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 Post subject: Hobo's Lullaby
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:34 am
  

BlunderVirgin

Joined: Mar 17, 2009
Posts: 4
Just curious about Arlo's version of Hobo's Lullaby. Sounds like the Capo is on the 4th fret and he starts the song in an E major position (A flat). I know there are many other keys that this song can be done in, but I have always enjoyed Arlo's version the best-----Any ideas?

PS - Flagstaff last year @ The Orpheum, What a great show!

==Clontsy


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 Post subject: Re: Hobo's Lullaby
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:32 pm
  

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Joined: Feb 26, 2009
Posts: 1193
Without a guitar in my hand, I can't test it. I would play it in a first fret capoed position using G major chords because that makes the IV iii ii changes using sixths fairly easy to play and then the V7 with the third in the bass is easy to manage without the need to bar. But my ear says you are possibly right because of the tone. I'll look at it at home tonight if no one else answers you. I note elsewhere that he gives the very best advice on the subject: learn to listen really well. Listening is everything. Timing is everything else. True of most conversation and music is a conversation.

Arlo is very good with minimal fingering. He knows his axe which is why I try to figure out as close as I can what he is doing. It's always instructive. Good fingering keeps the hands from dieing in the middle of a long set (no cracks, here), produces the best tone, and unlocks secrets of songwriting.

Stylistically, he uses and reuses orchestral guitar, in the sense that Beethoven said the guitar is a small orchestra. This is a major contribution to modern song from the folk movement in that finger picking (long since out of style in some other movements), gives one soloist all the support needed if not always the danceable radio friendly sound. To do it well, one has to learn both tricks of tuning, walking bass, and alternative constructions of the chords that provide economical fingering. When combined with the melody you are singing, it should feel effortless as if it is meant to be. And it is. Harmony 101.

In other words, strumming is good but not enough. A year of beginning classical guitar is very helpful as long as you don't get trapped in the literature or keep chasing transcriptions from other instruments. I love Bach but not the best example for learning classical guitar technique, Segovia not withstanding. The reaches can be painful and don't like aging hands. On the other hand, Fernando Sor is excellent and very useful to an ambitious folk picker.

So here's a noodle for you: do you think that "In Times Like These" is very similar in style and fingering to a much older and very famous song in his gig bag? Which one?

Gotta watch the Folkslinger. He's a trickster. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Hobo's Lullaby
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:01 pm
  

Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Dec 06, 1999
Posts: 1631
Location: Ogdensburg, NY ST. Lawrence
I do this tune, from Patterson's book Rise UP Singing. Many artist have reminded me, that these old fold standards, are in easy to play form, and are subject to change.

allot of people think either Woody or Arlo wrote this song. altho I've never heard the original..... I've read it was a fav of Woodys' tho, and that's why he covered it to honor the late Geobel Reeves..

D G /A D //

maye the slinger will post how it's really done. but this works for me....

A person that used to make all the tailgate partys. Her husband used to do a great rendition, and he played it way differant. I have Mark on video playing and singing this song. I miss those two. we seem to miss each other on the flip flop, as I usually only do one nite, of church gigs. get me in New England, and I have to spread myself thin... cousins in Boston, friends in R.I>.. but have promised to do next yrs. tailgait... so don't say I didn't warn anybody.... Hard to be in two places at once. After all, the 60's are history so to speak?

Good luck/RB :arrow: :idea:


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 Post subject: Re: Hobo's Lullaby
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:09 pm
  

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Joined: Feb 26, 2009
Posts: 1193
"I do this tune, from Patterson's book Rise UP Singing. Many artist have reminded me, that these old fold standards, are in easy to play form, and are subject to change."

Yup. Even once I learn as much as i can from the 'slinger, I'll dork with it until it fits my own feel. More authentic. More folk. More fun. More free. And the right of a soloist. :D

I was thinking about the licks, not enough about the song. :oops:

To answer best as I can determine, if it is centered at Ab at the fourth fret using 6/4 triads and sixth intervals for the slides. Real nice use of alternating sixths sliding to ii from one, back then iii ii I.

I'm capoing the first fret. At the four (as if in E) it feels awkward to finger for tone. I guess it comes down to sliding sixths on the lower and fatter 5 and 3 strings or using the easier 4 and 2 with open resonators. Nice!

Need a tab/chord editor for this kind of blogging. That would be fun.


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 Post subject: Re: Hobo's Lullaby
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:22 pm
  

Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Dec 06, 1999
Posts: 1631
Location: Ogdensburg, NY ST. Lawrence
Len you just went way over my head, but I get the jist of what you mean...

I was playin "Bling Blang, Playin with my Hammer" on two chords tonite, and if the strumming is in beat, ya know it doesn't sound 1/2 bad. But home alone solo. My partner, would either be playin bass, or keyboards to jazz that up. but honestly it didn't sound that bad...

That's why I hate learning songs off the internet. Sometimes they're okay, but it's a real crap shoot....

Finger pickin comes hard for me on certain songs. and on other songs, it just comes natural. But my guitar instructor, aka partner, in jamming, says I don't use my pinky finger enough... I told him if I had my way, I'd cut the damn thing off, so he could quit complaining. I suppose i'd miss it real quick, as say a major D chord, or C chord... Jees, I guess em all... that pinky really can make a differance, from moderately good, to sounding great.... I can't seem to get the hand cordination in my right hand.... He keeps tellin me, stick all your fingers in the strings, and remember you have a thumb. Use your thumb for the top two strings... but my cousin, really plays very well. He calls this your thumb a drum finger. My instructor says he's crazy...

I just play, and have fun..... after all isn't that what it's all about. My wifes my worst critic, and says I'm really allot better after 4 mnts of lessons. So I should listen to my partner... He's a killer on keyboards. My friend from Oz. Slim Pickens and his wife told me, * after hearing a piece I did" is "Man Rob you can really sing. You have that Cash quality. A voice that comes from yrs. of experience and living life to the edge. You can REALLY sing. But the wife says throw your guitar away, or just get a new guitar player".....
\guess I shoulda sent them 'Wild Horses' Instead of Poncho & Lefty... But Townes are some pretty big shoes to fill... Strumming it, just doesn't cut it...

Thanks for posting
RB


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 Post subject: Re: Hobo's Lullaby
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:35 pm
  

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Joined: Feb 26, 2009
Posts: 1193
"Len you just went way over my head, but I get the jist of what you mean..."

I never learned to do more with less words. It's a fatal character flaw. :?

Go for it, Rob. That guitar is a lover that's only as demanding as you want her to be. Treat your music like answering the question "Who you gonna satisfy with that thing?"

"Me. You too if we both get a cookie."


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 Post subject: Re: Hobo's Lullaby
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:19 pm
  

BlunderVirgin

Joined: Mar 17, 2009
Posts: 4
Len - Thanks for the reply. I can't answer the "In Times Like These" question, but I am learning this song and love it. Could you give a bit of a terminology lesson on what you meant by 6th's and Triads etc? I know the names but can't place the usage on the guitar. I'm almost 53, been playing the Axe since my High School days in the 70's, set in my ways, and on a budget. Therefore, I really don't want to dedicate myself to formal lessons. However, some informal continuing education on the guitar is always a bonus for me - it's always great to learn something new.
One accomplishment that I have nailed down and have known for a long time, is how to play Alice's Restaurant. However, Arlo is the King of multi-tasking. He can go for over 20 minutes and recite his dialogue, while his fingers work on auto-pilot on the song- something I'm still coming to grips with when playing the song.
I just puchased "In Times Like These" the live album on Amazon - what a GEM! I have listened to it 4 times straight and am so impressed.
When Arlo came to Flagstaff last year, he was solo. But, whether with a full on orchestra, like the "In Times" live album or alone, the man is a consumate musician - not too many around like him anymore. Must be a sign of my age, but most of today's music (if you want to call it that) just doesn't do it for me. So its great when I come across new CD's from great musicians such as Arlo.
I also agree, that a lot of what you find on You Tube and Guitar Tab websites is questionable. However, where I may lack in technical prowess on the guitar, I make up for in a good ear. I started playing guitar by ear, repositioning the needle on the vinyls until I felt I was playing it right. I can hold a tone pretty well. This is why, one must feret through what they find on the Internet and accept or reject the info that they find. For the most part, I have learned a lot from what I have seen on the net; I just need to tweek some of the info until I feel it works for me.
Anyway, sorry for the ramblings. If you can clarify some of the terminology I, and I am sure others would appreciate it!

Happy Picking!

===Clontsy


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 Post subject: Re: Hobo's Lullaby
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:40 pm
  

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Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Feb 26, 2009
Posts: 1193
I will write those out tomorrow, Clontzy, it getting near my bedtime. :wink:

Maybe the music lesson/analysis should be somewhere people can find them without searching because if more of us are doing this, it could be a cool resource... a rambling thread on folk playing styles with examples on guitar etc. It seems this kind of thing is all over the forums and that is really cool for people who want to learn from Arlo's music and whatever cookies we bring.


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 Post subject: Re: Hobo's Lullaby
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:50 pm
  

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Joined: Feb 26, 2009
Posts: 1193
@clontzy:

It took me longer than I promised to get back to this. This is just opinion in places and some simplified theory in others. Caveat emptor. The picking patterns are the thing. Learn to hear those.

Quote:
I can't answer the "In Times Like These" question, but I am learning this song and love it.


There isn't one answer. It's a question of style of playing used on very different songs. If you get the video Mrs. Guthrie has of the Worthington Concert when he plays The Motorcycle Song, the picking pattern is very close. If you watch his version of Tambourine Man, the same. They aren't the same of course, but this is the adaptability of music where one pattern can fit many themes. The song idea itself is a basic bass walk. In the tunes where he tunes the low E string (6) down a full step to a D, he gets a nice solid bass alternating with the D string.

This is a common trick but sounds very nice and deep on a guitar. Then as he picks, he walks up the E string to change the bass while picking the open strings and the D chord giving a feel of a IV chord until he changes to A7 (the V). This gives a solid harmonic feel without changing hand position and it feels mysterious or bluesy. Walking a bass line while holding a chord is a fundamental and strong technique to learn.

Music and a good song aren't about the math. They are about the feel. Music can be recycled to fit the time. That is what Obie had on Arlo: recycling is less dangerous than cycling. The difference is the pickle. These times are a pretty big pickle.

Quote:
Could you give a bit of a terminology lesson on what you meant by 6th's and Triads etc? I know the names but can't place the usage on the guitar.


On with the math then. Just a little notation to make this easier to type:

Fingers: Thumb (T) Index (P) Middle (I) Next To Little Finger (M) Little Finger (A)

Frets: Fret 1 (F1) Fret 2 (F2)

Strings: Number from high to low so, E (S1), B (S2), G (S3) etc.

Chords: Letter names and Roman Numerals

C D E F G A B
I ii iii IV V vi vii


The letter names are the exact pitch. The number names are for harmonic functions. Don't worry about these now but getting these in the bag helps with transposition, intervals, and jamming when you don't know the key. Also, it opens up songwriting to different kinds of progressions, modulations, and so on. I'm not going deep on this in this response. Too much theory for one response.

The terminology means the same as on any instrument. The instrument played invites different ways to use them. In the response, I was talking about using a I chord (say a G) and then sliding between the ii (say a minor), iii (say b minor) and back to I at different stresses of the phrase. The whole chord/triad isn't played; just the outer interval of a sixth. This is a common picking technique.

For convenience, let's say you are playing Hobo's Lullaby in G major. If you capo, that's ok, but basically you're using G Major as the key or tonal center or root. A common pattern where the chord is G major (3F-6S-I, 2F-5S-P, 3F-1S-M), is to leave the G down and move the I and M fingers to the second and fourth strings so E and C. That is a sixth interval with E in the bass, If you add the open G, that is a C Major chord. It is
a triad (three notes using 3rds). It has the numbers: I iii V. (1 3 5).

A root C major is spelled C E G. The C is in the bass. The interval from bottom to top spans five notes in the scale (no semitones).

A third in bass C major is E G C. The E is in the bass. The interval spans six notes.

A five (aka, 6/4) in the bass is G C E. The G is in the bass. The interval spans six notes.

So back to Hobo's Lullaby. One way to play that opening is to make the G chord, put the fingers down on the C with E in the bass, then slide up two frets and make a b minor leaving the fingers on the same strings (guide fingers). The C is also an Aminor7 in that form, so technically, the progression is I ii iii, but the way it is played, the full chord isn't all there; the intervals of a sixth are.

The open G string if not muted acts as a resonator. A resonator is an open string that vibrates sympathetically when other strings are stroked. On a five string banjo, the fifth string is a resonator. On a sitar, most of the strings are resonators. Resonators give a thicker sound and a little useful dissonance. As a metaphor, they are magic and come from the days when "we all had powers". :-) For a beautiful beautiful lesson using resonators, go here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erLZ-zW9Ti4

from Pandit Ravi Shankar who along with the 'slinger, is a Great Teacher and soul.

That is Anoushka Shankar, daughter of Ravi and an incredible musician with Jeff Lynne at the Concert for George:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLkPxNmYs_A

I have to leave a bunch of theory details out of this to write it and it is much easier to see with guitar chords or tab.

Rather than have me confuse you more, watch Arlo's hands in the videos.

Quote:
As George said, "The farther one travels the less one knows."


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 Post subject: Re: Hobo's Lullaby
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:49 pm
  

BlunderVirgin

Joined: Mar 17, 2009
Posts: 4
Len - I like the quote you used from George Harrison (I've been a Beatles fan since I was an 8 year old kid in 1964 - so I know the quote well and also believe it applies to many things, including guitar playing). I did a cursory reading of what you sent, and will try to understand it better as I re-read it. However, I am an old Firefighter, and have learned that I learn better with visuals and hands-on - this has always been my approach to guitar playing as well.
Thanks for the You Tubes of GH learning Sitar from Ravi Shanker - I've always thought that that was an interesting instrument.
I'll get back to you with further questions and insights. I have been unable to access the Martin Guitar Forum (I own 2 of them) but am glad I am able to do so on this one.

Chat with you later ---

Clontsy


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 Post subject: Re: Hobo's Lullaby
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 7:06 pm
  

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Joined: Feb 26, 2009
Posts: 1193
Good luck, Clontzy. As I said, this would be better with a guitar chord or tab editor. A copy of something like Guitar Pro (cheap and buy it off the web) can be very helpful. Trying to learn theory from a blog is possibly not a great way or I can't do it clearly enough.

Best!


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 Post subject: Re: Hobo's Lullaby
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:57 pm
  

Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Dec 06, 1999
Posts: 1631
Location: Ogdensburg, NY ST. Lawrence
Quote:
I never learned to do more with less words. it's a fatal charactor flaw.....



If that's the case Len, I'm doomed. Maybe I shoud set up a visit with hospice, and get the ball rolling. Bring on the Morphine drip!!!


:arrow: :idea: RB


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 Post subject: Re: Hobo's Lullaby
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:54 pm
  

BlunderVirgin

Joined: Nov 20, 2007
Posts: 14
Location: Connectict
I learned a version of Hobo's Lullaby from Happy Traum, but I capo the 2nd fret in order to match my voice.

the basic chords are: C, F, G7, C repeat

Work on that pinky finger for fingering the 3rd fret 1st or 2nd strings for the melody while playing the C chord.

nice sweet and simple

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Hobo's Lullaby
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:08 am
  

BlunderVirgin

Joined: Mar 17, 2009
Posts: 4
dkstott- You posted yet another nice version of Hobo's Lullaby which I just tried on my Martin.

I will say this tho', I've always thought that Arlo's version was the best. If you ever get a chance to see it on You Tube, the song is acompanied by pictures of real Hobos - not sure who put it together, but it touches the heart for the homeless.
I've tried to upload it, but was unable to do so.

Thanks for the info!

--Clontsy


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 Post subject: Re: Hobo's Lullaby
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:59 pm
  

User avatar
Senior ArloNetizen

Joined: Oct 03, 2008
Posts: 339
Location: Belgium
To upload it : have you tried the free program ' Free studio manager ' from ' Dvd videosoft.com ' ? :wink:


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