Friday Blues Blogging

Big Joe Williams and his nine-string guitar doing "Baby Please Don't Go."

 


Some more info on Joe and his guitar:

He played with picks both on his thumb and index finger, plus his guitar was very heavily modified. Williams added a rudimentary electric pick-up, whose wires coiled all over the top of his guitar. He also added three extra strings, creating unison pairs for the first, second and fourth strings. His guitar was usually tuned to Open G, like such: (D2 G2 D3D3 G3 B3B3 D4D4), with a capo placed on the second fret to set the tuning to the key of A. During the 1920s and 1930s, Big Joe had gradually added these extra strings in order to keep other guitar players from being able to play his guitar. In his later years, he would also occasionally use a 12-string guitar with all strings tuned in unison to Open G. It is little known that Big Joe sometimes tuned a six-string guitar to an interesting modification of Open G. In this modified tuning, the bass D string (D2) was replaced with a .08 gauge string and tuned to G4. The resulting tuning was (G4 G2 D3 G3 B3 D4), with the G4 string being used as a melody string by Big Joe. This tuning was used exclusively for slide playing

Comments:

On those 1935 tracks, Mean Stepfather, etc, he must have either his guitar tuned up to A, and capoed, or down to G and capoed so high it's difficult to see how he could find any notes left to pick.

Anyone know more?

bob

Posted by Robert (Poor Bob) Jones on March 09, 2010 at 02:44 AM MST #

Post a Comment:
  • HTML Syntax: NOT allowed
About

Reporting about Unified Communications Suite Documentation, including news, Comms 101, documentation updates, and tips and tricks.

Search

Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today