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Post new topic Jimmy Day's tone
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Author Topic:  Jimmy Day's tone
Bobby Nelson


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post Posted 18 Feb 2018 3:11 am     Reply with quote

I know he was playing the first Sho-Buds (the Blue Darlin among others I imagine). But, can anyone shed some light on the amps Day was using to get that unique tone on the early 60's ray Price stuff? Were the pups in his guitars just standard single coils?

I have the idea that it used to be easier to get really good, well rounded tone because bands used to play much quieter than they do today. Having to be heard above modern drums, bass and rock guitar presents it's challenges to good tone - just a theory. There's that "band is too loud thing" again haha!
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Wally Moyers


From:
Lubbock, Texas
Post Posted 18 Feb 2018 8:19 am     Reply with quote

Bobby,

His tone was always great even later when he played through modern amps and His last Blue Darlin' Mullen..
He had a vibrato that just filled the room with emotion that I've heard very few even get close to.. Larry Sasser played at the Phoenix show last month, his vibrato came closer than anyone I can remember.. His hands and heart were what came through in his tone for me...
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John LeMaster


From:
North Florida
Post Posted 18 Feb 2018 8:58 am     Reply with quote

Wally, very well stated, indeed. Jimmy seemed to put his heart into each note, each move.
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robert kramer


From:
Nashville TN
Post Posted 18 Feb 2018 10:07 am     Reply with quote

"Danny Boy" Johnny Bush

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbk9r6YXuFk

"Farewell Party" Johnny Bush

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEjnLKxo-BY
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Bobby Nelson


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post Posted 18 Feb 2018 10:24 am     Reply with quote

I agree Wally. It's his tone and chord work that make him #1
In my book - along with John Hughey. The vibrato and chord work is what I love about both of them - and, with Hughey, the high stuff.


Great stuff Robert - Thanks. I'll be adding this to my playlist - thanks again.
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Herb Steiner


From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post Posted 18 Feb 2018 10:49 am     Reply with quote

Jimmy wanted to be a singer. When you're singing the song, you play like that.

IMHO... here's a suggestion. Sing the song.

Try playing "Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me," but without lead-up licks or stock pedal A moves, or as few as possible. Play the straight melody (no cheating), varying it between single note and 2-part harmony AND... very important... phrase it the way Ray Price sings it, with held notes, syncopated lyric moves, and not landing every note on a precisely defined beat. Sing the lyrics to yourself and play what you're singing.

You'll find yourself rolling the bar for vibrato, not sliding it. You'll be count on your rhythm section keep the beat and not follow you, or slow down when you ritard the lyric in the middle of the song. Use rhythm tracks. You'll probably also discover melody positions that previous were occupied by steel licks.

Songs have stories; singers have lyrics to communicate with the audience; we don't have that advantage. But when you put yourself into the song instead of playing above it, you're telling the story and your style changes.
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Mitch Drumm


From:
Frostbite Falls, hard by Veronica Lake
Post Posted 18 Feb 2018 11:23 am     Reply with quote

Herb Steiner wrote:
Jimmy wanted to be a singer.


He always struck me as a damn good singer and I wish there were more examples.

Herb:

Was he given to singing at live performances?

I only talked to him once (at a steel show)---he was grinning a lot and in a very talkative mood (imagine that!!). I had the chance then to see if I could get him to sing something on stage--but I didn't think of it.

Isn't this Jimmy singing:

http://picosong.com/wk3nB/

It's been released on several Nelson LPs/CDs and is allegedly Nelson, but I don't think so, after listening to "I Have No Place To Go" again.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post Posted 18 Feb 2018 12:19 pm     Reply with quote

When a lot of players talk about tone of the old players, it's usually related to their amp or their guitar. But the really impressive thing to me about most of those guys was their technique, their imagination, and their intonation (with all those less-than-perfect guitars they were using). Because without those three essential things, I think that what we call "tone"...even the most beautiful and stellar tone from the guitar and amp, winds up being completely and utterly useless.

I think the few times I saw Jimmy, he was using Fender amps. I think I may have also seen him use a Standel, once. (But admittedly, I always paid more attention to the players than to their equipment.)
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Barry Blackwood


Post Posted 18 Feb 2018 12:56 pm     Reply with quote

Jimmy's tone was at times almost ethereal and always hard to duplicate. God-given, some would say..
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Bobby Nelson


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post Posted 18 Feb 2018 2:25 pm     Reply with quote

That's great advice Herb. I was a pretty good singer at one point (through no fault of my own) and did a lot of it, even though I never really wanted to - It just kind of happened, and then no one would leave me alone about it. So, I know exactly what you are saying. Wes Montgomery was my favorite guitar player and, he had a very very lyrical style too.

I have a 73 twin with K120s in it. I believe this is what Lloyd green uses a lot, and I can here it in my amp. I think what I'm talking about has a lot to do with the PUP.

I know that good tone w/out good technique and touch and style etc is not going to get me very far. But, having the right equipment a good start. As a kid (16-18ish) trying to play what I heard in my head on guitar, I had a Stratocaster, and could never get any tone out of it, so I sold it. Then, I saw, and talked to Stevie Vaughn, who got more tone out of a guitar, plugged straight into his amp (this was pre-rock star days when he was on the bar circuit), and realized that I'd had the right guitar - just no idea of how to get tone out of it. He told me a few things and, between watching him and his brother (among others) play, and a few acquisitions of gear, viola! - I had tone.

I figured that Jimmy was playing Fenders. I also figure (although I have no knowledge to back this up) that John Hughey was not. I also don't imagine he was playing at the volume we do today - but again: I don't really know. I do have enough experience and awareness of tone to know that your electronics can do a lot in terms of steering you toward tone you're hearing in your head, and the tone you're looking for - the rest is up to you hands and brain, but a good vehicle will help you get there.
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Herb Steiner


From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post Posted 18 Feb 2018 2:28 pm     Reply with quote

Jimmy sang upon occasion at his own gigs. Lotta blues and sorrowful ballad stuff.

Pretty much throughout the 80's Jimmy played through Evans Amplifiers. I don't know if he ever had a Webb, he may have; but I remember the Evanses.
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Bobby Nelson


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post Posted 18 Feb 2018 2:33 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks again Herb.
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Steve Spitz


From:
New Orleans, LA, USA
Post Posted 18 Feb 2018 5:58 pm     Reply with quote

It sounded to my ear, that he played with a very “vocal like” style. Playing the melody, and matching every syllable instrumentally. Like a more soulful second voice. That’s what I hear on “Steel and Strings” , not to mention his tone had a bit of “hair” on it. It’s just the coolest. I think if I had to choose the single most influential recording for playing E9, that’s it for me.

From the YouTube videos I see of that era, I see fenders, tweed and Blonde. I’ve heard others mention standels.

The last part of his career I saw him use a WEBB. Obviously he sounded great through anything.

I remember at a Jeff Newman seminar at the Dallas show in the 90s, Jeff asked if everyone had that disc. One student said he wasn’t familiar. Jeff ordered that guy “as soon as this class is over, run, don’t walk , to one of the vendors and buy it”.

Ill never be mistaken for Jimmy Day, but that’s exactly how I try to approach my E9 solos. Play the melody, and try to enunciate every single syllable.

I think that’s what audiences connect with. As true to the melody as possible the first time around, and maybe some variation if you take it around the block again.
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Bobby Nelson


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post Posted 19 Feb 2018 2:43 am     Reply with quote

That was the first album I bought Steve,when I got into this last year (I think it's a compilation of Golden Guitar and Steel and Strings). Charlie Walker's Pick Me Up On Your Way Down is what finally kicked me into "having" to play this instrument. It was the Approach to melody, but especially, the tone and chord work on that song that grabbed me. Then I found the Day album on the net, bought it and must have listened to it 200 times. The early Ray Price stuff also, is kind of like a road map on how the steel should sound to me.
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robert kramer


From:
Nashville TN
Post Posted 20 Feb 2018 11:47 am     Reply with quote

Off topic but cool:

Billboard 11/19/55 pg. 52

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