Archive for August, 2010

Final class

Posted by Michael M. on 22nd August 2010 in General

For our final class of the session, we went back through many of the previous songs and worked on specific parts. At the end, I played a few more, including “Spanish Fandango” in open tuning and bits of “Frankie.” Below is a recording of the session.

Review of Past Classes and a Few More (mp3)

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Stagger Lee

Posted by Michael M. on 8th August 2010 in General

“Stagger Lee,” one of the great American murder ballads and one set right here in Saint Louis, was the new song for the fourth class. The chord progression is D-G-D-A-D. Immediately below is a recording of the class.

“Stagger Lee” and Key of D with Review (mp3)

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Here is the original 1928 recording.

“Stack O’Lee Blues” (mp3)

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The events behind the song happened just after Christmas 1895. This post about Mississippi John Hurt’s murder ballads on my main blog is one of my many posts about the event, including one about my open mic performance of it. One early recording of the song, very similar to the one I covered, came from the Down Home Boys, Long Cleve Reed and Little Harvey Hull. The record was released in 1927, but I have seen claims that it was recorded in 1900. I grabbed the copy below from this post at Public Domain 2ten, a site with many great recordings.

“Original Stack O’ Lee Blues” (mp3)

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Here is my version.

“Stagger Lee” (mp3)

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As covered above, the chord progression is D-G-D-A-D. The second D chord is short. Here is the bass line.

“Stagger Lee” bass line (mp3)

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For the sections using the D chord, hammer on or or slide into the F♯ played on the 1st string. For the hammer on, pick the open 1st string E and open 5th string A together, and then come down at the second fret of the 1st E string for the F♯. For the slide, make the D chord shape, but start a fret lower in pitch. Pick the 1st string E fretted at the first fret and the open 5th string A together, and then slide the D chord shape up for the F♯. Here are examples with each one played in a loop.

“Stagger Lee” D hammer on (mp3)

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“Stagger Lee” D slide (mp3)

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The section over the G chord has melody played on the 1st and 2nd strings and then an ascending run. The ascending run is played by using the pinky finger at the third fret. The run is B♭ at the third fret of the 3rd G string to B open 2nd string and then D at the third fret of the 2nd B string to E open 1st string. Here are looped recordings of the these two G melody parts.

“Stagger Lee” G melody 1st part (mp3)

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“Stagger Lee” G melody 2nd part (mp3)

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The next D chord is short and leads quickly into the A chord melody. Here it is played in a loop.

“Stagger Lee” A melody (mp3)

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Many of these parts and similar to parts of songs covered previously. Always try using already learned segments with this song and other new ones in the future.

 
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.