Open A or 5th fret on the E string?

Open A or 5th fret on the E string?

Postby Billbbill » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:48 am

Our band is about to do this and I've pretty much got it together except I'm curious what y'all think about the A bass note jerry sorta drones off of during the various riffs. I, in my instructional vid, thought it was the latter with the thumb over the top - not the easiest thing to do - then I saw this vid and thought he's hitting the open A - upon further review now I'm not so sure :? (although not enough to bang my head on a wall :smile: )

So I can do it either way but it's a bit tougher with the thumb over the top but there's more control - it's easier to kinda drone the open A but a bit more difficult to control - gotta deaden a bit with the right or left hand. Or is he doing both at different times? Just to make it more mysterious :shock:

A great look at the main riff during the intro about 40 seconds in. Any thoughts?

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Re: Open A or 5th fret on the E string?

Postby Pete B. » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:04 pm

This is another case where Jer uses his thumb to catch the slide-up on the E string.
I'm not sure if he does it this way every time on WLAF, but have seen him do the thumb slide-up on other songs.
fwiw, I would reccomend doing it whatever way allows you/me to give the best performance to the audience.
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Re: Open A or 5th fret on the E string?

Postby Billbbill » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:20 pm

Pete B. wrote:This is another case where Jer uses his thumb to catch the slide-up on the E string.
I'm not sure if he does it this way every time on WLAF, but have seen him do the thumb slide-up on other songs.
fwiw, I would reccomend doing it whatever way allows you/me to give the best performance to the audience.


Yea, and seems an octave interval as well as he pulls two G's up to A's - just not sure if he continues that with the thumb over the top for that bass A thereafter. And of course you're right Pete - In the end it's what one does best that you present to the audience. Thanks for your input!
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Re: Open A or 5th fret on the E string?

Postby Billbbill » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:47 pm

Here's my latest :-) attempt at tab for this - via the thumb over the top method:


Code: Select all
g-------------------5----5b---------------------------
d---5/7----7---5--7---7--------5h7---5--------------------
a---------------------------------------7\5--3---3--3-----
e-----3/5----5---5------5----------5-----------5-------5--
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Re: Open A or 5th fret on the E string?

Postby JonnyBoy » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:06 pm

We play this song every time we gig, and I usually keep my first finger kinda barred all the way to the 5th fret on the E string, I have been working with the thumb since the post, and it is fancy looking and Jerry correct, but the index finger does just as well. I guess it is all in the way you play. Since it is multi finger picking I do add in an open A once or twice as I am fingering the beginning tune. He has played it a few slightly different ways as far as I can tell over the years, but I do hit both e string 5th fret A and the open A in the intro. As fast as it rolls in that riff, I think it is the only possible way for me! I am adding in two or three other notes more versus your video version, maybe I am incorrect but It seems to roll like the version I learned from. :smile:
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Re: Open A or 5th fret on the E string?

Postby Billbbill » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:27 pm

JonnyBoy wrote: ...and it is fancy looking and Jerry correct, but the index finger does just as well. I guess it is all in the way you play...


I can't get a consistent clean voicing of the D string at the 5th fret by barring - at least not to my satisfaction. So it's pretty much a functional issue and fancy never enters my guitar vocabulary - though jerry correct is always a consideration! Thanks for playing!

And indeed the lick varied over time - I'm partial to this era.
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Re: Open A or 5th fret on the E string?

Postby Pete B. » Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:59 pm

Here is what I'm kicking aorund on the opening Am lick... Not sure how close it is to the vid.
Mostly thumb, ring, and middle finger(s), on the picking hand.
Thumb or index on the first slide-up note on the fret'n hand. Index and ring on most of the run.
I try to keep the open A string ringing thru the first line.
First line:
E|------------------------------------------------------
B|------------------------------------------------------
G|------------------------------------5b---------5b---
D|--------7------------5-----7------------7-----------
A|------------0-----------0-------------------0-------
E|--3/5------------------------------------------------

I like plaing it in the open Am position, also.
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