Is This Possible ?

Subterfuge

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I'm in the unfortunate position where I do not know anyone who plays guitar, so I'm trying to slog through the learning process on my own ... two pieces of sheet music, The Jack by AC/DC and Johnny B. Goode by Johnny Winter, transcribed by Jeff Jacobson and Andy Aledort showing some (to me) extreme stretches .. I did speak to one music teacher briefly on the phone and he informed me these stretches are impossible .. which I'm not really inclined to believe considering the pedigree of transcribers .. I'm trying to master these pieces but I honestly don't know if this is do-able or not .. excuse my ignorance .. any help would be greatly appreciated .
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HogmanA

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Well, not impossible, but not very convenient, particularly on stage and particularly for going to other chord shapes/ riffs, etc.
I would skip a string (mute it with fretting fingers).
So the notes that are numbered 6 and 7, are now played one string up, on frets 1 and 2 respectively.
With practice it will sound the same.
I once saw Rick Parfitt of status Quo playing this riff like this too (skipping a string) , and they made a whole career out of this riff.

*edit
Forgot to say, there is no quick finger gymnastics if you play the basic power chord with the middle and little fingers, freeing up the first and ring fingers for the string skip.
Easier than it sounds with practice!
 
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CB91710

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Ya, as written, it would be cleaner to skip a string, and fret-hand muting was very common for Angus and Malcolm.
Sometimes, you just have to stretch... like the progression in Kashmir, in DADGAD, the tone relies on two strings playing the same note, so it requires an uncomfortable 5-2 stretch that progresses to a 5-6 and 5-7... do the gymnastics or a quick finger swap.

A 2-7 stretch is certainly possible, but I like the way Angus put it when asked about playing a particular riff... "No, that's the hard way, if something seems hard, that's not the way we played it"
 

RedSkwirrell

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Unfortunately this is part of what you may have already heard referred to as, "Paying your dues".
This term encapsulates any piece/technique you steal from another player, or which causes you discomfort and pain.

Gonna hurt and make your hand ache (particularly the muscle in the heel of your hand) until you've built up the muscles required by your fingers to do it.
Then it's second nature and no biggie.
Like those little pads on your finger tips.

Your basic hand position is for your 1st and 3rd fingers to be around the 2nd and 4th frets, extending the 4th finger to stretch across to the the sixth and seventh frets, as and when required.

Both the notes on the sixth and seventh strings (in that position) are accent notes for the basic power chord shape and what transforms it into a twelve-bar on every other note (or variations of...).
This is a basic twelve-bar blues position/pattern/technique and it translates up and down the whole fret-board, just like that.

Whoever told you it's "impossible" should probably not be your teacher.
While uncomfortable, at least when starting to play it, it is far from impossible.

WARNING:-
When you go into a music shop to try/buy guitars..., try NOT to play this pattern.
Unless you have extremely thick skin.
Find yourself a little blues lick or two (YouTube's always good for this) and steal those.
Practise them for a while, up and down the board, so you have some heavy guns to take with you.
You should be doing these anyway and they can be an extension of any 'scales' you may be practising.

Hope we helped.
:D

[edit:- Soz, been so long since I learned this myself I forgot a good little trick for you.
When you're starting to learn this stretch.., simply move your whole hand up the fret-board to a different position, so the stretch is not as far!
ie. 1st finger on the 7th fret, 3rd on the 9th.
Now your pinkie won't have as far to stretch to the 11th and 12th and it won't be as painful.

As your muscles begin to build up you can bring it back down the fret-board again, towards the nut.
Obviously this is only a cheat for practise purposes and totally the wrong key for the piece you're trying to learn to play on stage.
As there's only two strings involved here, it won't affect your sound until you play with other muso's.
:naughty:
 
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PierM

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Wrong transcription. You dont need Allan Holdsworth stretches to play 2 notes, that you can play boxed, skipping a string.
 

BornToLooze

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Ya, as written, it would be cleaner to skip a string, and fret-hand muting was very common for Angus and Malcolm.
Sometimes, you just have to stretch... like the progression in Kashmir, in DADGAD, the tone relies on two strings playing the same note, so it requires an uncomfortable 5-2 stretch that progresses to a 5-6 and 5-7... do the gymnastics or a quick finger swap.

A 2-7 stretch is certainly possible, but I like the way Angus put it when asked about playing a particular riff... "No, that's the hard way, if something seems hard, that's not the way we played it"
The only thing I don't like on skipping a string on stuff like that, it always sounds a little bit thicker on the thicker string, like Randy Rhoad's version of Paranoid compared to Tony Iommi's, or how everyone plays Smoke on the Water wrong.

One of the riffs in Back in Black has the same 2-7 stretch between 2 notes. I tried to play it where I played one note on the E and the rest on the D. That screwed me up worse than spending the time to try and stretch my fingers from the 2nd fret to the 7th.

But one thing you could try if your thumb is long enough, grab the note on the lower string with your thumb, and it gives you a little more room for your fingers.
 

cheetah77

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That B part is played in the 7th position, you can either stretch to the 12 for the last two string chord or play a 7, 6, 7 for the last chord, which is what Angus and Malcolm do. Tiny guys, tiny hands.
 

huw

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Another idea - looking at some live performances of how they've done this in the Brian era they will often play the 2-4 power chord, then just play the 6 > 7 part as single notes without the 2nd fret B.
 

CB91710

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Finally tried it as written above.
That 2-7 stretch is tedious, cumbersome... not impossible, but I can barely make the stretch on a Fender scale... a little easier on a Gibson... and I'm positve that the transcription is simply wrong.
I mean, it's not impossible, but that is the absolute max that I can stretch from 1st finger 2nd fret, and my pinky is not anywhere near the actual fret on the 7th... with worn frets or a "fretless wonder" it would be nothing but buzz.
Moving it up and opening the song on the E and A strings at 7/9, 7/11, and 7/12 is much, much easier... for me, easier than skipping. I'm just holding the 1st and middle on 7/9, then running my pinky up to 11 and 12, then drop the whole thing down a step, then drop the same pattern down to the open E, then bringing the same 1st and 2nd finger shape back up to the 5/7-6/8-7/9, so I'm not shifting my shape at all.. just moving my hand up and down the neck.
 

Subterfuge

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Thanks all, I really wondered if the transcription was wrong or if I just needed to stretch more ..
 

CB91710

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Thanks all, I really wondered if the transcription was wrong or if I just needed to stretch more ..
Both ;)

Stretching exercises are always a good thing, and like I said, even playing this higher up the neck, it is still a bit of a stretch (on a Fender scale at least).
I haven't tried finding an alternative for the Guitar 2 part.... only the initial intro.
 

Subterfuge

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I never did go with the teacher, he was real nice but he wanted I believe $260 a month in Lessons (Minimum) per month from me, something about wanting to see my progress, I countered with I thought I could just book an Appt. when I felt the need, pay him his hourly rate and we'd both be happy, no no no, apparently I had it all wrong, according to him. All the other places only book lessons in lot's of 5 lessons at a time, payable in advance. I said when I go for an oil change do I have to buy 5 or can I just get one? Dumb question, I know. Fuck 'em, I'm a nice guy but I hate being dictated to like I'm a five year old ...
 

CB91710

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Finding a good instructor can be a challenge.
I would certainly not book $200 worth of lessons without either having personal experience with him, or references from people that I know and trust.
Honestly, I don't even know what the market rate is for lessons now... I've not taken lessons since the mid 90s, and before that, late 70s.
I *should* find someone local and spend some time getting my chops back.
 

Freddy G

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I would certainly not book $200 worth of lessons without either having personal experience with him, or references from people that I know and trust.
You wanna talk "proof in the pudding" pressure?
I've been hired to give an actor guitar lessons. He has to learn how to play one piece on acoustic guitar for a theatre performance while he sings and plays. The guy is a total newbie. The piece has arpeggio fingerpicking and then strummed chords of all kinds. We had our first lesson a few days ago. He has to be ready for performance in the spring. It's gonna be tough, but it's all about the dude's commitment. And he's got it in spades.
For the lessons they said "name your price"...and I did....and it's on the high side alright!

And BTW...that 2-7 stretch is ridiculous. Sure it can be done, but nobody would do that except maybe Jeff Healey.
 

redking

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Could you get there on the 2 - 7 stretch if you thumb the F# on the low E string? I don't have a guitar handy to try it. I think Johnny Winter had crazy long fingers like Hendrix. I would find a different way to play those notes in that spot.
 
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CB91710

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Could you get there on the 2 - 7 stretch if you thumb the F# on the low E string? I don't have a guitar handy to try it. I think Johnny Winter had crazy long fingers like Hendrix. I would find a different way to play those notes in that spot.
I've not tried it, but I don't think that would work.
Wrapping my thumb generally pulls my remaining fingers higher, rather than allowing more stretch, because of the wrist position. Longer stretches are easier in a "proper" classical position with neck higher and the thumb across the back of the neck and the neck not resting in the palm.
Thumbing is simply more comfortable than a barre sometimes, or when you want the flexibility of moving your first finger while pedaling.
 

redking

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I've not tried it, but I don't think that would work.
Wrapping my thumb generally pulls my remaining fingers higher, rather than allowing more stretch, because of the wrist position. Longer stretches are easier in a "proper" classical position with neck higher and the thumb across the back of the neck and the neck not resting in the palm.
Thumbing is simply more comfortable than a barre sometimes, or when you want the flexibility of moving your first finger while pedaling.
You're probably right. Maybe the only way is Jake E Lee style lol

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Subterfuge

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been practising a little bit and the 2-6 stretch is getting pretty easy but the 2-7 stretch still feels pretty near impossible .. don't know whether to keep trying for that one or just give up on it .. the Jake E. Lee method looks pretty interesting
 

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Subterfuge

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Finding a good instructor can be a challenge.
I would certainly not book $200 worth of lessons without either having personal experience with him, or references from people that I know and trust.
Honestly, I don't even know what the market rate is for lessons now... I've not taken lessons since the mid 90s, and before that, late 70s.
I *should* find someone local and spend some time getting my chops back.
I don't know if I even wanted a teacher, I just wanted someone knowledgeable that I could pay them their hourly rate (which I assumed would not be cheap)
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and they would explain shit to me .. I might want 1 hourly session a month or I might want 10. I figured since I was paying it was up to me ... for example, the two examples below I don't know how to play because I don't know what the x's are .. it just seems confusing when you don't understand it
 

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