I've built a grand total of 4 CBG's, all 3 stringers in open G. My first I kept for myself though I can't play a lick.
Thanks to Kenni Lee Burgess, I can stumble my way through "Nobody's Fault but Mine" and I'm teaching my fingers to do new tricks. My Fire Dept. brothers are tired of hearing the same tune...anybody have any simple slide tunes that are easy to pick up while working on this other stuff? Yeah, I'm probably gonna buy a CD before its over with but, right now I'm in cheap mode. Any help is appreciated. Y'all got me into this addiction, least you could do is help me make some racket... thanx, jkevn

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I asked the same question, sorta .. Best answer (not the best smarta55 answer) was to go and find some good songs and make 'em CBG songs. Upload tabs if you have 'em. I'm gonna try to do that with some Blind Boy Fuller songs. He's from 'round my area.
The best thing to do is learn your major, minor, and pentatonic scales. Once you're comfortable with those, you'll be able to pick out any tune you like. Then you'll want to add some chord notes on the downbeats and/or off beats.

Blind Boy Fuller used to play on the same street where I wrote Ninth Street Blues :o)
my biggest tip is to hang around the 3rd fret-otherwise known as 'the bluesmans friend' and with good reason.
put slide down on the skinny string on the 3rd fret, then same string open.throw a finger down on the middle string 3rd fret-believe me theres many a tune right there-play around and a gr8 riff is almost guaranteed to emerge.
Hollowbelly's trick the the third fret is essentially the minor pentatonic scale, BTW (or part of it anyway). That's the most important scale for playing blues.

Joker said:
I agree with you hb. I am totally self taught. I play most blues riffs on fretless 3 string cbg's using a slide. I have found that tuning to open tuning such as G, A, and D then use the 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 12th fret positions the most to bust out blues riffs. To me the most important was to keep it simple so I could sing along with it. After you get comfortable with the song and each note feels natural you can then add to it. I would agree with Doc Oakroot that learning the major, minor and pentatonic scales are a must- maybe I will do that myself someday : )

my biggest tip is to hang around the 3rd fret-otherwise known as 'the bluesmans friend' and with good reason.
put slide down on the skinny string on the 3rd fret, then same string open.throw a finger down on the middle string 3rd fret-believe me theres many a tune right there-play around and a gr8 riff is almost guaranteed to emerge.
Thank you for mentioning me. What the Series 4 CBG lessons don't contain are the explainations of theory presented on the Series 1 CD. Now the Series 1 CD is for a six string guitar tuned open D (plus some CBG lessons), but what I am really trying to teach is how to understand the interval relationship between strings or how you understand moving from one string to the next. If you start by finding a simple melody on a string tuned to the first tone, it is possible to find harmony notes on the second string tuned to the fifth tone. These double notes played at the same time are called double stops. Then by finding the third harmony note a basic chord is formed. If you have a 4 string CBG tuned 1351 or Df#ad, it is possible to play the same songs as a 6 string tuned 151351 or DADf#ad with some slight alterations. Four of the strings are the same! In all the 3 basic tunings there are only 3 tones, the one, three and five from the major scale. If you can understand their possible combinations, it doesn't matter how many string are on the instrument or what key it is in. It is all relative. Experiment and explore. Enjoy.
Thanks for all the replies, Thought sure I'd get flamed...I don't remember what I was looking for when I came across CBG's on the web. I have been almost consumed for about 6 weeks now. I haven't touched a guitar since I was a kid & momma made me take lessons (they didn't stick). I decided to make a couple of these for family members that play, and I kept the first guinea pig. You just can't look at one without wanting to make it sing. I'm 40 and don't know squat bout no theory, I just know Kenni Lee makes his sing, I felt like a kid seeing Eddie Van Halen the first time. I know there aint no short cuts to playing well, but a simple tune that makes it fun between scales would be nice. Thanks all of y'all again.
Yes, I would agree too with Doc Oakroot. Western music is based on the major scale and the variations (minor, pentatonic, eastern, etc.). It is just like how the alphabet is fundamental to writing. Learning scales will help you to understand the fingerboard. Finding the notes on the fingerboard that make up simple melodies will improve your playing. Then by searching for notes to match with these original melody notes creates harmony. A third tone creates a chord. One thing simply builds on the next. Knowledge is certainly power. The more you know the better. Unfortunately, understand you have to dig a lot of holes until you finally find the Gold. Searching and experimenting is the key. Enjoy.
Since learning your scales as a form of learning songs can be a little bit tedious/boring (I'm not saying you shouldn't do it...just have something else to pick on too), Here's the simplified version of In the Pines. The recording is on my page if you want to give it a listen. Once you learn some scales, just snaz it up a bit. I hope this helps. I'm assuming you tune your CBG GDg. I do too. Just it all works out the same as DAD just in a different key. The bottom line is G, middle is D, and top is g. The numbers are which fret on each string to play. Have fun!
I also play Appalachian Dulcimer and there is a wealth of tablature music for this instrument. I am surprised that the CBG movement has not adopted this for sharing and recording their music. Neither does there seem to be any clearing house for CBG MP3 performances. You have search through individuals home pages. Sure Utube and other video sharing sites has a lot of performances, but they are pain to download and keep and play on a burnt DVD/CD

Searches on MP3 sites bring nothing unless you know the name of the piece.

BTW Were it not for KLBs lessons I would have been lost. Sure there is a lot of room for improvisation which I am sure we all do, but the basics are so useful.

I have to add, whilst I have been a banjo and Guitar player in the past I have not played for a long time since i lost most of my left hand middle finger (making an instrument!) and I have only just discovered CBG and thought that slide with three strings and open tuning would get me back into the "swing" of things.
Thanks alot Brian, now I've spent all morning looking up Appalachian Dulcimers...my wife's gonna cr@p...


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