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Old 10-25-2011, 05:31 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Default Chambertin

Hi Guys - just transcribed this piece. Which, as a Jansch fan since 1965, I'm ashamed to say I'd never heard until recently.

I'm intrigued as to whether anyone knows how Jansch played it. in the 5th bar, he plays this (it's in standard tuning, btw, open position):
Code:
|--------/5----------------|----------------------------------------------
|---------------0-----0----|---------------------------------------------
|------0-----2-----5-----2-|----------------------------------------------
|---2----/4----------------|----------------------------------------------
|0-------------------------|----------------------------------------------
|--------------------------|----------------------------------------------
 1  .  .  2  .  .  3  .  .
That top A note continues ringing throughout the bar, so he clearly keeps his finger (pinky presumably) on that one. The question is how he then gets 5th fret on the 3rd string: it has to be ring finger - but his index doesn't seem to leave fret 2.

I guess - he was Bert Jansch after all - he could stretch that far as easily as it sounds. It also sounds like the 4th fret on 4th string is held all the way too, although I'm less sure about that. So it seems the most likely scenario is this:
Code:
 1  .  .  2  .  .  3  .  . 
|--------/5----------------|---- 
|---------------0-----0----|------
|------0-----2-----5-----2-|------
|---2----/4----------------|------
|0-------------------------|------
|--------------------------|------
          p
    m ___ m  i     r     i
The awkward stretch is of course from index to middle (frets 2-4). (BTW, it does sound like he slides the same finger from fret 2 to 4 on 4th string.)

There is no live video of him playing it (AFAIK) - and he's dead so we can't ask him - but there are a few brave amateur attempts, including one excellent one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-whI3BQQfsA
(he is tuned down a half-step) Here's the thread (yes on this site) where he introduced it:
http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...ght=chambertin
He "cheats" by bringing his pinky across from 1st string to play the 3rd - cutting the top note short (meaning his ring finger can play 4th fret, an easy stretch). This sounds OK - and his version is generally amazing - but I'm just curious about the original.

But one clue suggests itself from other attempts, where they use a capo on fret 2 or 3. Could Jansch have used a capo (which of course he did more often than not) and tuned back down to concert? A capo obviously makes the stretches easier, but why would he tune back down? There's not a lot of bending involved, so the strings don't need to be slacker than usual.

I have to say I've rarely had such problems with any other Jansch tune I've tried. (Maybe he just had longer fingers than me...) The rest of Chambertin contains some much more impressive-sounding parts, which aren't technically as hard as this little intro passage.
(Although I do have to say I've seen him play stuff which seems unnecessarily difficult, little passages which would be easier another way - eg in Reynardine, or Blackwaterside.)

Here's the original, and the bar in question is 0:07-09:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J09ehzggVVo
Informed guesses please - anyone actually seen him play it?.

Last edited by JonPR; 10-25-2011 at 05:55 AM.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:34 AM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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I do not see that anywhere near the beginning of the recording but in any case I listened to the recording and tabbed out some of it. The last section in the tab is where it gets tricky. Of course I am not sure he played it this way but it was as close as I could get at first listen.

- - - - - - -




Oh, there is one place (around 2:40) where there is an A held on the fifth fret.

--------------5----------------------
-----------------------0-------0-----
---------0---------2-------5----- 2--
-----2-------4------------------------
-0-----------------------------------
--------------------------------------
____i_____p/r__i______r____i
Here his index finger does leave the second fret. You are just hearing a sympathetic vibration of the fifth string.
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Last edited by rick-slo; 10-25-2011 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 10-25-2011, 12:51 PM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Thanks rick.

I just realised I posted a live version (you can hear someone going "shhh" near the beginning!) which - you're quite right - doesn't feature that high A at the beginning. Here's the one I meant to link to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAtiofihEu0

I suspect you're right his index leaves the 2nd fret momentarily. I think the problem I currently have is not so much the stretch as getting my fingers to avoid the open strings! (More practice, JonR...)
I'm still not sure you're right about the ring on fret 4. Having practised it some more, I find it a little easier at present to reach my middle up to fret 4 (with the stretch from index on 2) than I do to switch my ring over from 4 to 5. YMMV of course (And I'm trying both ways, so yours may well win out.)

Here's my solution for the later excerpt you mention:

Code:
|------10-----------|------8-----------|------7-----------|
|----------0----0---|----------0---0---|----------0---0---|--
|----0--------------|----0-------5-----|----0-------5-----|
|--------7---10---7-|--------7-------7-|--------7-------7-|
|0h7---9------------|0h7---8-----------|0h7---6-----------|---
|-------------------|------------------|------------------|
(You had an open D as 3rd note in each bar - in fact it's a G. Otherwise we agree.)

I originally though he might be playing the low A on 5th fret 6th string - which is possible, and allows the necessary upward move to play the rest of the first bar - but on closer listen I can hear he's hammering on to the E on the same string.

While I said there wasn't anything as challenging in the rest of the tune as the phrase with the high A at the beginning (and near the end), that doesn't of course mean that the whole thing isn't **** challenging almost the whole way through! I'm certainly not going to be posting my own attempt at this on youtube any time in the near future (and probably not the distant future either...).

Last edited by JonPR; 10-25-2011 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 10-25-2011, 01:51 PM
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Yep, G. Tabbing carelessness. Fixed that. Good luck with the tune.

Actually on futher listening to the other clip, and in the spirit of Occam's Razor, it sounds more like below, and I am fairly sure that is what he is doing.
I hear a pull off. If you lift off the fourth fret at the right time you will get a ringing overtone A on the fourth string in response to the A on the first string.
This carries over the A tone. On the recording sometimes he gets this and sometimes he does not and the A stops ringing earlier.


--------------5----------------------
-----------------------0---1----0-----
---------0---------2---------------2--
-----2-------4------------------------
-0-----------------------------------
--------------------------------------
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Last edited by rick-slo; 10-25-2011 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:37 PM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Yep, G. Tabbing carelessness. Fixed that. Good luck with the tune.

Actually on futher listening to the other clip, and in the spirit of Occam's Razor, it sounds more like below, and I am fairly sure that is what he is doing.
I hear a pull off. If you lift off the fourth fret at the right time you will get a ringing overtone A on the fourth string in response to the A on the first string.
This carries over the A tone. On the recording sometimes he gets this and sometimes he does not and the A stops ringing earlier.


--------------5----------------------
-----------------------0---1----0-----
---------0---------2---------------2--
-----2-------4------------------------
-0-----------------------------------
--------------------------------------
That was what I first thought, because (a) on the intro vamp it does sound like a pull-off, and (b) it's easy enough until you get to this bar. I struggled with that stretch for a while.

But - having viewed the few amateur attempts at it on youtube - where they all go for the 3rd string (and I was thinking "nah that's not it" as I watched them) - I listened again, more closely, and I think (in this bar in question at least), that C is choked off a little - sounds different from previous bars, and not like a pull-off, IMO. And I think the tone sounds a little different, as if it is on the 3rd string.
Incidentally, in this particular bar, the first A on 3rd string is indistinct, and I can't actually hear the first B at all. But the B and A at the end of the bar are clear. I'm still trying all the various options, and - for me anyway - I'm gravitating towards this one:
Code:
--------------5----------------------
 ----------------------0-------0-----
 ---------0--------2-------5-------2--
 -----2-------4------------------------
 -0-----------------------------------
 --------------------------------------
      m      p/m   i       r       i
Playing it around half-speed, it's working for me better than the pull-off on 2nd string (esp for the slide you can hear on both 4th and 1st strings), and I can feel that with practice it would get faster.
YMMV, of course.
(In fact, I think I may go for capo on fret 2 and the hell with it.)

BTW, I've just been transcribing I Am Lonely, which I always thought (having learned it vaguely back in the 60s) was a simple enough sequence in D. Turns out he played it with C shapes with capo on 2 - that's the only way a few of the shapes make sense. But it strikes me as unnecessarily difficult: while the exact voicings he uses can't be done in D, plenty of very nice-sounding options are available - with more options for open strings. I can't get it to sound as sweet with his chords at all!
I'm only saying this to suggest that Jansch didn't always go for what might (as I see things anyway) appear to be the easy option. So you may well be right!
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:13 PM
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What I was saying is that there is not a stretch from the fifth to first fret. You let go of the high A just before that. You can still get the A note on the fourth string sympathetic harmonic. I don't think he would alter the pattern of the earlier measures and create unnecessary difficulty. That said, anyway that works out for you is the way to go.
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:50 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
What I was saying is that there is not a stretch from the fifth to first fret. You let go of the high A just before that. You can still get the A note on the fourth string sympathetic harmonic.
OK, yes; I get what you mean, I'm just not sure that's what I'm hearing. I think if that were the case, you still get a cut in the level of the A, even if a harmonic did continue. I just hear it smoothly continuing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
I don't think he would alter the pattern of the earlier measures and create unnecessary difficulty.
I agree in principle, and I imagine that would apply to any other player.
But as I said on I Am Lonely - and there's evidence of it on Blackwaterside too - Jansch did seem to sometimes choose shapes higher up the neck when phrases were possible (and arguably easier) elsewhere. He always seemed to play as if he was well within his technical capacity, as if could do much harder stuff if he really wanted to show off. He seemed to deliberately give himself challenges now and then, as if he needed to keep himself awake.
(Way back at the time of Angie, he treated that with total nonchalance, as if it was kids' stuff he could do in his sleep. No wonder we can detect mixed feelings in Davy Graham's opinions of Jansch...)
Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
That said, anyway that works out for you is the way to go.
Sure - actually none of it works for me at the moment , but I do really appreciate your heads up on it.
Have you actually played the piece successfully yourself? My admiration will know no bounds if you can manage a youtube...
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
Have you actually played the piece successfully yourself
Nope, not working on it. I was just curious about what you were referring to in your post. These days I write and play my own music 90% of the time. I will use other tunes now and then to jump start new ideas. The last tune I was interested enough in working out completely was Bob Evan's "Slippery Slope". Anyway, post your results when you are done with it.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:33 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Nope, not working on it. I was just curious about what you were referring to in your post. These days I write and play my own music 90% of the time. I will use other tunes now and then to jump start new ideas. The last tune I was interested enough in working out completely was Bob Evan's "Slippery Slope". Anyway, post your results when you are done with it.
Don't hold your breath...
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