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Author Topic:  John Call's intro to Amie
Norman Allen


From:
Victoria, Canada
Post  Posted 5 Dec 2018 4:55 pm    
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Could anyone offer any insight on how he is playing the intro. Sounds like he starts off in A at the 12th fret playing 8 7 6 6. At the end of the second measure he lowers a F# down to E followed by lowering a C# to B. I just can't get these 4 notes to flow very smoothly. Do you think he just using his C pedal?

Thanks, Norm
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Norman Allen


From:
Victoria, Canada
Post  Posted 5 Dec 2018 5:06 pm    
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Here's the YouTube link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-c1az4uJzo
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Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post  Posted 5 Dec 2018 5:59 pm    
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I play every note in the Intro at Fret 12 out of the AB Position as you said.
Use the first string in there, too.
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Tucker Jackson


From:
Portland, Oregon, USA
Post  Posted 5 Dec 2018 11:04 pm     Re: John Call's intro to Amie
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Norman Allen wrote:
At the end of the second measure he lowers a F# down to E followed by lowering a C# to B. I just can't get these 4 notes to flow very smoothly. Do you think he just using his C pedal?

Yes. He hits the F# note and bends down to the E. He probably doesn't have a 1st string lower lever, so... that leaves either a 2 fret slide down on the 1st, or a bar move up two frets, hitting the 4th string then sliding back down to the 12th fret. Or he's quickly jumping over to the C pedal, hitting 4 and releasing the pedal.

The 4th string bar move is easiest for me to play at that tempo. But I think it's probably the C pedal. The second time he does that move in the intro at 0:18, you can clearly hear a very fast, clean attack from E up to an in-tune F#, then back down. That's the giveaway that it's maybe a pedal move rather than a bar move, up and back down. Slow the video down and you'll hear what I'm talking about. The accuracy and whiplash change of a stomped-on pedal is very hard to match with a bar move. It just sounds slightly different. But it's so tricky to do that pedal jump over to C at that speed and make it smooth, at least for me. John could probably do it either way and make it work.
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Dave Hepworth


From:
West Yorkshire, UK
Post  Posted 6 Dec 2018 11:48 am    
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Hi folks,
The other consideration is like what I used to have .....a Vertical (LVK) to raise just high E up to F# I Had this for years ( it now raises high B up to D), and you could effortlessly play Amie .Maybe JD Call has or had this.Does anyone here know his copedant at the time of the recording.
Maybe this is a golden opportunity to get to know more about John .Is he a member? His influence on me was immense and it was he who I first heard in 1977 and inspired me to play.
Regards Dave
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Norman Allen


From:
Victoria, Canada
Post  Posted 6 Dec 2018 11:55 am    
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Thanks for your reply's. Hey Tucker. I too have slowed this down and I hear exactly what you do. Yes at 0:18 you can hear a very quick wind up and back down to the E note. Like you I think this really points to the C pedal. Then to tag it off engage both B and C and play 3 3 5 4 and release your C pedal and then 5 open. Then head back to your AB position and finish it off. Cheers.
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 6 Dec 2018 12:00 pm    
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Thanks for the clip Norman. In all these years, I had never heard this live version with John doing the intro on steel.

I'll have to figure this out as well. I'll use this info everybody has posted here and dig it up. Thanks.
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Norman Allen


From:
Victoria, Canada
Post  Posted 6 Dec 2018 12:34 pm    
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Hey Dave. That crossed my mind a few times. If you had a E to F# change on a knee I agree it would really smooth things out.
I'm sure his playing was a huge influence on me also and after all these years has inspired me to acquire a pedal steel. I'm in my sixties now after getting lost in bluegrass banjo and guitar for a few decades. I feel like listening to PPL again has brought me back to the late seventies when I first got turned on to country rock music.

Norm
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Tucker Jackson


From:
Portland, Oregon, USA
Post  Posted 6 Dec 2018 2:24 pm    
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I would like to update my opinion on how this is played. I've been focused on that odd "ba-DAA" attack at the 0:18 mark and thinking that could only be done by stomping on the C pedal as quickly as possible.

I've been messing around and found, much to my surprise, that I could replicate that weird attack only by moving the bar with the fastest possible jerking motion. This is the opposite of what I had assumed, but now that I've put bar to string and actually spent some time with it... I think he's doing this change as a bar movement rather than the C pedal.

Not only that, it's about a thousand times easier to play as a bar move... but like Dave said, it would be nice if somebody that knows John could ask him how he played it.
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Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post  Posted 6 Dec 2018 2:43 pm    
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I haven't looked for other video's of John playing it live, but there a re probably a bunch from later years.
As long as people instantly recognize the lick, my reccomendation is to play an intermediate version of Johns lick, by just picking the string-1 F# note.
I tried it all four ways today too, and there is an easy way and three hard ways. Smile
I actually like the quad up/down left-foot stomp requiered to do the C-pedal method!
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Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post  Posted 6 Dec 2018 2:43 pm    
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I haven't looked for other video's of John playing it live, but there a re probably a bunch from later years.
As long as people instantly recognize the lick, my reccomendation is to play an intermediate version fo Johns, by just picking the string-1 F# note.
I tried it all four ways today too, and there is an easy way and three hard ways. Smile
I actually like the quad up/down left foot stomp requiered to do the C-pedal method!
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Dave Hepworth


From:
West Yorkshire, UK
Post  Posted 6 Dec 2018 2:53 pm    
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Hi there Norman,
I listen to PPL quite often.There is some brilliant steel playing going on and some great songs .I love the way you get a rock overdriven guitar and steel sounding together.It seems to accentuate the purity of the steel sound.......no doubt done on a Sho Bud straight into a Fender Twin ....no rack / digital gear in sight.
If you can try the E to F# lever when you get a steel
Cheers Dave
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Dave Hepworth


From:
West Yorkshire, UK
Post  Posted 6 Dec 2018 3:42 pm    
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The other alternative to raising E to F# is using R foot on the pedals ......left foot for A&B and right for the C ....a bit like C6 playing,2 feet on the pedals at times.
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Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post  Posted 5 Jan 2019 7:23 am    
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Well darn, I cannot find a clear vid of John Call playing the Intro lick to Amie.
If anyone knows him personally, we would still love to hear from him how he played it!!!
Since this thread started I have come to love the sound of playing pretty much the entire lick on the BC pedals (a take-off on my idea that it is important to be able to play the Jimmy Day style pedal arrangement even if you have a Emmons setup) .
It is very fun to play along with versions that don't have Steel already (ala, the original).
I start at the 12th fret, string 8, with the B pedal down.
8,7,6,6,5,6 are the first 6 notes.
After that I do a quick on/off on/off on the BC pedals (together) to get the string 5 raise, string 4 raise/lower, and string 5 lower (very fun to stomp those pedals hard and fast!).
The second half is pretty close to the first half, then I finish it out with a little AB lick that I start on the high G# string with double B pedal pump!
Very Fun!
Thank You, Tucker, and others here, for helping me to expand on this! Smile
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 6 Jan 2019 5:13 am    
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just keep in mind this is a LIVE cut, there are multiple versions of this. I think, I could be wrong, if we went to see John play this LIVE 6 times they would be similar but different. This is a nice stock intro which fits nicely on either the Emmons AB or Day BA Peds.

The main intro along with the guitar is completely across the 12 fret. Don't forget the 7th string ! Sometimes we make more of things than they actually are.

Try this, it's dang close to the audio above.Break it into it's components.

If you really wanna drive the band crazy, play this 4 bars over Working Man Blues first 4 bars of the Steel solo





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<b>Steel Guitar music here >>> http://www.tprior.com/five.htm</b>

Emmons Steels, Fender Telecasters
Pro Tools 8 and Pro Tools 12
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Lynn Fargo


From:
Fort Edward, NY
Post  Posted 10 Jan 2019 4:12 pm    
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Hi,
I'll give John a call and ask him. It's my turn to call anyway. We discussed this a couple years ago but I forget now exactly what he said. I know it's with a foot pedal or possibly a knee lever, but definitely not with the 1st string. I know he plays Day setup and uses a 4th pedal these days.
I always used the 1st string, but wasn't happy with it. Even tried the F knee lever and sliding up one fret. Yuk!
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Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post  Posted 11 Jan 2019 6:48 am    
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Thanks, Lynn!

Yes Tony, I play(ed) it just like your Tab for years in a ski-lodge band, and the guitar player and I were perfectly locked in.
I never gave it another thought... since 1979 Smile Shocked

Since Tucker pointed it out, now I think I hear a pedal raise/lower on that E-F#-E (the last 3 notes of your top Tab line).
I think the last note of Tab line-2 is 12B on string-6 (it says 12).
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Lynn Fargo


From:
Fort Edward, NY
Post  Posted 12 Jan 2019 3:16 pm    
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Ok, so John got back to me today. Are ya ready for this? Although he has a E to F# change on a knee lever these days, on that YouTube cut listed above (which I recognize as being from the Live, Taking the Stage album) he PULLED the 4th string behind the bar with his finger. Said it became second nature to him in those days.

John is well and still touring when PPL goes out. We actually got to visit a bit this summer when PPL came to NY.

His fourth pedal is the Franklin pedal. He plays an S10 Carter now.

No, he's not a member of the Forum, but when I see his name come up I try to pass on the info to him.

Oh, BTW, I did get a PM that asked me if I'd contact him and ask him about the intro. That's why I chimed in here.

I'm retired from playing in public, so haven't played this intro much lately, but yesterday I was messing with it and I found hitting the F lever and moving up a fret might work pretty well after all, IF I had a mind to practice it much.

Also, yes, that live version was recorded with a Sho~Bud Pro, aluminum neck, and a Twin.

If you're a die-hard JD fan, and you don't already have it, get a copy of Live, Taking the Stage. Amazing listening to his live performance. A lesser know live album is Songs of Pure Harmony, which is a poorly engineered radio station project, but John's steel comes through like gangbustas! Love it!
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Sho-Bud Pro II Custom, BMI S-10, Fender Pro Amp, Fender Mustang II Amp, Morrell 8-string lap, Epiphone 6-string lap, Galveston reso, etc.
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Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post  Posted 12 Jan 2019 4:08 pm    
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Lynn Fargo wrote:
Ok, so John got back to me today. Are ya ready for this? Although he has a E to F# change on a knee lever these days, on that YouTube cut listed above (which I recognize as being from the Live, Taking the Stage album) he PULLED the 4th string behind the bar with his finger. Said it became second nature to him in those days...

I cannot wait to try this!!!
Thanks So Much, Lynn!!!
Very Happy
[Update]: I cannot finger-pull my 25"-Scale Sierra up to that note without rippin' some skin, but I can (barely) on my 24"-Scale Steels. I will keep tryin! Smile

ps
Unless I chicken out, I am playing this Intro, singing some of the song, and taking the entire solo (just like the studio cut), on Steel, at the Steel Show in Phoenix next week.
Smile
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Lynn Fargo


From:
Fort Edward, NY
Post  Posted 12 Jan 2019 4:26 pm    
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Hi Pete,
Try using some adhesive tape for awhile. That's how my friend Ruth got started pulling strings on her dobro. She got pretty good at it!
Other than that, you might try using the E-F lever AND a finger (or two?) I never tried it, just a thought.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 13 Jan 2019 3:19 am    
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pretty interesting comments. I too grew up as a big time John fan, still am. Reading back, I suspect very few have an E to F# on a lever, especially because we have an F# already on the guitar. The 1st string. Players such as John did things out of the norm, it's great to read about it.

Many early players pulled strings from behind the bar, they were learning, experimenting and performing with guitars that didn't have todays pulls and flexibility.

Playing a tune such as Amie, we all love it and want to play it well. The F#, is it about the NOTE or how to get to the note ? It's not an argument . Pulling strings is an awesome technique, one that I DO NOT do !

Disregard the TAB. It uses the 1st string. But when I play this on STEEL, which I do now and then, for me, it's about the NOTE , not how I get to the note. I guess if I was a good behind the bar puller I would attempt it, but I'm not and probably never will be but I may have to play Amie next week ! Laughing
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<b>Steel Guitar music here >>> http://www.tprior.com/five.htm</b>

Emmons Steels, Fender Telecasters
Pro Tools 8 and Pro Tools 12
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