Who thought up "harmonic-pure tone" riffs?

Discussion of history's greatest guitar player.

Re: Who thought up "harmonic-pure tone" riffs?

Postby Norm » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:13 pm

I'd put my money on him learning the harmonic/pure tone trick from Jerry Byrd. (Jerry/Jimmy plus senior memory?)

He and Jerry had two radio shows a day in Chet's early Nashville pre-gretsch days for a while. Jerry was a top dog steeler back then.

Unfortunately, Jerry insisted all the transcriptions destroyed
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples: http://www.youtube.com/user/acountrygent/videos
That should do it.
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Re: Who thought up "harmonic-pure tone" riffs?

Postby gmoseley » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:08 am

Palmer, you were questioning how steel players could possibly play "pure tone" note staggered in with "harmonic notes".
When Jimmy Crawford did this he just played the "pure tone" with his metal bar, just like you use your first finger to bar across all 6 strings (et, it wasn't an open note, however it was a "pure tone" note), then he would make the harmonic just like we do, touching the string with his index finger and hitting it with his ring finger (left hand stuff). Sometimes he would play an open note for the "pure tone" just putting his metal bar half way across the strings, leaving the bass strings open. If the note needed sharping or flatting, he used one of his MANY knee pedals to correct it. Super difficult BUT, it can be done.

I can't properly address the many technical aspects that steel players used to use - sometimes they retuned various strings to play a certain song - - all their technical tricks are so foreign to me, I don't understand how in the world they played one of those monsters so well. (?) Its a mystery to me! :)

Gayle
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Re: Who thought up "harmonic-pure tone" riffs?

Postby Pat Kirtley » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:47 am

Chet originally got the harmonic + pure tone technique from steel player Tommy Covington at WNOX radio in the '40s. He told the story in a magazine interview, but on that occasion Chet mis-remembered the man's name as "Tommy Covey." Around 2003 Mark Pritcher located Covington, who has since passed away, and interviewed him. There is an article on him that year in Mister Guitar with the interview and photos. A photo is attached here with him standing next to Chet. PK
Attachments
chet and covington.jpg
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Re: Who thought up "harmonic-pure tone" riffs?

Postby gmoseley » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:24 pm

Great information Pat! You got that cleared up for us all. I had no idea.

Gayle
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Re: Who thought up "harmonic-pure tone" riffs?

Postby Doug Working » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:17 pm

As soon as you mentioned Chinatown, I immediately knew what you were talking about. I always thought that sounded incredible, but had no idea how it was accomplished. Same thing he used in Bells of St Mary's?
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