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I'll Never Shed Another Tear

Posted by jeliyesil on Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Today I worked out this tune, both the Scruggs version (from the Mercury sessions, Volume 2), and the Crowe version (from the Bluegrass Album, volume 2). A previous poster told me that Crowe used the Scruggs breaks on the Bluegrass Album tunes, so there is indeed, not a whole lot of difference, except for the difference in their playing style (straight vs. syncopated).

There are some differences though. Scruggs keeps that roll going at the end of measures more than JD does. On the 1st and 2nd measures, Scruggs puts in that last open D string; Crowe leaves it out (letting the melody G note end the measure). In the 5th measure, Crowe ends with a pinch on the 3rd and 1st strings, leaving the last eighth note out, and Scruggs plays 2 eighth notes over the 3rd and 1st strings.

When they get to the measure of D, Scruggs keeps a forward roll going over the D chord, but JD does his regular bouncy D lick (forward then backward roll).

In the 2nd to last measure (over the D chord), Scruggs plays an open D quarter note, followed by D (on the 2nd string) and F# (on the 1st string) as eighth notes, then he does the walk up on the 4th string. Crowe does the D quarter note, followed by an open D on the 1st string and an open G on the 3rd string, then the walkup. Way easier! The G note doesn't fit in the chord, but I found Crowe using that technique from time to time when I was working on his playing back in February. He'll use those open strings to get where he needs to go regardless of if they're in the chord or not, as long as they're not real clunkers. I don't know about other players, but holding that ring and little finger in the D chord position while reaching over with the index finger to hit the 4th string, 2nd fret, is no picnic for me. Maybe if you have big hands it's easier.

On the last measure, Scruggs hits an open G, followed by the 2-3 2-3-2 hammer-on pull-off lick. Crowe leaves that G out, and just leaves space before doing the same hammer-on pull-off lick.

So overall, the differences I found in this tune were:

  - Crowe left a few notes that Scruggs used out, either at the very end or the very beginning of measures. The effect was a little bit of bounce here and there in the tune.

  - Crowe sticks to his standard D lick, Scruggs forward rolls over his D.

  - Crowe used an open string that wasn't in the chord he was playing to get to the next thing. Scruggs sticks pretty faithfully to his chords when he's rolling.

More tunes to come...

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