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  1. #1
    Hot For Teacher
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    From the article Richie Havens: An Idealist's Look At Money by Larry Getlen on Banknote.com:


    With an innate knowledge of harmony, he tuned a guitar so that when strummed with open chords (without any fingers on the frets), they would play basic chord forms -- an unusual tuning. That way, he was able to play most popular songs by merely laying his thumb across a fret and moving it up and down the neck. Havens was then able to hit the stage at a folk club and play seven songs a mere two days after picking up a guitar for the first time. He's been playing that way ever since, and his unique style has fascinated both amateurs and pros such as Eric Clapton.
    Has anyone heard of this guy? Is he any good? Did Havens really invent this technique, or did he merely popularize it? Has Clapton ever used this technique, or did he simply find it amusing?

    And I take it that DLR is one of the "fascinated amateurs", since he uses it on live acoustic performances of Ice Cream Man?

  2. #2
    Good Enough
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    Yea, Richie Haven's always played like that.
    He plays very agressively, but he sticks to strong rythums. If you can get a hold of the original Woodstock (1969)VHS tapes or DVD, have a look. Richie starts off the festival. It'll give you a good idea of his playing style.

    [ July 23, 2002, 12:48 PM: Message edited by: tribb ]

  3. #3
    Hot For Teacher
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    09.20.17 @ 08:12 AM
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    Although I know very little about this player (except for the Woodstock appearance), what is being referred to here is “open tuning.” In a nutshell, you can define that as the sound made when all strings of the instrument are played together without depressing any against the fretboard.

    Some varieties just use a single string dropped, which does not create a common chord but it is a common alternative tuning. Many musicians use this, including Ed quite a bit. Other players often do tune to specific chords and go from there, often barring the fretboard at different intervals (as discussed in the article) with a single finger. Joni Mitchel played "Big Yellow Taxi" in open D. Chet Atkins played "Yellow Bird" in open G 6. Leo Kottke played "Jesu Joy" in open B.

    Many newer rock bands do this as well, such as Big Wreck and the Goo Goo Dolls (I am sure others here can name many other artists). Both Ian Thornly (BW) and John Reznik (GGD) play quite a few different tunings throughout a show, which is why you see so many axe changes when playing live.

  4. #4
    Eruption
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    10.05.17 @ 11:44 AM
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    A lot of slide players use open tunings. Duane Allman was one.
    Your favorite band sucks.

  5. #5
    Top Of The World
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    09.26.12 @ 10:15 AM
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    Lots of Black Crowes' songs are in alternate tunings as well. Twice as Hard is a fine example.

  6. #6
    Romeo Delight
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I had the pleasure of seeing Havens live. The description of the way he plays is right on. He has huge hands (or thumbs, at least!) and just strums away while barring the strings with his thumb. But the total package comes together because of his voice. He has a giant, powerful voice, so even as a solo act he creates a huge sound. Great stuff. And like tribb said, very aggressive strumming...by the end of the set I saw, ALL of his acoustic's strings had snapped!

    ratter

  7. #7
    Romeo Delight Perfect4th's Avatar
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    07.24.08 @ 07:55 PM
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    Third Day uses that type of tuning ocasionally.

    Peace!
    First God - Then Family - Then Money - Then Van Halen

  8. #8
    Eruption distortion9's Avatar
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    01.29.12 @ 02:17 PM
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    Donor

    Richie is a very good friend of mine...more like an uncle. Awe inspiring as an artist but more so as a person. Truely one of finest humans on the face of the planet.

  9. #9
    Romeo Delight
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Isn't he that guy that sang La Bamba? They made a movie about him. He died with Buddy Holly & The Big Bopper, right?

    Just kidding, I know who Ritchie Havens is. I'm not familiar w/ his work but I saw a picture of him in a mag with his hands around his guitar neck & I swear his thumb was wrapped all the way around it like three times. I hear he is quite the man.
    "Nothing is fool-proof for a sufficiently talented fool."

  10. #10
    Eruption ETRIGAN's Avatar
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    01.07.15 @ 01:55 PM
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    Donor

    I remember him from seeing Woodstock back in the day. (The Movie, not the concert. I ain't that old!!!) He's not a guitar players guitar player but as stated above its really the combination of his playing and singing where the talent shines through.
    "Why behave in public if you're living on a playground?"

  11. #11
    Unchained
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    09.16.17 @ 09:35 PM
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    I read somewhere that Eddie tuned a guitar to play an open string cord, so Wolfgang could jam with him just by strumming the guitar

    [ July 27, 2002, 09:41 AM: Message edited by: EDHEAD ]

 

 

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