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Post subject: Question: Albert Collins Tuning
Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:01 pm
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I've heard that Albert Collins tuned his guitar to D and I've heard that he tuned to a minor chord. Does that mean he tuned his guitar to a D minor chord? And if so, how exactly do I do that?

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Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 3:00 am
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D minor would be (from low to high)
D
A
D
F
A
D

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Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 4:26 am
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No, Collins played in "open F-minor" tuning (low to high: F-C-F-Ab-C-F). He had a cousin, that taught him to play, that played lap steel guitar, and Collins thought that was 'standard' tuning.

I met Albert when I played with Piney Brown back in Dayton OH http://tinyurl.com/nzta6p. Albert played with Piney in the late ’50s. Albert got his idea for having a ‘big band’ from Piney.

Every time Albert played Gilly’s in Dayton, Piney always opened. It was during one of these shows where I met Albert, and Albert asked me to join ‘The Icebreakers’ on second guitar.

But I was a single parent, and my kids needed me more.

There is an excellent instructional DVD featuring Collins with Keith Wyatt http://tinyurl.com/n4rcyc, Collins shows his tuning and chord fingerings.

There are several live DVD, two I recommend are 'Albert Collins- Live From Austin, TX' http://tinyurl.com/matb9u and 'Albert Collins - The Iceman at Mount Fuji' http://tinyurl.com/mdqwrn.

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Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:39 pm
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Thanks! :D Jimmie Vaughan said it was a minor chord, but I don't know where I heard the "D" from. So I just assumed it was D minor without really knowing. Now I'm going to go re-string my little brother's Telecaster and have some fun. The strings on his guitar are always sticky and disgusting. It's going to be fun seeing the look on his face when he tries to play it without realizing that I switched the tuning. :twisted:

You're a much better parent than I could ever hope to be. :lol:

Thanks for the DVD recommendations too, I didn't know they had Albert Collins DVDs. Do you have any more recommendations, particularly of good blues DVDs?

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Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:52 pm
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Thanks for the DVD recommendations too, I didn't know they had Albert Collins DVDs. Do you have any more recommendations, particularly of good blues DVDs?


Wow, there are many, I must own over 200 live DVDs, both blues & rock.

All blues lovers should have these four DVDs The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1966, Vol. 1 http://tinyurl.com/lb75qp, The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1966, Vol. 2 http://tinyurl.com/mb7qbz, The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1969, Vol. 3http://tinyurl.com/n5fs2m and American Folk-Blues Festival: The British Tours 1963-1966http://tinyurl.com/mj4j2t.

These are the tours that Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and the members of the Rolling Stones saw that shaped their musical souls.

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Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:53 pm
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thouston wrote:
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Thanks for the DVD recommendations too, I didn't know they had Albert Collins DVDs. Do you have any more recommendations, particularly of good blues DVDs?


Wow, there are many, I must own over 200 live DVDs, both blues & rock.

All blues lovers should have these four DVDs The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1966, Vol. 1 http://tinyurl.com/lb75qp, The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1966, Vol. 2 http://tinyurl.com/mb7qbz, The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1969, Vol. 3 http://tinyurl.com/n5fs2m and American Folk-Blues Festival: The British Tours 1963-1966 http://tinyurl.com/mj4j2t.

These are the tours that Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and the members of the Rolling Stones saw that shaped their musical souls.

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Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 4:22 pm
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Cool, I'm going to check those out. Thanks again. :D

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Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:42 pm
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[quote="thouston"]No, Collins played in "open F-minor" tuning (low to high: F-C-F-Ab-C-F). He had a cousin, that taught him to play, that played lap steel guitar, and Collins thought that was 'standard' tuning.


Where did his use of a capo figure in all of this? I always thought he capo'd his guitar at C# and played out of open E position from there.

Doc :wink:

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Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:50 pm
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As soon as I saw the title to this thread, I knew that Tony would know the guy! :lol:

What a great player. Tony, remember the "Showdown" CD with Albert Collins, Robert Cray, and Johnny Copeland? I bought the CD and was just floored. They took no prisoners from track one. :o


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Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:32 pm
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stratoBobster wrote:
As soon as I saw the title to this thread, I knew that Tony would know the guy! :lol:

What a great player. Tony, remember the "Showdown" CD with Albert Collins, Robert Cray, and Johnny Copeland? I bought the CD and was just floored. They took no prisoners from track one. :o


Own it. That is one serious trio 8)

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Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:38 pm
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[quote="thouston"]
thouston wrote:
Quote:
All blues lovers should have these four DVDs The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1966, Vol. 1 http://tinyurl.com/lb75qp, The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1966, Vol. 2 http://tinyurl.com/mb7qbz, The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1969, Vol. 3 http://tinyurl.com/n5fs2m and American Folk-Blues Festival: The British Tours 1963-1966 http://tinyurl.com/mj4j2t.

These are the tours that Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and the members of the Rolling Stones saw that shaped their musical souls.


Damn lucky we have these performances preserved.
It took this and them to introduce many to this musical form indigenous to this country. I feel strongly that it needs another booster shot. There are too many kids out there who ought to know, who don't.

"Muddy who???" :?

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Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:33 am
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Quote:
Where did his use of a capo figure in all of this? I always thought he capo'd his guitar at C# and played out of open E position from there.


Yes, he did use a capo like you posted, but the scale fingering was different. Albert played piano and B3, and if you listen to his chord playing, it sounds like a organ.

I played his Tele once, and the 'notes' were in odd places, other than a straight pentatonic scale.

Albert also had this huge lump on the edge of his thumb, the lump was his 'pick'. And he did play loud, the reason being is that you don't get same attack/volume playing with 'skin' as you you do with a pick.

Try this, plug your guitar into your amp, play with a riff with a pick, and play the same riff with your fingers and notice the volume different. You have turn your amp up more when playing with fingers.

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Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:42 am
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thouston wrote:
Quote:
Where did his use of a capo figure in all of this? I always thought he capo'd his guitar at C# and played out of open E position from there.


Yes, he did use a capo like you posted, but the scale fingering was different. Albert played piano and B3, and if you listen to his chord playing, it sounds like a organ.

I played his Tele once, and the 'notes' were in odd places, other than a straight pentatonic scale.

Albert also had this huge lump on the edge of his thumb, the lump was his 'pick'. And he did play loud, the reason being is that you don't get same attack/volume playing with 'skin' as you you do with a pick.

Try this, plug your guitar into your amp, play with a riff with a pick, and play the same riff with your fingers and notice the volume different. You have turn your amp up more when playing with fingers.


Thanks for the clarifcation. Love these little bits of trivia which lets things fall into place.

Ditto on the thumb. This I've always recognized. Trust Knopfler has the same issue. His tone and stylistic approach is very much a part of the fact that he plucks the strings. That thumb, of course, figures into the lyric in "Money For Nothing" Treat yourself to his CD with Chet Atkins: "Neck and Neck", if you don't already own it. I also own "Blues Summit" in both CD and DVD. Good set there with Albert and BB. :wink:

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Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:35 am
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Quote:
I also own "Blues Summit" in both CD and DVD. Good set there with Albert and BB.


Yeah, I have it too. I really feel that the 'BB King Blues Session'
http://tinyurl.com/ms2hqx with Albert King, Eric Clapton & SRV is better. I still have copy of the VHS that I recorded originally on Showtime.

I'm not sure about the video quality of the above DVD.

On a side note, Paul Butterfield is also on the show, I think he died about two weeks before the show, and one week after I saw Butterfield live. Buttterfield was whacked out-of-his-mind at that 1987 show.

I had my Paul Butterfield Blues Band albums, and went backstage to have him autograph them. He looked me 'I know you.", "Ahh, no we've never met.", I said. I told him that I had been to Chicago, and that I had backed Lefty Dizz, and other bluesmen.

"Well, have you talked to God today.", he asked, "No.", I replied. "You should, I need to talk to him later." and he just turned his back to me. He had this really wild look, but now I know it was the drugs in him.

A week later he was dead, he was only 44yrs old.

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Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:47 am
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Tony, remember the "Showdown" CD with Albert Collins, Robert Cray, and Johnny Copeland?


Yes, I still play this CD all the time. Back in '91 there was a pay-per-view Guitar Greats Concert in Spain. Cray & Collins perform 'The Dream' from 'Showdown', it was great.

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