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Post new topic Blue Jade for C6th lap steel
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Author Topic:  Blue Jade for C6th lap steel
Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post Posted 31 Oct 2017 5:30 am     Reply with quote

Here's my C6th lap steel arrangement of Buddy Emmon's beautiful & timeless song, "Blue Jade." I tried to get some of the flavor of Buddy's approach in there via slides and slants. If you're new to slant playing, play each note in a given slant first individually to get the sound into your ear then, match the slant to those pitches. It takes practice time to play them in tune and in tempo. There are links below to the MIDI file of the arrangement, a backing track (found on the web courtesy of Basil Henriques that make take slight editing to match the arrangement) and Buddy's classic performance of the tune. It's not intended as a transcription of Buddy's performance, just my own interpretation but feel free to make any changes or corrections and/or let me know where I screwed up! Smile





AUDIO:

Blue Jade Arrangement MIDI: http://picosong.com/wnnuq
Blue Jade Backing Track: http://picosong.com/wnnuf/
Buddy's performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQKY2BVTgO8
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 31 Oct 2017 5:45 am     Reply with quote

Nice.
Thanks for sharing.
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Ken Campbell


From:
Ferndale, Montana
Post Posted 31 Oct 2017 5:54 am     Reply with quote

Cool. Thanks Andy.
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Mick Hearn


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 2 Nov 2017 2:32 am     Reply with quote

You beat me to it Andy. I have been playing Blue Jade for a while now in E13 tuning so will study your version with pleasure. It all started following a discussion on Blue Jade tab for pedal steel and I stuck my nose in and asked if anyone had tried on lap steel. The thread stopped dead at that point so had to do it to see that it could be done. Thanks for posting.
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post Posted 2 Nov 2017 5:08 am     Reply with quote

The pedal steel guitar performances that I've learned on lap steel have taught me so much about playing. For one, it gave me the need to try different things and also to learn where to cut corners and where not to.

As much as I enjoy pedal steel guitar, I am so glad that I decided to stick with the lap steel. Never been a doubt in my mind.
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post Posted 2 Nov 2017 7:22 am     Reply with quote

There’s certainly a lot to be gained by listening to the masters of pedal steel and equally, some good lessons on sounds we prefer not to make. Smile I’ve Lately been listening to Chalker’s astounding right hand facility and wondering what I might translate to lap steel. For some kinds of sounds - Ralph Mooney licks, for example - there’s no getting around the fact you need pedals. For other sounds, you can get them on non-pedal if you’re willing to work.
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Andy De Paule


From:
Saigon, Viet Nam & Eugene, Oregon
Post Posted 6 Nov 2017 11:33 pm     Very nice Reply with quote

Very nice Andy.
Not like the pedal version, but so very nice in it's own way.
Looks like a hard one to pull off as nice as you did it, but I will have to give it a try.
The sound is almost like a harpsichord when I listened to your MIDI version.
I also find some nice things from time to time when trying to duplicate pedal pulls on a lap steel, but I'm still a virgin on lap steel.
At least to me it seems I find some nice passages when I try to do that. They never really sound like the pedal steel to me, but are often very nice and unique
Often seems to me that having started out on pedals the lap steel is a great challenge.
Thanks for the great idea and the tab.
Best wishes,
Andy
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Mick Hearn


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 8 Nov 2017 12:51 pm     Reply with quote

I like your comment Mike. "Let me know where I screwed up". I don't think you can. The beauty of playing lap steel is that you have to be different. This is because of the tunings we use. You did it C6 I do it E13 and both are different. Also listen to Buddy Emmons. His live version is different to the recorded version and in my humble opinion is better.

As for transfer of licks from pedal steel to lap - I find it challenging. Weldon Myricks one pedal two string thingy that fits everything is achievable on C6. Just have to be quick with the bar. Then leave that and go for a bit of Joaquin Murphy and then John Hughey and all with the same guitar. I thank the day that I discovered lap steel.
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David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 8 Nov 2017 6:35 pm     Reply with quote

Mick Hearn wrote:
I like your comment Mike. "Let me know where I screwed up". I don't think you can. The beauty of playing lap steel is that you have to be different. .


Of course all pedal steel players are different, too, in touch, tone, etc., but is my imagination or does it show up more on SWP?
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 8 Nov 2017 9:49 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
...all pedal steel players are different, too, in touch, tone, etc., but is my imagination or does it show up more on SWP?


Yes, I think each player's unique style shows up more on non-pedal steel. I think that's because non-pedal players have to work harder to get the sounds... more bar motion, more slants, slides to different frets, etc. That tends to bring out the individuality in each player. A PSG player can leave his bar on one fret and play about 16 different chords! And the standard A, B, C pedals means that we hear the same (or similar) cliche' licks from most of the players. The signature A & B pedals, country twang sounds are built into the tuning. It's hard Not to play those sounds on E9 pedal steel. So PSG players sound a lot alike IMO. Lap steel players are unencumbered by pedals, and they come up with various and unique ways of getting the sounds they need. Hence we hear more individuality in non-pedal playing. That's my take on it anyway.
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post Posted 9 Nov 2017 3:10 am     Reply with quote

Very well put, Doug. I would add that the cabinet and overall weight of a pedal guitar offers a consistently different timbre and tone signature than lap steel. I find the limits of non-pedal steel to be oddly freeing for creativity. Endless joy (with a little bit a pain in there too from time to time). Smile
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Stefan Robertson


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 9 Nov 2017 6:17 am     Reply with quote

Doug Beaumier wrote:
Quote:
...all pedal steel players are different, too, in touch, tone, etc., but is my imagination or does it show up more on SWP?


Yes, I think each player's unique style shows up more on non-pedal steel. I think that's because non-pedal players have to work harder to get the sounds... more bar motion, more slants, slides to different frets, etc. That tends to bring out the individuality in each player. A PSG player can leave his bar on one fret and play about 16 different chords! And the standard A, B, C pedals means that we hear the same (or similar) cliche' licks from most of the players. The signature A & B pedals, country twang sounds are built into the tuning. It's hard Not to play those sounds on E9 pedal steel. So PSG players sound a lot alike IMO. Lap steel players are unencumbered by pedals, and they come up with various and unique ways of getting the sounds they need. Hence we hear more individuality in non-pedal playing. That's my take on it anyway.


Spot on Doug. I see it as a non-pedal player has to know his fretboard inside out and understand music, limitations, substitutions and fluid connection of lines chords and solo positions to such an extent that if mastered will create Unique sounds but also new ways of moving from one chord to another that pedal players won't even waste time exploring.

For example E9 Fret 8 Key of C they press A+B pedals to move from the 1-4

E13 you do the same thing but with slants. Difficult yes but can sound identical quite easily.
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post Posted 17 Nov 2017 11:36 am     Reply with quote

The Japanese vibe that Buddy is going for on his original recording is really evocative. The use of a pentatonic scale for the melody is very effective. If I were making an arrangement of this, I definitely would be looking to accentuate that quality.

I just broke this record out for the first time in a long time this morning. The timbre of the E9 pedal steel neck for this is perfect with all of its unwound strings and shimmering quality. Such a great sound. Would definitely be tricky on a C6 re timbres. I'll have to check it out.
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Stefan Robertson


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 17 Nov 2017 12:32 pm     Reply with quote

Whew just listened to Buddy's Version.

Sounds like an amazing exercise in Volume pedal technique and control.

WOW. Extremely subtle and connected lines without lifting the bar much. Definitely sounds E13 territory. I'll have a look. Right now studying Raisin the Dickens but after that will definitely add to my to do list.
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 17 Nov 2017 1:09 pm     Reply with quote

I had "The Black Album" back in the 1970s and wore it out. Great playing by Buddy, good backing band and mix. As I remember, there is no rhythm guitar, just piano, bass, drums, with the pedal steel guitar right out front. There is no clutter in the songs, so every move Buddy makes can be clearly heard. Blue Jade is in the key of F and he plays the melody by moving up through the frets, from fret 1 to fret 13... as opposed to playing the notes across the strings on just a few frets. That was part of his signature style IMO. I heard him play Blue Jade live several times and it was always amazing.
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Mick Hearn


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 20 Nov 2017 3:37 pm     Reply with quote

I will put my version up on soundcloud which I did on the E13. The whole of the first section is on two strings starting on the F fret and moving up with bar slants and returning again on the same strings. If you wanted to add some flash - play the first phrases hitting the strings only once and then raising the right hand so all can see whilst going up with the bar twisting and turning. Whilst Andy uses fuller chords, I just wanted to get the flavour of the continuous move.

I think if I was doing this on pedal steel, everyone would be comparing with Buddy's version. As I am using lap steel the pressure is not on therefore a little bit of artistic freedom comes in - I hope.
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Mick Hearn


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 21 Nov 2017 2:36 am     Reply with quote

Firstly let me apologise to Andy. I was reading through the earlier posts and realised I had referred to him as Mike. Mainly because I had just finished reading Mike Neer's comments.

Well here it is. My version - a little rough round the edges but you will get the idea. I had asked Basil H to do me a track without reverb but unfortunately he was unable to do so due to suffering ill health at the time. I am glad he he did not as this prompted me to use Band in a Box and without the piano opener had to do something myself. This made it slightly different. Also I have a high G#. The same continuous move can be done on C6 except we are starting on the 5th fret instead of the 1st fret therefore losing a little something as you reach the higher register.

https://soundcloud.com/mike-hearn-197524187/blue-jade
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post Posted 21 Nov 2017 5:03 am     Reply with quote

No worries, Mike. Smile

Nice version! You capture a lot of the flavor of Buddy's E9th original here. For my personal taste, Buddy's use of Asian cliche's seems very organic and somehow timeless while Byrd's in China Night just seems culturally insensitive and dated.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88N_F_GlKL0
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Last edited by Andy Volk on 21 Nov 2017 8:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mick Hearn


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 21 Nov 2017 6:35 am     Reply with quote

Thanks Andy.

I am afraid I must agree with you on Mr Byrds rendition. With an Asian title I find nothing of an oriental flavour in this at all. Hate to say that about one of the masters.
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