Freddie Green Style Comping

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by drmilktruck, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Inspired by my new guitar, I’ve been working up a simple chord melody version of My Old Flame. I also wanted to try a little comping underneath it, in the style of Freddie Green. I know it’s basically four quarter notes with a little more emphasis on the second and fourth, with lifting the left hand after each note to cut it off.. Anybody share any tips or YouTube videos or anything that can help?



    Not going for this version though, :D.

     
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  2. Freshy

    Freshy Synchromatic

    Age:
    66
    578
    Sep 30, 2017
    Homosassa FLA
    1:40 of the first video, check out his string height
     
  3. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    MF! And those are fat strings too.
     
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  4. dlew919

    dlew919 Gretschie

    467
    Jul 18, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    Ouch! That’s slide territory!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  5. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Yes indeed : Freddie Green was The Giant of archtop rhythm acoustic guitar, I admire him and his playing sincerely... Exceptional !

    Big target, drmilktruck... I should follow you in that direction : it would please my G400, instead of letting her sleep quietly (and boringly) in her case... :eek::(

    [​IMG]

    A+!
     
  6. Lee Erickson

    Lee Erickson Country Gent

    Apr 20, 2009
    Eagan, MN
    Freddie Green would typically go for the simplest chord available. Dropping out the 5th and the root on the chord are sometimes so obvious that he would leave these notes out.

    Lee
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  7. Lee Erickson

    Lee Erickson Country Gent

    Apr 20, 2009
    Eagan, MN
    Oops!
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  8. Lee Erickson

    Lee Erickson Country Gent

    Apr 20, 2009
    Eagan, MN
    How in the heck do you delete a post around here?
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  9. JParry335

    JParry335 Gretschie

    103
    Jan 22, 2019
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I don’t really have anything to help but my Dad played guitar with big bands on a local basis before he passed.
    Freddie was my Dad’s biggest influence.
    I have my Dad’s guitars of which he had a few but for gigging with the bands he sometimes used a ‘53 Gibson L50, but what he mainly used was a no name (probably a Kay) guitar from the 40’s with mile high action and telephone poles for strings. It has a DeArmond pickup on it but his amplification was minimal. That guitar is loud acoustically and when using the typically four note chord voicings mainly on the inside four strings Freddie style, he could cut through a full horn section chunking out that rhythm.
    I applaud you on your mission. Please post some tracks. I’d love to hear them.
     
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  10. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Sorry Vista
    Admin Post
    Freddie Green was the greatest. He was the soul of the Basie band and probably a big part of why they were so amazingly tight. Good solid rhythm playing is a very high calling for any guitarist.

    I read an interview where he talked about using three note voicings in many situations. Three not chords, usually using the 3rd and 4th string and either the 5th or 6th strings on the bottom allow for quick changes between chords and for consistent voice leading.

    Ranger Doug, of Riders in the Sky, has both a video and a book that teaches Green's approach to rhythm. I gave both a quick look years ago and have found them very useful.

    While not specific to Green’s approach, I also recommend the Mickey Baker book, which has a good system which ustilizes a lot of four-note voicings.
     
  11. Dennison

    Dennison Country Gent

    Jul 17, 2011
    Kent, UK
    At jazz rhythm playing Freddie Green was the master. And those guitars were loud.
    A few years back I had the pleasure of seeing another of my rhythm guitar heroes, Marty Grosz, during one of his trips to the UK. He was working in a duo with trumpeter Digby Fairweather and as a sort of warm-up gig they played a local country pub — I was about ten feet away. Here's Mr Grosz, in a small group setting, flying through (once they double the tempo) the old standard 'There'll Be Some Changes Made'. There are a hell of a lot of changes going on here!

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZ6cGxlVBGE
     
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  12. This is not the same style, but it was very helpful for me to get started on some new chord arrangements in a upbeat fun way. I am sure you have seen this guy before, and he shows you the chords on charts as he plays the part. This got me back into learning outside of what i was accustomed to, and then eventually led me over to Gypsy Jazz which i think has a great rhythm , but slightly different strum patterns.
     
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  13. Alberta_Slim

    Alberta_Slim Gretschie

    467
    May 18, 2018
    Ontario
    Loving this thread! Here's another nice little video lesson with Whit Smith:

     
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  14. journeyman

    journeyman Gretschie

    334
    Aug 20, 2009
    Hamilton, Ontario
    We used to think that Freddie played mostly 3 note chords, but with new technology that allows better eq'ing of recordings, we can better hear what he was actually playing, and research has emerged that contradicts this. Here is a link to a page that has a thorough analysis of Freddy's playing, complete with transcriptions. http://www.freddiegreen.org/index.html

    Keep in mind that in your case, without a bass player, you can use more chromaticism as you don't have to worry about clashes with the bass line. To that end, here's a link to a transcription of Jim Hall's 4-to-the-bar playing on My Funny Valentine: http://stevekhan.com/funnyval1.htm
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  15. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Sorry Vista
    Admin Post
    That may be true, but I have read interviews where he talked about using three note chords. There are certain situations where they are quite effective. Whatever he used, he was an absolute master.
     
  16. JParry335

    JParry335 Gretschie

    103
    Jan 22, 2019
    Scottsdale, AZ
    THIS!!!!
     
  17. NSM245

    NSM245 Synchromatic

    511
    May 7, 2011
    Scotland
    Regarding whether Freddie played three note chords or single note 'tenor' lines, I'm pretty sure that he did both. I recall reading something he said about the number of players in the band - in a small group situation he played more notes than in a big band setting. It's easy enough on some of his small group recordings to hear clearly that he did indeed play chords as opposed to single note lines. Here's one example - (nothing to see, unfortunately, but the acoustic guitar can be heard without much difficulty.)
     
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  18. afire

    afire Country Gent

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. journeyman

    journeyman Gretschie

    334
    Aug 20, 2009
    Hamilton, Ontario
    I didn't mean to suggest that he didn't play three note and larger chords. The transcriptions reveal that he played a variety of chord textures. The Freddie Green web site that I posted a link to is a great resource.
     
    NSM245 likes this.
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