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A Very Different Playing Style

Sandy Mc Lean 24 Jul 10 - 12:18 PM
gnu 24 Jul 10 - 12:58 PM
GUEST,leeneia 24 Jul 10 - 02:29 PM
frogprince 24 Jul 10 - 02:30 PM
GUEST 24 Jul 10 - 03:47 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 24 Jul 10 - 03:52 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 24 Jul 10 - 06:03 PM
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Subject: Different Playing Style Fred McKenna
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 12:18 PM

Fred McKenna was a fantastic musician and singer from New Brunswick, Canada. He had the most unique way of playing that I ever saw! He held the guitar dobro style but it was in standard tuning and he chorded pressing down from the top. When I was a youngster he used to tour around the Maritimes with his roadshow, leaving folks spellbound. Later he went on to perform on TV as part of Singalong Jubilee and the Don Messer show. YouTube has a few clips of Freddie playing fiddle, guitar, and a bowlback mandolin. I will try and post a few links here:

mandolin

fiddle

guitar


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Subject: RE: A Very Different Playing Style
From: gnu
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 12:58 PM

Never missed a Don Messer show. Fred was great.


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Subject: RE: A Very Different Playing Style
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 02:29 PM

Thanks for posting, Sandy. That's interesting.

I can see how playing like that would elminate strain in the shoulders and elbow. But first, you have to have legs long enough to support the instrument.

I wonder what kept the neck from dipping (and the bouts from rising) whenever he changed chords?


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Subject: RE: A Very Different Playing Style
From: frogprince
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 02:30 PM

Don't believe I ever heard of the man - which has to be another prime example of how good someone could be, but be unknown on the U.S. side of the border.
As to the way he held instruments; could it be as simple as not having seen how other people held them, and no reason for anyone to make the point to him since he did just fine his way?


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Subject: RE: A Very Different Playing Style
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 03:47 PM

Playing the guitar flat and pressing down from the top is called, "Backhanding" the guitar.
...Bill


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Subject: RE: A Very Different Playing Style
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 03:52 PM

The great late Jeff Healy who was also blind - and also Canadian - played guitar in that style.


Jeff Healy


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Subject: RE: A Very Different Playing Style
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 06:03 PM

Thanks Tunesmith! Both died too young, Healy at 41 in 2008 and McKenna at 43 in 1977.


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