Blake Blind - West Coast Blues Chords & Tabs

 

West Coast Blues Chords & Tabs

Blake Blind Chords & Tabs

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West Coast Blues Tab

   
#-----------------------------------PLEASE NOTE-------------------------------#
# This file is the author's own work and represents his interpretation of the #
# music below. It is intent is for study or scholarship purposes only and is  #
# not intended for publication, nor for any other commercial use whatsoever.  #
#-----------------------------------------------------------------------------#

West Coast Blues by Blind Blake (Arthur Phelps Blake) Paramount 1926
Later re-recorded as both West Coast Blues and West Coast Rag
Tabbed in Microsoft Notepad, 10 Font Courier New 
Tabbed by John M, 9/11/02 (e-mail: duolian@msn.com or Dadfad@dadfad.com


WEST COAST BLUES (A piano-style ragtime by Blind Blake)

 
This tabulature is presented as an introduction to this tune, Blake's first 
solo recording. It is meant only as a tool to gain an insight and beginning 
familiarity with the recording and Blake's style in general. No one can play
this tune as Blake played it. Bluesman John Jackson played it faithful to his
style, having learned it from Blake's former "leader-boy", but still not quite
with the speed Blake put into it. This tab can be played with the thumb and 
one finger. A thumb and two fingers gives the tune much more fullness in the
rolls. Blake also used the extremely rare technique of back-picking with his
thumb. This gives certain tones, such as nail-harmonics, that can only be 
achieved by using this technique. It's especially evident in the C to E bass
segments. While not as easy to hear on Blake's old 78's, it's quite evident in
the newer cover recordings by John Jackson, who is the only other guitarist 
I've ever met, or heard, who has truly mastered this technique. I'm tabbing 
this to be played in the more conventional thumb-down picking method and 
mention the above only as a reference or possibility if you truly get into 
very authentically-played Blind Blake. Most guitarists don't try to play it 
using a thumb back-picking technique. It's an awful lot of work! The tab below
gives examples of the main theme as well as two theme variations that were in
Blakes recordings as well as those by John Jackson. As tabbed, it can stand 
alone as a good rendition of the tune. Experimentation and improvisation can
make it even better, which is commonplace in these old fingerstyles. They were
never played exactly the same way twice by the original artists. They were only 
themes, to be improvised around. And in doing this, Blake was the best.

I'm going to make notations through this tab of lines and passages, for 
example 1-A. At the end of the tab I'll use this to make brief explanations
and any suggestions as to how to approach that particular passage, fingerings, 
sequences and things like that. This kind of fingerstyle is extremely diffi-
cult to tab and even more difficult to learn from tab. I hope these notes will 
make it a little easier. Also, each segment of the tune is generally approached 
from a certain chord position, more easily played if that chord is held to 
start with. At the beginning of each part of the progression I'll show the 
chord form that should be held to start it off with in brackets [X] up the tab.
From that position it will be easier to play the tab, usually with thumb-finger 
pinches from both directions or downward thumb strokes. Some up-strokes with 
the first finger are shown also, usually for mid-beats on higher strings. After 
the tab line I'll give these explanation, as I mentioned earlier. Good luck.




WEST COAST BLUES by Blind Blake (Arthur P. Blake)


 (Main Theme)

E)-|0|----------------|0|------0-----0----------|5|-----5--3-----5--5--3-5-3--0
B)-|1|--------1-----1-|0|---------3-----3-p/o-0-|2|----------------------------
G)-|0|--------0-------|1|-0h1-------------------|2|--2--------2----------------
D)-|2|--------2--2--2-|2|------2--------2-------|2|-----2-----2-----2------2---
A)-|3|-----3-----3----|2|---------2-------------|0|--0-----0-----0-----0------0
E)-|3|--3-------------|0|--0--------------------|0|----------------------------

Line A     1                2                        3

A-1 Hold the full open C-chord including the 6-string G-note with the pinky.
After the first note of the opening, the pinky is then used for the 2-string.
Use your thumb to jab down the first four beats and then use a thumb-finger
pinch on the 2 and 4 strings.

A-2 Go into this common E-chord hammering the 3-string and forming the 7th on 
the 2-string as you do. This is mostly thumb-finger pinches except for the note
on the one string mid-beat.

A-3 As you hold the A-shape shown, bar 1,2,3,4 strings with your first finger
put your pinkie on the 1-string/5th-fret (this is known as a Long-A among old-
time blues players). Now, holding that, put your middle finger on the 1-string/
3rd-fret, allowing you to move from Long-A to A-7 just by lifting your pinkie.




E)-|2|-2--2--0--1--2--2-----0--2--------
B)-|1|-------------------3--------------
G)-|2|-------------------------2---------
D)-|0|----0-----0-----0--------0--------
A)-|0|-------0-----0--------0-----------
E)-|2|-2-----------------0---------------

Line B  1      2        3    

B-1 A relatively simple part. It's a D-7 chord with the 6-string/2nd-fret held
with your thumb to make a full D-7 with the low 3rd.

B-2 These little note changes on the 1-string are done by lifting your first
finger off the 2-string and use it to make the note on the 1-string/1st-fret 
after you've lifted your middle finger up, then putting the middle back down.

B-3 Use your middle finger to make the note on the 2-string/3rd-fret, then put 
it back on the 1st-string for that last thumb-finger pinch.


  

E)-[0]-----------------0------1--0-----3---------
B)-[0]-----------0--3-----0---0-----------0------
G)-[0]--0-h2-h3-----------0---------0-----0------
D)-[0]-----------0------------------0------------
A)-[X}-------------------------------------------
E)-[3]--3-----------3---------3--------3---------

Line C  1   2     3           4        5

C-1 Use your thumb to hold the 6-string/3rd-fret down, with the tip of your 
thumb muting the 5-string. You now have full use of your other fingers to
work the treble strings on the other side of the neck (remember this posi-
tion as it's very useful in many fingerstyle country blues). Keep your thumb 
in place through the whole G passage.

C-2 Hammer from the played open 3-string with your first finger on the 2nd-
fret then your middle on the 3rd in sort of a rolling movement.

C-3 Then, after pinching the open 2 and 4 strings, use your middle finger on 
the 2-string/3rd fret (pinching it with the 6-string/3rd fret), finger up on
the open 1st, thumb down on the open 2 and 3 (as a quick mid-beat). 

C-4 Then again pinch the 1 and 6-strings (thumb still on the 6, first finger 
on the 1st-string/1st-fret (making a G7). Then pick up for the open 1st-string, 
thumb down for the open 4 and 3-strings.

C-5 Pinch the 1 and 6 (3rd frets), then finger up for the open 2 and 3-strings 
which is the beat that turns you around into the C-chord for the last half of 
the theme, which is very similar to the first half, except it ends a bit differ-
ently than the first half does (which I'll try to explain at that tab-line).
 


E)-|0|----------------|0|------0-----0----------|5|-----5--3-----5--5--3-5-3--0
B)-|1|--------1-----1-|0|---------3-----3-p/o-0-|2|----------------------------
G)-|0|--------0-------|1|-0h1-------------------|2|--2--------2----------------
D)-|2|--------2--2--2-|2|------2--------2-------|2|-----2-----2-----2------2---
A)-|3|-----3-----3----|2|---------2-------------|0|--0-----0-----0-----0------0
E)-|3|--3-------------|0|--0--------------------|0|----------------------------

D (This line is the same as Line-A explained above)


E)-[2]--2---2---[0]--------------------0-----[0]--------------[0]-----
B)-[1]--1---1---[0]--------------0--3-----0--[1]-1--0---------[1]--1--
G)-[2]----------[0]---0-h2-h3-------------0--[1]-1-----0------[0]--0--
D)-[0]------0---[0]--------------0-----------[1]-1-----0------[2]--2--
A)-[0]----------[0]--------------------------[0]--------------[3]--3--
E)-[2]--0-------[3]-----3-----------3--------[0]--------------[0]-----

E      1                           2              4               5

E-1 This is an abbreviated chord-line, just two beats pinched as shown. Brief 
pause and then...

E-2 Again, an abbreviated G-sequence played similar to Line-C above, but goes...

E-3 Into this pinched three-string Ab chord, with an added up finger-beat and 
a down thumb-beat. Then to...

E-5 this final C-chord, which resolves the first stanza. This regular C-chord 
sounds best if it's played by pinching firmly (to sound all strings) from both 
directions.

NOW COMES THE FUN PART!!!!!!!!

 
 (First Theme Variation)

E)-[0]------------------------------------------------
B)-[1]--------------3--1-----3b4-------(4)ub3--1---1--
G)-[0]--------------------0-------0----------------0--
D)-[2]--------------2-----2-------2----------------2--
A)-[3]-----0--2--3------------3-----------------------
E)-[0]--3--------------3------------------3-----------
[ Tab from: http://www.guitartabs.cc/tabs/b/blake_blind/west_coast_blues_tab.html ]
F   1  ||  3  4  5   6   7       8    9   10

F-1 Just finger a normal open C-chord using your 1,2,3 fingers. Your pinky is 
going to be used (REALLY used!) on the 2nd-string coming up.

F-1 This is a little intro bass-run. Use your ring-finger for the 6-string note, 
then open 6-string, middle-finger for the 5-string/2nd-fret. Ring-finger for the 
5-string/3rd-fret (moving your middle-finger back to the 4-string/2nd-fret as 
you do, which puts your fingers back into a regular C-chord position).

F-3 Holding that regular C-chord, put your pinkie on the 2-string/3rd-fret and 
pinch 4 and 2-strings.

F-4 Take your ring-finger off the 5-string and use it to hold down the 6-string/
3rd-fret note as you pinch the 2 and 6-strings. Let me mention, you CAN hold 
down both the 5 and 6-strings with the same (ring) finger if you want and are 
able. But even if you can, there's a certain rhythm to that movement of going 
back and forth from the 5 to the 6 with your finger. Try it, experiment by just 
holding the plain C-chord and with a sort of "boom-chuck" rhythm alternate back 
and forth between them, using a simple strum...5-treble, 6-treble, 5-treble,
6-treble, etc (meaning use your thumb to play the 5 then some treble strings, 
then 6 and treble strings in a two-beat pattern). This is basically the rhythm 
you are trying to play, with pinches, mid-beats, etc added as you play. So as 
you do this passage (and really the whole tune) keep that in mind.

F-5 A thumb down-strum mid-beat on the 4 and 3-strings.

F-6 Now this is where the "fun" begins. Bend the 2-string from the 3 to the 4 
as you pinch the 2 and 5-strings. As you go from that pinch...

F-7 There's a mid-beat. As you're playing that mid-beat with your picking thumb 

F-8 Move your ring-finger over from the 5-string/3rd-fret to the 6-string/3rd-
fret. As you now make that 6 and 2-string pinch, un-bend the 2-string back to 
the 3rd-fret note. This is probably the trickiest sequence in the whole tune so 
as you start, you might want to just hold it un-bent until you become familiar 
with the rhythms involed. Many fairly skilled players don't even attempt the 
bend and instead merely hold the fretted note, so don't feel bad if this is 
difficult at first.

F-9 Another beat on the 2-string with your pinkie removed into...

F-10 A passing-beat that takes you into the next line (an F position).  


E)-[1]-----------------------------------------------
B)-[1]-----3---1-----3b4-----(4)ub3---1--------------
G)-[2]------------2-------2--------------2-----------
D)-[3]-----3------3-------3--------------3-----------
A)-[0]-----------------------------------------------
E)-[1]--1------1------1-----------1------------------

G   1       ||

G-1 For this F-chord use your thumb on the 6-string and your first, middle and 
ring fingers on the 2,3 and 4-strings. Leaving your pinkie free to....

G-2 Basically the same type of thing you just did on Line-F in C, but now you 
are doing it in F with your thumb in place and middle and ring fingers moved 
over one string. (The open 5-string is part of an F-chord so don't worry if it
sounds with the thumb/bass-line beats).

E)-[0]-----------------------------------------------
B)-[1]------3--1-----3b4-----(4)ub3--1---1-----------
G)-[0]------------0-------0--------------0-----------
D)-[2]------2-----2-------2--------------2-----------
A)-[3]--3-------------3------------------------------
E)-[0]---------3----------------3--------------------

This whole line is just a repeat of the Line-F (in the C shape)


E)-[1]-----------------------------------------------
B)-[1]-----3---1-----3b4-----(4)ub3---1--------------
G)-[2]------------2-------2--------------2-----------
D)-[3]-----3------3-------3--------------3-----------
A)-[0]-----------------------------------------------
E)-[1]--1------1------1-----------1------------------


This line is just a repeat of Line-G (in the F shape)

E)----------------[5]---------5---3--5--3--0--[2]--2---2-
B)----------------[2]-------------------------[1]--1-----
G)----------------[2]-------------------------[2]------2-
D)----------------[2]---------2---------2-----[0]--0-----
A)-----3-----2----[0]-----0-------0-----------[0]--------
E)--3-----0-------[0]--0----------------------[0]--------

H       1                     2                    3

H-1 Two simple double-note bass rolls into a bass roll for.....

H-2 Another "long-A" sequence similar to ones above and then...

H-3 An abreviated two-beat thumb-finger pinches, a slight pause, and then go 
into this last line (in this passage)...


E)-[0]--------------------0-----[0]--------------[0]-----
B)-[0]--------------0--3-----0--[1]-1--0---------[1]--1--
G)-[0]---0-h2-h3-------------0--[1]-1-----0------[0]--0--
D)-[0]--------------0-----------[1]-1-----0------[2]--2--
A)-[0]--------------------------[0]--------------[3]--3--
E)-[3]-----3-----------3--------[0]--------------[0]-----

I                 1                     2              3

I-1 A thumb-held G with a run on the treble strings very similar to the one done 
in Line-C above, but instead of resolving back into the C-shape, you instead...

I-2 Go to an Ab partial bar, held with your first-finger, for one beat pinched 
with the thumb and finger, then finger-up on the open 2-string, then thumb-down 
on the open 4 and 3-strings, which should flow right into...

I-3 A very simple strongly pinched regular C-chord resolving that part 
of the tune. 


 (Second Theme Variation)

E)-[0]---------------------------------------[5]-----5--3--5--3--0-
B)-[1]--1--1----1--1----1--1---1--1---1---0--[2]-------------------
G)-[0]--0--0----3--3----2--2---1--1---0---1--[2]--2-----2-----2--0-
D)-[2]------------------3--3---1--1---2---2--[2]-----2-------------
A)-[3]--3--3----3--3------------------3---2--[0]--0----------------
E)-[0]---------------------------------------[0]-------------------

J        1        2      3       4   5    6        7

J-1 Simple two-beat pinch holding the C-chord, then...

J-2 Add the pinky on the 3-string/3rd-fret (giving you a C7 chord) and 
pinch two more beats, then...

J-3 Pinch two beats in this partial F-chord, then...

J-4 Pinch two beats in this partial Ab chord. then...

J-5 Pinch a single beat in this C-chord, and...

J-6 Another single pinched beat in this E-chord, then...

J-7 Pinch the beat as you go into another "long-A" chord short run that 
will flow into.......


E)-[2]--2---2---[0]--------------------0-----[0]--------------[0]-----
B)-[1]--1---1---[0]--------------0--3-----0--[1]-1--0---------[1]--1--
G)-[2]--2---2---[0]---0-h2-h3-------------0--[1]-1-----0------[0]--0--
D)-[0]----------[0]--------------0-----------[1]-1-----0------[2]--2--
A)-[0]----------[0]--------------------------[0]--------------[3]--3--
E)-[0]----------[3]-----3-----------3--------[0]--------------[0]-----

K     1                2                              3            4


K-1 through 4 This all very similar to what was done in Line-E. That ends that 
theme variation.

 
Now just repeat the main theme which was the first passage shown above.


 (Repeat Main Theme)

E)-|0|----------------|0|------0-----0----------|5|-----5--3-----5--5--3-5-3--0
B)-|1|--------1-----1-|0|---------3-----3-p/o-0-|2|----------------------------
G)-|0|--------0-------|1|-0h1-------------------|2|--2--------2----------------
D)-|2|--------2--2--2-|2|------2--------2-------|2|-----2-----2-----2------2---
A)-|3|-----3-----3----|2|---------2-------------|0|--0-----0-----0-----0------0
E)-|3|--3-------------|0|--0--------------------|0|----------------------------


E)-|2|-2--2--0--1--2--2-----0--2--------
B)-|1|-------------------3--------------
G)-|2|-------------------------2---------
D)-|0|----0-----0-----0--------0--------
A)-|0|-------0-----0--------0-----------
E)-|2|-2-----------------0---------------


E)-[0]-----------------0------1--0-----3---------
B)-[0]-----------0--1-----0---0-----0-----0------
G)-[0]--0-h2-h3-----------0---------0-----0------
D)-[0]-----------0-------------------------------
A)-[X}-------------------------------------------
E)-[3]--3-----------3---------3--------3---------


E)-|0|----------------|0|------0-----0----------|5|-----5--3-----5--5--3-5-3--0
B)-|1|--------1-----1-|0|---------3-----3-p/o-0-|2|----------------------------
G)-|0|--------0-------|1|-0h1-------------------|2|--2--------2----------------
D)-|2|--------2--2--2-|2|------2--------2-------|2|-----2-----2-----2------2---
A)-|3|-----3-----3----|2|---------2-------------|0|--0-----0-----0-----0------0
E)-|3|--3-------------|0|--0--------------------|0|----------------------------


E)-[2]--2---2---[0]--------------------0-----[0]--------------[0]-----
B)-[1]--1---1---[0]--------------0--3-----0--[1]-1--0---------[1]--1--
G)-[2]----------[0]---0-h2-h3-------------0--[1]-1-----0------[0]--0--
D)-[0]------0---[0]--------------0-----------[1]-1-----0------[2]--2--
A)-[0]----------[0]--------------------------[0]--------------[3]--3--
E)-[3]--0-------[3]-----3-----------3--------[0]--------------[0]-----


E)---3------
B)---3------
G)---3------ 
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