Mance Liscomb-Skip James

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Mance Liscomb-Skip James

Postby cj440 » Tue May 30, 2006 11:48 am

Hey folks, been doing a lot of listening to Skip James and Mance Liscomb lately, love their stuff! Although I can;t find any online instruction to help with figgering out the tunes, very little tab on these two!

I'm aware of Ernie Hawkins DVD's but right now I just
wondered if anyone knew any secrets, like which open tunings to use for Crow Jane and Cherry Ball by Mance ,

I've been doing crow Jane in E but I thought Skip did a lot Dm stuff?
I've been Doin Mance's Cherry Ball(Shake, Shake Mama) in Standard but my groove doesn't sound like his! I don't expect to totally steal his style, but I'd like to get close!

Anybody know any tuning secrets or little tricks to these tunes? Thanks again!
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Postby watertore » Tue May 30, 2006 4:09 pm

on a side note, my friend, fred, is mississippi john hurt's nephew, and his aunt married skip james. He was raised with these guys, and plays that stuff the real way. He loves to talk about those days. Go the the blindmans blues forum, and post in the pre war forum on these guys, and he will find you. He goes by John4y. Walter
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Postby cj440 » Tue May 30, 2006 4:54 pm

Thank You Walter! MJH is also one of my favorites, but he's a whole nuther discipline!!

I'm being very careful, and trying to do some research on this stuff, because as you say, "doing it the right way" is important to me. I need the groove to be there. ya know?

This type of blues can hypnotize people, if it's done right. I don't wanna "dumb it down" or learn a bunch of bad habits that I later have to Un-learn!! Thanks again, I'll follow you advice!!-Chris-Fla.
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Postby bluesmcgoo » Tue May 30, 2006 5:27 pm

Yeah, most of Skips stuff is in open D/E, but he did use other tunings. "Special Rider" is in open G, and if I remember correctly, I believe he played "Crow Jane" in standard tuning.

One of the hallmarks of Skip's distinctive sound, besides his unusually syncopated picking style, comes from not playing the third all of the time. He used the major third hammer on, the minor third, and the neutral chords to great effect.

...and those octave double stops.
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Postby cj440 » Tue May 30, 2006 5:51 pm

All these tunings, how many guitars did they travel with? I had heard that Mr. James was pretty tricky when it came to odd tunings, Thanks all you guys for the info, you folks are always so helpful!

Yeah, Blues, Crow jane is in standard, apparently that was an odd tuning for Mr. James!

Now to suss out Mr. Liscomb!

I've been playing for 25 years, having a rough time with this style, Why on earth do people refer to these blues legends as primitives? This style has got to be the most difficult to do justice to!
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Postby ricochet » Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:37 pm

The only "odd tuning" I know about Skip James using is Open D or E minor, aka "cross tuning." The D version, low to high, is DADFAD. Hard Times Killin' Floor can be played in either Open D or D minor, but the resonance of the guitar sounds very different in the two.
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Postby bluesmcgoo » Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:34 pm

bluesmcgoo wrote:Yeah, most of Skips stuff is in open D/E, but he did use other tunings.


OOPS!!! I actually meant to say (or type) open D/E minor

My bad!
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