Page 1 of 1

skip james piano vs guitar

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2002 9:17 pm
by ernest
Skip james was brilliant on guitar and piano. he was The first who recorded in dmin tuning on guitar. also his timing on his piano songs are also quit rare.
What do you like the most, and why?

RE: skip james piano vs guitar

PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2002 9:44 pm
by deltablues57
Maybe it's because im a guitar player but I like Skip James guitar work much better than his piano work. I listened to the complete early recordings (1930) after reading this question as I never really thought to compare Skip's Piano and guitar virtuosity.
While I find his piano playing very fine and interesting the timing is very choppy. I know that is the feel he is trying to achieve but I think the guitar songs flow better. He also uses very different tunings on the guitar which I find unique and really creative. The different tunings give his music a different feel.

Skip's music in general is unique different and very interesting. I love his music. Anyone who has never listened to Skip James should somehow get hold of some recording and listen closely.

RE: skip james piano vs guitar

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2002 4:56 pm
by ganderbag
Two other artists who immediately spring to mind as recorded playing both guitar and piano are Scrapper Blackwell and our old friend Tampa Red.

Well there you go, another piece of information to drop into the chat on the cocktail party circuit!

RE: skip james piano vs guitar

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2002 12:03 am
by ernest
I didn't Tampa red did play piano. Was he a good piano player?
Does someone know id blind lemon Jefferson himself played the piano on his pianosongs or someone else?

RE: skip james piano vs guitar

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2002 11:30 pm
by ganderbag
Tampa Red was better on guitar than piano, he wasn't what you call 'a full two handed player' but he was ok.

As for Blind Lemon, to my knowledge he did not play piano and it seems a lot of the piano playing on his recordings was done by George Perkins.

RE: skip james piano vs guitar

PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2002 3:46 am
by chillywilly
Skip James is one of my top 5 favorite guitar players of all time.

Off the record, and totally non apropo to this discussion, the others are Son House, John Hurt, Jimi Hendrix and Rev. Gary Davis (in no particular order). Whole bunch of others tied for sixth.

I've got all of Skip's recordings and although I enjoy the piano I have to vote for his guitar. That is some spooky stuff, the Bentonia style minor tunings especially. Hard Times Killing Floor is right up there with the best blues songs ever played if not the very best.
(This is discussed at length elsewhere in this forum).

This is all colored by the fact that I'm primarily a guitar player although I can bang out a few chords and a misguided riff or two on a piano and hope to get better at that but don't have a piano in the house to practice on. So I vote for Skip's guitar.

But when I get serious about piano, I will be listening to a lot of Skip (and Bukka White) for inspiration.


RE: skip james piano vs guitar

PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2002 11:01 am
by srvlives
John Hurt


never liked his acting much.

Wonder what his playing is like?.......

'If it comes out bad I have to live with that, but I've done it so much that it's natural now' Buddy Guy

RE: skip james piano vs guitar

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 10:46 pm
by chillywilly
Yeah, yeah, yeah, chalk one up for SRVL- who knew i was referring to Mississippi John Hurt, as opposed to say, Idaho John Hurt or North Dakota John Hurt or New South Wales John Hurt or that other guy the actor. :-) Chill