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Somehow Tonight from BlackJack

Posted by jeliyesil on Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I decided to work on this tune because it's a medium-paced tune, but it's got a nice bounce to it. I first heard this tune back in the '70s at the Gettysburg festival, played by J.D. You don't hear it that much anymore. It's a straightforward 1,4, 5 tune, and I'd been looking forward to seeing what he does with a basic tune like this. When you listen to it, it doesn't sound like all that much going on, but when you slow it down and hear what he does, there is plenty going on.

Once again, I found that this guy never just takes it easy. He's always thinking about how he's going to get to the next thing and throwing in interesting licks along the way. I love his roll over the D chord, and it's still tripping me up. And on the "come back sweetheart" line, he does a pull-off on the 3rd string followed by a pull-off on the 4th string that's really nice, and it's also tripping me up.

I also realized how sloppy my hammer-ons and pull-offs have become over the years, and this tune has plenty of both, so it's really good for brushing up on those. It's nice that he uses both techniques in his break; he sometimes does the 2-3 hammer-on (on the 3rd string), and sometimes does the 3-2 pull-off. Just that little extra variety adds something.

This tune also got me wondering if I should be doing that 2-4 slide on the 3rd string with my index finger or middle finger. I've been using my middle finger there for ages, but in this tune, there's a lot of hammering on & pulling off that requires the index finger to be on the 2nd fret, so I'm finding myself sliding with the index finger. I'm going to check out YouTube and see what others are doing, including J.D.

So once again, plenty to learn from this tune.

I'll be posting this .mp3 tomorrow, slowed down so you can hear everything. The tabs that I saw posted on this site don't match what Crowe is doing, so if you want to learn his version, go with the .mp3.



2 comments on “Somehow Tonight from BlackJack”

Banjo Island Says:
Wednesday, January 19, 2011 @2:21:44 AM

Hey, no way! That's one of the breaks I recently transcribed in my own project! I don't have it to hand, cos I'm at work at the moment.

I seem to recall that funky "come back sweetheart" bit actually was a lot simpler than it sounds?

Anwyay, this demonstrates that you're doing better than me at this. I seem to lack the conviction to stay on one tune at a time. As soon as I work out what the notes are, I get sidetracked onto another tune, without actually getting the first one down..


jeliyesil Says:
Wednesday, January 19, 2011 @6:06:40 AM

Great! I don't claim to have it right either; I'm interested to see what you think about the .mp3. You're right, that D part is simpler than it sounds, but it's got that backwards roll, and I seem to have developed a bad habit of rarely playing a backwards roll. Now my brain seems to short-circuit on "M-I-T" for some reason. Hopefully that will get better.

It is hard to stay with the tune once you've gotten the notes. It's helped me that I'm trying to make a clean .mp3 recording of the tune slowed down, because I have to actually play it cleanly to do that. Recording yourself can be a pretty eye-opening experience in and of itself!

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