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'sweet home alabama'


metromike

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One of the most iconic piano solos/riffs in the past few decades (IMHO).....this loser (me) has never played it!!! Based on advice from a previous post I am looking at 'you tube' for thoughts on playing this....

 

Damn, maybe this is not my thing :cry:

Gear: Roland RD700, Yamaha MotifES6, Roland Fantom FA76, Roland JP-8000, Roland AX-7, Roland Juno-106.
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There's one fill you need to nail if you want to give the impression of a solid performance on this tune, and that's the parallel 6ths riff on the verses which moj mentions above.

 

That's a riff you would normally play with one hand, but there is no shame in playing it with two if your chops aren't up to it (they probably aren't. It's not a real easy thing to play).

 

Other than that, my advice to you would be general blues comping. You can stick to simple 7th voicings*. I'll try and write something out for you if I have time. But you can definitely do it, don't give up! Realize you don't have to play too much on a tune like this. The piano's great but it's not about the piano.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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The passage I find hardest to hit cleanly is the rolling triplets into the stretch to complete the 6th using 3rd finger and pinky. I should just practise it more. Same riff in "Wha'd I Say" I believe.

 

fingers |123 5 123 5 123 | |12 3 5 12 3 5 12 3| |12 3 5 12 3 5 12 3|

notes |EFF#D EFF#D EFF#| |DEbE C DEbE C DEbE| |ABbB G ABbB G ABbB|

 

Poo...won't line up :mad:

"I'm well acquainted with the touch of a velvet hand..."
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The passage I find hardest to hit cleanly is the rolling triplets into the stretch to complete the 6th using 3rd finger and pinky. I should just practise it more. Same riff in "Wha'd I Say" I believe.

 

fingers |123 5 123 5 123 | |12 3 5 12 3 5 12 3| |12 3 5 12 3 5 12 3|

notes |EFF#D EFF#D EFF#| |DEbE C DEbE C DEbE| |ABbB G ABbB G ABbB|

 

Poo...won't line up :mad:

 

To be honest, I wouldn't even worry about that riff (the one at the end of the tune). You'll survive if you don't play it.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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Okay here you go:

 

Here is a simple way to play the chords of 'Sweet Home Alabama':

 

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3323/5705642988_4dfc2dea6c.jpg

Sweet Home Riff 2 by Bobbycressey

 

 

Here is a slightly more complicated and rhythmic pattern you can play:

 

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3215/5705076509_6771033dbe.jpg

Sweet Home Riff 1 by Bobbycressey

 

Here is the fill in the right hand:

 

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2725/5705076553_6b1ac07a94.jpg

Fill For Right Hand by Bobbycressey, on Flickr

 

Here is the fill simplified and distributed for two hands:

 

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3590/5705076603_a08878ff6b.jpg

Fill in Right Hand by Bobbycressey, on Flickr

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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What really matters is knowing whether this song is in the key of D or G :laugh:

 

That discussion blows my mind! I still can't make up my mind.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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Not to sugar coat it, but...

 

I really hate that 3-chord POS song. :facepalm:

 

Yeah... I said it. :taz:

 

 

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Okay here you go:

 

Here is a simple way to play the chords of 'Sweet Home Alabama':

 

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3323/5705642988_4dfc2dea6c.jpg

Sweet Home Riff 2 by Bobbycressey

 

 

Here is a slightly more complicated and rhythmic pattern you can play:

 

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3215/5705076509_6771033dbe.jpg

Sweet Home Riff 1 by Bobbycressey

 

Here is the fill in the right hand:

 

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2725/5705076553_6b1ac07a94.jpg

Fill For Right Hand by Bobbycressey, on Flickr

 

Here is the fill simplified and distributed for two hands:

 

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3590/5705076603_a08878ff6b.jpg

Fill in Right Hand by Bobbycressey, on Flickr

 

thanks!!!

Gear: Roland RD700, Yamaha MotifES6, Roland Fantom FA76, Roland JP-8000, Roland AX-7, Roland Juno-106.
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Not to sugar coat it, but...

 

I really hate that 3-chord POS song. :facepalm:

 

Yeah... I said it. :taz:

 

 

 

 

 

We don't/won't play it, so there.

I love Skynyrd. Those boys could lay down a STANKY groove. :cool:
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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I can't say I love Skynard, but I defintely loved Billy's playing. Sweeeeett! :thu:

 

I saw them around '76 (before the plane crash). They rocked.

 

Bobby- you're a pretty kind soul,writing that stuff out to help a fellow forumite. that's above & beyond!

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What really matters is knowing whether this song is in the key of D or G :laugh:

 

That discussion blows my mind! I still can't make up my mind.

 

D Mixolydian :blush:

 

Considering the time frame when it came out, we used to say it was "G Nixonian"

:cool:

 

Scott

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The passage I find hardest to hit cleanly is the rolling triplets into the stretch to complete the 6th using 3rd finger and pinky. I should just practise it more. Same riff in "Wha'd I Say" I believe.

 

fingers |123 5 123 5 123 | |12 3 5 12 3 5 12 3| |12 3 5 12 3 5 12 3|

notes |EFF#D EFF#D EFF#| |DEbE C DEbE C DEbE| |ABbB G ABbB G ABbB|

 

Poo...won't line up :mad:

 

I think part of your problem is you have the fingering wrong.

 

When you play the D-Eb-E you should play it 1-2-2 letting your index slide down from the Eb to the E. The same goes for the A-Bb-B. Use your index and slide from the Bb to the B. That gives you an easier reach for the 6th.

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Bobby- you're a pretty kind soul,writing that stuff out to help a fellow forumite. that's above & beyond!

 

:blush: Eh, I was in the mood. I am struck by his plight and want to help out. It didn't take too long to throw into Finale either. What's more of a pain is uploading and hosting all the pics then linking to them, but no matter. I figured a little positive encouragement and 'you can do it' would go a long way for this poor fellow.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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The passage I find hardest to hit cleanly is the rolling triplets into the stretch to complete the 6th using 3rd finger and pinky. I should just practise it more. Same riff in "Wha'd I Say" I believe.

 

fingers |123 5 123 5 123 | |12 3 5 12 3 5 12 3| |12 3 5 12 3 5 12 3|

notes |EFF#D EFF#D EFF#| |DEbE C DEbE C DEbE| |ABbB G ABbB G ABbB|

 

Poo...won't line up :mad:

 

I think part of your problem is you have the fingering wrong.

 

When you play the D-Eb-E you should play it 1-2-2 letting your index slide down from the Eb to the E. The same goes for the A-Bb-B. Use your index and slide from the Bb to the B. That gives you an easier reach for the 6th.

 

+1 on this one, this is how I play it. Making the 2nd finger slide makes this riff so much easier to play!

Also, when I feel that the tempo is too fast, or I had one beer too many (well, what's the difference?) I play the decending 6ths in the solo with 2 hands.

 

I've been playing Sweet Home Alabama on weekly basis for the last 5-6 years. :)I don't think there's a single song in the world I would rather not play than this one. I turn off the radio when I hear it, or I at least switch to another station :)

 

 

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My band plays this tune every night too (thankfully only once per night, except in rare instances that involve large tips). One night a little while ago I came across The Piano Guy on TV while flipping channels, and realized he was teaching this tune. I literally yelled "AAAHHH!!!" and started violently hitting at the remote to change the channel.

 

If your guitarist is competent, you can get away with playing very little in this tune. In fact you can just about lay out except for The Lick mentioned above. And if (when) you get bored with The Lick, you can invert it, or play it in reverse, or both. Or rather than going from B/D down to G/B, instead go from D/F down to B/D... or invert that line, or play it in reverse, or both. Then you can get into the game of having your bass player try to guess which version you're going to play on any given verse, and hit it with you. (Did I mention we play this tune a LOT?) Mess with the idea enough, and eventually you'll just end up playing "Blue Monk" over the three different tonal centers.

 

FWIW, in the verses I usually play a simple pattern something like this:

 

http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/7626/sweeta.png

 

Okay, that looks less simple in written form than it feels when I play it, but you get the idea. The main part is the "sliding 6ths" in the right hand in the first bar and a half. The last two beats aren't specific, and could just be notated as "screw around on G7." For the choruses I do something thicker and more rhythmically aggressive.

 

Not saying this is the best way to approach it (or even remotely worthwhile, for that matter), just some ideas to take or leave.

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The passage I find hardest to hit cleanly is the rolling triplets into the stretch to complete the 6th using 3rd finger and pinky. I should just practise it more. Same riff in "Wha'd I Say" I believe.

 

fingers |123 5 123 5 123 | |12 3 5 12 3 5 12 3| |12 3 5 12 3 5 12 3|

notes |EFF#D EFF#D EFF#| |DEbE C DEbE C DEbE| |ABbB G ABbB G ABbB|

 

Poo...won't line up :mad:

 

To be honest, I wouldn't even worry about that riff (the one at the end of the tune). You'll survive if you don't play it.

 

Bobby - I was trying to outline 3 of the second 4 bars of the solo :D

"I'm well acquainted with the touch of a velvet hand..."
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The passage I find hardest to hit cleanly is the rolling triplets into the stretch to complete the 6th using 3rd finger and pinky. I should just practise it more. Same riff in "Wha'd I Say" I believe.

 

fingers |123 5 123 5 123 | |12 3 5 12 3 5 12 3| |12 3 5 12 3 5 12 3|

notes |EFF#D EFF#D EFF#| |DEbE C DEbE C DEbE| |ABbB G ABbB G ABbB|

 

Poo...won't line up :mad:

 

I think part of your problem is you have the fingering wrong.

 

When you play the D-Eb-E you should play it 1-2-2 letting your index slide down from the Eb to the E. The same goes for the A-Bb-B. Use your index and slide from the Bb to the B. That gives you an easier reach for the 6th.

 

Thanks - I'll give that a try. I make use of 'slipped' black-white grace notes all the time. I can't believe I didn't spot the opportunity here. Still leaves the opening bar though. (sleep with blocks of wood between my fingers to improve the span?)

"I'm well acquainted with the touch of a velvet hand..."
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Well, the span isn't that big is it? I mean, you should be able to play 6ths without too much trouble. I do the first 6th with my 2nd and 5th finger, or sometimes with 1st and 5th. I never tried 3rd and 5th, I might as well try it next time. I play the damn song at least once every week.
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What really matters is knowing whether this song is in the key of D or G :laugh:

 

That discussion blows my mind! I still can't make up my mind.

 

It's in D, the first chord. Just think of the "Ooo Ooo Ooo" part after the lyric "In Birmingham they love the gov'ner." They throw in two extra chords that resolve perfectly to the D.

 

Funnily enough, Werewolf in London, which uses the same chord sequence (not sure of the key) is just the opposite. The tonic is the third chord.

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I like the song but only when it is played right. It sounds totally wrong when the tempo is too fast (it is NOT bluegrass!) and when the guitar licks aren't spot on (there are a LOT of subtle licks in there!).

 

Last year we covered that song and unfortunately had a drummer whose tempo kept speeding up. And up. And up. By the time the piano solo came around it was shred metal tempo and I couldn't play it. It was one of my few solo spots and I was p!ssed that the drummer blew it, I'm not inviting him back this year.

 

As far as key of the song, Ed King played his guitar solo in a C scale over the key of G. Producer Al Kooper insisted it sounded wrong, and when he played it to Mike Bloomfield he even said Ed was playing in the wrong key. But rules were made to be broken.

 

And yes Billy did play it with two hands.

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