Anyone play "When the Levee Breaks"?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by BackNtheSaddle, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. BackNtheSaddle

    BackNtheSaddle Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    707
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Location:
    Philly 'Burbs
    I am working on adding this one to the set list...

    Seems to be in "Open-F". From what I read, it was recorded in Open-G (on an electric 12 string) and then, the tape was then slowed down to make it F.

    So, to recreate it live, I'm wondering whether tuning to Open-F *or* tuning to Open-E/capo-1st would be better. Slide playing in Open-F is really difficult on guitar, so I think Open-E/capo-1st would be easier.

    I know that I could just try it both ways and see for myself... I will do that.

    But, if anyone plays this, I'd be very interested in their...

    Thoughts, suggestions, comments?!?!?!
     
  2. MonkeyKing

    MonkeyKing Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    423
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Location:
    Detroit
    I play it in open g, but really it is more about what you can sing or your singer can sing. Go with whatever matches that.l
    I guess you could club up a string gauge, and lower the open g tuning to f, and you`d be at about the same string tension, as opposed to trying to tune UP another whole step from e . . .
    Anyway, great song, great choice!
     
  3. MickM

    MickM Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

    Posts:
    4,677
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Location:
    A steel guitar engagment.
    I play it in open g on lap steel but actually like it better played on my acoustic square neck dobro.
     
  4. Del Pickup

    Del Pickup Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,679
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Tuning up to open F from open E might put quite a bit of extra tension on the neck of the guitar so you might need to tweak the truss rod and even consider going down a string gauge to compensate for that.

    And the chord shapes in open G are different to open E so you might not end up with it sounding like the original without a bit of trial and error.

    You say in your first post that 'slide playing on open F is really difficult'. Why's that? Unless you have a whole different tuning set up than what I'm thinking of it should be exactly the same fingering as open E. It just takes practice.
     
  5. BackNtheSaddle

    BackNtheSaddle Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    707
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Location:
    Philly 'Burbs
    To get to Open-F (as sounded in the LZ version), you tune to Open-G... then drop each string down a whole step. That's when the strings turn to spaghetti.

    I guess you could tune "up" to Open-F, from Open-E, but that changes the timbre of the original recording, as far as playing the changes. And, I'm not liking that much. The alternative that I'm exploring is Open-E with capo on the 1st fret - which is pretty much the same, but keeps the tension the same.

    It's hard for me to play slide in the "Open-G, dropped to Open-F", because of the loose & sloppy strings... well, that and also because I generally suck at slide playing.

    I suppose I could "set up" one of my guitars for slide, with some heavier strings and higher action. But, I often keep the Tele in Open-G for Stones and thought that I would just dial it down to F from that, for this one.
     
  6. Del Pickup

    Del Pickup Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,679
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Location:
    New Zealand
    If I were you, I'd just keep your guitar in open G and play it in that key if you can sing it comfortably. The overall sound of open G and E is slightly different and if you already play in open G then any fingering (or sliding) is easier to work out.
     
  7. BackNtheSaddle

    BackNtheSaddle Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    707
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Location:
    Philly 'Burbs
    I may have just found an "excuse" to get another Guitar :D

    "But, honey, I need one for slide!!! One that has big, fat telephone cable strings and has the action set high enough to drive a small car underneath!"
     
  8. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

    Posts:
    13,841
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    Del Floria's Tailor Shop
    My favorite version by the late John Campbell:
     
    Railway Ritchie likes this.
  9. chauncy

    chauncy Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    254
    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Location:
    scottsburg IN
    Railway Ritchie likes this.
  10. Railway Ritchie

    Railway Ritchie TDPRI Member

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    23
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2019
    Location:
    Amersfoort, Netherlands
    John Campbell, one believer overhere, hero.
    Saw him once as opener for Buddy Guy.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.