Thursday, October 08, 2009

Guitar Workshop: I Fought the Law (and the Law Won)

I was in a Five Guys Restaurant this morning, ordering a burger, when I heard it piped in on the speakers. That's when I realized the awful truth: we haven't done a Guitar Workshop in a while, have we?

"I Fought the Law (and the Law Won)" was written by Sonny Curtis in 1959. He recorded it with The Crickets that year, taking the place of Buddy Holly (as if anyone could, right?) after the latter's unfortunate demise earlier that year. But the most famous rendition came at the end of 1965, when the Bobby Fuller Four recorded it, and performed it on nationwide television, as seen here. (I know, I know, don't forget the version by The Clash in 1979. Whatever.) Notice the rhythm guitar break in the first clip. Any flattop flogger can play chords and call himself a "rhythm guitarist." It's the ones who can work the whole fingerboard who make the grade.

Watch this next clip for a closer view of the action, provided by Sam of the My Twangy Guitar Channel on YouTube. Notice in both examples, the change from the F barre chord to the D barre chord and so on, as he works his way up the neck. Our boy Sam could have used that trick to play the background part for sure, as we see Bobby doing, but he does manage to put in a little tremolo bar on his Gretsch archtop for a special touch. If you're a player of intermediate ability, you can try some of that too.

The result is enough to get by with only a guitar/bass/drums trio. After all, you gotta use what you got, so give it a shot.

1 comment:

Rob said...

Wow. I sure enjoy listening to those archtop clips. Very informative, fun..thanks for sharing with us archtop admirers.

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