John Renbourn Workshop September 25, 1998
Songs & Artists - Fly On The Wall
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Charts, TAB, and Guitar Pro Files are only made available to our TARGET Members Our second night with John Renbourn started with a few students warming up as the last few stragglers arrived. John was captivated by some of the playing he was hearing before a very informal introduction. He then gave a quick recap of the previous night’s session and took it from there.

Part 1 – Another Historical Review: Once again John started talking about the influences on the young British guitar players, mentioning Brownie McGhee and Big Bill Broonzy, then going into some blues improv as an example using the “Broonzy Bass” style. The other main influence was east coast fingerpicking from the likes of Rev. Gary Davis and Mississippi John Hurt.

He played some examples of this style and talks about his buddy Bert Jansch and Davey Graham as well. He uses Davey’s song Anji as an example of combining many of the styles that influenced them then improvises his way through the tune.

Part 2 - John plays a few songs demonstrating various styles, including his arrangements of Lord Franklin and The Snows, and fields a few questions from the group. He warns against the dangers of using ping pong balls as fake nails, from experience, and tells a few Pentangle stories.

Part 3 - John suggests that the group work on some exercises, although he fields a question about Renaissance music and modes first. Most of the exercises he addresses are for the left hand, hopefully you can figure them out from the camera’s perspective. Like last night’s session, this segment gets a little noisy and random.

Part 4 – Coming out of a short intermission, John hears a student running through Bach’s Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring and a discussion ensues, including a little bashing of a well respected guitarist trying to play it with a slide. This is followed with some right hand exercises.

Part 5 - John breaks out a cassette of Davey Graham from 1963, after a trip to Tangiers showing what he could do with DADGAD. A little cacophony follows as everybody retunes their guitars, then John goes into some common chord shapes in the tuning. More random noise as everybody experiments a bit before John goes through some related tunings, mainly changing the 3rd string a half step at a time. This starts with Open D, a form of Vestapol Tuning, leading into Buckets Of Rain by Bob Dylan.

Part 6 - A request to play a few of his songs in some of the G Tunings gets John to run through a medley in G Major, starting with Bunyan’s Hymn from his album Traveller’s Prayer, and ending with The English Dance. The evening ends with John inviting me up to play a couple duets. We run through Snap A Little Owl and a blues jam based on Miles Davis’ All Blues and call it a night.



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