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Bob Elliott
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Bob Elliott

7/21/2008 11:38:51 AM

On the Early Bob Dylan's Picking Abilities
So I'm practicing "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright," with these metal finger picks, and I can surely play it picking at a fast clip, however, if you listen to the Freewheelin' Bob Dylan version, he throws in these little riffs, especially one particular riff just about every time the G chord comes along, and I can do something pretty similar, but really the pick patterns he's doing on that tune are quite beautiful, and not really run of the mill easy stuff.

Funny thing is I looked on the net to see if anyone tabs it right, and there is nothing. Everybody gets the basics of the tune, but that's no big deal. Even when you watch people do it on youtube, no one does those little riffs, NOT EVEN DYLAN!!

I can work it out by ear, I'm just a bit spoiled by internet availability of tab and films of people playing tunes, but the real point is that Dylan was ( maybe still is) quite an accomplished picker, and I don't think people generally view him that way. When he left off doing solo acoustic albums, I don't know that I ever hear that complexity in his playing that was very common on those first three or four albums, but wow. He obviously made his deal with the devil (also known as massive woodshedding).

By the way, it's not really a G chord, since the capo is on 4, but I just mean the 'B' formed like a G, you know.


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The Man With No Band

7/21/2008 11:49:27 AM




It's a beautiful tune Bob ... always loved this one ...

To try and pick out this particular pattern you are speaking of ... you might do a search of Woodie's stuff ... it's probably there somewhere ...


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Jeff Allen Myers

7/21/2008 12:12:05 PM ---- Updated 7/21/2008 12:12:42 PM


You Tube is great for learning songs or technique from others...a lot of free lessons out there!!

I am trying to hone my "Travis Picking" technique..there is no substitute for practice and repetition.

Thanks for the post.


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Bob Elliott

7/21/2008 12:18:19 PM


Yeah, sometimes youtube is quite useful, but in this case, no one (not even Dylan himself in the concert you can find on youtube) even attempts to throw that little riff in, and yet those riffs are what make that recording so perfect.

And again, I think Dylan was a way better picker than is commonly realized.

I can do something very similar by ear, and will probably settle in on that, but sometimes when you track down the specific magic you learn something very useful that can change your music.


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satch

7/21/2008 12:26:16 PM


A great song, amazing picking!

If you read his autobiography, you will see that he played guitar a lot when he was younger, almost every day...


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SILVERWOODSTUDIO

7/21/2008 2:12:05 PM


--just added your "Blue Water" to Bob Dylan Tribute---

really enjoyed this one!


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Kevin White

7/21/2008 3:18:38 PM


I never appreciated Bob Dylan in my younger days, even though my best friend in high school idolized him. I thought back then that he was pretty much a folk hack. I didn't get it.

I did like his works performed by others better than his own versions ...

I'm still not anywhere near a rabid fan, although I've come very, very far in appreciating his subtle appeal.

Kev-


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Wade Havens

7/21/2008 3:35:30 PM


Like Kevin said, I too was more fond of his songs when performed by others. I never though Dylan himself was much to talk about. But then again, I was born 3 years after he took the world by storm. So there might be some part of his music that I just can't relate to.

Wade


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Richard Scotti

7/22/2008 10:09:53 PM ---- Updated 7/22/2008 10:17:48 PM


You might be interested to know that Randy Travis is doing "Don't Think Twice, It's Alrright" on his new CD and he even talks about the fingerpicking style Dylan uses on that song but Randy uses a completely different but interesting approach to the song. It's more of a bluesy fingerpicking than a folksy fingerpicking.


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Bob Elliott

7/22/2008 11:31:41 PM


Thanks for adding Blue Water, Silver.

I've always liked Dylan's versions of the songs.


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Conversation Suicide

7/23/2008 3:35:31 AM


Bob Dylan is a GOD. The songs he wrote, AND the songs he wrote & sang/played on. His voice is just an acquired taste. -phlegm


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Hop On Pop

7/23/2008 6:21:26 AM


I'm still not anywhere near a rabid fan, although I've come very, very far in appreciating his subtle appeal.

Kevin:
Sit down and listen to Blood On the Tracks.
I was in the exact same place as you until a few months ago when I did just that. And, oh my WOW. So amazing. Do yourself a favor and sit down with that record — really sit down with it, even if you've done so before.


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Richard Scotti

7/23/2008 4:53:15 PM


"Love and Theft" and "Time Out Of Mind" are also great albums but Todd is correct that Blood On The Tracks is a masterpiece.


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