Those fast runs

Discussion of history's greatest guitar player.

Re: Those fast runs

Postby Terry Tolley » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:17 pm

I watched Chet's video on cross-string scales so much that I could see it clearly with my eyes closed. I listened to it so often I could hear it clearly in my mind. From that point, it took me nearly 3 months to be able to play it where I was even close to being happy with the way it came out. I am referring to "The Guitar of Chet Atkins" video where he plays and teaches a shortened version of "Maybelle". I love the tune and I cannot help but think of Chet and Paul every time I play it. I also play the intro that Paul plays on his (I think) Bigsby guitar on the CD where he and Chet recorded it. I have no idea how many times I have played that tune now, because I ran out of fingers and toes a LONG time ago! The techniques that Chet made to look so easy to do are in reality not nearly so easy to learn. I know, I have understated this a lot, but as we all know, Chet's style requres a great deal of work to master even the "simple" runs. I only know my hands do not seem to do what I want them to do, nor do they do them as quickly as I'd like.
Terry Tolley
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Re: Those fast runs

Postby Fred » Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:14 am

I think I remember that banjo roll, that I fumble and muck up all the, I don't mean mumble and ..... :lol:
I'll go back and watch that again, though the left hand is different, it's the right hand that I need a lot of help on. Oh heck both them hands need a lot of work...thanks.
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Re: Those fast runs

Postby Phil Waldron » Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:55 am

When I first started playing guitar many years ago I actually used a flat pick and got quite proficient with it ... but my real desire was with a thumbpick and once I started using it there was no turning back. I still use a thumbpick quite often as as flatpick with really no problems relative to speed, accuracy and volume. The things I have found that help are (1) wrist ... wrist control is critical but since I learned it using the flat pick, it's not a problem. (2) Angle of the pick ... most people using a flat pick angle the pick directly across the strings. I have found that if I angle the pick slightly it will roll off the strings. It is a technique called "circle-picking" which when used with the proper wrist action works very well. I learned this many years ago from a great guitar player named Tommy Tedesco. (3) The type of thumb pick ... I have found this to be critical as some thumbpicks people use are as big and thick as a boat paddle. My preference is for the Fred Kelley "speed picks" ... They are accurate and limber enough to be used as a flat pick. Just my thoughts and hoped they help.
Phil Waldron
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Re: Those fast runs

Postby RandeDager » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:17 pm

At first I had a little laugh when you referred to Tommy Tedesco as if people here might not know him, but then I had to think back to the last time I ever saw his name on a regular basis. It was a few decades ago. He used to be featured in the back of each "Guitar Player" magazine when they always printed the details of his most recent studio job, usually for t.v. I believe they even mentioned how much he earned each time.

I got to see him at a NAMM show once in L.A. He always dressed sort of like a "Hell's Angel" with a lot of black leather and his trademark leather hat.

I'm impressed that you studied with him, Phil.
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Re: Those fast runs

Postby craigdobbins » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:19 pm

Sorry, I haven't posted in a while...

Fred, you're correct, my materials have a lot of those kind of licks. For starters, you might try the Waltzing Matilda medley from my downloads page:

If you can find a copy of my book The Chet Atkins Collection (out of print), there are quite a few licks in there.

Also, The Best of Acoustic Guitar Workshop:

Finally, my Lick of the Week program features all sorts of- guess what?- licks from Chet, Jerry, Merle, Paul, and more:

Before I start sounding too much like an infomercial, both John Knowles' and John McClellan's books are treasure-troves of info, and my Favorite Chet Licks column in Mister Guitar (as well as Mark Pritcher's transcriptions).

Hope this helps,

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Re: Those fast runs

Postby Fred » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:35 pm

Thanks Craig, gosh I think I have CA Collection and will see if I can pick a little apart. All good suggestions for sure. I used your Baby's Coming Home transcription which I found extremely helpful, and its's teaching me that even simple tunes need a LOT of polish to make them sound right. Little my little I'm getting there. I then listened to Chet and Paul's arrangement on youtube from French TV, the one where they're sitting in the snow....Chet's ending lick and harmonics are exquisite and I'm trying to slow it down to learn it, but I tell ya, I'll all thumbs. Would be nice to see that in tab so I can walk through it step by if you ever get bored and need something to tab....(hint hint)
Paul's harmony, backround arpeggio's are beautiful as well, you can tell by the look on Chet's face that he's real pleased with what he's hearing.
Thanks again,
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