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ON THE CD · . Tracks 20-22 Stills got the blues Crosby, Stills, Nash and

ON THE CD

· . Tracks 20-22

Stills got the blues

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: Four And Twenty

This is actually a solo piece by the talented Stephen Stills, although credited to the whole band. Eric Roche is all fingers and thumbs Eric Roche is all fingers and thumbs

ABIUTY RATING

I

r------ - --------------------------------- - --- - ---~------- -- -- -- --- - · -- - --- - - ,

Moderate-Advanced Will improve your: l"JFingerstyle technique l"JUseof altered tunings l"JCo-ordination
Moderate-Advanced
Will improve your:
l"JFingerstyle technique
l"JUseof altered tunings
l"JCo-ordination

STEPHEN STILLS IS one quarter

of probably the greatest super- group ever. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young emerged from the remains three of the most popular act s of the sixties- The Byrds, The Hollies and Buffalo Springfield. They started playing together in 1968 (Young joined in 1970), released their debut album in 1969, and played Woodstock the same year. The quartet was often reduced to a t rio when Neil

Young was pursuin g his solo

career. and David Crosby and

TECHNIQUE FOCUS

Alternating thumb fingerstyle

Stephen Stills' right-hand technique can be tricky, but use our guide to help you

The right-hand technique need more attention tha n

will

variation in the tuning, Stills completely avoids the retuned

possible (and easier) to include at least the middle f inger. In

the left The left hand uses

A

string. However, I would still

the interest of accuracy I have

some simple, movable shapes with plenty of open string sound. The right hand uses

recommend that you use the tuning correctly as the B note on the open fifth string vibrates

transcribed the piece as a thumb-and-forefinger workout. This piece will help your right-

a simple adaptation of Travis

in

sympathetic resonance with

hand picking technique as well

picking (that's Merle Travis for our younger readers!) where

the other notes and adds to the overall tone of the sound.

expanding your knowledge of altered tunings. To develop

the thumb alternates primarily

In

video footage I have seen

the technique you will need to

between the low sixth string and

Sti

lls uses his right

hand thumb

practise a pattern

such as bars 1

the fourth string.

and index finger exclusively in

and 2 repeatedly, preferably with

Interestingly, despite his

this piece, although it is certainly

a metronome.

1

1

1

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TRACKRECORD

• In my opinion

In my opinion

the first. self- titled Crosby, Stills and Nash

 

record and the

first Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young record, Deja Vu count among the greatest works that Stills has recorded. To add some of his solo work to the top three list. I would also include his 1976 album 111egal Stills.

Graham Nash often toured as a duo when Stills was unavailable. Stills was often referred to as the lead guitarist of the group, armed with his trademark White Falcon o r one of his many Gretsch Country Gentleman guitars. However, no discussion of Stephen Stills's playing would be complete without a look at

his acoustic fingerstyle talents. This month's lesson focuses on his tune Four And Twenty

from the f i rst Crosby, Stills,

Nash and Young album, Deja Vu. It is a simple vocal and guitar arrangement with dark lyrics citing the devil and other sources of torment. Stills uses a variation of the Bruce Palmer Modal Tuning

(EEeebe'), tuning the A string up to B giving EBeebe'. With

all those octaves, fourths and

fifths the tuning creates a dream-like droning sound. To get to this tuning, tune the

G string down to e, the d string up toe (check these

two strings for unison) and the A string up to B. The open strings will give you a very resonant ES chord. GT

GETTHE TONE

• Stephen Stills is known for his fat electric sound, usually created

with Gretsch guitars and Fender amps. When playing acoustically though, he is almost always associated with the pearl encrusted Martin D-45 - Martin's top-of-the-range dreadnought model at the time. Stills always gets a great tone: clear, warm and yet cutting through in the treble register. Even if you can't afford £1000s for said Martin, you can go some way towards emulating the tone with nothing more than a fine emery board or nail f il e, and judicious placing of your picking hand over the guitar body. First. smoothly filed and shaped nails sound sweeter, smoother and you're less likely to catch the strings! When picking, try not to rest your hand on the bridge- arch it in a pseudo classical fashion and the guitar's top will ring more freely. Position your picking fingers over the soundhole to achieve warmth; nearer the bridge for cut.

'' My loudest sound is acheived by keeping my right t humbnail long, and using it to add a little guts. JJStephen Stills

50 GuitarTechniques February 2005

• In bar 7, Still s moves from the Emajor harmony into the more bluesy
• In bar 7, Still s moves from the Emajor harmony into the more bluesy
• In bar 7, Still s moves from
the Emajor harmony into the
more bluesy G chord. Gets
me every time, even though
it is more than 20 years since I
first heard it

CROSBY, STILLS, NASH AND YOUNG FOUR ANDTWENTY

ON THE CD

C EBETROBERTS/ REDFERN$

·

Tracks 20-22

Four & Twenty. Words and Music by Stephen Stills@ 1970 Gold Hill Music Inc. All
Four & Twenty. Words and Music by Stephen Stills@ 1970 Gold Hill Music Inc. All
rights administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing & Music Square West. Nashville,
Crosby, St i lis, Nash And Young
TN 37203
For UK/EU: Reprinted by permission of Music Sales
For US/Can: Reprinted by permission of Hal Leonard Corporation
All nghts reserved. International Copyright Secured
The Guitar Collection (Guitar Tab/
Vocal, 240pp, £19.99, ref: PG9519).
Complete guitar transcriptions of
24 classic numbers.
[Bars 1·2] As the left hand shapes are so easy,
[Bar 4] The thumb replays the lowE string again, slightly
concentrate on the right hand. Follow the right hand
disrupting the regularity of the pattern. Practise this carefully.
fingering carefully. The thumb will act as your reference
point for the more syncopated higher notes.
[Bar 8] As in all the other measures, hold the left hand
shapes down for as long as possible so that the notes ring on.
Add a little light vibrato to g1ve a more spooky bluesy effect.
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February 2005 Guitatl'echniques 51

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52 Guitai'I'eclutiques February 2005

Plav: Acoustic

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February 2005 GuitarTechniques 53