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Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell

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northernmunkeh 08 Jan 08 - 05:36 PM
Jeri 08 Jan 08 - 05:48 PM
PoppaGator 08 Jan 08 - 05:54 PM
s&r 08 Jan 08 - 05:54 PM
PoppaGator 08 Jan 08 - 05:55 PM
Jeri 08 Jan 08 - 05:56 PM
Jeri 08 Jan 08 - 06:04 PM
number 6 08 Jan 08 - 08:32 PM
number 6 08 Jan 08 - 08:49 PM
David C. Carter 09 Jan 08 - 04:22 AM
Backwoodsman 09 Jan 08 - 06:25 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 09 Jan 08 - 07:31 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 09 Jan 08 - 07:45 AM
deadfrett 09 Jan 08 - 08:36 AM
alanabit 09 Jan 08 - 08:43 AM
Doug Chadwick 09 Jan 08 - 06:08 PM
GerryMc 09 Jan 08 - 09:06 PM
Brian Hoskin 10 Jan 08 - 06:03 AM
Backwoodsman 10 Jan 08 - 06:13 AM
mattkeen 10 Jan 08 - 06:28 AM
GUEST,GUEST dulcimer player 10 Jan 08 - 06:35 AM
Doug Chadwick 10 Jan 08 - 05:47 PM
number 6 10 Jan 08 - 06:48 PM
mattkeen 11 Jan 08 - 05:24 AM
Backwoodsman 11 Jan 08 - 06:49 AM
GUEST,Jef 11 Jan 08 - 10:47 AM
NormanD 11 Jan 08 - 01:46 PM
Dan Schatz 11 Jan 08 - 01:59 PM
michaelr 11 Jan 08 - 04:45 PM
PoppaGator 11 Jan 08 - 04:54 PM
michaelr 11 Jan 08 - 05:19 PM
Tim Leaning 11 Jan 08 - 05:51 PM
Backwoodsman 12 Jan 08 - 04:42 AM
mattkeen 12 Jan 08 - 01:55 PM
number 6 12 Jan 08 - 11:38 PM
GUEST,Jef 12 Jan 08 - 11:50 PM
number 6 12 Jan 08 - 11:55 PM
northernmunkeh 18 Jan 08 - 05:49 PM
northernmunkeh 29 Jan 08 - 06:34 PM
PoppaGator 29 Jan 08 - 11:22 PM
northernmunkeh 01 Feb 08 - 06:20 PM
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Subject: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: northernmunkeh
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 05:36 PM

I recently saw some old footage of Joni Mitchell playing her wonderful song 'A Case of You' back in the 70s (from the 'Blue' album). She was playing her guitar flat on her lap. I downloaded the guitar tab and tried playing the chords normal style and then with the guitar flat on my lap. The latter sounded much better. The vibrato you can achieve playing 'flat' is much stronger, I found, and the strings can be 'snapped' to good effect too.

Does anyone know of other musicians who have played particular songs with the guitar played flat on their laps? Does it add to the sound in your opinion?


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: Jeri
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 05:48 PM

That's odd. I thought she played it on dulcimer. I even managed to figure out the entire arrangement. I don't know that I ever saw her play a guitar on her lap, but lap steel players do it all the time. If it works for you, go for it!~


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: PoppaGator
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 05:54 PM

Disclaimer: I've never seen footage of Joni singing and playing that song, and I've always assumed, by the sound, that she was playing dulcimer, not guitar ~ an instrument that has fewer than six strings and that is customarily played lap-style. I'll stand corrected, however, assuming that you've seen guitar tablature and tried it out, as you tell us.

All the lap-style guitar playing that I've ever observed has involved slide technique, exclusively. This approach is certainly common for Hawaiian-style slide guitar, but is not limited to that genre.

Many dobro players use a very similar technique, but they stand rather than sit, and the guitar is strapped around their neck and shoulders in a manner similar to the "normal" arrangement, but with the top of the guitar (i.e., the soundhole) facing up rather than out.

I would think that fretting the strings tight to the fingerboard, as opposed to touching them with a glass or metal slide, would be much more difficult when trying to press down from above than when squeezing the neck in your fist (so to speak). I would imagine you could get decent pressure if seated with the guitar on your lap, but that things would be exceedingly difficult when standing with the guitar flipped up in dobro position. I'm pretty sure that the dobro approach involves playng with the slide only, no handheld fretting.

Playing certain blues styles while holding the guitar in the more usual position allows the player to mix fretted notes with slide sounds.


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: s&r
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 05:54 PM

Guitars project the sound - the best place to hear that projection is with the table facing you. Not as good for the audience

Stu


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: PoppaGator
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 05:55 PM

Jeri and I crossposted. I just took about six minutes longer to write, preview, edit, and post...

In other words, two of us independently concluded that the recording in question was probably played on the dulcimer, not the guitar...


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: Jeri
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 05:56 PM

She IS playing dulcimer, but may have done it in open tuning elsewhere. Here's a YouTube thingie, but it looks like it's all stills. (Not Stephens - haha) I didn't watch the whole thing though. (Dial-up)


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: Jeri
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 06:04 PM

I'm just posting too slow. Poppagator, I also got to see her play it way back in '73 or '74. Third row seats, I think, at Saratoga Performing Arts Center.


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: number 6
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 08:32 PM

Jeff Healey plays his guitar across his lap and fretting the strings 'overhand,' with four fingers and his thumb.

biLL


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: number 6
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 08:49 PM

Here's a U-tooby of jeff playing (and very effectively) the guitar on his lap. Btw, in this example the axe is electric, but I have seen him in real life play the accoustic in this position.

Jeff Healey


biLL


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: David C. Carter
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 04:22 AM

I saw Kevin Coyne back in the dark ages,and he was doing same.

On "Majory Razorblade"it sounds,to me,that he is using that possition.

David


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 06:25 AM

Joni used a dulcimer for 'A Case of You', I'm certain. I've seen the clip, and others of Joni doing ACOY, numerous times over a few years, and always took the 'guitar-thingy' to be a dulcimer. It's not like any true guitar I've ever seen.

Maybe Joni would care to enlighten us - you there Joni?? (Now wouldn't it cause a stir if the Great Lady actually responded? But I'm not holding my breath!) :-) :-)


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 07:31 AM

Fred McKenna played in that style. His guitar was standard tuned and he chorded by pressing down from the top while the guitar was across his lap. Joni would have no doubt known him or at least seen him play on Singalong Jubilee and The Don Messer show.

http://www.passthecat.racknine.net/Canimages/FredMcKenna.jpg


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 07:45 AM

I can't find any video of Fred and he died a long time ago. Some Mp3's here though:
http://www.pcplanets.com/artist-451150-Fred-McKenna.shtml
The search for that old video of Joni on YouTube led me to lookin at some of her on the old Lets Sing Out show when she was still an unknown Joni Anderson. Oscar Brand had some great stuff on that show !


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: deadfrett
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 08:36 AM

If your into horizontal,Google a cat by the name of Thumbs Carlisle. I had the extreme pleasure of seeing him perfom in St. Louis at the International Steel Guitar Convention several times. He has since gone to the Big Jam in the Sky and is still missed by those that knew him and his music. As for Joni, go to her website for her multitude of tunings etc. Pray for Peace--Dave


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: alanabit
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 08:43 AM

I believe that on the Blue album, which I have not heard for some years now, Joni Mitchell played the dulcimer and there was also a guitar part - probably played by James Taylor. They played and sang on each other's cuts in those days. I believe Joni is one of the backing vocalists on Taylor's version of, "You've Got a Friend".


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 06:08 PM

I've just seen Joni Mitchell singing the song on the BBC Four programme "How Pop Songs Work". It looked like a guitar to me.

DC


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: GerryMc
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 09:06 PM


I saw that too but I thought it was a dulcimer.

If ya wanna see some great 'lap guitar', check out these guys. There's a video or two to watch.


Gerry :-)


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 06:03 AM

Having read this thread, I've just watched the programme that Doug mentions above (available to watch for the next six days on BBC i-player) and would say that Joni's playing a dulcimer in the clip.

Check out the clip here. The bit with Joni starts about 36.5 minutes in.

Brian


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 06:13 AM

From Jeri - "She IS playing dulcimer, but may have done it in open tuning elsewhere. Here's a YouTube thingie, but it looks like it's all stills"

I've seen movie clips of live performances by Joni of ACOY, and on all of them she played a dulcimer, same as the one which is shown in the U-Tube stills.

It's a dulcimer. It neither looks nor sounds like a guitar. OK, it's got strings, but so has a banjo (spit!), and no-one tries to pretend a banjo's a guitar! :-)

In the studio recording on 'Blue' there's dulcimer (which is Joni), guitar (which is James Taylor) and drums (which is Russ Kunkel). Why would Joni play dulcimer on the studio track, then play some sorta daft poxy guitar in live performance? It don't make no sense Guv'nah! It's a dulcimer, or I'll eat my shorts! :-) :-)


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: mattkeen
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 06:28 AM

It is categorically a dulcimer (Appalachian type rather than hammer obviously) so is NOT a guitar thingy.

Its a dulcimer


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: GUEST,GUEST dulcimer player
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 06:35 AM

yes, its a mountain dulcimer


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 05:47 PM

OK, I've just watched the clip that Brian linked to and I didn't actually see a guitar but I didn't really see a dulcimer either. To be honest, I was enjoying Joni's singing and didn't pay a lot of attention to what she was playing in the original transmission.

After a more detailed study of the long shots, I have to agree - it's a dulcimer.

DC


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: number 6
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 06:48 PM

actually, what she's playing is a very short scale Martin Backpacker guitar. :)

biLL


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: mattkeen
Date: 11 Jan 08 - 05:24 AM

It just happens to sound exactly like a dulcimer!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 11 Jan 08 - 06:49 AM

Gro-o-o-o-o-o-a-a-a-a-n-nnnnnnn! :-)


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: GUEST,Jef
Date: 11 Jan 08 - 10:47 AM

She's playing a dulcimer on the original 'Blue" cut. James Taylor is playing guitar. Russ Kunkel played on several cuts on the LP, but I don't believe there's any percussion on 'A Case Of You'. Just listened to the cut on 'YouTube' and am 're-amazed' at her vocal dexterity. And how natural and unaffected it seems in comparison to other singers. Celine Dion, Patti LaBelle, Barbara Streisand, etc. all seem to 'use' songs to get their licks in. The only singer I can think of besides Joni Mitchell who always seemed to be well within the boundaries of 'taste' while displaying remarkable technique is Eva Cassidy. Much to our loss she's been gone for over 10 years.


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: NormanD
Date: 11 Jan 08 - 01:46 PM

Kelly Joe Phelps is a wonderful lap guit player. He's here on youtube playing "Goodnight Irene". Gorgeous!

norman


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 11 Jan 08 - 01:59 PM

Absolutely a dulcimer (pictured at the beginning of the clip) - among other things, her chords have only three notes. She has a nice use of tremolo on that instrument!

Dan


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: michaelr
Date: 11 Jan 08 - 04:45 PM

Yeah, well, Joni's voice has been gone for a lot more than ten years...


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: PoppaGator
Date: 11 Jan 08 - 04:54 PM

Her voice has beconme markedly different, of course, due to way too much tobacco consumption, but Joni is still a very eloquent singer.


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: michaelr
Date: 11 Jan 08 - 05:19 PM

It's dropped an octave or more and become hoarse. (Mind you, I'm a huge fan and wouldn't slag her.) I'm not all that fond of her early, yodeling soprano sound, either. To me, she sounded best during the mid-70s to early 80s. That's when she recorded my favorite albums: Blue, For the Roses, Court and Spark, Miles of Aisles, Hissing of Summer Lawns.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 11 Jan 08 - 05:51 PM

I saw this on TV yesterday I assumed was a Dulcimer when saw the position she was playing in but It did appear to be a guitar shaped object when I observed more closely.
She also seemed to be not using a slide at all.


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 12 Jan 08 - 04:42 AM

Tim, be said - it's a Lincolnshire Mountain Dulcimer, sold her it myself in 1969! LOL!


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: mattkeen
Date: 12 Jan 08 - 01:55 PM

That'll be a dulcimer then


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: number 6
Date: 12 Jan 08 - 11:38 PM

Now what is this that Johnny is playing on his lap ??

Elmore James got nothing on this baby

biLL


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: GUEST,Jef
Date: 12 Jan 08 - 11:50 PM

It's some sort of lap steel. Can't tell what he's using for the slide. It almost sounds acoustic or amped w/a very small amp. No reverb. Interesting sound...George is playing a Gibson J-200. Now, back to Joni...who's playing a dulcimer quite well.


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: number 6
Date: 12 Jan 08 - 11:55 PM

Looks like he's using some sort of fuse for the slide.

Now, back to Joni ... who's playing a dulcimer quite well .... June Carter??

biLL :)


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: northernmunkeh
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 05:49 PM

Hi Guys,

Sorry, been away for a while since posting. What an amazing amount of knowledge! I will accept the majority view that it's a duclimer whether Lincolnshire or traditional Cumberland.

Here's the tab I found for anyone who wishes to try it out on the guitar. Stu is right, sitting over the sound hole changes the sound as you hear it, but I also think the way your fingers (and thumb) and the strings interact is different. The sound is thinner and more twangy - probably the different vibrato (as per Jeff Healey). The Barnsley crew posted by Gerry seem to confirm it. Pity they are touring cos I am working in nearby Sheffield at the mo'. Have a go!

INTRO:
   C    F    Am    G Am F               Em          Dm C
e||-------------------------------------------------------------
B||-5---10----13---12-13--10-10---10-10---8--8---8-8--6---5-5-3-
G||-0----0-----0----0--0---0--0----0--0---0--0---0-0--0---0-0-0-
D||-------------------------------------------------------------
A||-3----8----12---10-12---8--8----8--8---7--7---7-7--5---3-3-2-
E||-------------------------------------------------------------

    G C Am7    G G Am7 G G G G   
e|---------------------------------------
B|--3--5---1---1-p0--0--1---3-3--3-3-----
G|--0--0---0---0-----0--0---0-0--0-0--0-0
D|-------------------0--0----------------
A|--2--3---0---0------------2-2--2-2-----
E|-------------------3--3----------------

This is just the intro but the song is played using the same chord shapes just in a different order (C, G , Am7 is the first line of the verse, for instance). If you want, I'll post the whole thing.


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: northernmunkeh
Date: 29 Jan 08 - 06:34 PM

Just realised my last post doesn't read too clearly. If you cut and paste the guitar tab from my previous message into a document (Word or other program) and then change the font to Courier (which has an equal spacing for every letter or symbol, unlike Times) the tab will line up properly and make much more sense).


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 Jan 08 - 11:22 PM

You can change the font to courier ("typewriter") directly in your mudcat post, using the HTML code "double-T" for "typewriter font." Voila:

INTRO:
   C    F    Am    G Am F               Em          Dm C
e||-------------------------------------------------------------
B||-5---10----13---12-13--10-10---10-10---8--8---8-8--6---5-5-3-
G||-0----0-----0----0--0---0--0----0--0---0--0---0-0--0---0-0-0-
D||-------------------------------------------------------------
A||-3----8----12---10-12---8--8----8--8---7--7---7-7--5---3-3-2-
E||-------------------------------------------------------------

    G C Am7    G G Am7 G G G G   
e|---------------------------------------
B|--3--5---1---1-p0--0--1---3-3--3-3-----
G|--0--0---0---0-----0--0---0-0--0-0--0-0
D|-------------------0--0----------------
A|--2--3---0---0------------2-2--2-2-----
E|-------------------3--3----------------

To start displaying type in the monospaced font, type in the command as "[bracket]tt[close-bracket]" and go back to normal font by typing in "[bracket]/tt[close-bracket]" ~ where "[bracket]" is typed as the lesser-than sign (shift-comma) and "[close-bracket]" is the greater-than sign (shift/period).

Anyway: Seeing as how your tab shows you playing only two strings on the guitar, one of which a drone (never fretted), doesn't it look suspiciously like music that's really being played on a dulcimer?


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Subject: RE: Horizontal guitar, Joni Mitchell
From: northernmunkeh
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 06:20 PM

Thanks, PoppaGator

I wonder, does this have implications for the current legal dispute involving various free guitar tab sites. Appears they are being sued for publishing 'other people's music' (or so they claim). But how can a guitar tab for a dulcimer song breach any copyright? Guitar tabs like the one I posted don't even have note lengths on, or specify the tuning, so the essential components of musical notation (pitch and duration) aren't there.

Worth a new thread or am I being picky (pardon the pun)..?


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