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Fireball Mail

Posted by jeliyesil on Thursday, April 28, 2011

Worked out this tune with the slow downer this morning. I've been playing it for a long time; I think I learned it from John Farmer back when I was taking lessons. But again, over time I changed that opening slide up to the G to "open G, slide to G, open G" instead of "slide G, open G". It's interesting how just changing the beat where the slide happens makes a big difference. Hitting the open G first kind of follows the vocal, but doing a slide instead makes the break just a little bit more interesting, and leads very nicely into that B note in the next part.

There's also a place in the first measure up the neck where he's doing a forward roll, then leaves out the 5th string just before a choke on 11, 2nd string. I'm not sure what you'd call this; not syncopation, but he breaks out of a normal roll pattern so that the strings he's rolling on change in a way that feels like syncopation.

Crowe does this as well, but when he does it, I seem to be able to get it easier than when Scruggs does it. Some of those things that Scruggs does seem so counterintuitive to me that I really have to fight with my fingers to play them. I wonder if they were natural to him, or if he had to play them many times over to get them? If they were natural, he had one extremely talented right hand.

Another thing I'm discovering is that the 2 players I've looked closely at so far found ways to make their solos interesting even though they are very traditional players. Just little quirks here and there give their solos life, and those are the things that I've been missing in my playing. I've gotten so comfortable in my playing that it's really hard to work those little different licks in, but it's really exciting when you get it right.

Much as I'm tempted to leave Scruggs for players whose material itself is more interesting to me, I'm going to stick with it a little while longer. It's like mining for nuggets of gold...


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