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Playing the guitar with One Finger

1/6/2005 12:10 AM
John Fisher
Playing the guitar with One Finger
Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  
I have been amazed at some of the new music these days that you can play the guitar with one finger.(no lead riffs allowed)  
While podering this the other day I got inspired on my day off and wrote and recorded this song.  
I borrowed my sons strat that I made him and played it through my home made Sans Amp Distortion and into my home made LA2 mic preamp then into my computer.  
The guitar is is D tuning and dropped down one half note.  
I am using sampled drums (sorry) that I played real simple with no fancy drum rolls just to hear what the song would sound like. (My 2 hour production.)  
John Fisher
1/6/2005 7:42 AM
why is a 1 finger bar chord any "worse" than all the diad Root-5th power chords from the 60's/70's/80's/90's? Is there really a problem with this? ;) We went from 2 fingers to 1? You can do lead riffing on open tuned guitars.. they will get around to it I am sure. Country guys, slide players, bluesmen, etc. have done it for decades. MOF I think if we did our research we'd no doubt find the first 1 finger players were delta bluesmen. Just a hunch. Ry Cooder supposedly showed Keef this whole thing - playing in open G using one finger chords. (drop A down to G, and drop high E to D or take it off) suddenly all the stones mat'l from sticky fingers on up works better.. 1 finger. Try it out.  
I personally think it's cool that folks are trying new tunings, getting some really heavy sounds.. and if they keep going they'll find some gorgous voicings in open E, open G and the others. I like tuning an open E but bring the whole thing down a whole step so it's open D (but where the '1 finger' chord would be a root position "E" chord) That sounds great on an acoustic. the wound strings get these great harmonics going when they are detuned.. I love it. I forget the tuning from "the rain song" - it's a G with some sus notes in it.. but another gorgeous one. Worth looking up.  
ps: whose trannies did you use for your LA2a? I'm about to build one.. looking at Jensen trannies as I cannot find originals.
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1/6/2005 8:19 AM
Mark Hammer

When I was in high school, we had a concert by Richie Havens, who seemed to fret almost everything as a barre chord with his thumb.
1/6/2005 8:23 AM
sounds good, cool solo. one finger, hey!
1/6/2005 8:37 AM
John Fisher

"why is a 1 finger bar chord any "worse" than all the diad Root-5th power chords from the 60's/70's/80's/90's? Is there really a problem with this? "
I should have refrazed my title to "Playing the guitar with 1 finger and 2 strings"  
I have done a lot of that acoustic and slide stuff with alternitive tunings and it can be quite creative but what I was suggesting more was the fact that the new stuff is not so intricate.  
My son is learning the guitar this way and although he is doing pretty good I don't want him to get stuck on just that one thing which can be quite limiting when there is so much more you can do even with alternitive tunnings.  
John Fisher
1/6/2005 8:48 AM
John Fisher

"ps: whose trannies did you use for your LA2a? I'm about to build one.. looking at Jensen trannies as I cannot find originals."
I used the Jensens and they worked great!  
I didn't use one on the output as they are even more expensive and I don't believe it's so necessary. I just put a good cap in series shunted with a resistor ot ground. Besisdes I didn't care if the output was ballanced or not as it is only going about 2 feet to my computer. I built this thing about 2 years ago and have produced dozens of CD's with it and I love it.  
I did a couple of other modifications to it also.  
The LA2 is primarily used as a line in preamp so I built an extra tube stage in front of it to be able to use a microphone. I do have a switch though to bypass this for line in use. I always record my bass using the line in and to me it sounds great! Especially when I crank on the limitor of the LA2.  
John Fisher
1/6/2005 1:16 PM
Wonderfull stuff John, wonderfull!  
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