Cigar Box Guitar Performance Information Part 1

Information Part 1 (Playing Come On In My Kitchen)

 

I play this song in Spanish Tuning. Sometimes I play this in the key of G (DGDgbd) or I will tune down a whole step to the key of F (CFCfac). I can also tune up a whole step to the key of A (EAEac#e) or using Open G tuning, capo fret 2. To get the tone similar to the old 78 RPM Robert Johnson's recording, I capo to the key of Bb (capo fret 3). It is essential that you tune the guitar to match the singer's vocal range. Regardless, because all the string relationships (from their repective major scales 515135) stay the same, all the positions on the fingerboard are the same too. Think of this as the same way a (diatonic)harmonica player has a different harmonica for each key of music. Although the notes are different, they are arranged in the same tonal progression based on the major scale and sound in a different key.    

I teach this song on CD 5 arranged for 4 string CBG tuned in Spanish tuning key of G (Dgbd). Notice this is the 4 highest strings of the full 6 string tuning DG(Dgbd), but also notice a few other important simularities too. The two lowest strings (DG)Dgbd / (Dg)bd and the two highest strings DGDg(bd) / Dg(bd) are the same notes. So, going from 6 string to 4 string is very easy to understand. See CD 2.

 

Here is the beginning of the 4 string CBG lesson:

http://youtu.be/KLGnnF-TIbY

Here is this song in performance on 4 string CBG.

http://youtu.be/gRAW1LID1QI       

 

Compare it to the 6 string arrangement.

http://youtu.be/weWVZHj1CSc

I originally learned the Bottleneck Blues style on 6 string, but through my exploration of 3 and 4 string CBG (and 5 string banjo too), I greatly improved my understanding and skill.

In the next installment, I will talk about the relationship of 6 string and 3 string CBG using Spanish tuning.

It is my hope to clarify this material to my students, so they can take it a lot further in their applied practice.

Enjoy your practice, Keni Lee       

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