Need Help with Chet Style Playing

Discussion of history's greatest guitar player.

Re: Need Help with Chet Style Playing

Postby RonBloor » Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:05 am

As always Randy, you have given some great insight to the "why" and "how" music works... That is my simple way of saying... good stuff!! However, when it comes to playing "Chet Style" it often comes back to natural ability. Don't take this the wrong way, but over the last few years I've listened to many of our group and others playing "Chet Style"... They all have a certain quality, touch, feel or whatever.. Sure they get better at it, but they still retain that certain quality which seems to define them. We are not born with the ability to play like Merle, Jerry or Chet, but we develop, from a very early age, our sense of rhythm and timing... That is what I hear when I listen to Merle's tunes. I doubt that Merle ever analyzed his music... He felt his music.. I'm sure Chet did analyze his music to some degree, but he obviously had an ability which went right to his core. I enjoy all guitar music (well most)... I also enjoy all levels (well most) and I think we all need to improve and grow.. It is a journey!!! Good luck..
Ron Bloor
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Re: Need Help with Chet Style Playing

Postby Tompicks » Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:31 am

Randy your post was well thought out and offered great advice - Thanks!
Tom Redmond
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Re: Need Help with Chet Style Playing

Postby Bryan B. » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:41 am

Thanks, Guys

I have, for most part, taught myself guitar...I have a teacher but he does not know how to play Chet's style, so he really acts as my coach.

There appear to be many folks out there that play fingerstyle, but not Chet's fingerstyle. I try to stay focused on the music of those that Chet spent time with such as Tommy Emmauel, Steve Wariner, Paul Yandel etc.and try to listen critically to what they are doing.

You all have givin me some things to work on and I thank you all.

Bryan
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Re: Need Help with Chet Style Playing

Postby BillB » Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:35 am

One video that helped me to get started using a thumbpick was Pat Kirtley's "Introduction to Thumbstyle" instructional video. John McClellan's "Chet Licks" and "Chet Atkins in 3-Dimensions" Vol. 1-3 videos are outstanding, as well as Pat Kirtley's "Pickin' Like Chet" series.

Bill B.
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Re: Need Help with Chet Style Playing

Postby thenorm » Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:53 am

just remember... there are No shortcuts. Keep plugging at it and practicing.

Enlightement will come.

When I used to teach guitar I used to tell my studes to practice until they didn't want to practice anymore and at tha time practice an extra ten minutes..
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Re: Need Help with Chet Style Playing

Postby Randy Finney » Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:32 am

Bryan,

It may be helpful to post some audio of yourself playing so we can hear what you are defining as "Chet's Fingerstyle".

Chet was perhaps the most multi-dimensional guitarist ever. Really, you could talk to ten different people who Chet spent time with and get ten different answers explaining what is meant by "Chet's Fingerstyle". "Chet's Fingerstyle" really means "Almost All Fingerstyle".

For me, it is Chet's creativity that I find most interesting - the way he used everything at his disposal, note choices, rhythm, touch, feel, etc, etc, to "solve" the challenges of arranging music for solo guitar. Indeed, I think one of the things he thought most highly of in other's playing was creative honesty.

This is undoubtedly why he held players such as Tommy Emmanuel and Lenny Breau in such high esteem. It is true that Lenny could, and that Tommy can, sound remarkably like Chet at times but, mostly they just sound like themselves. Lenny was heavily influenced by many styles, and Tommy even more so. In fact, Tommy assimilates more styles into his own style than any player I have heard.

I don't know too much about Jerry Reed "the player" but, I do know that most of what I have read or heard Chet say about Jerry was in reference to Jerry's creativity as a player and writer.

Perhaps the best way to appreciate the underlying spirit of "Chet's Fingerstyle" is to focus on discovering "Bryan's Fingerstyle".

Randy
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Re: Need Help with Chet Style Playing

Postby RandeDager » Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:11 pm

Randy, I'm sure you would be impressed with Jerry Reed "the player". I used to wonder who "his guitarist" was when I first started listening to him over 40 years ago. My mind was blown when I found out that it was HIM! He could play more guitar while singing than many guitarists could with their mouths closed! Even when I learned that he played his own guitar backup, I still thought that he was laying down separate tracks. I've watched him live numerous times and I was floored each time. I remember him playing a very tricky instrumental guitar break between verses of a song and he singled a lady out of the audience and was carrying on a conversation with her at the same time. He found out where she was from and what she did for a living and then right before going into his next verse, without missing one guitar lick, he said to her "OK honey, I've gotta finish up this song but I'll see ya after the show" and then slipped right back into the next syllable of his song, while keeping perfect timing and playing a very complex instrumental break!

If you haven't already, listen to his version of "Georgia On My Mind", which is one of my favorites. He did things harmonically that you don't hear the average guitarist play, especially while they're singing. As you mentioned, he was respected for his creativity. I loved his "grooves" that he developed and sang over. I once read that many Nashville guitarists felt like throwing their guitars away when they realized that he was their competition. And yet he never considered himself to be a guitarist! I personally asked him once after a show in the mid 90's if he was going to attend the CAAS convention that Summer. He responded "Are you kidding! And be there with all of those guitar pickers?" It has been in print a number of times that he considered himself to be more of a "guitar thinker" than a "guitar player". Listen sometime to "The Essential Jerry Reed". That's a good compilation and representation of what he has done. I'm always honored whenever anyone thinks they hear Jerry's influence in some of what I play.

Sorry, I know this is supposed to be about learning Chet's style but your comment on Jerry brought all of this out in me. I also agree with the advice you're giving Bryan. I think Chet was flattered by people who succeeded in playing his style but he was most interested in and admired those who did something different and had their own identity and from whom he could learn.
Rande
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Re: Need Help with Chet Style Playing

Postby Randy Finney » Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:51 pm

Now, that's entertainment!

Would really enjoy learning more from your experiences, Rande.

I am actually going to be in Michigan on the September 2 weekend so I googled Battle Creek. Unfortunately, I'll be in Bloomfield Hills, 125 miles away.

Randy
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Re: Need Help with Chet Style Playing

Postby RandeDager » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:26 pm

Randy, when would you be in Bloomfield Hills? I'm not teaching between Aug. 1 and 29 but then I'm also not making any money to speak of, other than for a Sunday church job. Let me know. Yes, I guess I've had a lot of experiences, but then there are people on this forum who could run circles around me with what they've done. I look forward to hearing from you.
Rande
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Re: Need Help with Chet Style Playing

Postby Randy Finney » Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:04 am

My son is playing a soccer tournament there September 2 to 4. I don't know the exact schedule yet or where we are staying but, I will definitely keep you posted.

Randy
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