I feel I can play my power chords pretty well and play some rythem. Now I feel I'm ready to move on to the melody. I have Keni Lee Burgess CD4 but feel thats still a little too advanced for me (not really ready for the finger plucking). Is there anything else out there that can help, or does anyone have any pointers for me?

 

The insturment I play is a 3 string, fretless tuned to the common GDg tuning. The action on it is set low enough that I can finger the strings yet still be able to use my slide.

 

Thanks, Dan.

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Dan,

 

No worries.  I know how easily text can be misconstrued.

 

I know just from what I've seen here that Jef's a good teacher and that you'll learn a ton of great stuff from him!

 

Best of luck to you,

Michael

forget it mate, all good. Believe it or not we are closer to on the same page than you even realize.. I am utterly convinced that the 3 string guitar ought be approached from a diatonic viewpoint. Like a harmonica. This is my "A" one, this is my "D" one etc. Same to play, in my mind cos its i, iv, v etc, im not doing the transposition gymnastics in my head on the fly (leave that to the horn guys, it sucks!).. I (the player) have abandoned the whole letter name paradigm... (except to communicate with other players, when say oh yeah man this is my B flat stick here..) I am also convinced guys are better off with 3 chord shapes than dozens.

observe how we can take one of those chord shapes and by 'squishing' it into the scale it shifts. Do I need to memorize a i minor ? Not really, I know a i chord, and this scale I'm in is forcing me to flat the iii...

Hows that friends and collegues and open discussion thing working out for ya :D

Like I said, you're a smart guy. And I'm tipping a huge penny just dropped on you huh..

PS there will be opposition, there are vested interests in mysteries...

( is it safe..?  )

 

:D peace is over the valley, bless ya sam, Hope you guys understand, I am not interested in competing neither, listen to everyone Dan Garbage Can I certainly wasnt saying Michaels info is bad or anything, I was just saying it's of little use with what im explaining here,cos I got an alternate approach.   Im glad its working for ya man, stick with it a month or two and well add the relative minor chords (theyre dead easy, a small modification to each of those 3...)

anyone got an iPhone?  I was thinking of zipping that roman numeral scale decoder into a quick $1 iphone app, any takers ?

maybe if i pop in a few chord diagrams and scales ?

yeah, I know no one intentended to step on anybodys shoes. Its all cool. Been practicing the scales and the i iv v. Scales actually ain't that bad. Having fun with em. I look you up then in about a month when I'm rready for minor chords.

Thanks all,

Dan

PS sorry, no iPhone here. Sounds like a cool idea though.

Michael, thanks you so much for your time in constructing those charts they are great. :)

What a great discussion. I've learnt heaps.

Misunderstandings are great they lead to a further understanding. 

Thanks  :)

Hello Dan,

Wow this is some thread. So how did it all work out? Actually, I find GDg tuning isn't really the best for playing and strumming chords. I mainly use it to alternate the bass (two lowest strings) and play slide on the highest string. Little chord fragments (two note - doublestops) work well too with shuffle rhythms. Have you seen my Sweet Home Chicago video? For chords, retuning the same strings to ADf# works a lot better. There is a system of movable chords that functions very similiar to the 6 string guitar approach. I teach this on CD 6. If you go to my www.youtube.com/kenileeburgess page and look in the How to Play Cigar Box Guitar Playlist you will find many videos demonstrating this approach. I hope this helps. Enjoy your practice, Keni Lee       

A very long thread so excuse me for not reading the whole thing. My 2 cents on the original question:

If you're using a slide on a fretless guitar then why not just stick with the slide? I'd imagine that getting your intonation accurate enough to play chords and use a slide at the same time is going to be pretty tricky without frets, regardless of the action.

My approach to chord playing on a 3 string fretless is - forget it. If you want to play chords just get a standard 6 string, a 3 string fretless is not a chordal instrument use it for what it's good for, riffin'.

If you look at how classical string players, cellists particularly because they are in the same range as us, approach their arrangements you'll see that they play fragments of chords to suggest a tonality that doesn't need to be made bleedingly obvious. Playing a riff with the tonic on the bass that features the minor third is enough to suggest a minor chord. A melody using the major pentatonic scale will outline the chord changes if you squeeze a bass note in wherever you can. Have a look at my arrangement for Amazing Grace and you'll get the idea. http://www.playcigarboxguitar.com/video/amazing-grace

To do this well it does help to have a strong right hand, preferably with some good fingerpicking skills.

I have to disagree intensely with some of what you said, Patrick, with all due respect. The fact of a three-string fretless CBG is more about the type of sound one seeks. The reason I DON'T play "normal" six-string guitars is because I found the sound I was after in the three-string CBG. It IS  a chording instrument as much as it is a melodic instrument, and in my experience, the height of the string can determine how easily a slide can be used. I make my instruments without frets and they are rather long scale with high-set strings. Someone gave me a fretted guitar with low-set strings, and I have little use for it beyond slideless playing.

On the other hand, way you said in your last long paragraph was an excellent observation I have also found to be true--about suggested chords, etc.

- Kevin

Cheers Kevin

I'm happy to be proved to wrong on this. From what I've seen and heard people playing up until now (only a couple of years but I've played slide guitar since Adam was a pup), I stand by what I've said but if someone can show me how to play chords on a fretless 3 string and get your intonation perfect while using a slide then I'll dip my hat to you mate.

I take your point about playing chords, if you prefer the sound of the three string then go to town I just reckon that they are more suited to diatonic playing while six string fretted guitars are better suited to playing chords. But if you prefer to use a 3 string for whatever reason then all that goes out the window, l'm not sure that there are no rules but what there are should be broken from time to time.

If that works for you, that's great. Do it. Thing about CBGs is that there are no set rules. I can play chords or melodies--even both at the same time in some circumstances. Get whatever sound you want out of your instrument.

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