Sunday, September 14, 2008

Landing on Water, Landing on Sand

Years ago, Tom Petty had a band called Mudcrutch. They were a fairly big thing in Florida, but never made it to the next level. He moved to guitar from bass, moved from Florida to L.A., and started the Heartbreakers. Which, as it turns out, shared a guitar player and keyboard player with Mudcrutch. So, decades later, after making a career retrospective box set and movie, he called up the guys left in Florida and got the band back together.

The album is good. Mike Campbell is all about the B-Bender on this one, and there has never been a recording which the addition of Benmont Tench could not improve. Great take on "Lover of the Bayou". But my favorite, the song that electrified me, is "Bootleg Flyer". And the bit that got me is what I call the Allman Brothers Lick, because it sounds like something Duane and Dickey would do in unison.

Allman Brothers Lick

This is what I think is going on. (MIDI file)

That is roughly a three-octave pentatonic minor lick, going from the 6th string 3rd fret G to the 1st string 17th fret A. That was done in Finale Notepad, and here's my file.

I don't know a good way to get from near-the-nut G to near-the-pickups A. I can get the first two octaves staying around the third fret. I can get the second two at the fifteenth. But I'm sure they're sliding up as they go. Mike Campbell and Tom Leadon, I mean. I know that Mike tends to move up and down the neck; one of the first licks I learned is the opening lick "Breakdown", and that slides back.

I've been putting "learn the scales up and down the neck" in my practice-time list. I think getting this to speed will be interesting.


Pribek said...

It's very "Whipping Post' isn't it?
Don't have a guitar in front of me but, the last note sounds like it's on fret 15 and bent to A.
I think that having a specific purpose, a certain lick, is a great way to learn the neck. You have the phrase in your brain so, you are looking at a practical application rather than a scale position.
Does that make any sense?

Dave Jacoby said...

Now that you mention it, yeah. Clearly bent G to A. And I think there's a point in "Elizabeth Reed" it most closely resembles.

And it makes a whole heck of a lot of sense. "I want to do this task, I have this tool, so I will use this tool to do this task", that's the way I learned so much with computing, it's a natural to cross over.

I'm thinking the D-E-G is masking the big position changes. Not that the triplets aren't doing that a little, too?