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B-Bender dissonance Clarence White?

Discussion in 'B-Bender Forum' started by kram29, Dec 16, 2019.

  1. kram29

    kram29 TDPRI Member

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    Can someone please explain to me what Clarence White is doing from a position or scale standpoint on his dissonant bender licks like the solo on Close up the Honky Tonks? However I play naturally with the bender, it's chord shaped and mostly "major" sound. I would really like to get into this side of the bender.

    In a similar manner, I listened to some audio of Bob Warford talking about bender dissonance, which actually sounded like counterpoint, but his explanation in the audio didn't really help me figure out what he was doing. Sounded cool though! I think the audio was released with b-bender from Gene in the 70's. Any help on this?
     
  2. kbold

    kbold Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    IMO, from a scales point of view, he's going "off reservation" to both non-diatonic notes and microtones (non-chromatic tones i.e. tones between notes).
    Very dissonant: listening I'm wanting his solo to get back to consonance.
    Nicely done (but not overdone) by Clarence.

    I think if you want to do this, you have to temporarily suspend your scales theory and dwell on microbends. Your cat will hate you, for a while.

    Welcome to TDPRI.
     
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  3. Don Miller

    Don Miller Tele-Afflicted

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    That recording was done as a string bender lesson.....a record with Bob Warford and Gene on one side, Robb Strandlund and Gene on the other...went out with each string bender install.....Its been a while since I listened to it so cant help you with Bobs comment....he may have been talking about contrary motion bends and release... a lot of the dissonance occurs with the b7-root moves....its also one of those things that easy to do but difficult to get the feel.....
     
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  4. Shango66

    Shango66 Friend of Leo's

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    If I’m reading you correctly the dissonance you seek is moves on 7th chord, as Don Miller mentions.
    Try counterpointing intervals.
    Eg chromatically lower one chord tone and raise the other
     
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  5. kram29

    kram29 TDPRI Member

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    Ok gentlemen, so you are saying start with the D7 chord shape for this sorta thing? Honestly, it's my least used position with the bender.

    As for Close up the Honky Tonks, I take it it's, good luck like with most of Clarence's stuff?
     
  6. Don Miller

    Don Miller Tele-Afflicted

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    D7 works...also play an F shape seventh chord and pull the b7 up to the root...or drop it down from the root to the b7....
     
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  7. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, hummm - Dissonance - a clash of notes - but they should always resolve to something that doesn't clash ! Hopefully.

    Chord shapes and varied chord shapes is where ALL the Bender positions are. Otherwise we are trying to fit what the Bender does into our regular routine , then we quickly run out of idea's and phrases. Dissonance may very well be part of the execution. But its planned, not a mistake. Sometimes some of the dissonance we hear or execute, can be from the E string being open in any root chord position. Its not musically correct but it may be interesting. Kinda like Brad Paisley, we hear stuff and scratch our heads, what the heck was that ? Its stuff that makes no theoretical sense but it SOUNDS good. Brad plays with multiple open string pull offs regardless of what key he may be playing in . Crazy stuff but at the same time brilliant !

    Back to our Bender. I am not any resident expert by any stretch but I do know that to be proficient with a Bender guitar we have to change our initial way of thinking and execution.


    Lesson #1: The B Bender is a different guitar than a NON Bender guitar and our HOME root positions are not the same.

    Lesson #2 : if we don't understand Lesson #1 , study and change our approach and execution , there is no Lesson #2 !

    Remember this, We can RAISE the B or LOWER the B, the lowers are equally important to the music as the raises, sometimes MORE important to the music.

    The PRIMER: before lesson 1.

    We must be proficient in 3 redundant basic chord positions up and down the neck. We must know the fretboard or we will be chasing the same phrases over and over again.

    Its no longer 3 chords and the truth !

    I'm not 100% sure of the correct terminology but I think Mel Bay calls these Forms 1, Form II and Form III. Knowing these 3 positions in autopilot up and down the fretboard with the 7ths as well, is pretty much mandatory. Knowing if the B string is a raise or a lower determines the correct chord shape ( fingering ) Where is the proper finger position for the B string ?

    Form 1 - The "A" chord across the neck at the 5th fret. The Chuck Berry position, plus the 7th.

    Form II - the "A" chord at the 2nd fret plus the 7th

    Form III- the "A" chord at the 9th fret plus the 7th - the Marty Stuart position - plus the 7th ( This is our D Chord at the 2nd fret by the way The major and the 7th )

    Think in TRIADS while knowing what position the B string is in. Change our fingering shape to accommodate the B and what we want it to do, raise or lower. The guitar doesn't know , we know. All, the guitar knows is if we pull the strap the note changes. Release the strap, the note goes back.

    All of the varied phrasing for the "Bender solos" is a mish mosh of all of these positions, working thru each other. Sometimes we release DOWN to the proper resolve , sometime we pull UP to the proper resolve.

    In addition, once we get past being comfortable with the 3 forms, now we go back and study two note intervals up and down the fretboard. If we have a G puller, now we study intervals across the fretboard as well.

    Now add an open E string now and then to any of the positions , does it sound OK or does it sound way off ? This is also called the "DRONE" in Bluegrass, especially on the Dobro.

    Unfortunately and I mean this in a positive way, many of us are not ready to tackle the Bender yet, I was one of them. I owned them for years with no understanding of varied positions., Nothing clicked. The Benders hung on the wall or got sold.

    Study and practice the redundant positions with those 7ths, know where your B is all the time, change your fingering to accommodate a raise or a lower. Move between the positions always think ahead , knowing the position of the B string. After a bit when we hear Bob or Clarence play, we will connect with what they are doing. They figured this stuff out WAY WAY back. Thank god they did , they set the reference for the rest of us.

    heres a video I made for a friend showing some alternative positions for Willin. After a bit we don't even think about the varied positions, they become routine, just as our non bender positions are, we don't think about them, we just do it.

    The more we sit and practice, the more we can add the positions to other songs which means we are getting more comfortable with the varied shapes and how to apply them.

     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2019
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  8. Matt G

    Matt G Tele-Afflicted

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    Uh-oh, back to the shed. ;-)
     
  9. djalt

    djalt Tele-Holic

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    This is great stuff!
     
  10. Mur

    Mur Tele-Afflicted

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    Clarence isn't doing a dissonant lick in Close Up The Honky Tonks.
     
  11. kram29

    kram29 TDPRI Member

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    T Prior, nice video. Thank you!
     
  12. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    I think you may be hearing places where Clarence - and especially Bob - are working out of the blues scale AND throwing bends into it. Unfortunately I'm not set up for recording or I'd give you examples - but try to get a copy of the Byrds at the Palladium bootleg and listen to Clarence on "Eight Miles High", where he's copping Harvey Mandel licks and tossing dissonant bends into the middle of them!

    Also, just to get your mind in the right spot, listen to the into to "Hungry Planet" on "Untitled". No bends, but Clarence is playing out of a blues shaped pattern - one that you'll find he used over and over, as he played very little "chord" rhythm behind Roger, using T-Bone Walker style patterns of notes. A modern blues player you can learn this from is Kirk Fletcher - his blues rhythm lessons in his Hal Leonard book and on Truefire cover this style of backup, which Clarence used both as backup AND lead by working the bender in.

    It's WAY outside typical major pentatonic country guitar, so you have to think differently. I was a blues player back in the 60's/70's when I got into Clarence (and never got out!) and when I talked to him we didn't talk about country stuff at all - it was all positions, patterns...and Ry Cooder!
     
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  13. scook

    scook Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Great thread fellas, been watching and learning.

    Silverface, when you say a blues shape pattern are you referring to a pentatonic box with an added b5?

    Also, anyone know where I could find a copy of the Byrds at the Palladium? Been looking for it for years, it’s one of few I don’t have.
     
  14. Rick Towne

    Rick Towne Tele-Afflicted

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    I had a similar experience to Jim’s talking with Jerry Donahue three years before I got a bender. It’s the positions and the patterns. After a few hundred listenings to the essential Clarence, Bob, Bernie, and Jerry tunes and parts you can’t go back.
     
  15. Rick Towne

    Rick Towne Tele-Afflicted

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    Also T Prior lesson No 1.
     
  16. kram29

    kram29 TDPRI Member

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    I agree to an extent, I know most triads very well. I can use the b-bender, no issue. I just sound like the modern take on it like everyone else I heard before I listened to Clarence and Warford. Moving in and out of the chord positions with fluidity and adding less than obvious scale or passing notes in another things entirely. That video of yours shows a fluidity that I do not have. Achieving it, is my goal
     
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