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 Post subject: working out nick's songs
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:33 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:55 pm
Posts: 61
does anyone have any tips on how to figure out nick's songs, tuning etc. as you probably know not all tab is accurate (no offence). just wondering how to go about it?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:08 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:41 am
Posts: 635
Location: Suihua, Heilongjiang Province, China
In my opinion, especially if your just starting out with fingerpicking, the best thing to do is take one of the Chris Healy tabs (nickdraketabs.com) find a song you really like and just take it slow and play it exactly as its tabbed.

(Some songs are easier than others... probably the most deceptive is `From the Morning' looks easy as a tab but prob one of the hardest to get right. Personally I find `Parasite' eg very easy to play, or `Man in a Shed'

Many times when I first started using these tabs and I'd say `this tab isn't right wtf.' But after bringing it up to speed and listening closely to the song to get the inflection right and I'd say ..oh yeah I guess it is right after all'..

Some of his tabs are incomplete in that they don't include all the slight variations (esp eg, Things Behind the Sun) but are still mostly correct.

Another thing to consider is software eg `Transcribe' which slows down music and shows what notes are being played.

I once asked Chris Healy if he used `Transcribe' to figure out Nick's songs and he said no, so how the hell he did I don't know, cuz it's beyond me.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:17 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:32 am
Posts: 24
Location: Lititz, Pennsylvania, USA
Well, there is a page on www.nickdrake.net with tunings listed. I guess they are correct, haven't checked them all out.
Go to HOME PAGE >> MUSIC >> TUNINGS

It is important to realize, especially with Nick's fingerstyle, that so much of his style is in the right hand. You must just play and hear what he is doing to reproduce the strings he picks for the notes he's playing.

If you have trouble with that, start with some simple old Mississippi delta blues songs. He used a lot of that when working out picking and rhythms. That was the foundation for how he learned to play fingerstyle, and he had a passion for that. Nick played a LOT of delta blues when he started. It is evident....a similar kind of passion that Jorma Kaukonen experienced and worked intently on to get that "Hot Tuna" sound going. Then the emotion just took over when working words into melodies, and the rest is history.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 3:50 pm
Posts: 212
Location: Oxfordshire UK
From what I can work out, Nick had different versions for his songs ( different fingerstyle patterns) and the ones that ended up on the bona-fide recordings were the ones he liked and thought the best at the time of recording. If you analize his songs too much, you'll realise some are all over the place (finger style wise) and it will do your head in trying to copy everything as he played it. Some people have made it their life's work to copy every single note he played in the name of authenticity. I don't think Nick would have admired that himself.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:18 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:55 pm
Posts: 61
i realise that playing everything note perfect isnt really plausible, apart from the fact that i dont want to sound like a clone, i'd just like to work out the songs for myself rather than have to rely on someone elses work. i guess its that sense of having achieved something that im after

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:10 pm
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Location: Enschede, Netherlands
When I figured out the fingerpicked version of "place to be" I used soundforge to slow down the audio and play individual measures in a loop to get it right.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:15 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:55 pm
Posts: 61
sadly i dont have access to a pc so something like soundforge or audacity is out. its down to working them out by ear for me. does chris healey still come here? i could ask him how he does it

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:12 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:39 am
Posts: 5
Location: Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
I have found Chris Healey quite helpful in my perambulations. But like you, I always trust my ears more.
I hear scant Delta Blues influence with Nick Drake. I hear tons of Ragtime influence.(example "Free Ride") . Tons. All that syncopation. His mum (Molly) was into ragtime jazz... And umm, ever heard of John Dowland?
He never spent no time in a Mississippi cotton field, and never pretended that he had, unlike many Englishmen. I deeply admire this.
But I've never strolled the halls of Cambridge...
Please do not resort to gadgetry in yer quest to understand altered tunings and right-hand technique. Nick sure didn't.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:59 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:41 am
Posts: 7
I would use the various tabs to get the chord shapes and read some of the tab to get a general feel and then go solo. work it out playing them over and over, always evolving as your understanding of the feel of the song gets installed in your memory. Its not impossible to work the songs out. You just need the right attitude which is to merely believe its possible like you all ready have. This page is a good start Nick Drake Complete Guitar Tuner Song Guide


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