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Spirit in the Sky chunka chunka

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(@bjourne)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Topic starter  

I've been trying to play Spirit in the Sky like the guy in this YouTube lession: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCNhucee3OM&feature=related It just doesn't work for me. :( He explains the rhythm in detail but I don't get it and when I try it, it doesn't sound at all like he plays it. So I need some help with this.


   
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(@kent_eh)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1882
 

If I understand you, you're wanting to figure out the percussive sound he's making on a couple of beats in the rhythm?

What he's doing is muting the strings at the end of the picking motion by landing the fleshy edge of his hand (between the pinky and the wrist) on the strings. This makes a percussive thump, and kills the ringing of the strings in one motion.
Watch his right hand carefully between 3:47 and 3:52 and you'll see it.
At about 7:20 he talks about it and breaks it down a bit.

Of course, if I've mis-understood your question, then feel free to ignore me. :mrgreen:

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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(@bjourne)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Topic starter  

Yes I think you misunderstood. :) To me, it looks like he first plays the low E string (D), then percussive stroke, then B third fret and G second fret simultaneously. But when I play that sequence it just doesn't sound any good. I don't get the chunka chunka rhythm that he is getting.


   
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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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The rhythm he is using is a very common eighth note triplet. You would count it like this:

One two three, two two three, three two three, four two three.

Now, that is how you count eighth note triplets. But to to get the shuffle rhythm you have to leave out the twos.

One two three, two two three, three two three, four two three.

Leave out the middle twos in each beat that I have highlighted. So you might count like this now:

One three two three three three four three one three two three three three four three.....

Now here is the same riff in standard tuning


A5 C5 D5
e-----------------------------------------------------------------------
b-----------------------------------------------------------------------
g-------2--------2--------2--------2--------2--------2--5--------7------
d-------2--------2--------2--------2--------2--------2--5--------7------
a-0--------0--------0--------0--------0--------0--------3--------5------
e-----------------------------------------------------------------------
1 2 3 2 2 3 3 2 3 4 2 3 1 2 3 2 2 3 3 2 3 4 2 3
d u d u d u d u d u d u d d

Now, that might not even be in the correct key, but it will give you an idea of how he is playing the rhythm. That fellow is in an open tuning, probably Open D just looking. But the way you play the rhythm is the same.

Hope that helped.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@bjourne)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Topic starter  

Wow, thanks Wes! But eh I still dont get it. :oops: When I play with your tab using only those two strums it doesn't sound "cool." It doesn't become that rhythm that the youtube guy has.


   
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(@kent_eh)
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Siggi is playing in Drop D (low E string tuned down to D, all other strings standard). He mentions it in passing in the video (or in the "part 2" video, I forget..)

When you are trying to get the hang of something new, take it very slow and practice lots. Then practice some more.
Did you notice how "autopilot" his right hand is? He keeps going with the picking pattern even when he's talking, and not paying attention to what his hands are doing. That's the result of a lot of practice.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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(@minotaur)
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Posts: 1089
 

Siggi is playing in Drop D (low E string tuned down to D, all other strings standard). He mentions it in passing in the video (or in the "part 2" video, I forget..)

When you are trying to get the hang of something new, take it very slow and practice lots. Then practice some more.
Did you notice how "autopilot" his right hand is? He keeps going with the picking pattern even when he's talking, and not paying attention to what his hands are doing. That's the result of a lot of practice.

I've been watching a few of Siggi's videos. :D I got I Hear You Knocking from him.

Yes, he mentions Drop D in the first lesson, just very quickly. Here is the second video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FZwDJUwo9w&feature=related

It seems tough but like anything else it needs work. I can't palm mute yet, or at least haven't seriously tried. I think Siggi uses a fair amount of palm muting in his playing. He uses it in Proud Mary, which I found odd, but it works. I don't do that, obviously.

I also say to keep at it. I might even give it a try. I'm like a kid in a candy store. :D

Oh, I meant to say also that it definitely helps to stop the videos and write down what you can, over and over and over. I did that with a lesson for My Sweet Lord. And I'll do that with any video lesson.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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(@wes-inman)
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bjourne

You've got to get used to the feel of the shuffle. Try this, clap on everything EXCEPT the twos in the middle of each beat.

One two three, two two three, three two three, four two three, one two three, two two three, three two three, four two three one...

Go very slow at first and just listen to your clapping pattern. As you get used to clapping this shuffle, speed it up and then you will hear the shuffle that fellow was using. :D

Now try stumming it while muting the strings with your fretting hand. Use the down, up-down, up-down, up-down pattern.

Stay at it, the shuffle is a feeling, you'll get it. :D

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@diceman)
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Posts: 407
 

Maybe you should listen to some songs that have that same "shuffle" rhythm :

"Rocky Mountain Way" by Joe Walsh
"Some Kind of Wonderful" by Grand Funk Railroad
"Bad , Bad Leroy Brown" by Jim Croce
"Rock and Roll , Part Two" by Gary Glitter (heard at just about every sporting event)
"Pride and Joy" by Stevie Ray Vaughn
"One Bourbon , One Scotch and One Beer " by George Thorogood
Many , many more

If I claim to be a wise man , it surely means that I don't know .


   
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(@wes-inman)
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I agree. :D

Here is an awesome example of the Blues Shuffle, La Grange by ZZ Top :twisted:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MKPby9D8MQ

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@mmoncur)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 168
 

He's also doing some left-hand muting - as he plays a chord he squeezes the left-hand fingers onto their frets and then back off, which gives the chords more of a staccato sound. Maybe that's one of the differences.


   
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(@concordal)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 3
 

.
Looking for some help - even though this is a very old (!) thread.

The OP above (bjourne) refers to a youtube video located at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCNhucee3OM&feature=related

That video is unavailable. Does anyone (or perhaps bjourne) know where I can find that video now. Most of the videos of Spirit in the Sky on youtube are either incorrect or don't provide any explanation.

Many thanks in advance!


   
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(@concordal)
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Joined: 14 years ago
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Bump. (for an old thread!) Any help appreciated.


   
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