Monday, February 25, 2008

I know it's all a state of mind

I now have one, almost two more on the list.

I started beating on "Misty Mountain Hop" a while ago, hitting the main riff. I pulled it up on YouTube while I was showing my son some stuff, and I was able to pick it up without giving it a second spin. I even hit some of Robert Plant's notes. (If you haven't tried to figure it out, it's a blues in E. That tells you 9/10ths of what you need to know.)

It didn't start with "Misty Mountain Hop". It started with Skydog. In fact, it started with Tom Dowd.

His biographical documentary, Tom Dowd and the Language of Music was on IFC. Dowd produced Ornette Coleman. Dowd produced the Coasters. He produced Aretha Franklin. For us guitar fans, it is more important that Dowd produced Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tom Dowd produced Cream. Tom Dowd produced Fillmore East.

Tom Dowd produced "Layla".

Here is the tale. Dowd also produced Wilson Pickett, including "Hey Jude", which features Duane Allman on guitar. When Clapton was starting work on the first Derek and the Dominos album, the topic of that version of "Hey Jude" came up, and Eric started playing the hot lick.

It's in F#. (The Beatles' version is in F, in case you're curious.) The lick comes a few times, late and at the end. I finally figured it out when I started thinking outside the box. E C# A#. A# in F# is the major third. The blues scale uses the minor third. I think he uses it as A F# D#

"Misty Mountain Hop" is my song for this week. "Hey Jude" will be my song for next week.

And I have that lick up to 80 BPM.

Now I need to pick up a fiddle tune.


Stratocat said...

Thanks for stopping by Stratoblogster!

I like your blog. Speaking of Tom Dowd, I've caught that documentary on him a couple times in the past year. He was sure a major architect of our music culture.


Dave Jacoby said...

I've been reading yours for a while, but haven't commented because, well, people don't comment there.

(I briefly considered being TeleBlogster, but I let that pass.)

Dowd surely did that. Les Paul made the first multitrack setup, but Tom Dowd made the second and institutionalized how it works.