Kottke Leo - Eggtooth tab

#----------------------------------PLEASE NOTE---------------------------------#
#This file is the author's own work and represents their interpretation of the #
#song. You may only use this file for private study, scholarship, or research. #
#------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
From
apollo!uchinews!vixen.cso.uiuc.edu!howland.reston.ans.net!EU.net!uunet!nih-csl!lhc!news Thu Oct 27 22:24:16 1994
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rec.music.makers.guitar.tablature,rec.music.makers.guitar.acoustic
Path:
apollo!uchinews!vixen.cso.uiuc.edu!howland.reston.ans.net!EU.net!uunet!nih-csl!lhc!news
From: kucera@rad.lhc (Richard Kucera)
Subject: TAB:  Eggtooth by Leo Kottke (epic)
Message-ID: 
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Sender: news@nlm.nih.gov
Organization: National Library of Medicine
Date: 27 Oct 1994 14:29:42 GMT
Xref: apollo rec.music.makers.guitar.tablature:16191
rec.music.makers.guitar.acoustic:8390


if this come's across garbled don't fret i've sent it to nevada
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                            __/ o  o \__
                           __/ o    o \__
                          __/ o    \__
                         __/ o        o \__
                        __/ o          o \__
                       __/ o            o \__
                        /__________________\
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                       E  G  G  T  O  O  T  H
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By Leo Kottke
Tablature By Rich Kucera
Based on live recording off of 1978 Capitol _The Best_ release

Use a twelve string in standard tuning,  nylon string sounds
good too.

This took a long time(it rusted my strings), and you will need
the recording if you want to learn it.   Since the recording is
rather hard to find,  I'll gladly provide you with a half speed
and full speed rendition.  Just send me a blank cassette
and an envelope to send it back in.  e-mail me at kucera@nlm.nih.gov
and I'll get you my address.  I'll also provide you with half
and full speed renditions of Junebug off of the same release
since I know that is also rather hard to find(in fact,  the Home
and Away Video erroneously states that Junebug is part of the slide
medley which it is not).   If I'm not there,  too bad!  Nevada
doesn't archive tapes!

If you've never heard Eggtooth, energy-wise, it's way up there with
Junebug, Busted Bicycle, Airproofing,  but more complex, and just as
catchy.  People are usually glad when it's over,  but for the student
of fingerstyle there are lots of fine Kottkeisms buried in it, even
when you play'em at half speed.

Using a Half-Speed Recorder
---------------------------
I waited a long time before buying one of these.  I wouldn't wait
again.  They're loads of fun.  If you're working on a difficult passage
it can help to record you playing it at half speed,  and then
have the tape player double the speed for you.  Play a few takes.
This can be very encouraging and will reassure you that you're on the
right track.   When tabbing,  listening at both speeds is necessary
to get both the microscopic and overall view of a passage.
Your brain can pick up clues anywhere anytime,  and usually without
the benefit of what you think is your knowledge and effort.

I welcome better suggestions for any part of this tab.  This
is my current best guess.  I'll note where I'm without enough clues
to even commit to anything reasonably accurate.

Sorry for the lack of timing information--listen to the recording!

Have fun!

* = harmonic(e.g. 7*)
X = mute(e.g. 9X) or strum muted or mute the strings,  depending
\ = slide down
/ = slide up
h = hammer
p = pulloff
b = bend(e.g. 7b9 bend from seven to nine)
. = stacatto(e.g. ---.----| ---9----|
(intro)freely, slowlymf-e|---12-----12-------9--------------------------------------------|-b|---10-----10-------7--------------------------------------------|-G|-------9------9\---7--------------------------------------------|-D|---11--------------0--------------------------------------------|-A|-----------0---------------------------0------------------------|-E|-----------------------------0--------------------0-------------|
-e|---12-----12----------------------------------------------------|-b|---10-----10-------7--------------------------------------------|-G|-------9------9\---7--------------------------------------------|-D|---11-----11---------------------------7------------------------|-A|-----------------------------0--------------------0-------------|-E|----------------------------------------------------------------|
-e|----2--0--0--0--0-----------------------------------------------|-b|----3-----0-----2-----------------------------------------------|-G|----2-----1-----2-----------------------------------------------|-D|----0-----2-----2-----------------------------------------------|-A|----------2-----0-----------------------------------------------|-E|----------0-----------------------------------------------------|
let the open 'E' ring here |
v-e|-----------------------------------------------------------------|-b|-----------------------------------------------------------------|-G|-----------------------------------------------------------------|-D|----------------------------2------------------0-----------------|-A|----2---4--5-------0----4----------------------------------------|-E|----0------------------------------------------------0-----------|
-e|-----------------------10--------10-----------------------------|-b|------------------------8---------8-----------------------------|-G|----------------------------7----------7------------------------|-D|----------4-----------------------9-----------------------------|-A|----2-----------------------------------------------------------|-E|----------------------------------------------------------------|
I made the following up. I just can't hear the two obscure voicingsused here and here, so I substituted this. I don't really like it. \ /-e|----------0-----------7*----2----p0---------------------0-------|-b|----4---------12*-----------0-----------------------0-----------|-G|------------------------------------------------4---------------|-D|----4-----0-----------------2---------------2-------------------|-A|----4-----0-----------------2-----------0-----------------------|-E|----------------------------------------------------------------|
resuming with the "real thing"-e|----------------------------------------------------------------|-b|----------------------------------------------------------------|-G|----------------------------------------------------------------|-D|-------------------------------2---------------0----------------|-A|---2---4--5-------0------4--------------------------------------|-E|---0------------------------------------------------0-----------|
fff fff-e|------------------------------------------2--X----0--X----------|-b|------------------------------------------3--X----0--X----------|-G|------------------------------------------2--X----1--X----------|-D|-----------4----------6b7-----------------0--X----2--X----------|-A|-----2----------------0-------------------0--X----2--X----------|-E|------------------------------------------2--X----0--X----------|
(section A.1)moderately fastff-e|------------5-----------------------0-------0-------------|-b|----1/2------------2---------2/3--------------------------|-G|----------------2X--------2-------------------------------|-D|-----------------------------2/4--------4-----------------|-A|----0-----------------0-----------------------------------|-E|------------0---------------------0-----------------------|
^the way to hit this note, and the way Kottke does, and to also smoothly do the slide following, is to sort of jam your ring finger in between your index and middle. so it's middle on 4th string, ring on 3rd, and index on 2nd. then again, you could just mute it and it'll still sound good.(section A.2)-e|------------5-------------------------0-------0-------------|-b|----1/2------------2---------2h3p2--------------------------|-G|----------2-----2X--------2---------------------------------|-D|--------2--------------------2h4p2--------4-----------------|-A|----0-----------------0-------------------------------------|-E|------------0--------------------0--------------------------|
(section A.3)-e|------------5-----------------------0-------0-------------|-b|----1/2------------2---------2/3--------------------------|-G|----------2-----2X--------2-------------------------------|-D|--------2--------------------2/4--------4-----------------|-A|----0-----------------0-----------------------------------|-E|------------0---------------------0-----------------------|
repeat A.2 repeat A.3 repeat A.2, end phrase sliding up to 11(yes it goes up to 11) from forth string fourth fret, the slide should be just audible
(section B.1)-e|-----------------------12----------------------------12----------|-b|-----------10-----10------------------10-------10----------------|-G|--------9------9-----------------9X---------9----------------9X--|-D|-----------11---------------11X----------------11--------11X-----|-A|----0--------------0-------------------0-------------------------|-E|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
(section B.2)-e|----------------------------X-----------------------------------|-b|---7/9-----------------9----X-----9-----9--10-------------------|-G|---7/9-----9-------9------9-X--9-----9-------------9--11--9-----|-D|----------------------------X-----------9-----------------------|-A|----------------------------X-------------------0---------------|-E|--------0-------0------0----X-----0-----------------------------|
repeat B.1, ATTENTION: substitute for the last note, 9X, a plucked open third string as you switch into the next section.
(section B.3)-e|----------------------------X-----------.-----------------------|-b|---7/9-----------------9----X-----9-----9--10-------------0-----|-G|---7/9-----9-------9------9-X--9-----9-------------9------0-----|-D|----------------------------X-----------9-------------11\-------|-A|----------------.-----------X-------------------0---------------|-E|--------0-------0------0----X-----0-----------------------------|
(section C.1), It is important to let some of these notes ring here and here, other places too, listen to the recording | | v v-e|-------------0-----------------------------0--------------------|-b|-----------------------0---------------0------------------------|-G|---------------------------------1------------------------------|-D|----0-----4-----0------------------------------------2----------|-A|-------5------------4-----0---------2-------------------2-------|-E|------------------------------0---------------------------------|
-e|--------0--------------------------------------------------------|-b|-----------------------------------------------------------------|-G|-------------------------------0---------------------------------|-D|----4-------0-------------------------4--------------------------|-A|----0-----------4-------0-----------------2----------------------|-E|--------------------5-------0------------------------------------|
^could be a 2 on the sixth here instead of 4 on the 4th, I think he's harping, so 4. There's probably a more accurate way, hint hint. let 'D' ring of course /-e|--------0--------------------------------0----------------------|-b|------------------0------------------0--------------------------|-G|------------------------------1-------------------------0-------|-D|----4------0----------------------------------------2-----------|-A|----0----------4-----0------------2-----------------------------|-E|--------------------------0-------------------------------------|
repeat A.1 repeat A.2
(section D.1)-e|-------------------X---------------X-----------X----------------|-b|-------------------X---------------X-----------X----------------|-G|-------------------X---------------X-----------X----------------|-D|-------------------X---------------X-----------X----------------|-A|--------------2----X---2---2---2---X-------2---X-------2------2-|-E|--0--0--0--0--0----X---0---0---0---X---0---0---X---0---0---0--0-| |__| |__| | |___| |___| |___| | |___| |___| ? you figure it out
(section D.2)-e|----------------------------------------------------------------|-b|----------------------------------------------------------------|-G|----------------------------------------------------------------|-D|-----------------------------0------------------0---------------|-A|----------------------------------------------------------------|-E|----1---1---2---2---3---3---------6/7---7---7-------------------|
repeat D.1
(section D.3)-e|----------------------------------------------------------------|-b|----------------------------------------------------------------|-G|----------------------------------------------------------------|-D|-----------------------------------------------------0----------|-A|-----------------------------5----------------------------------|-E|----1---1---2---2---3---3----5----6--6--7---7---5---------------|
(section E.1)-e|------------------------------------------5-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|-b|-----------------0-------0----7---------------0----------6--------------------------------------------------------------------|-G|-------0----------------------7--------5--8---0----------7---D|---------------------------------5--7-----------------6-----6--|-A|------------3-------0---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|-E|---3----------------------------------------------0---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
-e|---------8------------------------------------------------------|-b|----5--------------5----5/8-----7/9-----------------------------|-G|----5---------7---p5------------7/9-----------------------------|-D|----------------------------------------------------------------|-A|----------------------------------------------------------------|-E|----------------------------------------------------------------|
repeat B.1, B.2, B.1, B.3 repeat C.1 repeat A.1
(section F.1)-e|-----------0------2-----3------------------------0--------------|-b|-----------0------3-----3------------7-----------------5--------|-G|-------0---0----------------7--------7--------------------------|-D|---------------------0------------------------------0---------0-|-A|---------------------------------5-------5----0------------5----|-E|----3----------2------------------------------------------------| ^barre here.
-e|----------------------------0----------7------------------------|-b|-----------7\---------------0----------7------------------------|-G|-----------7\------------0---------4------0----------6-------7--|-D|------------------0------------0---------------------7---0-0----|-A|-------0--------0-----------------------------------------------|-E|----5-----------------3------------------------0--0-------------| ^^^^strum everything here if you like.
-e|-------------------0------0-------------------------------------|-b|----------------7---------------5-----------------7\5-----------|-G|-------7--------7--7------------------------------7\5-------7---|-D|----7--------7---------------0---------0-------7---------7------|-A|----------5------------0------------5------0--------------------|-E|-------------------------------------------0--------------------|
(section F.2) (section F.2 alternate)-e|-------0----------/5-5-5---5\-|------1---1-------------8----8\--|-b|----------------0-/5-3-3---3\-|--------------0---------5----5\--|-G|---0--------0------------0----|--------0---0-----/7--0----0-----|-D|-----0--------0---------------|---------------------------------|-A|------------------------------|---------------------------------|-E|-3--------3-------------------|-1-------------------------------|
(section G.1) ?-e|---------------------------------------------------0-------------|-b|-----------------------------------------------------------------|-G|---------------------------------------------------------------0-|-D|--0--2--2----2-----2-2----2-----2---2----------------------------|-A|-----0--0----0-----0-0----0-----0---0--1-1-2-2-3-3-5-5-6/7-7-7---|-E|-----------0-----0------0-----0---0------------------------------|
^weird ghostly overtones here ?-e|------------------------------------------------0---------------|-b|------------------------0---------------------------------------|-G|--------2-X-------X--2--0---------------------------------------|-D|-----2--2-X---2-2-X--2--0----2---2--------------------------9\--|-A|-0-0----0-X---0-0-X--0--0----0---0--1-1-2-2-3-3-5-5-6/7-7-7-7\--|-E|----------X-0-----X--------0---0--------------------------------|
(section H.1) -- strum it! with your thumb and index.fff-e|-----------------2-----3------3---------------------------------|-b|----0------2-----3-----0------0---------------------------------|-G|----1------2--0--2p0---0------0---------------------------------|-D|----2---0--2-----------0---------2p0----------------------------|-A|----2------0-----------2----------------------------------------|-E|----0------------------3---3------------------------------------|
(section I.1)mf-e|---------------0------------------------------------------------|-b|------5-3-------------------------5\------3---------------------|-G|------5-3-----------------5-------5\---2------------------------|-D|----5---3-----------0----------5--5\----------------------------|-A|--3---------------5----3----------------------------------------|-E|-----------3----------------3-----------------------------------|
(section I.2)-e|------------------------------------------------5---------------|-b|--------3---------------0--------0------5-------5---------------|-G|--------3------2p0---------------0------5-------5---------------|-D|-----3-----0--------3-------------------5-------5---------------|-A|-------------------------------------3-------3------------------|-E|--1--------------------------3---------------3------------------|
repeat I.1
(section I.3)-e|------1---1-------------8----8\------|-b|--------------0---------5----5\----3-|-G|--------0---0-----/7--0----0-----2---|-D|----3--------------------------------|-A|-------------------------------------|-E|-1-----------------------------------|
here slide 5 to 8 don't pick / (pick 12 tho)-e|---------------5--X--------8-------12--12\----------------------|-b|------5-X------5--X-----5-----5/---/8---8\----------------------|-G|------5-X---------X--0-----------0------------------------------|-D|----5---X---------X---------------------------------------------|-A|--3-----X---------X---------------------------------------------|-E|-----------3------X---------------------------------------------|
-e|----------------------------------------------------------------|-b|--------1p0-----------------------------5\----------------------|-G|-----0------2p0-------------------------5\----------------------|-D|--2-------------2p0----------5-------5--------------------------|-A|--------------------2p0----------3------------------------------|-E|-------------------------3--------------------------------------|
repeat D.1, D.2, D.1, D.3
(section I.4)-e|-----------------2-----3------------------------0---------------|-b|-----0-----0-----3-----3---------7----------9---0---------------|-G|-----0--0--0---------------------7----------9-------------------|-D|-----0--0-----------0---------7-----0---------------------------|-A|---------------------------5------------------------------------|-E|--3-----------2-------------------------0-----------------------|
repeat B.1, B.2, B.1, B.3 repeat Crepeat A.1, A.2, A.3, A.2
(section J.1) -- bridge-e|------------5---------------------------------------------------|-b|--1/2-------------14\---2---------------------------------------|-G|---------X--------14\---0---------------------------------------|-D|-------X----------------2-----2-------2-2-2-2-------------------|-A|--0---------------------1-----3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-------------------|-E|------------0---------------------------------------------------| ^^^^^^^build momentum
(section K.1)fastff-e|-------------------------0-----0--------------------------------|-b|---------------------------0-----0------------------------------|-G|-----------2------0----------------0----------------------------|-D|--------0-------0------------2----------------------------------|-A|---3\2----------------------------------------------------------|-E|--------------2-------3-----------------------------------------|
-e|--------------------------------2-------------------------------|-b|-----------------------------------3----------------------------|-G|-----------2---------0---h2--2--------0-------------------------|-D|--------0---------0---------------------------------------------|-A|---3\2----------------------------------------------------------|-E|---------------2------------------------------------------------|
-e|-------------------------0-----0--------------------------------|-b|---------------------------0-----0------------------------------|-G|-----------2------0----------------0----------------------------|-D|--------0-------0------------2----------------------------------|-A|---3\2----------------------------------------------------------|-E|--------------2-------3-----------------------------------------|
(section K.2)-e|----------------------------------------------------------------|-b|-----------2/3--------------------------------------------------|-G|----------------------------------------------------------------|-D|--------0-------0-----------------------------------------------|-A|---3\2----------------------------------------------------------|-E|--------------------3-------------------------------------------| ^hold for a few seconds, continue...repeat K.1
(section K.3)-e|----------------------------------------------------------------|-b|----------------------------------------------------------------|-G|-----------2---------0------------------------------------------|-D|--------0---------0---------------------------------------------|-A|---3\2----------------------------------------------------------|-E|---------------2---------2/3------------------------------------| ^hold for a few seconds, continue...
(section L.1)-e|--------5-------------------------------------------------------|-b|---5/7-------7\-------------------------------------------------|-G|----------0---------0-------------------------------------------|-D|---0-------------0----------------------------------------------|-A|----------------------------------------------------------------|-E|----------------------------------------------------------------| i m p i p i p
repeat L.1, L.1
(section L.2)-e|---0-------0----------------------------------------------------|-b|---1-------1------0---------------------------------------------|-G|----------------------------------------------------------------|-D|-------2------2-------------------------------------------------|-A|-------3------3-------------------------------------------------|-E|----------------------------------------------------------------| | |___| |___|
(section L.3)-e|-----------0-----0--------------0-----0-------------------------|-b|--------3-----3-----0--------3-----3-----0----------------------|-G|---2/4------------------2/4-------------------------------------|-D|----------------------------------------------------------------|-A|----------------------------------------------------------------|-E|----------------------------------------------------------------|
-e|-----------5-----5------5-------5------5-------------------------|-b|--------3-----3-----3-------0------0------0----------------------|-G|---2/4------------------0----------------------------------------|-D|--------------------------------4------3-------------------------|-A|-----------------------------------------------------------------|-E|-----------------------------------------------------------------|epeat L.1,L.1, L.1, L.2
-e|-----------0----5/7---------------------------------------------|-b|--------3------------------5--------0---------------------------|-G|---2/4---------------------5--------0---------0-----------------|-D|----------------------------------------------0-----------------|-A|----------------------------------------------------------------|-E|-----------------------3----------3---------3-------------------|
repeat K.1, K.3
-e|------5--------------------5-------------------5----------------|-b|---7--------7----------7---------7----------7--------7----------|-G|---------5---------5----------5--------5----------5--------0----|-D|---0-----------7-------0------------7-------0-----------7-------|-A|----------------------------------------------------------------|-E|----------------------------------------------------------------|
repeat L.2
(section M.1)-e|-----------0---5/7----------------------------------------------|-b|--------3----------------5-------0----------------------0----0--|-G|---2/4-------------------5-------0---------0------------5----5--|-D|------------------------------0------------4------7-------------|-A|----------------------------------------2------5-----7-----7----|-E|---------------------3---------------0--------------------------|
(section M.2)-e|--------------5/7-------0---------------------------------------|-b|------0--------------5-----4b5/12-------------------------------|-G|------0---------------------------12\11--7-9-7-9-10-9-7---------|-D|--------------------------------------------------------9-------|-A|---5------------------------------------------------------9\----|-E|----------0-----------------------------------------------------|
repeat K.1, K.3 get louder...-e|-------0--------0-----------------------------------------------|-b|----3--------0--------------------------------------------------|-G|----------0-----------0----0--0--0--0--0------------------------|-D|-------------------0-------0--0--0--0--0------------------------|-A|----------------------------------------------------------------|-E|----------------------------------------------------------------|
repeat L.1, L.1, L.1, L.2, L.3, L.1, L.1, L.1, L.2 repeat M.1 repeat K.1, K.3, K.1, K.3 -- strummed loudly, use thumb and index
-e|------5-----7---8\7---5----------------------5-4\3p0------------|-b|--5/7-----7---7---------7\0---------2h3p2------------3p0--------|-G|--------7-------7-------------------2---2-0---------------------|-D|--0---------0-------0------------2---h4p2--------0---0----------|-A|------------------------------0-----0------------0---0----------|-E|----------------------------------------------------------------| p i
repeat K.1, K.3, K.1, K.3 -- strummed loudly
-e|-------------12--------------------0-----------------------0----|-b|------10----------X-X-X-7/9-----------------0------------0------|-G|----------9-------X-X-X-7/9-------------------------1-----------|-D|---------11-------X-X-X------0---4----0-------------------------|-A|---0---------------------------5---------\4----0-------2--------|-E|--------------------------------------------------0-------------|
strum with gusto dum dum!-e|-------------------------------------------1---1----------------|-b|------------------2---0----0-0-0----2---0--3---3----------------|-G|-----0-----2------2-2-0----1-1-0----2-2-0--1---1----------------|-D|---2--------------2-2-0----2-2-0----2-2-0--0---2----------------|-A|--------0------0----0------2-2-0--0---0-------------------------|-E|-------------------------0--------------------------------------|
strum... dum dum!-e|----5------------3---2----------------------------0-------------|-b|----2-2-0--------0---3----2--0--------0----2--------2---2-------|-G|----2-2-0----1---0---2------------1------------1------------1---|-D|----2-2-0----2---0---0----------------------------------------2-|-A|--0----------2----------------------2--------2--------2-------2-|-E|-----------0--------------------0--------0--------0-------0-----|
repeat F.1, F.2 alternate
-e|-------------------------0--------------------------------------|-b|------0--------5--3------------------------------5\3------3-----|-G|---2-p0--------5--3-------------------5----------5\3---2--------|-D|------------5-----3------------0-------------5---5\3------------|-A|---------3------------------5-----3-----------------------------|-E|---------------------3-------------------3----------------------|
repeat F.2 alternate
-e|-------------------------5----------8--8/--/12--15\-------------|-b|------0--------5--X------5---X--X---5--5-----8--13\-------------|-G|--2--p0--------5--X----------X--X---5--5--0---------------------|-D|------------5-----X----------X--X---5--5------------------------|-A|---------3------------------------------------------------------|-E|---------------------3------------------------------------------| p i
-e|----------------------------------------------------------------|-b|--1p0---------------------------5\------------------------------|-G|------2p0-----------------------5\------------------------------|-D|----------2p0---------5------5----------------------------------|-A|--------------2p0--------3--------------------------------------|-E|------------------3---------------------------------------------|
play Emaj in first position, real loud, flamenco-ish if you like for about five seconds...then strum the following
-e|-----------------------------------------------------------------|-b|------------------2---0----0-0-0----2---0------------------------|-G|------------------2-2-0----1-1-0----2-2-0------------------------|etc...indefinitely...-D|------------------2-2-0----2-2-0----2-2-0------------------------|-A|-------3\2-----0----0------2-2-0--0---0--------------------------|-E|-------------------------0---------------------------------------|
-e|----------------------------------------------------------------|-b|----------------------------------------------------------------|-G|--increase speed...make your way back to E, then try -----------|-D|----------------------------------------------------------------|-A|----------------------------------------------------------------|-E|----------------------------------------------------------------|
-e|---------------------------0-----0-X----------------------------|-b|---------------------------0-----0-X--14-X----------------------|-G|--a flamenco-ish ending:---2\----1-X--14-X----------------------|-D|---------------------------3\----2-X----------------------------|-A|---------------------------3\----2-X---------0-X----------------|-E|---------------------------0--0--0-X----------------------------|
A Note on Kottke's Use ---------------------- Well, if you made it this far, you might enjoy these comments. Figuring out how Kottke plays with the speed and precision that he does is the reason for offering the following analysis. It's not some learned study or some scholarly criticism. It's just a few remarks off the cuff about what I have learned based on my year's worth of Alexander Technique lessons. Looking at pictures of Kottke, seeing him live, and seeing _Home and Away_(which tends to fall flat compared to his live performance), I don't see anything exceptional about the way Kottke uses himself. In fact, he's about average. In fact, it was his chronic misuse which led to his injury in the early eighties(I think). Let's just say he does not use himself as well as do classical players like Segovia. However, aside from his massive forearms, his musicianship, and his dedication, a couple of things are alluded to in Home And Away that are worthy of observation. One is his light-hearted manner. Not his jokes. His manner. He takes himself lightly and has fun. He breathes well and slyly alludes to breathing deeply before walking out on stage. During his performance, he talks while playing. Although he presents it as a joke, it surely starts up good breathing, frees up his chest and ribcage, and therefore his arms...he is surely gearing up for the dynamite version of Airproofing which follows. This is straight out of Alexander work, talking while playing or practicing. It's hard to get yourself to try it, let alone do it successfully. His hands are worth a look--they are precisely and lightly controlled. One word: rhythm. He does seem to possess a great deal of poise where his hands are concerned. The last thing in his favor is probably the way he sort of grooves out to the tune while he's playing--his head is always loosely bobbing around and his legs are always moving. Otherwise, he totally collapses his back and gives in to gravity. And he seems to have three speeds in terms of the poise he maintains. There's low, or Ojo speed, top of head fairly leading, spine fairly erect, but shoulder use still awful. Then there's medium, or Mona Ray speed, where there's still some good use but less. Then there's high speed, or Airproofing speed. Here he has completely given in to gravity and scrunched down to meet the instrument. His shoulders have been drawn up to his ears. You can literally see the thumb muscle on his right hand palm completely pumped up and tense. He loses his good tone a couple times because of this tension. He kicks the floor and moves his legs around to try to get himself loose again. I saw him play in 1991, and he looked better, as I remember. The mistake is believing that more speed requires more effort, which is not the case. In fact, direct attempts to do anything like virtuoso playing are inherently limited. What works are indirect, generative approaches that involve reasoned use of the whole organism, specifically the relationship of the head to neck and back(spine). During the course of tabbing this song I adopted a modified classical position, with a very short strap to hold the guitar where I need it (I'm a tall guy and can't scrunch over to get close to the instrument). I bring the neck to my face instead of leaning with my neck over to see it. I nod subtly to see the neck if I have to. My left leg is in the high rung on the stool, my right on the low rung(reverse for lefties). This allows my right shoulder to be more comfortable. It also allows the left arm and hand an easier access to the fretboard. With the arms thus given easier access to perform their function, the elbows and shoulders and back may go out, opening up for breathing, and by all means, breathe. I sit on my sitting bones and not on my tailbone(if I did slump back onto my tailbone, this would mean my entire pelvis would be tilted back, throwing off my lower back leading to a hunched position with neck forward and chin leading...very common and very bad). This is a reasoned out position as best I can do "means-whereby" reasoning at the moment. The position felt very open to me when I started using it. It felt great and looked great. I doubt Kottke would need to talk at all if he used himself in this way. It would just look good. Once the mechanics of doing this have been fiddled around with it's time for the all-important directions. There are three. But wait, not yet, not yet, before saying the directions, you first say "NO" to the stimulus--whatever you were going to do, you are now just not going to do it--picking out that passage, going for the car door, looking in the rear view mirror, opening the refridgerator door--inhibit all initial response to carrying out these tasks. Then say or think: 1) Let my neck be free... 2) To let my head move forward and up(or out) 3) Let my back (be free to) lengthen and widen(in spirals) That's it. Begin to go into activity, but wait...pause. Decide afresh whether or not you are going to continue with the activity, redirect with the directions, then continue if you decide to do so. Observe yourself. Don't look for things to feel right. You're attempting to get out of your own way. There is no substitute for a certified Alexander Teacher in this work. They've worked on themselves for at least four or five years and have been to special schools that do thorough training. In my experiments, my habit of pulling up with my chest and shortening and narrowing in my back took over with this new classical position, as a consequence I got a pain in the middle back. I've got some pretty entrenched habits. I'm not really well acquainted with my back yet-- it's much wider than I usually think, and I don't yet have a good sense of where my arms join my back(obviously an important sense). Have to ease up on the chest, let it go, soften it, and begin to breathe. Breathing is where everything gets held up. If breathing is good, arms are remarkably free. Rib cage must be soft and free to expand and contract with each breath. And remember, this is supposed to be fun! By all means take this stuff lightly--there are no shoulds. Finger Independence ------------------- A couple of finger independence exercise books have come out. They're all good to do. It's good to treat your hands well. However, I often attempt to achieve results too fast with the exercises, with the actual result being that tension quickly travels up my arm and then to my neck and gets held there in my neck(or does it start in my neck?). The problem is that I'm just throwing my fingers around using odd combinations of muscles in my forearms, and my fingers aren't really getting the workout. They're really just getting forced and harmfully stretched in directions they'd just as soon not go. That's the bad news. The good news is that it'll take less straining on my part to do the exercises in a way that will be much more beneficial to my hands. The key is to do them SLOWLY. The exercises are an exploration of my hands--not a set of positions to drill through at any cost. Do the exercises slowly. There's just no point in going fast. You can go fast later if you want, but for now, go slowly and be relaxed and competent. Observe the tension if it begins to travel up your arm to your neck and then just pause, redirect, decide again to move slowly and relaxed. Observe without judgement the places where your fingers get stuck, or where they start shaking. The End. -- "The time has come to talk of many things: of shoes-- and ships--and sealing wax--of cabbages--and kings." "My dear guests, I am Mister Rork, your host. Welcome to Fantasy Island... ;^( :-{)"
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