Monday, October 22, 2012

13 Days of Halloween Part XI: Miserlou

Miserlou: Greek folk song, Dick Dale surf classic, the unoffical theme to Pulp Fiction.  Scary? Sure, we'll go with that.

The purpose of this post is twofold; to fill my unmet quota for Halloween Banjo tunes (I planned to make 13 Halloween posts and only made it to 10 until now) and to explore some tremolo technique.

Tremolo is the picking technique whereby the same not is plucked repeatedly in quick succesion to create the illusion of a sustained note.  Why hearing many fast notes creates the illusion of a sustained note I am not totally sure.  I think of it like newsprint photos;  they are really a bunch of dots if you look closely but all of them together create the illusion of a solid image.

For the tremolo on this I alternate thumb, middle, thumb, index.  I also use this pattern for single string playing as it feels more natural and lends itself more easily to quicker picking than alternating just the thumb and index.

Try this exercise...

I would recommend working on that with the old metronome for a while focusing on a real evenness of tone, volume and rhythm.

Here is the video of the first Section of Miserlou...

And here it is tabbed out (click to enlarge)...

Next: 13 Days of Halloween Part XII

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