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Help with fingering?

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 10:36 am
by Pickin Palmer
Proper Fingering?

Being the “half fast” guitarist I've always been it's been tough on me to “catch” all the little nuisances Chet put in his pickin'. Like his use of demolished (dim) chords and open strings in those chords whenever he could fit them in. I, most generally, can “hear” them happening – but, rarely can figure out where he got them from. Sooo, I continue my trek into guitar mediocrity attempting to “grab” them out of a full bar chord. I end up with the “essence” of what he played – but, far short of neat way Chet went after them.

Even then when I think I have found where he “went” - a lot of times I have trouble playing them (up to speed) when there is a need to swap the positioning of the 2nd and 3rd fingers (left hand.) I'll admit that over the past 20 years they (the 2nd and 3rd fangers) have become a “little more” dexterous – but, even now it's a crap shoot if I can get them cleanly in “real time” – even with a LOT of practice.

Well, I've found another one that “I've just got to play” (talent, or not) and before I forget my lawn is growing like Iowa corn out in my front yard and commit the next few weeks to “practicing” what I think he did (instead of mowing) – I would like to ask you better players what the proper left hand “fingering” is to this one dim chord he used in Martha. (10.63 into the tune.)

The riff is just a quick A - to dragging his pick across that NEAT half step up “dim” - to E7.... Right?

Question: Assuming that I'm correct on the above – does he finger that “dim” chord with his “thumb” on the low E string, or his 2nd finger like the jazz players would?

A (hammering down and pulling off a 4th tone)

--6 (2)-(hammer)-7 (4)-(pull off)-6 (2)--
--7 (3)----------------------------------------

Half step up Dim... (I think he “drags” his tpick over this chord) (Q: Thumb or 2nd fanger?)
---7 (4)-----------
---6 (3)-----------
---5 (1)-----------
---6 (T or 2?)----

E7 (I don't think he dragged his pick over this one – but, it sounds cool if you just drag yer little finger over it.)

----7 (3)---------
----6 (2)---------

OK, I know this is probably just child's play to you pros – but, before I spend a ton of time practicing this riff – just would like to know the “proper fingering.”

Thanks for your help,


Re: Help with fingering?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:24 pm
by bill_h
Palmer, I see you requested help from some of the "better" players. It could be said that I'm one of the better players in that I'm probably better off not giving advice at all :lol: ! But since none of the better players have responded by now it looks like you're gonna have to scrape the bottom of the barrel for advice this time.

Based on your tablature it looks to me like it would be a lot easier to mute the 5th string with your 2nd finger than with the thunb. I've never known Chet to use his thumb to fret a note on one string and mute another string but that doesn't mean he never did ( Again, you may be "better off" not listening to me at all! )

As far as having trouble getting your 2nd and 3rd fingers to work, I've posted on here before that Aaron Shearer has some good stuff in his book "Slur And Reach Development Exercises" that may free them up faster than you think. It's written in standard notation though. If interested I'd be glad to demonstrate some of them for you next time I see you in "Nash Angeles" or Muhlenberg.

Hope some of this helps and maybe I'll get to hear you play this tune someday and flawlessly execute those augminished, demented, cemented, fermented chords!

Re: Help with fingering?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:15 pm
by George Mayle
Jim Nichols plays Martha about half way through this medley at CAAS 1999. His fingering for the section in question seems to works.


Re: Help with fingering?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:13 am
by LMark
I killed all the pics I had posted in this message, because the link, a few messages below from Palmer, shows the right way to do it! For real! LMark

Re: Help with fingering?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:17 am
by LMark
Ditto previous message. Go Palmer!

Re: Help with fingering?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:04 pm
by LMark

Re: Help with fingering?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:30 pm
by Pickin Palmer
Wow, thanks for all the work in helping me out, Mark. George pointed me "exactly" to the spot on Jim Nichols' (GREAT
Chet picker) YT clip out at 1:11. It's that little hammer on/off the 4th tone of that two finger A chord to whatever the diminished chord we've been talking about - and, as I suspected - he's not using his thumb on the A# (Bb) in the chord - he's grabbing it with THE SAME THIRD FANGER he used in the A chord - like the jazz guys do.

Now, for some strange reason (other than the fact I prolly shouldn't be "attempting this at home") (and, because there is a little delay between the chords) I CAN GET IT just a few measures later on in the tune when "they" are using the same dim after a hammer on/off of the 6th tone of that A chord. DUH!

Sooo, here I sit - everyday - trying to go back and forth between that A and dim... A and dim... A and dim... back and forth... back and forth... on and on. Youz guys know the drill.. Arg! Sometimes I get that dim cleanly - and, MOST times I don't. I just can't get comfortable grabbing it. Yet, I don't have a problem later on when it's the 6th tone to that dim..

I don't "knead" anymore help, fellas - I need a bullet.

"They shoot old horses - don't they?"

Thanks for the help, guys.


Re: Help with fingering?

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:58 pm
by DagerRande
Palmer, you're a great communicator and always full of energy! I'm looking forward to seeing you again at CAAS.

Re: Help with fingering?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:38 pm
by Pickin Palmer
Oh, yea, Rande - I'm full of energy....I'd drive my 93 yo mom nuts - if it wasn't for the fact that she's the same way! :)

Hey, gang - LMark helped me out a WHOLE bunch on that A..Bbdim(I guess)..E lick 10 seconds into Chet's version of Martha. Turns out that I was starting from the wrong A shape. If I had the "ear" Mark has I would have heard Chet start on an A with a 6th tone below the A note in the chord - which positions my 3rd fanger where it DOESN'T HAVE TO MOVE! You can't beat that.

I video recorded me working through that transition this morning. A picture is worth a thousand words - a video saves me a book of words.....


Re: Help with fingering?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:18 pm
by Jo-AnneP
Ah, so that's the key to playing these got to use yer FANGERS....I've been doing it all wrong :D