Calling All Guitarists!!!

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Calling All Guitarists!!!

Postby HighFlyingBird91 on Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:41 pm

Ok... So I'm going to try and get to the point without rambling, but first, let me say that I love Jefferson Airplane and wish I would have started listening to them sooner in life. I am 22 years old and enjoy almost all good rock music from the late 60s/early 70s. I also play guitar, and while I am nothing special, I can usually figure out anything by listening carefully and practicing. That is until I came across The Airplane. The reason I am posting is for advice. The first time I heard "High Flyin' Bird" live at Monterey Pop, Jormas opening lead riff instantly became my favorite riff EVER. For me, it is the funkiest and grooviest riff I have ever heard (I also love Jorma, because he is awesome and plays finger style electric like me). I have watched the live video about 100-200 times and I cannot for the life of me figure out the entire riff. I have figured out the first half, but can't even come close to getting the whole thing. If anyone on here knows how to play it or could offer some tips, I'm all ears and it would be much appreciated! Thanks guys! BTW, this is a very mature and informative forum. I have already learned so much about Jefferson Airplane thanks to all of the awesome info.
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Re: Calling All Guitarists!!!

Postby brumus on Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:58 pm

Good to hear another Airplane fan and guitar player.

Jorma was good at intentionally using odd, discordant notes in his playing, sometime unintentional! ;-). This opening lead part is a good example of that. It's not clear what part you're referring to that you can't figure out. You say you figured out the first half. I assume the part you're having trouble with is where he starts to bend the note and does his slap technique?
That slap technique btw became one of Jorma's trademark licks he would use. I heard somewhere he got it from playing clawhammer banjo in his folkie days and adapted it to guitar.
Anyway, maybe you could point out from going to the video link below where you're having trouble; like he begins bending the note at around 0.27 in the vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9CVLVevm4E

His lead only lasts from 0.20-0.35!
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Re: Calling All Guitarists!!!

Postby HighFlyingBird91 on Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:15 pm

Yeah that's the riff! For only 15 seconds there seems to be some cool stuff going on... I can play about the first 7-8 seconds then I can't find the rest anywhere on the guitar. As far as the slapping technique goes, I can do that all day long (believe it or not, I've always sort of "slapped"). This is probably because I started out on finger style acoustic and was a fan of artists who played slightly percussive. So back to the riff, it's only the bends and possibly double stops that occur from .27-.35 that I'm getting tripped up on.
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Re: Calling All Guitarists!!!

Postby brumus on Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:10 pm

As you probably know, the song is played in the key of B minor.

Far as I can make out Jorma is bending down the 2nd and 3rd strings at the 9th fret then slaps the strings and quickly plays the 1st string at the 7th fret followed by the 3rd string at the 7th with a vibrato effect.
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