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  #1  
Old 02-17-2018, 03:01 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Default "4 + 20" by Stephen Stills (cover)



This is my cover of Stephen Stills' song "4 + 20" from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's "Deja Vu" album of 1970. The song is in modal D tuning on the guitar (DADDAD), capo 1 for the original pitch of the song.

This song is very dark, but the good news is that Stephen Stills' life did not "simply cease" back in 1970 or whenever he wrote this song. The lesson to me is that hard times eventually pass away, especially those from lost love.

I usually play with a thumb pick, but after working on this song this week I decided to record it with my bare thumb. The bass notes are less clearly defined with the flesh of the thumb, but the bare thumb lends a kind of warmth to the guitar's sound. I am using my short nails on my fingers to pluck the high strings.

The guitar is my 1967 Martin D-35. Thanks for listening!

- Glenn
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Old 02-17-2018, 04:15 PM
richard1 richard1 is offline
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Brilliant. Great song and very, very well played and sung. It reminds me a bit of something I've heard by Steve Winwood. Lovely performance, a real pleasure to listen to.
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Old 02-17-2018, 04:19 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Brilliant. Great song and very, very well played and sung. It reminds me a bit of something I've heard by Steve Winwood. Lovely performance, a real pleasure to listen to.
Thanks so much Richard!

I'm so pleased that you like this!

- Glenn
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:22 PM
jdinco jdinco is offline
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One of my favorite songs, I enjoyed your cover a lot. Well done.
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:24 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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One of my favorite songs, I enjoyed your cover a lot. Well done.
Hi JD,

Thanks so much! I'm sure glad to read that you thought this came out okay! Thanks so much for commenting here!

- Glenn
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:08 PM
Kerbie Kerbie is offline
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Outstanding, Glenn! Thank you very much for covering that tune... also one of my favorites.

Great tuning... I really like that. And what a wonderful song... Stills did well. I like the darkness of it. Nicely played and nicely sung.Beautiful job!
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:27 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Outstanding, Glenn! Thank you very much for covering that tune... also one of my favorites.

Great tuning... I really like that. And what a wonderful song... Stills did well. I like the darkness of it. Nicely played and nicely sung.Beautiful job!
Thank you Kerbie!

I'm so very glad you like this version!

You know, in learning this, once I learned what the tuning was (DADDAD), I thought, oh, man! This song is really not that hard! And then in trying to record it I realized that I was not going to be able to look down at my fingers very much if I was going to sing into the microphone. Then I started messing up, over and over again. Suddenly, the song wasn't so easy if I couldn't look at my fingers!!

So all the movement around the fretboard while singing and not being able to look at my fingers very much turned into quite the challenge. But I eventually got there...

Thanks so much for your comments, Kerbie!

- Glenn
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:29 PM
Gcunplugged Gcunplugged is offline
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Very nicely done, enjoyed that! Iíve always wanted to do that song, well at least the guitar part anyway... vocals, not so much...

Very cleanly played and vocals to boot. I can do one or the other but not both, so admire anyone who can play fingerstyle and sing at all, much less sing well.

Kudos!
Gary
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:49 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Very nicely done, enjoyed that! Iíve always wanted to do that song, well at least the guitar part anyway... vocals, not so much...

Very cleanly played and vocals to boot. I can do one or the other but not both, so admire anyone who can play fingerstyle and sing at all, much less sing well.

Kudos!
Gary
Thank you very much Gary!

Thank you for the encouragement! I'm really pleased that you thought this came out okay! And I really appreciate your comments here!

- Glenn
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:54 PM
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Nicely done, Glenn! Thanks for sharing "your journey" with getting this one down with the tuning and making sure where fingers landed on the fret board while singing. Often, I think we miss the amount of work that goes into something 2 or 3 minutes in length...especially when we can just click and take in the final product! Little things.....big things....things we never thought of all make themselves known...uncomfortably so at times! LOL!
Thanks for putting in such effort for us all to appreciate and admire.
Well done!
Fred
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:19 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Nicely done, Glenn! Thanks for sharing "your journey" with getting this one down with the tuning and making sure where fingers landed on the fret board while singing. Often, I think we miss the amount of work that goes into something 2 or 3 minutes in length...especially when we can just click and take in the final product! Little things.....big things....things we never thought of all make themselves known...uncomfortably so at times! LOL!
Thanks for putting in such effort for us all to appreciate and admire.
Well done!
Fred
Thank you so very much Fred!

I'm gratified that you thought this came out okay. Yes, it was a journey in learning this song, but it was not an unpleasant journey, just a few rough spots in the road. I have never used this DADDAD tuning before. It's a little weird, tuning the G string all the way down to D. The string ends up feeling so soft, it's feels like a silk and steel string.

I did like being able to use that old Martin D-35 for this. It seemed the right guitar for a song that came out in 1970. I acquired that guitar in 1969, then graduated from college and got married on the same day in 1970.... Seems like yesterday.

Thanks for the very generous and supportive comments, Fred!

- Glenn
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:41 PM
jstroop jstroop is offline
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Iím envious of your ability to put your own stamp on so many different kinds of songs, so quickly. Iím working on learning a new piece (Dariaís nice arrangement of The South Wind) and it has taken me 3 hours to get through the first verse. Whew! I donít know how you do it.

Joe
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Old 02-18-2018, 12:19 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Iím envious of your ability to put your own stamp on so many different kinds of songs, so quickly. Iím working on learning a new piece (Dariaís nice arrangement of The South Wind) and it has taken me 3 hours to get through the first verse. Whew! I donít know how you do it.

Joe
Hi Joe,

Well, first, thanks so much for taking the time to comment and provide support! I really do appreciate that!

Regarding my ability to learn songs, if I don't have to learn a new technique, then I can learn songs fairly quickly, and that was the case for "4 + 20." I am pretty well versed on the Travis pick, I have known the melody for this song since I first heard it in 1970, so really all I had to do was figure out the tuning and how he was playing the melodic lines. I already had the music in my head from when I was 22 years old, so that gave me a huge head start.

I did spend some time on this song this week, maybe 5-6 hours between figuring it out and recording it. It helps me that I have been playing for a long time, and working pretty hard at it for a long time.

Thanks for your comments, Joe!

- Glenn
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:38 AM
Pura Vida Pura Vida is offline
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Excellent cover and performance. Love Stills, and this is a good reminder to listen to him more often. Wonderful song.
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Old 02-18-2018, 11:51 AM
LWSog LWSog is offline
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This is a dark song, and very powerful. I had not heard it before. Very well done, Glenn! Your playing and singing were wonderful, and the ďrounderĒ sounds from using bare fingers and thumb suited this music well.
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