From The Cradle

“I went into the studio with the approach that everything would be recorded live, and having chosen the songs, we would play them as much like the original versions as possible, even down to the key they were played in. It was great fun, and I love every minute of it.”
Eric Clapton, in Clapton: The Autobiography

“From The Cradle” is a very special Clapton album. It contains only Blues songs, and all songs are cover versions (but nevertheless is was the best selling album worldwide in Oct. 1994!). It’s a tribute to his heroes, and he has studied them very detailed. He played different Gibson guitars instead of his Fender, the worldwide tour was a big success.

“All along this path I tread, my heart betrays my weary head, with nothing but my love to save, from the cradle to the grave….”

“There’s anger and love and fear on this record, because I was deep into something which was exposing me this way. It’s to do with the relationship that I was involved in, with a very beautiful woman, which started and ended over the same time as the record was made. We’d broken up in January or February of this year, and I went downstairs one night and I wrote that rhyme (see above) from which the record is named.”

“Because it’s (the album) the thing I’ve loved from day one, the most exciting and satisfying thing I’ve known. That’s what From the Cradle means.”
– Eric Clapton, interview and cover notes

 

“It was a wonderful thing to see. Vocally and guitar-playing wise he’s never been better. He was on fire. You could see that he was really inspired. It was a passion and all his creative energy was being focused into those sessions. What was unusual was that everything was recorded live in the studio, so Eric could capture that live feel. We’d get in at 10 in the morning and by the evening, we’d pack up to go home and we’d realize we’d only played one number all day. We’d do it over and over again, in search of that elusive take where the vocals were right, Eric’s guitar playing was as good as it could be, and all the various band members were all locked together in that moment of magic. It was a real joy.”
– Andy Fairweather Low, interview 2008

The following songs are not easy to play, I’ll try to explain them close to the way EC played them, and maybe even the original artist once did. So we have to use open tunings, slides and other stuff. It’s like a journey deep into the Blues. Thanks to John Walasko for the original release dates.

“Oh, we had just tons and tons of guitars there, and twenty four guitars on the road for the tour, just because of the selection of music he was playing. He was copying everyone’s style – doing an Elmore James slide thing, a B.B. thing, Robert Johnson… we had a guitar change on almost every other song, and that was the nature of the beast.”
– Guitar technician Lee Dickson about EC’s guitars during the NBTB-tour, interview 2002


Too bad that the Martin Scorsese video about the tour (“Nothing But the Blues”) still didn’t find the way into the stores. There are rumors around about copyright problems (the video includes many original artists and historical recordings) or EC being unhappy with one of the musicians, but I don’t have the “official” reason. It was broadcasted once, at least in Europe. The DVD which appears sometimes on the net is not an official release and does not have real DVD quality, as far as I know.

“Well, now, I am not sure what footage we got of that. I think there is a bit lying around and it would be interesting to put something — there was a blues project I had at one point, where I wanted to do a documentary on the blues, and we did some work with Martin Scorsese on that, but I think it’s still on hold. And I’d like to finish that up one day.”
– EC asked about a tour video, interview

Song list:

Blues Before Sunrise


This very old Blues classic (first recorded in St. Louis 1934, for the Vocalion label and covered by many artists like John Lee Hooker and Elmore James) was composed by the Blues duo Leroy Carr (1905 – 1935) and Scrapper Blackwell (1903 – 1962). Carr was a self-taught piano player, Blackwell a self-taught guitar player. Between 1928 and 1934 they recorded more than 100 songs, some of them became real evergreens (like How Long Blues). Carr died at the age of 30 – liver cirrhosis, too much drinks, Blackwell was shoot in 1962. That’s Blues.

EC played this song in open C# tuning (!) using a slide. Open C# tuning? Yes. You can get this by starting with open E tuning and then tuning the guitar down three semitones (E – D# – D – C#). Or you start with standard tuning and proceed as follows:

– start tuning the high E string to the B string pressed down at the 2nd fret (= C#)
– continue like (* is the string to be tuned)

I--0*-------------------C#--I
I--2--0*----------------G#--I
I-----1--0*-------------F---I
I--------3--0*------0---C#--I
I-----------4--0*-------G#--I
I--------------4----0*--C#--I

then start fine tuning:

– play all C#’s together (1st, 3rd, 6th string)
– play both G#’s together (2nd, 5th string)

and finally…

I--0--------------I
I--5--0-----------I
I-----3--0--------I
I--------4--0-----I
I-----------5--0--I
I--------------7--I

Start your first open slide lick to test your tuning:

I----------12~~-------------I
I---10/12-------------------I
I--------------10/12--------I
I--------------------12~~---I
I---------------------------I
I---------------------------I

OK, here we go – the intro, volume turned LOUD…

I--/12-12-12-12-12-12-12\--repeat--/12-12-12-12-12-12-12--repeat-3x--/15-12-10/12~~--I
I--/12-12-12-12-12-12-12\----------/12-12-12-12-12-12-12-------------/15-12----------I
I--/12-12-12-12-12-12-12\----------/12-12-12-12-12-12-12-----------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
0:00

I-/15-12-10/12--12-10------------------------12\10-----------------------------------I
I-/15-12--------------/12\10-----------------------/12\10----------------------------I
I---------------------------/12--------------------------/12-------------------------I
I-------------------------------12---------------------------12\---------------------I
I-----------------------------------0-2-0-0-----------------------0-2-0-0------------I
I-----------------------------------0-0-0-0-----------------------0-0-0-0------------I
                                              00:16

I----------12-12-12-/12-12-/12-10-------------12-/12-/12\10--------------------------I
I---10/12-------------------------12-12--/12----------------/12\10-------------------I
I---10/12----------------------------------------------------------/12---------------I
I---10/12---------------------------------------------------------------12-----------I
I-----------------------------------------------------------------------12-----------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I

And the main turnaround, in the well know way walking down one string while keeping another one constant at the root note C#:

I---------------------I
I---------------------I
I---------------------I
I--0-0-0-0------------I
I--3-2-1-0------0-0---I
I-----------5/--------I
  00:24

Than the vocals start (I have a blue…) and we can play the rhythm like we use to play in a 12 bar Blues (C# – F# – G#7), but without slide. To find the chord positions in open tuning a little help (open strings: C#/I, 5th fret: F#/IV, 7th fret: G#/V):

I---------------------------------------------------------------------I
I---------------------------------------------------------------------I
I---------------------------------------------------------------------I
I---------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-0-0-2-2-0-0-2-2--------5-5-7-7-5-5-7-7------------7-7-9-9-7-7-9-9---I
I-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0--------5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5------------7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7---I
  C#                     F#                         G#

Chords for standard tuning are:

C# F# G#7

The short solo is played like the intro, with a few extra notes.

Third Degree


The next song again was from a piano player – Eddie Boyd’s (1914 – 1994) “Third Degree”.
Eddie Boyd (Edward Riley Boyd) came 1941 from Clarksdale, Mississippi over Memphis to Chicago – like many others fleeing from the Klu Klux Klan. He started as a replacement for Big Maceo, and tried to get to Chess records (THE Blues label, besides Cobra) without success. But shortly after his biggest hit “Five Long Years” (on FTC, too!), he got a contract at Chess records and recorded many Blues classics like “24 Hours” or – this song, which was co-written by the big Willie Dixon, “Mr. Chicago Blues”.
“Third Degree”, first recorded in Chicago 1953 for the Chess label, is a very jazzy “west coast style” Blues in the key of D, so we can use the first Blues fingering pattern starting at – guess it – the 10th fret. We can still use some of our well known I-IV-V chords (I: D, IV: G, V: A), but we now play them as 9th chords.

Let’s start with the intro. Some piano parts are included – if you have no piano…

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I--------13/15~~-(13tr15)-13---------------------------------------------------------I
I-12-12-----------------------(14)rb12-------------------------------10-12b(14)rb12p-I
I-(piano)--------(piano)---------------12-10h12-10h12-10h12-10h12-12-----------------I
I-----------------------------------------pick softly--------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
 0:00

I-------------------------------------------------------------------13--10--13--10---I
I-------------------------------------10----------------------------12b-----12b------I
I-10-12----10-12b(14)rb12p10----10-12----12-10h12-9h10-------------------------------I
I-------12-------------------12------------------------12-10tr12..--from G7 chord...-I
I--------------------------------------------------------------.piano.---------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
0:09

                                    (Bb9)(A9)   (Eb9)(D9)
I-------------------------------------13--12-------6--5------------------------------I
I-10----------------------------------13--12-------6--5----vocals start--------------I
I----12-10----10h12-10----------------13--12-------6--5------------------------------I
I----------12----------12-10tr12...---12--11-------5--4------------------------------I
I-------------------------------------13--12-------6--5------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                        0:19

During the vocals we play a very soft rhythm guitar using down strokes only:

D9
   Got me...

D9 G7                      Eb9 D9
      I c...

D9      A7
Got ...

  D9                        A9 G9
I ...

G9           A9 G9
   Bad love....
           D9
is ....

Chords in standard position:

D9 G7 Eb9 A9 G9

Short guitar break at 1:02 with a variation of our well known Blues starting riff, going up to the root note at the high E-string and then back to the root note at the low E-string:

                                                                  (Bb9)(A9)
I-------------10------------10--13---10-----------------------------13--12---I
I----------10----10-13b(15)-----12b-----10----10--------------------13--12---I
I--12b(14)---------------------------------12----12-----------------13--12---I
I---------------------------------------------------10--------------12--11---I
I------------------------------------------------------12\8---------13--12---I
I-----------------------------------------------------------10---------------I
1:01

A9                        G9
  Well I just can't stay
G9                D9
  no more on this third degree

At 1:23 a variation of the above theme, than starting the next verse. Chords are the same, and guitar fills between area again versions of the above theme.

At 2:41 we have a solo, all around the D minor Blues scale at the 10th fret. It starts like:

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-----------13/15-15-15~~~--13/15-13/15-13/15-13------------------------------13-----I
I--14-14-14--------------------------------------(14)rb12-10---------10-12/14--------I
I------------------------------------------------------------12---12-----------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
 2:41

I-------------------------------------------------------------13--10-----------------I
I-------------------------------------------------------------12b----10--------------I
I--14\12-10----10h12-10h12-10-------------------------------------------12-11----11--I
I-----------12----------------12-10----------------------------------------^--12-----I
I-----------------------------------12-10--------8h10-8h10-8---------------major-----I
I-----------------------------------------13-10----------------------------note!-----I
                                                              2:54

I------------10------------10------13---13--13---10----------------------------------I
I---------10----10-13b(15)---------12b--12b-12b-----10-----10------------------------I
I-12b(14)----------------------------------------------12b----12b-12-10----10--etc..-I
I-----------------------------------------------------------------------12-----------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I

You now go on with the licks above. Remember to play fluid and clean, using small bends and sometimes a major note. Build up and release tension, another short example from 3:35 goes like:

I----13-15-17-15-17-15h17p15--13-15-13--------------I
I-15-----------------------------------15-13-15~~~--I
I---------------------------------------------------I
I--------------------------------------------root---I
I--------------------------------------------note---I
I---------------------------------------------------I
 3:35

The end is easy to figure out, a short lick up and down ending with the chords Eb9 / D9.

Reconsider Baby

… has it’s own page!

Hoochie Coochie Man

I [Willie Dixon] was telling him:
“Man, this song is a natural for you.”
“Well, it’ll take me a while to learn it”,
Muddy [Waters] said.
“No, this is right down your alley. I got an idea for a little riff that anybody can play.”
You know how it is, a lot of guys feel if you made a song complicated, it would do more. I always tried to explain that the simpler a thing is, the easier it can get across with the public. He and I talked about it and I said:
“Get your guitar.”
We went and stood right in front of the bathroom by the door. People were walking by us all the time and I said:
“Now here’s your riff: ‘Da-da-da-da-Da.'”
“Oh, Dixon, ain’t nothing to that.”
“Now remember this: The gypsy woman told my mother/Da-da-da-da-Da/Before I was born/Da-da-da-da-Da/ You got a boy child coming/Da-da-da-da-Da/He’s gonna be a sonuvagun.”
He could remember those words because they were the type of words anybody can remember easily.
– Willie Dixon, I Am The Blues, 1989 [1]

Hoochie Coochie Man, written by the legendary Willie Dixon for McKinley Morganfield aka Muddy Waters, is a real Blues classic, first recorded in Chicago, 1954, for the Chess label (Dixon also played the bass). Little Walter played the incredible harp, and this song is a good example how Waters moved from the classical Delta Blues form to his interpretation of the Chicago Blues style, leaving the traditional 12 bar song structure, adding stops and improvisations.

Hoochie Coochie Man is a 16 bar Blues in the key of A. EC played it very close to the original, letting his harp player doing most solo work.

Let’s start with the intro – a few notes only, but a very characteristic “Here I am”!

There are several ways to play the intro, they can be played together or changed during the song. The main 5 note figure always ends up to A or B, both notes from the A chord. Some variations are:

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------2--------------------------0-0-1-2---------bass style-------------------I
I-----0-2----2-----------5-2----------2----------------------------------------------I
I--/3-----3--0--------/3------3--0------------------------------0--------------------I
I--Muddy's style------EC's style------nice "overdub"----0-3-0-3----------------------I
 0:00

This theme (with the corresponding A7 chord) is the same for the first 7 bars. With the 8th bar (…what’s this all about..) we start a heavy strumming over the A7 chord. The chords for all verses are:

All A7:
The ...

A7                         A7
then ........
                 D7                          A7
But .........
             E7                   D7              A7
well ........

Chords in standard position:

A7 D7 E7

A nice bass line for the D7 and A7 chord (after …but you know I’m here):

 D7                       A7
I-----------------------------------------------I
I-----------------------------------------------I
I----------2-5-5-2---2--------------------------I
I--0-0-3h4---------4--------------2-5-5-2---2---I
I-------------------------0-0-3h4---------4-----I
I-----------------------------------------------I

During the harmonica solo you can play using the A minor Blues scale. The final chord sliding down from A9, played at the 12th fret.

Five Long Years


Another Eddie Boyd song, one of his biggest hits (recorded in Chicago, 1952, for the JOB label), covered by many artists including Muddy Waters (1963) and – the Yardbirds with EC. It’s on the 1964 release “Five Live Yardbirds”, and EC played what he loved most: the Blues. The story about a poor man working five years in a steel mill, giving all his money to his woman who finally puts him out was also a number one on the top 40 rhythm and Blues charts.

Five Long Years is a Blues in A (chords A7/D7/E7, you know). It contains a great intro and a great solo containing a lot of EC’s favorite Blues licks, so we’ll take a closer look at this song.

Chords in standard position:

A7 D7 E7

The intro starts with notes from the major pentatonic, it’s the A chord:

  A7 (I)          D7 (IV)                                     A7 (I)
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-----------------8b(10)~~~---8-5----------------------------------------------------I
I------/6---------bend------------(8)rb7-7-5--7b(8)-7b(8)---5-7b(9)-5h7-----5-7------I
I--4-7----7-------into------------------------7b(8)-7b(8)-7---------------7----------I
I-----------7~~\--root---------------------------------------------------------------I
I------A-chord----note A-------------------------------------------------------------I
0:00

                                                      D7 (IV)
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-----------------------------------13-15b(17)--15h17-repeat...---15----17-15--------I
I-5h7-5---5----------------12/14~~~----------------------------------17-------17-----I
I-------7---7p5h7...-\---------------------------------------------------------------I
I-----------root---------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                          0:15

 D7 (IV)
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I--17-15----17-15-----15b-17-----15-17-15h17p15----15-17-15h17p15----15-17-15h17p15--I
I--------17-------17----------17----------------17----------------17-----------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                              0:20

 D7 (IV)                                A7 (I)
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I----15-15~~~~---15-17-15h17-15----15------------------------------------------------I
I-17----------17----------------17-----17-14-17-14~~~---12----12---------------------I
I----------------------------------------------------------14-----14\12p10----12-----I
I--------------------------------------------------------------------------12----12--I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                                        0:25

                  E7 (V)    A7 (I)                                  E7 (V)
I---------------------------------------------------------------------5---8b--5---8b-I
I-------------------------------------------------------------------5---5-------5----I
I---------------------------/14~~~-12-----------repeat----5-7-7b(9)------------------I
I--10----------------------------------14\12------------7----------------------------I
I-----12\10h12p10----------------------------15--------------------------------------I
I------------------12----------------------------------------------------------------I
                            0:27

                                                      D7 (IV)
I--5---8b--5-----5-------------------------------------------------------------------I
I----5-------5-8---8-5---------------------------------------------------------------I
I----------------------7b(9)-7-5---7---5-----------------17b(19)-17~~-14----14-17----I
I--------------------------------7---7---7-5-----------------------------17----------I
I---------------------------------------------7-5------------------------------------I
I-------------------------------------------------8\5--------------------------------I
                                  0:34

                          A7 (I)                 D7 (IV)
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I--14h17p14----14-14\----------------------------8-5---------------------------------I
I-----------17--------------5-7-7b(8)-7-5---5b-------7b-7-5---7----------------------I
I-------------------------7---------------7-----------------7---7p5------------------I
I--------------------------------------------------------------------7p5\3-----------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I

   A7 (I)      E7 (V)
I---------------------------I
I--8-5---5~~----------------I
I------5------7b(9)-7-5-----I
I-----------------------7\--I
I---------------------------I
I---------------------------I
  0:43

Don’t just play it note for note (although it’s difficult enough…), listen how EC builds up and releases the tension while going up and down the fretboard. He starts “optimistic” with the notes from the major chord, bends into the root note, runs down the minor Blues scale ending in a diminished seventh – root (tonic) triller, waiting to be continued. He plays different runs with the same notes, adding additional hammer-ons/pull-offs.

During the first verse we can play rhythm guitar with the standard chords (A7 – D7 – E7) in a slow 12 bar scheme, sometimes a kind of quick change chord is used. There is much room between the lyrics, so we can add some nice fills. Use the first fingering pattern starting at the 5th fret for the beginning.

Let’s take a look at two of them:

I-----------------------------------5-(root)--I--------------------5----------8p5----I
I-mistreated...-------------------------------I-about...---------5---8b(10)~~-----8--I
I------------------7b(8)p5----7b(9)-----------I------------7b(9)---------------------I
I---------------------------------------------I--------------------------------------I
I---------------------------------------------I--------------------------------------I
I---------------------------------------------I--------------------------------------I
  0:51                                                      1:00

At 2:18 we have a long and heavy solo containing a lot of EC’s all-time favorite licks. We’ll take a look at some of them.

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I----13-15b(17)-15b(17)-repeat--15b(17)-15-13----15~~--13----13-15b(17)rb15~~~-------I
I-14------------------------------------------14----------14-------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
  2:18

-snip-

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-15b(17)rb15----13-15-13h15p13-----13-15-13h15p13--repeat...------------------------I
I-------------14----------------14---------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-------------very fast...-----------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
  2:27

-snip-

I-------------------------------17----17-20-17h20p17----17-20-17h20p17---------------I
I-/10---/13----/15----/17---20-----20----------------20-----------------20----repeat-I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I--fast striking....-----------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
3:04

and ending the solo with

I---------------------------I
I---------------------------I
I---------------------------I
I----------5-----------7~~~-I
I---5h6h7----(7)rb5-3-------I
I---------------------------I
 3:48

Finally, after the next lyrics, the end. Puh…

I---------5--(8)rb7p5-5-------10b(12)-10b(12)-8--------------------------------------I
I-----5-8----------------/10--------------------10\---13/14----12--------------------I
I--/9-------------------------------------------------13/14----12--------------------I
I-----------------------------------------------------12/13----11--------------------I
I--------------------------------------------------------------strike fast...--------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
   4:34

I’m Tore Down


This song was written by Sonny Thompson, a piano player and – more important – also the producer of the early Freddie King albums. He wrote this song for Freddie 1962, and like “Have You Ever Loved a Woman”, “Hideaway” and other Freddie King songs they made a big impression on EC.

“I’m tore down”, played by Freddy King, was recorded in Cincinnati, 1962, for the King/Federal label. It’s a fast standard Blues in C, so all chords we need are C7(I) – F7(IV) – G7(V). Use the first C Blues fingering pattern starting at the 8th fret, add some notes from the major scale as usual and you should get it.

Chords in standard position:

C7 F7 G7

The rhythm guitar is easy, you know that riff from the Blues Breakers album already:

 C7                      F7                     G7
I----------------------------------------------------------------I
I----------------------------------------------------------------I
I-----5-5-3-3----------------------------------------------------I
I-------------5-5------------3-3-1-1----------------5-5-3-3------I
I-3-3--------------------------------3-3--------------------5-5--I
I------------------------1-1--------------------3-3--------------I

Unsure about the notes? Don’t find your scale? Well, play it at the 8th fret:

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I--------------------------------10-10-8-8-----------------12-12-10-10---------------I
I-------10-10-8-8---------------------------10-10----------------------12-12---------I
I-----------------10-10------8-8---------------------10-10---------------------------I
I---8-8------------------------------------------------------------------------------I

But because bass notes sound much better, we don’t use it…

The intro (according to the title “tore down” we go down the scale!):

I-----8--10b(11)-11b(13)11b---8---------------------------------I
I--10---------------------------8-11-8-10----8------------------I
I---9-------------------------------------10---10-8b------------I
I-----------------------------------------------------10-8------I
I----------------------------------------------------------10---I
I---------------------------------------------------------------I
  0:02

The fills between the vocals (rhythm see above) are a variation of this theme, like

I-------------------------------------------------I
I--11b(13)--(13)rb11-8----------------------------I
I-----------------------10b(11)rb(10)p8----8------I
I---------------------------------------10---10~~~I
I-------------------------------------------------I
I-------------------------------------------------I
 0:12

At 1:21 we have a nice solo using mainly the first and second fingering pattern of the C Blues scale, sometimes going into higher patterns. Listen especially to the major scale note A, 10th fret, B string – it adds another interesting color to the sound.

I-------------------------11b------13-13-13-13b(15)-11b--------------------11-13-----I
I------11-13-12/13-13-13--------13-----------------------13-13~-10---10-13-----------I
I---12-------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
   1:21

I-13b(15)-11b-------11-8-10----8------------------------------8---------8------------I
I-----------------8---------10---8--------------------------8---11b(13)------------8-I
I----------------------------------10-9-------------10b(12)----------------10b(12)---I
I---------------------------------------10-------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------10-8-7------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
1:29

I---------------------------------------8-------------------8------------------------I
I------------------------8----8-11b(12)----repeat---11b(13)---11b(13)-13-13-13-------I
I--10b(12)rb10p8-10b(12)-------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                   1:36

I--13b(15)--11b-------------13b(14)rb(13)----------------11b--18-18-...--------------I
I----------------13~~-------12b(13)rb(12)-repeat--13-13-------fast striking----------I
I---------------------10-------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
1:42

I--15-18p15---------------------------------------------------------------8----------I
I-----------18-16b-------16\---18--(19)rb18-16-------16b----------------8---11b------I
I------------------17-17-------17--------------17-17-----17-17-14\--8h9--------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                                                     1:55

I---8----11b-8h11p8----8-------------------------------------------------------------I
I------8------------10----8----8----------------------------8-10-10------------------I
I---------------------------10---8b---------10--8h9-------8h9-10-10---8h9------------I
I-----------------------------------10-8-10---------10-10-----------------10-8-------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------10----I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
        1:57

After another vocal we have the end with the chords Db9-C9. That was it!

How Long Blues


Another song from Leroy Carr (see Blues Before Sunrise), it was recorded in Indianapolis, June 19, 1928, for the Vocalion label and was the biggest hit of Carr/Blackwell. Muddy Waters said the first song he remembers hearing and learning to play was Carr’s How Long Blues, also Robert Johnson started playing with this song. A laid back Blues in E, EC used a Dobro in open E tuning (different from the tuning he used on unplugged!) and a slide. I’ve tabbed it with standard tuning, and because the mostly used B and E strings are already OK it’s possible that way. For some licks it’s useful to play a combination of slide and and normal playing. It’s an 8 bar Blues, so it differs slightly from our well known 12 bar structure. Chords are:

E - E7 - A - A
E - B7 - E - B7/E

Chords are:

E E7 A B7 B7

The intro – vocals are a bit crippled::

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I--8/9-8/9~~~---11/12-11/12-----------------------5~~----------5~---5\3--------------I
I----------------------------12/13----------5/6---use-----5/6-----------4------------I
I----------------------------------14-------use---finger------------------0h1--------I
I------------------------E major chord...---slide-----------------------------/2-/2--I
I-------------------------------------------A major chord...-------------------------I
0:02

I----------------------------3/4-/4---/4-0-/4-0---0----------------------------------I
I-/3-/3-/3--------------------------------------0---/5---How long....---/5-/5--------I
I-----------4\2----------------------------------------------------------------------I
I---------------/5--2-0-2-2----------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                             0:16
I---------------------------------------------------------------how------------------I
I--baby...long--/3--3-3--------------5---5-5--how long------5-5-how----0-/4-0-/4-0---I
I------------------------/6-------/6---6----------------4/6-----long-----------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------evening-----------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                  0:33

I-------/3------0-----0---------I
I-baby------0/2---0/2---/5~~----I
I-how---------------------------I
I-long--------------------------I
I-------------------------------I
I-------------------------------I

With these licks you can go through the whole song. There’s no guitar solo, but you can try to play along the harp solo starting at 2:01. Some ideas:

I---5/7-/7~~~---(7-7-5----------/7-/7--5p3-----10-7---------------I
I----------------------8-5)----------------5---------10\8-8-5-5..-I
I----harp-------guitar----------harp------------------------------I
I-----------------------------------------------------------------I
I-----------------------------------------------------------------I
I-----------------------------------------------------------------I

The end is a typical Blues ending, going down the scale to the root, then opening to the 7th chord:

I---3b------------------------------------------------------------I
I------5-3---3----0-----------------------------------------------I
I----------4----2-------------------------------------------------I
I-------------------2---------------------------------------------I
I-------------------root----2-4-2-5-------------------------------I
I---------------------------------^-the 7th note of the E7 chord--I

Goin’ Away Baby


The next song is an uptempo Blues from James Lane recorded 1950 in Chicago for the Chess label. Never heard this name? Well, James Lane is better known as Jimmy Rogers (1924 – 1997), the side guitarist of Muddy Waters. He was not only an excellent guitar player, he also wrote some well known Blues songs. “Walking By Myself” was a big hit for Garry Moore, others are “Blues All Day Long”, “That’s Alright” or “Blues Leave Me Alone”, the next song on FTC.

Short before he died he recorded an all-star album with EC, Lowell Fulson, Jeff Healey, Taj Mahal and others. It was released 1991 titled The “Jimmy Rogers All-Stars: Blues Blues Blues”. Great album. “Goin’ Away Baby” is also on that album, EC himself played on “Blues Leave Me Alone” (with a really great guitar tone).

Back to the song. It’s in A, chords (you know) A/D7/E7. Let’s start using 1st and 2nd fingering pattern of the A Blues scale, which starts on the 5th fret. We start at the second fingering pattern and go down to the root note A. You may also start with the double stop on string B and E, 5th fret, but then you have to change your finger position to reach the 10th fret. The following is easier:

I-----------------8----8b------10-8b-------------------------------------------------I
I--10--10--/10~~----10----10\--------10-8--------------------------------------------I
I---9---9---------------------------------9\7--5-----------7b(9)rb-p5----------------I
I------------------------------------------------7---------------------7-------------I
I------------------------------------------------root A-------------------5h7-5tr7---I
I----------------------------------------------------------This is the main theme..--I
  0:00                                                      0:06

I----------------------------------8----8b------------------------------7-----7------I
I-----------repeat--------10-10~~----10----10\--like beginning...---------5-----5----I
I-----------from--------9---------------------------------------------7-----7--------I
I----5-7-7--0:06-----------------------------------------------------(E7 chord)------I
I--7---------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                        0:12                                          0:23

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I--------------------------------7b(9)rb7-p5-----------------------------------------I
I---5h6h7-5h6h7------------------------------7....-----------------------------------I
I-----------------5b-5b----------(like-0:06)-----------------------------------------I
I-----------------------8b--5~~------------------------------------------------------I
 0:26

There’s no guitar solo, but two short harp solos. You can play these licks also during the vocals or just strum the chords, so you have all to go through the song. We end with a triller 5tr6 at the D string (A7 chord).

Chords:

A D7 E7

Blues Leave Me Alone


Another great Blues from James Lane aka Jimmy Rogers (see above song), first recorded 1954 in Chicago for the Chess label. It’s a slow, heavy Blues in E with the guitar playing the rhythm while most of the solo work is done by the harp. It’s great to play together with the harp adding your own licks. The rhythm guitar itself is simple, a slow shuffle with the chords E/A/B7 in the

  E         A           B7
I--------------------------------I
I--------------------------------I
I--------------------------------I
I-----------2-2-4-4-----4-4-6-6--I
I-2-2-4-4---0-0-0-0-----2-2-2-2--I
I-0-0-0-0------------------------I

scheme, we had this already, with some extra notes added.
Let’s take a look at the intro and try to to play the harp notes with our axe:

                                   E            B7
I--9/10--9/10-repeat-I-----------------------I--------I---------------------------------I
I-11/12-11/12--------I-15b-------------------I-----0--I--15-17-15-----------------------I
I--------------------I----16-14-13-12b-------I-----2--I-----------16-(15)rb14-13-12b----I
I--------------------I-----------------14----I-----1--I------------------------------14-I
I--------------------I--------------------14-I-----2--I---------------------------------I
I--------------------I-the harp part........-I--0-----I-harp again....------------------I
  0:00

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-----12-14------12b-12b----------12-14------12b----12b-------12-14------------------I
I--14-------14-----------12h14-14-------14-------14----14--14-------14---------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-still harp...----------------------------------------------------------------------I
0:07

Chords are:

E A B7 B7

Then the vocals start, the rhythm guitar is played like described above. The turnaround can be played sliding up the E major chord:

    E     F      F#     G          B7
I----------------------------------1---I
I-------0-----1------2-------------0---I
I-----1-----2------3----4----------2---I
I----------------------------------1---I
I---2-----3------4------5--2-0-1-2-2---I
I--------------------------------------I

There’s no guitar solo, so all we need are the finishing 9th chords, which may sound a bit too jazzy for this song (there are no other 9th chord used in this Blues!):

   D#9    E9
I--6------7----I
I--6------7----I
I--6------7----I
I--5------6----I
I--6------7----I
I--------------I
  3:28

Sinner’s Prayer


This song was written and first recorded 1950 (swing time 237) by Lowell Fulson (see “Reconsider Baby”), and Ray Charles (Lowell’s former piano player!) recorded a remarkable version 1953 in New York City for the Atlantic label. Lightnin’ Hopkins and others also recorded this Blues. It’s a slow, deep Blues in E (E7/A7/B7), it sounds as if EC played it fingerstyle (no pick).

Chords:

E7 A7 B7 B7

The drums/piano intro arranged for guitar:

I---------------------------------------I
I---------------------------------------I
I---------------------------------------I
I-------7b(8)rb7p5-------7b-------------I
I----7-------------7p5h7----5--repeat---I
I--7------------------------------------I
  0:00

Another piano part after “mercy on me”:

I------------------------------------I
I--------3-------3-------------------I
I--2h3h4---2h3h4---2h3h4p3p2p0-------I
I------------------------------2-2---I
I------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------I
0:24

After 40 seconds we get the first guitar lick (I noted it around the 7th fret, but as always you can also play it in the first Blues fingering pattern with open strings. I just want you to discover more parts of the fretboard…). Note that the last two notes are both E with an octave interval. This lick is used several times during the song.

I-----------------0--I
I--------------------I
I------7-------------I
I--7/9---9\7-5-------I
I--------------7-----I
I--------------------I
0:40

Then at 2:01 minutes we get a the fast solo and finally the end using the main lick:

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------8-10-10h11p10p8---8-10--repeat several times---8h10-8-------------------------I
I--/9------------------9--------------------------------------9-7--------------------I
I-----------------------------------------------------------------9------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
  2:01

I------------------------------------------3b-0---3b-0---3b-0------3------0-3-3b-----I
I-----------------------------------------------0------0------0-3b------3--------0-3-I
I------7h9---------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I---/9-----9p7------7----------------------------------------------------------------I
I--------------10-7---7-10-11--------------------------------------------------------I
I--------------------------major note!-----------------------------------------------I
 2:07                                                                   2:12

I-2-2-2-2-2-2h3p2p0---0-----0--------------------5h6p5p3---3-5-3h5-3-----------------I
I-------------------3----3b------0-----------------------5-----------5p3-------------I
I------------------------------2---2b(3)rb2p0----------------------------4-----------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                                 2:20

I-------0----------------------------------------0-----------------------------------I
I----3-------------------------------5p3p0-----3-------------------------------------I
I-/4------3\2-0---2---0h1-------------------/4-----3p2p0---2---0-2-2b(3)rb2p0---2----I
I---------------2---2---^-2-2----------------------------2---2----------------2---2--I
I-----------------------major note!--------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                            2:24

I------------------------------------3b-0------0------0------------------------------I
I-----------------------------------------0-3b------3--------------------------------I
I--0h1----------...vocals...the end:-------------/4-----3p2p0------------------------I
I-------------------------------------------------------------2--0tr2----------------I
I-------0h1h0------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
        2:27

Motherless Child


Motherless Child is a very old Traditional, not to confuse with EC’s song Motherless Children. Barbecue Bob (1902 – 1937), a very popular Blues musician in Atlanta, recorded it in 1927 for the Columbia label (Motherless Chile Blues). Like Bob EC used a 12-string guitar in open G (DBGDGD), with a capo on the 4th fret.

   B   E  F#7
I--0---5---0--I
I--0---5---1--I
I--0---5---2--I
I--0---5---0--I
I--0---5---2--I
I--0---5---0--I

Not that he couldn’t play barre chords, but the capo gives a different sound. If you don’t have a capo and want to play it in standard tuning use the barre chords as shown below. The guitar plays rhythm only, fast strumming and a background guitar with some arpeggios. There’s nothing to tab, it’s a simple Blues in B (B/E/F#7). To ease the chord searching, here they are:

  B     E    F#7
I-7-----7-----9--I
I-7-----9-----7--I
I-8-----9-----9--I
I-9-----9-----8--I
I-9-----7--------I
I-7--------------I

(It’s just the E/A/B7 chords moved up 7 frets).

It Hurts Me Too

This is a very popular Blues, composed and first recorded by Tampa Red (aka Hudson Woodbridge or Whittaker, 1900 – 1981) in 1941 on Bluebird B 8635. Tampa Red was an excellent guitar player and (vocalist) and recorded many hits like “Sweet Little Angel”, “Don’t You Lie To Me” or “Suzie Q”. He also played his slide guitar with other stars like Sonny Boy Williams or Big Maceo, but he died lonely without a cent left in a psychiatric clinic.

Elmore James also recorded “It Hurts Me Too” in 1957 for the Chief label, as Junior Wells did it 5 years later.

Since both Tampa and Elmore played slide, it’s no surprise that EC also played this song with a slide and a fat humbucker tone, using the same open tuning he used for “Blues Before Sunrise“, the open C# tuning (tuning info see there). The song is in C#, no surprise. Anyway, I’ve tabbed it using standard tuning.

Chords for standard tuning are:

C# F# G#7

The intro contains also the main licks from the solo:

I-/9-9-7/9~~~----/9-/9\7---------7/9-----------------7/9-7-------------------9-9-9---I
I-/9-9--------------------9-7-9------9\7-/5----------------9\7-5----------/9---------I
I-------------------------------------------6\4/6-----------------6\4/6--------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
  0:00                                                                    0:14

I---/13-13-13\---11~~~--/13--9\------------------------------------------------------I
I--------------9----------------9\---------------------------------------------------I
I----------------------------------9/10----------------------------------------------I
I---------------------------------------11----9-9-8-8-7-7-6-------------11-----------I
I---------------------------resolving to---------------------------9-11----11~~~-----I
I---------------------------C# major chord!-------------------9h12-------------------I
                                             0:22

The rhythm guitar is our standard Blues rhythm, played at the 9th fret (C#):

C#                     F#                G#7
I-----------------------------------------------------I
I-----------------------------------------------------I
I-----------------------------------------------------I
I----------------------11-11-13-13-------13-13-15-15--I
I--11-11-13-13---------9--9--9--9--------11-11-11-11--I
I--9--9--9--9-----------------------------------------I
(Standard tuning!)

The end is a slide from the C to the C# major chord. We can use only the B and E strings with standard tuning, so slide from the 8th to the 9th fret picking only these strings. Finished!

Someday After A While


Another song from one of EC’s main influences, Freddie King. Written by King and his producer, the piano player Sonny Thompson, he first recorded it in Cincinnati in 1962 for the King/Federal label.

The song is written in D, so the basic chords are D (I), G7 (IV), A7 (IV). But if you try the good old 12 bar Blues progression, you’ll go wrong. It’s a special kind of 8 (or 16) bar Blues, originally in played in F. The chord progression for the main verse and the main solo goes like (here as 16 bar Blues):

D  | D         | D7     |   D7
G7 | G7        | G#dim7 | G#dim7
D7 | B7        | E7     | A7
D7 | G7 G#dim7 | D7     | A7

The chord progression for the second vocal part (trouble, trouble…) is different and shorter (8 bars only):

2 bars of G7
2 bars of D7
2 bars of E7
2 bars of A7

G#dim7: G# diminished seventh (notes: 1,m3,d5,6 = same as 1,3b,5b,7bb = G#,B,D,F))
The best way to learn how to use a dim7 chord is to listen to the sound:

  G7 G#dim7 D7
I-1----1----2-I
I-0----0----1-I
I-0----1----2-I
I-0----0----0-I
I-2----X----X-I
I-3----X----X-I

Chords:

D D7 G7 G#dim7 E7 A7

The notes of the G#dim7 chord are similar to the Ddim7 chord with D instead of G# as root. To complete the confusion, even Bdim7 and Fdim7 use the same notes. Those chords are called enharmonics – same notes but different root. But – by ear, it’s a G7 chord with an extra note which resolves the chord to D7, not to C as the G7 chord does (read more…).

Before you start playing the lead, play the rhythm until you know which chord you are soloing over. Although you can use the D Blues pentatonic minor scale you need to add once more notes from the major scale (you may call it mixolydian, see basics).

I---------------10-----------15b(17)-(17)rb15-13-15b(17)b(17)--15b(17)-15b(17)-I
I---------10-12----13b(15)~~---------------------------------------------------I
I---10-11----^-major note------------------------------------------------------I
I------^-major note------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
0:00

I-13----------------13-15-17-15-13----15--13----13------13-15-15br--13b--------I
I----15-15~~~---15-----------------15--------15----15~~------------------------I
I----root----------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
0:12

I-------13-15-15b(17)-15-13---------13----15b(17)-13b--------------------------I
I-12-15---------------------15-15~~----15-------------15-13----13--------------I
I-----------------------------------------------------------14----14-13-12-10--I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
0:18                                0:20

I--------------------------------------------------------------10-10h13p10-----I
I---------------------10---10-13b(15)-10-10-13b(15)-10-10(b)15-----------------I
I----12----10-12b(13)------------------------------------------------------13--I
I-12----12---------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                      0:24                                               0:28

I-10-10---------------------------------------------------10-13-12-10----10/12-I
I-------13-10--------------------------------------10-12--------------12-------I
I-------------12b-12-10----12----10b---------10-11-----------------------------I
I-----------------------12----12-----12-12\------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                      0:30

I-13b(15)-13b-10---------------------------------------------------10----------I
I----------------10----10-----------------14~~\--------------10/12----12\10----I
I-------------------12----12-10/11-12-12---------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------10/12----12\10----I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                           00:35 I got to ride

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-----------------------------------------------------6------------------------I
I-------------------piano--7-6-5----------------------4-piano------------------I
I--------------------------9-8-7----------------------3------------------------I
I-----------------------------------------------------5------------------------I
I-----------------------------------------------------3------------------------I
                                   00:46
that lonesome train                my heart is heavy           with aches and

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-----12br10----piano----------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I

pain          I said but someday, someday baby, after a while, you will be

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-----13-10h13p10--------------------------13-10----10-------------------------I
I-----------------12/14-12b-12-10----10b---------12----12--10b-----------------I
I---------------------------------12---------------------------12--12----------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
      01:07
sorry

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-13-10----10-10~~\------------------------------------------------------------I
I-------12---------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                 01:14

Then we have verse 2, (played like 1), a bridge and verse 3.

And finally the breathtaking solo:

I--15b(17)-repeat 9 times...-10-13----15b(17)-15-13----15b(17)-15-13----13-----I
I----------------------------------15---------------15---------------15----15--I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
03:05                        03:10

I-15b(17)r-p13b--------13-15-15b-15-13----15-13----13-15br-13-------13----15br-I
I----------------13-15-----------------15-------15------------15-15----15------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                03:14

I----------17(b)20rb--17(b)20--17(b)20--17-15-17-15h17p15----15----------------I
I-15~~----------------------------------------------------18----18-15h18p15----I
I---------------------------------------------------------------------------17-I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
03:19

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-15-18-18(b)20---18-15-18----15-18-15h18p15-15-15-15-15--18b(20)b(21)br\------I
I--------------------------17--------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
        03:23                                              03:26

I---------10--------------10-10~~-----13-10---13-10------------10--------------I
I------10----10---13b(15)----------10------10-------10-13b(15)----13-10h13p10--I
I--12b-------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
   03:28                                                           03:31

I---------------------------------------------------10--------10~--------------I
I----10------------------------------------------10----10-13b------13-10h13p10-I
I-12----12br-10----12----10------------------12b-------------------------------I
I---------------12----12----12p10----------------------------------------------I
I---------------------------------12p10\8--------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                      03:34

I--------------------------------15-17-15-13----13-------13--17pick fast-------I
I----10----------------12-15-12--------------15----15-15-----------------------I
I-12----12/14-14~~--14---------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                                              03:40

I-------------------------20pick fast--19-20-19/--17b(20)\--------10---------10I
I-20pick fast-20-17-20-17-20-----------19-20-19/---------------10----10-13b----I
I----------------------------------------------------------12b-----------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                                   03:45    once again his lick...

I-10~---13b-10----13b-10----13b-10----13h15p13---------13-15-15b(17)rb(17)rb(17)rp13-I
I-----10-------10--------10--------10----------15-15~--------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                                03:51

I----13----13----15b(17)rp13----13-15-15b(17)rp13----15-13----13-15h17p13------I
I-15----15----15-------------15-------------------15-------15-------------15---I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                 03:54

I-13-15-15/17-15h17-17/20-17----17-15h17p15----15------------------------------I
I----------------------------20-------------18----18b(22)!-18-15----18-18b-15--I
I----------------------------------------------------------------17------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                                   03:58

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I----18b-15----18-15----15-15~-18-18b(20)b(22)\--------------------------------I
I-17--------17-------17--------------------------10----10-12-12brp10-10-11-----I
I---------------------------------------------------12-------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                  04:04

I--------10--13b(15)-13b(15)-10-------------------------------------13b(15)----I
I-10-12-------------------------10----10--------------------10-12--------------I
I----------------------------------12----10h11-------10h11---------------------I
I----------------------------------------------12-12---------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I

I-13b-10-----------------------------------6\5\--------------------------------I
I--------10--------------------------------6\5\--------------------------------I
I-----------12b-12-10-----12-10h11---------6\5\--------------------------------I
I----------------------12----------12------5\4\--------------------------------I
I-------------------------------------12---------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                           04:15   The End...

Standin’ Around Crying

This Blues, written and recorded first by Muddy Waters in Chicago in 1952 for the Chess label, is typical for the early Chicago years of Muddy. He moved his delta Blues style slide playing from the acoustic to a Chicago style electric slide guitar, played with harp player Little Walter and got Jimmy Rogers, Otis Span and Elgin Edmonds in his band.

Muddy’s songs have been the hardest. He meant a great deal to me, and his music means more to me than anybody else’s. I don’t know why. It was the first that got to me, and the music of Muddy Waters is still the most important music in my life today. It’s been the hardest when I approached Muddy’s repertoire, I’ve always gone for the less well-known songs. I’ve done “Blow Wind Blow,” and I’ve done “Standing Around Crying”-things that are not necessarily that well known to his audience. “Hoochie Coochie Man” is like the crown jewel-I mean, don’t go near this song. Don’t anybody go near this song! It’s like into the lion’s den with this one. We’ve done it dozens of times, and to most people it probably sounds all right, but to me it’s just not good enough. So we do it again and again and again, and I don’t know what it is. It’s some kind of perfectionism in me, in that I love this man so much, that I want to do it absolutely perfectly, and of course that’s not possible.
– EC, interview 1996

In 1978 EC played this song with Muddy at the Civic Hall in Guildford.

Standin’ Around Crying is a slow Blues is F (F/Bb7/C7), and as always EC played it very close to the original. Like the late Muddy he used standard tuning and a capo on the first fret. Muddy himself played a short metal slide on his pinky and used a thumb pick.

Chords:

F bb7 C7

The guitar is mainly used for the background, the vocals dominate together with the harp player the song. I transcribed some harp licks for guitar. Use the F minor pentatonic scale, 1st or 13th fret to start. The main theme is a slide from F to G.
The intro to get started:

I-/17-/17-/17-/17~~~-------------------------------------------------4b-4b-6b-6b-4b--I
I----------------------harp:-/6-/6-4---4--/6-/6-/6-4---------------------------------I
I------------------------------------5---------------5-3b-1h2------------------------I
I-1tr3 (2nd guitar)--------------------------------------------3-3-------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I---------------------plus slide guitar in the background----------------------------I
  0:00

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-6-6~~--4---4b--------4-4-4-6~~~~--Oh baby...----4/6~~------------------------------I
I----------5-----5~~~----------------------------------------------------------------I
I-harp continued...------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I

Driftin’ Blues


Driftin’ is an acoustic Blues in E, very much in the tradition of EC’s Unplugged album.

This very old Blues was the first big hit for Charles Brown, a piano player from California. He recorded it with the co-author, the guitar player Johnny Moore and his band “Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers” in 1945 for the Philo/Aladdin label. John Lee Hooker also recorded a great interpretation of this song, and EC’s version is closer to his playing – tapping the rhythm with his feet.

It’s a typical fingerstyle Blues with the thumb is doing the bass rhythm line. Try to keep it going. The other notes are a bit tricky and hard to follow, but if you get the main theme you can use your own variations. Use the standard 12 bar Blues chords (E, A7, B7) for the main riffs and your finger set.

Chords:

E A7 B7 B7

I--------------------0--I-----------------0-----------I------0-0-0-0-----------------I
I--------------------0--I-----------------------------I--2/3-3-3-3-3-----------------I
I-----------------------I---------------------(repeat)I--3/4----------4\2-0h2--------I
I-------0-0tr2--2-------I------0---0h2----------------I-----------------------2------I
I--0tr2-----------------I-0tr2---2--------------------I------------------------------I
I-----------------0-----I--------------0--------------I------------------------------I
                                                         0:07

I--------0-0---0-0---------I-0-------0-0---------------------------------------------I
I--------0-0-3-0-0--repeat-I-0---2/3-3-3--repeat-------------------------------------I
I--------1-1---1-1---------I-1---3/4------from above--start vocals...----------------I
I--------------------------I---------------------------------------------------------I
I--------------------------I---------------------------------------------------------I
I----0---------------------I-0-------------------------------------------------------I

The background guitar during the vocals is played using the riff above for the I, then for the IV and V chord arpeggios over A7 and B7 using the open chords (that are chords with open strings, for a better bass line).

At 1:24 we have a small but tasteful solo, if you have already played “Before You Accuse Me” or “Malted Milk” you’re able to find it out by yourself. Note that he played the E note after the slides using the open E string, not the G string at the 9th fret. A bit unusual to play, but sounds much better.

I---9/10--10-10-/10-10-10-/10-10-10-----0--------------------------------------------I
I--11/12--12-12-/12-12-12-/12-12-12--10---10-8b--------------------------repeat------I
I-----------------------------------------------9------------------------from--------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------beginning---I
I-----------------------------------------------------2--4-4--2-2--4-4---------------I
I-----------------------------------------------------0--0-0--0-0--0-0---------------I
  1:24

I----------0----------0-0-0---------3b--0--3b--0---------3b-0-3b-0----------3b-0-3b--I
I-(12)rb10---10-8b----0--------------------------------0------------------0----------I
I------------------9--0-----0--------------------2-0---0------------2-0---0----------I
I-----------------------2-----0-2--------------------0-2----------------0-2----------I
I-------------------------------------0---0---0--------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
 1:32

I--0-------------------0-0------0-0-----------------------0-0-0----0-0-0---0-0-2-----I
I----0-------------2/3-3-3--2/3-3-3--like intro...--then--0-3-0----0-0-0---0-0-0-----I
I------2-0h1-------3/4------3/4---------------------at----1-1-1-2--2-2-2---2-2-2-----I
I------------2-2------------------------------------1:45--------1--------1-----------I
I---------------------------------------------------------------2--------------------I
I--------------0----------------------------------------------0-2--------------------I
  1:38                                               1:45

I-3b-0-3b-0-----------------0-0------0-0---------------------------------------------I
I-----------0-----------2/3-3-3--2/3-3-3-etc....-------------------------------------I
I-------------2-0h1-----3/4------3/4-------------------------------------------------I
I-------------------2----------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I

And finally the last vocals played like the first one. Great acoustic song with much room for your own interpretation – I couldn’t tab all of EC’s sweet little notes between.

Groaning The Blues


The last song was written by Willie Dixon, one of the most important producers for the Chess label. He wrote this song for Otis Rush, who recorded it in Chicago, 1957, not for the Chess but for the smaller Cobra label (later Rush also recorded songs for the Chess label).

Groaning the Blues is a slow Blues in A, played hard with much distortion. Using the first two fingering patterns of the A Blues scale (5th fret) we can already play most of the song.

Chords:

A7 D7 E7 Bb7

with some chords played with a different bass note (like A7/C#) and a Bb7 for the coda,

The intro starts with 3 notes of the e minor chord, picked as very hard arpeggios (called “raking”):

I--12-12\--12-12\--12-12\---------0-------------5--------8-10-(12)rb10p8-------------I
I--12-12\--12-12\--12-12\-------3-------------5----/10~~-----------------10~~~-------I
I--12-12\--12-12\--12-12\-----1---------7b(9)----------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I---------------------------------------going up to root-----------------------------I
I---------------------------0-E7 chord-----------------------------------------------I
 0:00

I---------------5~~------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-------------------8-5h8p5-5----------------8-5---8-5---8-5----8-5h8p5---5-5~-------I
I--7b(9)rb7p5--------------7-7p5h7-7-5-----------7-----7-----7----------7------------I
I-------------7-------------------7-7-7p5p3------------------------------------------I
I-------------------very fast--------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                             0:24

I-------------------------------------------------5/7\5\-----------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I--7b(9)rb7p5---7\---Oh, I'm so tired of moaning--5/7\5\  trying to groan away....---I
I---------------7\-------------------------------------------------------------------I
I---------------7\-------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                                          0:40

The licks during the vocals are not too hard to find out, just use the A Blues scale as described above, sometimes a bit too fast to follow. At 3:10 we have a strong solo starting with a full-tone bend and artificial harmonics. To get this sound pick near the bridge and mute the non-picked part of the string:

I------8-10b(12)rb(11)b(12) keep on bend and release bend a semitone----8------------I
I---10--------------------------------------------------------------------10-10~~----I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
   3:10

I------8-10-10b(12)rb(11)b(12)....b(12)-b(12)~~~~-8-10-(12)rb10b(12)rb10p8----8-10---I
I---10-----------------------------------------10--------------------------10-----~~-I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
   3:23

I-8h10p8----8---------10b(12)-10--8----8-10b(12)rb10p8----10----8-------8----8-8--8--I
I--------10---10~~-----slow---------10-----------------10----10---10~~~---10---------I
I----------------------bend----------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
               3:32

I--10-10/12-10-12-12b(15)-12b(15)-12b(15)rb12--10-12-10h12p10----10------------------I
I-----------------slow bend-----------------------------------13----13-10h13p10-....-I
I-----------------into root note-----------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                  3:38

Note the combination of very fast runs and slow bends, for example at 4:21:

I--17h20p17-repeat-I-17h20p17----17-17h20p17----17h20p17-----------------17-17-17----I
I------------------I----------20-------------20----------20-....-20b(22)-------------I
I------------------I----------------------------repeat-------------------------------I
I------------------I-----------------------------------------------------------------I
I--very fast-------I-----------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------I-----------------------------------------------------------------I
  4:21                                                                   4:24

Finally the end – switching down one octave for the final chord (A5):

I--12----------------17----17-20-17h20p17----17h20p17-etc.--20b(22)------------------I
I--10--------20b(22)----20----------------20-----------------------------------------I
I--12--------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I--11------------------------------------------------------------------5-7-5h7p5-----I
I--strum------------------------------------------------------------/7-----------7---I
I--A7-chord--------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                                                     5:57

I----------------------------I
I----------------------------I
I-----------------------2\---I
I--5--------------------2\---I
I----7\5\3----5---3-----0\---I
I-----------5---5---5--------I

Finished. Now play!