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Old 01-14-2019, 03:57 AM
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Les Espaces Du Sommeil Les Espaces Du Sommeil is offline
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Solo Guitar Piece with the Melody on the Low Strings and the Chords on the High Strings ?

On the piano, it not rare to have the left hand playing the melody and the right one accompanying. The usual manner is the other way around but it's still fairly frequent to switch, and rather trivial to do so.

But I have a hard time thinking of a guitar piece which does that. Now, I can play guitar although it's not my main instrument but it seems to me to be much more technically difficult to do. I'm not talking about a walking bass with chords above (that is absolutely doable) but a bona fide solo on the low strings while also playing the accompaniment on the upper strings.

I guess someone must have pulled it off but I can't think of any example. I'd be interested mainly in occurences in real musical pieces, songs or instrumental, not someone posting a 10-second youtube clip merely to show it can be done.

Also, remember I'm looking for a solo guitar piece. Two guitars or more don't count of course.
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Mais je porte accroché au plus haut des entrailles
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Un cœur où chaque mot a laissé son entaille
Et d’où ma vie s’égoutte au moindre mouvement
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:15 AM
F. U. Shakespeare F. U. Shakespeare is offline
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That's basically what the "Carter Scratch" does. Invented by Maybelle Carter, it's used in the great majority of the Carter Family's material. Since the Carters were a singing group, Maybelle usually used the technique to play instrumental passages in vocal songs, as opposed to complete instrumental songs as you describe.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:23 AM
F. U. Shakespeare F. U. Shakespeare is offline
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Here is the 1928 recording of "Wildwood Flower". I posted this song because while most of the Carter Family's material featured both Maybelle Carter on guitar and Sarah Carter on autoharp, here there is no autoharp, just guitar. So it's easier to hear Maybelle's playing.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:35 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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The Beatles’ “Blackbird,” perhaps?
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:14 AM
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Neither of the two wikipedia examples sound convincing (they could be mere bass lines) but the Wildwood Flower recording is closer to what I had in mind.

As for Blackbird, I'm not sure. It may be a very rudimentary example of the idea but again, it sounds more like regular picking with some embellishments to me.
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Mais je porte accroché au plus haut des entrailles
À la place où la foudre a frappé trop souvent
Un cœur où chaque mot a laissé son entaille
Et d’où ma vie s’égoutte au moindre mouvement
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:19 AM
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JKellyMap JKellyMap is offline
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Certain phrases in Leo Kottke's "Busted Bicycle" do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6aUWCSh4Cw

...but that's mainly because it's a 12-string guitar, where some strings are really two strings tuned an octave apart, and if you hit the lower of a pair harder (or exclusively), the melody will consequently be lower in pitch.

(His "Stolen" comes close to this as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9fZt6QzwNI)

Last edited by JKellyMap; 01-14-2019 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:22 PM
F. U. Shakespeare F. U. Shakespeare is offline
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Maybelle used a thumbpick and a metal fingerpick on her index finger. I prefer not to use a fingerpick, which Maybelle probably began using to play with sufficient volume back before electricity.

The thumb plays the melody on the bass strings, and the index finger plays the chords. Quarter note chords are played with upstrums of the fingerpick. If eighth note chords are required, the back of the index finger (really the fingernail) brushes down on the downbeat, and the fingerpick strums up on the upbeat.

The Carter Scratch is a versatile technique. It can be adapted to a lot of songs with a country or blues feel. (FWIW I use it on "Dark as a Dungeon" by Merle Travis, and "I Still Miss Someone" by Johnny Cash). It's not especially difficult to master -- the trickiest part is usually the down-up strumming of chords, which requires you to pivot the index finger quickly between eighth notes.
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:37 PM
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I don't know if this is exactly what you're talking about, but try "Sketches in the Sun". A Steve Howe tune, it was released when he was with the execrable group "GTR".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj-k2PNFl2w
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:45 PM
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Steve Howe was said to be heavily influenced by Chet Atkins in hybrid picking, so you might find some stuff by the latter to be your liking.
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:52 PM
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What a pleasure to see Mother Maybelle Carter and Chet Atkins in the same thread. Thanks for all the memories. I saw Mother Maybelle perform once, with the Carter girls and Johnny Cash. One of my best afternoons.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:03 PM
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In a semi-related topic, If you like finger style and self accompaniment bee sure to check out Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. I would highly recommend Ledward Kaapana, Kawika Kahiapo and George Kahumoku, Jr. or some of the other masters live if you can.

https://youtu.be/bTfmNdfnzjY

To quote Mark Knopfler on finger picking; You've got to really want to play... because your fingers don't want to.

Personally I am hoping to just to the point where I don't annoy neighborhood cats with my playing by the time they put me in the cold ground.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:05 AM
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I think this might fit the OP:

Etude, Op. 60, No. 6 (Matteo Carcassi)
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:35 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Only thing that came to mind is guitar versions of Schumann's "The Merry/Happy Farmer." Don't know if that's the kind of thing you're looking for, as it was originally written for piano.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Only thing that came to mind is guitar versions of Schumann's "The Merry/Happy Farmer." Don't know if that's the kind of thing you're looking for, as it was originally written for piano.
Ha! I was going to mention that, but didn’t realize there were guitar versions.
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:14 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKellyMap View Post
Ha! I was going to mention that, but didn’t realize there were guitar versions.
Yeah, you can find all sorts of guitar adaptations of classical pieces not originally written for guitar. Here's just one easier version. Of course, you'll have to adapt based on the constraints of the guitar, like the key is different here and not all the notes are played, but the spirit is the same. You can also bar that F in the second measure and bring out a treble "F" or even "FC" to keep that chord motif going, though not with exactly the same voicing as the piano.
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Old 01-15-2019, 04:37 PM
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The person you are looking for is Lenny Breau. His whole deal was he wanted to be able to play the guitar like a piano. He had 7-string classical guitars custom made to assist the technique. Listening to him, it seems impossible that's all coming out of one guy simultaneously, but it totally is.

Anything you find on him will likely feature this technique of his, but here's as good a place to start as any: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EKnCEWaETI
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:43 AM
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I'd heard a bit of Lenny Breau and I agree he's amazing but I'm not sure that the videos I've seen include the technique I was thinking of. They all seemed to have the melody on top, as usual. Still, awesome playing.

So far, I'd say that The Happy Farmer and Wildwood Flower are the closest to what I had in mind.
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Mais je porte accroché au plus haut des entrailles
À la place où la foudre a frappé trop souvent
Un cœur où chaque mot a laissé son entaille
Et d’où ma vie s’égoutte au moindre mouvement
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Old 01-16-2019, 04:48 PM
lisiate lisiate is online now
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Isaac Albeniz's Leyenda and Francisco Tarrega's [I]Recuerdos de la Alhambra [/I ]kind of qualify I think.

Last edited by lisiate; 01-16-2019 at 04:49 PM.
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