Mississippi John Hurt Style

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But I should say that this video is more about inspiration and
knowledge than getting some quick licks under
your fingers like our last video…

That’s because we need to go a bit deeper
into what the right hand is doing to make
it clear.

However, it will all become crystal-obvious
once you get the tabs. It’s all going to be available
on Tuesday the 13th.

Anyway, check it out:

We’ll pause and I’m going to come back and play
“Spike Drivers” for you one time through at tempo,
and then we’ll work through it phrase by phrase,
figuring out how John Hurt played it.

Okay. So there’s the intro that John Hurt plays for
“Spike Drivers”. As we look at this tune, we see that
he’s fingering the G chord with the ring finger getting
the 3rd fret of the 6th string; the little finger,
the 3rd fret of the 1st; middle finger, 2nd fret of
the 5th string.

In the chorus of the song he moves his little finger
from the 3rd fret of the 1st to the 3rd fret of the
3rd string. He’ll pull his middle finger back
occasionally and get the 2nd fret of the 4th string
and every once in a while he’ll use his index finger
to get the 1st fret of the 1st. So it’s very kind of
compact, efficient left hand that he’s employing here.

In his opening phrase, he begins like this. So what
he’s doing is, he’s filling in on the and of three
and the and of four here with his index finger on
the open 3rd string. And this is something that
John Hurt loved to do, is fill-in on that 3rd string
on the up beats and it generates a lot of rhythmic
impetus. It just gets moving like a locomotive.

Now he gets in the G-7th. So that phrase, he starts
in the G-7th without the little finger, but as he
plays this little run at the end he brings in the
little finger and the little finger to the 1st
string down to the 2nd.