn't use the Em in 3rd measure of the B part (he gives it as |GD|.
WBB (NB) Jam 132 (031910).mp3

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