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Video clips of 1928 L-1 & 1931 L-2


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What's the difference between these two boxes? and on Freight Train how in the world did you do that triple staccato thing at about 1:10 ?



The 1928, Robert Johnson-era L-1 late in the small, rounded L production (Gibson stopped building them in 1929, or thereabouts). These are 13.5 wide at the lower bout. It's also got the transitional "A" bracing, which is essentially just the lower half of the "X."


The L-2 is one of the early, big body Ls that is 14.75 wide at the lower bout. It's X-braced, but with the lightest X you'll ever see.


As for technique, that's my homegrown version of the classical tremolo technique. But, instead of playing thumb and then each of the three fingers individually, I strike thumb and ring finger simultaneously, giving it a triplet feel that I like for blues based stuff. That last chorus is the hardest, though. I'm fluttering my middle finger back and forth, a la Blind Willie McTell, but unlike McTell, I keep the thumb going on the bass strings. If I do it much, I start to develop a wicked case of tendonitis.

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Very cool. Nice guitars, too. Is that L-2 in the hyper-rare Argentine Gray? Looks refinished. J/K ; ).


Freight Train was a kick. Looks like someone had some study of classical guitar. If not, well good for you in taking in some influences, & getting your own style. You seem to be enjoying it, which is contagious.

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Thanks, folks!


Yep, 62burst, that's the gold sparkle, Argentine grey L-2. I'm very lucky to have it.


Alas, no lessons, classical or otherwise. I've got the inability to read music (including tab) to prove it. That's why the tremolo came out all wrong, but just right for what I want to do with it. At one point, I played Freight Train for Muriel Anderson. She remarked that that classical players can't "move the melody from string to string while doing tremolo." Yeah, but it always sounds perfect with those folks.


If any of you are ever in southern New England, stop in and play these things.

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