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Sugarplum

Q&A Guitar

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Hi everyone. I felt it may be helpful to start a thread that allows guitarists, and musicians of any sort around here, to help each other out if they are having difficulties in transcribing, or understanding exactly what technique or effect is being used on a particular song they are trying to figure out. Any technique related questions are welcome, really. I don't necessarily mean this is a tab-request thread. I personally try to transcribe from records as best I can by ear.. But sometimes I feel like if I could just be clued in on a little part of what is going in an area of a song, I could get so much further, more quickly. I don't know.. maybe I'm just lazy sometimes :P I've been playing guitar for a few years now, but I have only been really serious about it in the past year or so, and there are certain areas of songs in which I really have no idea how an effect is being achieved. I guess I'm hoping that there are some musicians around here who are more advanced than me, and could perhaps lend a helping hand from time to time:)

Edited by Sugarplum

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Okay.. first question. To show how naive I am. You know that clapping sort of sound behind Jimmy's acoustic, John Paul's bass, and Robert's vocals during the intro of 'Ramble On'? How is that effect achieved? Is it a percussion instrument? Tapping the guitar body? An effect added later in the mixing?

Edited by Sugarplum

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I'm pretty sure it's Bonzo playing some percussion, not drums though. It almost sounds like he is just hitting a pillow or something with his drum sticks.

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^^I was wondering if it was Bonzo. It does sound like he could be hitting a pillow :D I think I recall reading somewhere, though, that Jimmy said it was an effect that was added on...?

Edited by Sugarplum

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^^I was wondering if it was Bonzo. It does sound like he could be hitting a pillow :D I think I recall reading somewhere, though, that Jimmy said it was an effect that was added on...?

Could be an early drum machine, it's only a simple beat.

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Okay.. another question. Does anyone happen to have a list of alternate tunings used for specific Zep songs? You don't have to list the ones that are in standard.. just the ones that are played with different tunings. If someone wouldn't mind posting that, it would really help me out:)

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What comes into my mind is DADGAD (Black Mountain Side/White Summer and Kashmir)

and CACGCE(Bron-y-aur)

Question: How does Jimmy manage to switch between slide and fingers this fast in songs like Bron-yr-aur Stomp and You shook me?

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Okay.. another question. Does anyone happen to have a list of alternate tunings used for specific Zep songs? You don't have to list the ones that are in standard.. just the ones that are played with different tunings. If someone wouldn't mind posting that, it would really help me out:)

This is a repost from another thread, I don't remember which one.

WS/BMS - DADGAD

Moby Dick - DADGBE

Friends - CACGCE

That's The Way - DGDGBD

Bron-Y-Aur Stomp - DGDGBD

Hat's Off - CGCGCE (CGCEGC ?)

Going to California - DADGBD

When the Levee Breaks - XXCFAC (CFCFAC ?)

Rain Song (studio) - DGCGCD

Rain Song (live) - EADADE

Dancing Days (live) - DGDGBD

In My Time Of Dying (studio)- EAEAC#E

In My Time Of Dying (live) - DGDGBD

Kashmir - DADGAD

Bron-Yr-Aur - CACGCE

Ten Years Gone - DADGBE

Black Country Woman - DGDGBD

Poor Tom - CACGCE

Midnight Moonlight - DADGAD

Jennings Farm Blues - EFCFAE ?

Travelling Riverside Blues - DGDGBD

Wonderful One (Double neck) -

- 6 string - F#F#C#F#C#F# (GGDGDG)

- 12 string - Standard tuning capo 1

City Don't Cry - EAEAC#E

Wah Wah - AEAEEA

No Quarter (on the "Unledded" Album) - DADGAD

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^^Thanks so much for that! And to the original poster. That'll really help me out.

You are welcome. The original poster was most likely evster, if I remember right.

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What comes into my mind is DADGAD (Black Mountain Side/White Summer and Kashmir)

and CACGCE(Bron-y-aur)

Question: How does Jimmy manage to switch between slide and fingers this fast in songs like Bron-yr-aur Stomp and You shook me?

I have yet to figure that out as well...but to add on to that question.. what type of slide does he use? I think he uses a steel one.. but I'm not sure. Personally, I've been thinking about buying a glass one... but I'd be interested to hear other peoples' opinions on different types of slides.

Edited by Sugarplum

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A few threads w/ alt tuning info:

http://forums.ledzeppelin.com//index.php?s...ic=5990&hl=

http://forums.ledzeppelin.com//index.php?showtopic=3596

edited to add:

More from evster:

"A slide is a very personal thing. Some people won't use anything but a Coricidin bottle. In fact, some manufacturers have replicated that little medicine bottle (where's Magic Sam? He's a slide officianado). It depends on what type of slide you want to play. My favorite is a piece of a Schwinn bicycle handlebar I cut off with a hacksaw!! It's heavy, but it fits! laugh.gif I've had smooth glass slides, and I currently use a Dunlop chrome slide. Just use what feels best for you. BTW, Jimmy uses a chrome slide live. In the studio is anyone's guess"

source

Edited by Uncle Bill

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I have yet to figure that out as well...but to add on to that question.. what type of slide does he use? I think he uses a steel one.. but I'm not sure. Personally, I've been thinking about buying a glass one... but I'd be interested to hear other peoples' opinions on different types of slides.

I'm almost sure it is metal. In the Earls Court Show it is clear and in the recordings...i think I can hear it is steel. Glass sounds softer.

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Question: How does Jimmy manage to switch between slide and fingers this fast in songs like Bron-yr-aur Stomp and You shook me?

Well, the slide is only on one finger isn't it? The others are all there to be used as normal.

Swaping from the finger with the slide on it to the others can be just as fast as swaping between fingers is usually.

If you take IMTOD as a specific example, he's got the (steel) slide on his ring finger, leaving the first, second and pinky free for the parts when he's freting the notes regularly. He isn't taking the slide on or off every time he switches...

(NB - the one time he does add/remove the slide mid-song was WIAWSNB, when he'd play the song up to the slide solo, grab it suring the pause, play the solo, then toss the slide...)

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^^So it would probably be important to have a very snug-fitting slide in order to move around quickly? The one I have is pretty loose, and gets in the way. I'm looking to buy a different one.

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Thanks Uncle Bill! Saved me the time of tracking down my old posts! :lol:

Oh, and the Ramble On percussion was Bonzo tapping on an empty guitar case that was laying around the studio. A spontaneous addition while sitting around during the acoustic tracking.

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^^Haha, that's fantastic! I never thought of that. Thanks again for listing those tunings, Ev.

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Thanks Uncle Bill! Saved me the time of tracking down my old posts! :lol:

Oh, and the Ramble On percussion was Bonzo tapping on an empty guitar case that was laying around the studio. A spontaneous addition while sitting around during the acoustic tracking.

That would be it! That's the sound exactly.

What comes into my mind is DADGAD (Black Mountain Side/White Summer and Kashmir)

and CACGCE(Bron-y-aur)

Indeedy Friends and Bron-yr-Aur are in the same tuning, so fun to work out ways to join the 2 together.

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Okay, I have another question..

I've been quite frustrated lately, when it comes to transcribing, and trying to come up with original music on my own. I thought that maybe learning some theory would help, and open up the fretboard to me. But it's so frustrating. Reading all of this stuff about how to create chords and harmony seems to be confusing me more, and I feel like I'm thinking too much. I can't seem to make much music. I feel like I'm going about it in too logical a fashion. What do you guys think? Have you gone out of your way to learn a lot of theory? Or did you mostly pick up on it subconsciously by transcribing songs you love, and from there learning to create music on your own? That seems like it would be the more enjoyable route..

I tried working out some bits and pieces of songs tonight, and I feel like I actually picked up on quite a bit. I do know the major diatonic and pentatonic scales.. and can usually hear the difference between major and minor chords.. and lately I've been trying to play the scales horizontally across the fretboard, to try to get out of the box shapes, and be able to move around more. I'm still pretty slow at it, but it's starting to come more naturally, now. I'm just looking for some people to share there experience, I guess, about how it was for them, while they were struggling to learn, and if there came a point all of the sudden where they felt like, "Wow, I think I've gotten there."

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Theory can be useful and you should keep learning and practicing scales.

There is a difference between practicing and playing. It is easy to get into a routine of playing without actually practicing anything new, so you plateau.

The best way, in my view, to create is to 'get in the zone' as sports people would say. Just play. Try new chord shapes, mess around with single note riffs, try different combinations of sounds. But don't try to force it - the best things just come to you, maybe you make a mistake which sounds good, or you are just doodling idly and you come up with something.

A great way to learn and to create is to jam with other people if you can. There is an unspeakable exchange of energy happens when 2 or more people play music together, and by bouncing the music around you will come up with stuff you never could have done on your own.

I'm just looking for some people to share there experience, I guess, about how it was for them, while they were struggling to learn, and if there came a point all of the sudden where they felt like, "Wow, I think I've gotten there."

The final word goes to Joe Satriani, who said that he still struggles with the guitar as much as he did when he was 14 years old playing in his bedroom. I suppose you might realise at some point that you are playing a song you struggled with previously, and can use that as a measurement of improvement, but as you learn a skill, you move on to something more challenging, so you are never content. At least that's the idea.

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One of the most important things to learn about theory (and something that is almost never taught) is that what are refered to most of the time as "rules" (rules of harmony, rules of counterpoint, etc) are in fact "guidelines".

There's a big difference.

Now don't get me wrong, those "rules" are there for good reasons, but - and here's the thing - if you learn the "rule" but not the reason, you'll find youself in situations when you may think "I want to do this but it's against the rules." Learn both the "rule" and the reason & you'll understand when, where, & why (also how ;) ) it's ok to go against the "rules".

I'll say it again - they're not rules they're only guidelines. B)

(and I'm saying that as someone who spent five years at music colleges to get a degree in music theory ;) )

Edited by huw

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I know a bit about music theory, because I play classical on piano, where you really need that. But on guitar I hardly can read notes. I don't think, that theory is as important as they tell you,. When I work out songs, I try new chords and melodies and don't think of rules, though it is useful to know some basics like major- , minor-, sus and other easy chords and pentatonic pattern.

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