View Full Version : Blues, downhome style

06-21-2016, 07:50 PM
Here is a clip of "Delta blues great Eddie "Son" House performs his classic "Death Letter Blues."
True he uses a six string resonator but imagine it on a sweet Baritone played in a classic slide blues. Ive seen UU'ers that could pull this off.

Any takers?

It is far beyond me, but still, I like his style.:D

06-22-2016, 04:00 AM
Clip?????????????? Is this the one? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdgrQoZHnNY

Gotta play this on my new (old) goldtone brass resouke

06-22-2016, 05:32 AM
Yeah that's the one. Thanks for including it Phil. I must have missed including the link.:o

I was watching a playlist of old blues players and got excited. Once the electric guitars came in, the medium changed a good deal.
I like the acoustic stuff. Plenty of rhythm. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm1qtX7Mz5w&list=RDlK5zYI86wIw&index=33)

I printed out El Condor Pasa and Cannon in D tabs to get off the chord strumming I've been on and trying to force myself to learn the baritone fret board and single note picking. Though I noticed the baritone arrangement of Cannon in D plays chords, but only three note chords so that will help me use my fingers in plucking strings. Once I develop my skills I can try playing chord melodies for blues songs.

06-23-2016, 03:45 AM
Thanks for posting. I've heard his music before but never focused on how his playing style is so suited to uke picking and strumming, with or without the slide.

06-23-2016, 05:02 AM
I got excited and bought a glass finger slide to try this, using open tuning. Kind'a hard to play that way, but I guess it takes more practice. Maybe later I'll try it again, but I need to work on my melody playing, and Tab and music reading and... well all of the above.

Still Mississippi Blues is is one of my favorite styles of music.

06-23-2016, 10:55 AM
I got excited and bought a glass finger slide to try this, using open tuning. Kind'a hard to play that way, but I guess it takes more practice ...

... and then some !!

If I remember correctly it was Howlin' Wolf who said words to the effect : "You don't play the blues, you HAVE the blues (man) !!"

Down Up Dick
06-23-2016, 12:03 PM
Yeah! Nice video. I bought a glass slide too. I plan to use it on my baritone and maybe my eighter, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

I'm workin' on my banjos and on gittin' my flute(s) embouchures back. :old:

06-23-2016, 04:43 PM
Slides don't seem to work for me on ukes. Nylon and fluorocarbon strings respond differently than steel strings

Down Up Dick
06-23-2016, 04:55 PM
Slides don't seem to work for me on ukes. Nylon and fluorocarbon strings respond differently than steel strings

Well, I've just been noodling with it on and off. It seems like it's gonna be difficult once I really get started. I've been pretty clumsy with it, but I did get a few slides and bluesy effects with it. I was using a plain ol' Aquila DGBD set.

Keep on tryin'. You might surprise yourself. Blues always makes one feel better. :old:

06-23-2016, 11:32 PM
If anyone wants to have a try sliding without going to a lot of effort, find a plastic hair comb and put the uke in your lap with the fretboard up. Just use the comb to fret the notes on all four strings across the fretboard and slide it up and down the neck and you will see how your uke sounds. Plug it in if you have an amp. Then if you like that, be a bit more accurate and noodle on the open string chord (Am7), the four strings across the fifth fret (Dm7) and the four strings across the 7th fret (Em7), or Bm7 (2 fret) Em7 (7 fret) and F#m7 (9 fret). Then if you find you are still liking it, look at a chord shape like the D chord and find which frets (7th and 9th) have the D G and A chords with the same shape. Then just noodle around on these three chords. If you like that, use the comb to pick out one or two strings and try to pick out a melody. You can keep going, changing tuning, learning which single notes to slide on etc..
Good suggestion

The barrel of a cheap ball pen should work as well as a plastic hair comb. Also for trying out, tune the first string up a semitone (A->Bb, E->F) so you have an open dominant 7th chord as the blues is largely based around these chords.

When using a slide, you don't necessarily have to slide it all the time. There's someone on our local folk/open mic circuit who plays slide guitar and he rarely slides. He picks up his slide and places it in the new position only sliding for occasional effect. This approach might make it easier on a uke using a plastic slide on plastic strings.

Disclaimer, I've not tried it though I've thought about it several times. My Risa Stick might be a good candidate.

I noticed in the Son House clip he rarely fingers full chords but moves his fingers in parallel with his right hand picking and he uses his thumb quite a lot to fret the 6th string for bass runs.

06-25-2016, 02:25 AM
You can also use your finger to slide. Barre chords work great in open tunings.

06-25-2016, 03:54 AM
Here's a GREAT video to demonstrate combination slide and fretting.

Macyn Taylor, Standing in my My Shoes, Macyn is playing a guitar but OH SO TALENTED young lady.


Open tuning.


06-25-2016, 07:44 AM
Nice, open tuning and a slide but still finger picked too! That's one thing I found hard with a slide, using the little finger or the third for the slide and still able to chord with the others.

Blues rhythm strumming is hard for me. I can't get a lot of the Delta strum patterns down. I need to listen and practice more, but that cuts into my finger picking practice and I have to choose which to practice.

So many styles to master! I guess I should have started 30 year ago.

06-25-2016, 08:04 AM
It's a little like trying to get the hang of Formby"s syncopated strum. I'm going to use that feature that will allow me to slow down House's video and learn that strum.