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View Full Version : Who is able to play this? Larry Carlton's Solo to Kid Charlemagne...



docbennett
04-17-2013, 11:49 AM
Hey everyone....a thread on this solo appeared on a different forum. Here are two youtube videos that provide two different tutorials. Here are the tabbed out notes to the solo.

I figure it will take me about a month to nail this. It's taken me about 3 days just to get through the first 20 seconds of this 60 second solo.

I am hoping that those of you that have the chops will post videos of you playing the solo.

Additionally, any advice, tricks or other videos/tabs that may be useful in learning this solo would be appreciated.

Maybe we shpould have a "Lessons and Tutorials" section in this forum. But for now, anyone who would like to add a post to help the learning process would be appreciated.

Here are the videos I am using as tutorials:
First:
http://www.walkerguitar.com/solos/3832/kid-charlemagne-solo/

Second:

http://www.learnblueslicks.com/kid-charlemagne-solo/#awp::kid-charlemagne-solo/

Here are the notes, tabbed out...


Solo

E-----------------------------------------8--10b12--10p8-10p8----|
B------------------------------------8-10---------------------10-|
G----7b9--r7p5---7b9r7b9-r7------7/9-----------------------------|
D--------------7-------------------------------------------------|
A----------------------------------------------------------------|
E----------------------------------------------------------------|

E--8/10/8---------------------------14----14-14b15--14--------12-|
B--------------------------13-15/16----16---------------10/12----|
G-----------------------14---------------------------------------|
D-----------------14/15------------------------------------------|
A----------------------------------------------------------------|
E----------------------------------------------------------------|

E-14b15r14-12-------------------------17-----19r17p15-17--15---15-|
B-------------------15-17----15----15------------------------15---|
G-------------12/14-------14----14--------------------------------|
D-----------------------------------------------------------------|
A-----------------------------------------------------------------|
E-----------------------------------------------------------------|

E-------------------15-19-15-17-19-14------------------15-17b19-17-|
B-17-----------15-17------------------15---------15-17-------------|
G----16---14/16--------------------------16-14-16------------------|
D------------------------------------------------------------------|
A------------------------------------------------------------------|
E------------------------------------------------------------------|

E-----5-7b8--7--5--7--5/7-------10----------------8--10--10/12--|
B---5---------------------8--------8-------8--10----------------|
G---------------------------9-7----------/9--9---9--9---9-------|
D---------------------------------------------------------------|
A---------------------------------------------------------------|
E---------------------------------------------------------------|

E----------10----8---8-------------------------------------------|
B-10-13-------11---9---8--------------------5--------------------|
G------------------------9----------------5---5h7p5--------8---8-|
D--------------------------10-9-8-----6/7----------------7---7---|
A----------------------------------------------------7/9---------|
E----------------------------------------------------------------|

E-8--------------------------------------------------------------|
B---10b12--10----------------------------------------------------|
G-------------9--7-7/9------7--9-----7--9-----------------7------|
D--------------------------7--7-----7--7------------7-8-9---9-10-|
A----------------------------------------------7-10--------------|
E----------------------------------------------------------------|
[ Tab from: http://www.guitaretab.com/s/steely-dan/18305.html ]
E-----------8-10--11r10p8---------------------------------------|
B----8-9-10---------------11---11r10p8--------7b8h14p8r7--5h7p5-|
G--9-----------------------------------8bp----------------------|
D---------------------------------------------------------------|
A---------------------------------------------------------------|
E---------------------------------------------------------------|



I look forward to seeing any additiona demonstrations, or to getting any additional advice as to how to learn this (to me) quite complicated solo.

Mikegarveyblues
04-17-2013, 12:11 PM
Hey Doc, I'll take a stab at this if you'd like. Let me know if there's something you'd particularly like me to focus on and i'll see if I can do it.

I've never heard this before but a very cool song and solo.

docbennett
04-17-2013, 01:18 PM
Hey Doc, I'll take a stab at this if you'd like. Let me know if there's something you'd particularly like me to focus on and i'll see if I can do it.

I've never heard this before but a very cool song and solo.

Gee....anyone who can play this thing a bit slower than the demo...with the guitar facing the camera...would prove invaluable as an instructor...I find that each "phrase" of about 10 notes takes a half hour to learn...and then, as soon as I learn that phrase....the next phrase cause inteference. So far, after 3 days, this is as far as I've gotten....

E-----------------------------------------8--10b12--10p8-10p8----|
B------------------------------------8-10---------------------10-|
G----7b9--r7p5---7b9r7b9-r7------7/9-----------------------------|
D--------------7-------------------------------------------------|
A----------------------------------------------------------------|
E----------------------------------------------------------------|

E--8/10/8---------------------------14----14-14b15--14--------12-|
B--------------------------13-15/16----16---------------10/12----|
G-----------------------14---------------------------------------|
D-----------------14/15------------------------------------------|
A----------------------------------------------------------------|
E----------------------------------------------------------------|

E-14b15r14-12-------------------------17---
B-------------------15-17----15----15-----
G-------------12/14-------14----14------
D--------------------------------------
A---------------------------------------
E----

I also noticed that his demo doesn't follow the tabs exactly....where I highlighted in red above....he uses the 10th fret G string instead of the 14th fret D string...just makes it a little more difficult to try to follow his demo with the tabs in front of me.

garrett
04-17-2013, 02:34 PM
That's probably my all-time favorite solo. It's the only one I've really worked at to learn note by note. I spent two weeks on it several years ago and had it down pretty well. Don't think I've played it since! :o

Mikegarveyblues
04-17-2013, 06:12 PM
I'll start working on this in the next couple of days. Too cool not to learn!

docbennett
04-17-2013, 06:45 PM
I'm currently as far as post #3 above...it's weird to realize that it's taken several days to play about 15 seconds worth of a solo correctly. I plan to work on the rest in the next few days, but I need some time off!!

Em7
05-01-2013, 10:43 AM
Bennett:

Why did you have to open Pandora's box? I was happy to let that sleeping dog lie. I worked my fingers into a bloody mess attempting to learn that solo completely by ear when I was nineteen. I had to transfer the song to cassette because I was wearing the album out. I have been working on the solo again for a few nights, and it is still as difficult to play as it was when I was kid. Larry Carlton's feel and phrasing are unique in the world of jazz-rock.

Mikegarveyblues
05-01-2013, 10:51 AM
This is a fairly tough cookie. It's the phrasing and precision that are hard to do.

I'm re-doing the tab as I go along and putting fingering recommendations on there.

docbennett
05-01-2013, 11:10 AM
This has also helped....I am now past the 30" mark, and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. but this is HARD!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4jM-E25n9g

Em7
05-01-2013, 12:17 PM
Here's a much older Larry Carlton performing the song with Steely Dan.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-6G0KEXB4g

The solo is difficult because it is a modal potpourri. Kid Charlemagne is in the key of Am/C major. The beginning of the solo is played in Am pentatonic, starting on D. However, the solo shifts from Am pentatonic to E Phrygian to E harmonic minor starting at the notes that Bennett marked in red. Some people claim that this part of the solo is in G harmonic minor; however, the use of B instead of Bb in the note sequence E (14th fret, D String), F (15th fret, D String), A (14th fret, G String), C (13th fret, B String), D (15th fret, B String), D# (16th fret, B String), F# (14th fret, E String), and G releasing back to F# (bend to the 15th fret on the E string from the 14th fret before releasing the note) leads me to believe that the phrase is actually played in E Phrygian (E, F, G, A, B, C, and D) into E harmonic minor (E, F#, G, A, B, C, and D#) ending on G, not G harmonic minor (G, A, Bb/A#, C, D, Eb/D#, and F#). However, then again, what the heck do I know? This solo is a example of why jazz guitarists are a different breed.

docbennett
05-01-2013, 12:37 PM
This has become my own personal "Mount Everest". I'm a pretty ham fisted soloist already, and enjoy just noodling along and doing my share of record copying. However, after Grego7 posted his version of it on VR, I got hooked. To actually learn this solo, and be able to play it speed-accurate became a task that I will not walk away from.

I've been at it for about 3+ weeks now. Typically, I am now at the point where every new 5" phrase has to be copied and repeated so many times that I literally go to bed and then wake up with this solo playing in my head. One of the frustrating things is getting it correct, but realizing that the accents and nuances are off....making it sound like a poor comparison.

But...I am getting there. And, continuing to post this publically will force me to eventually complete it. I have now nailed it, up to the 29" mark of the video I am posting below. My committment is to learn it by this month's end...anyone who wants to post their prowess at it is welcome to do so.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4jM-E25n9g

Mikegarveyblues
05-01-2013, 12:44 PM
Doc, here's a couple more tabs...

http://larrycarlton.com/pdf/kidcharlemagne_solo.pdf

http://media.walkerguitar.com/Kid-Charlemagne-solo.pdf

Mikegarveyblues
05-01-2013, 12:46 PM
looks like there's a couple of small notation mistakes in both, but clearer than the (ascii?) guitar tab.

Em7
05-01-2013, 12:58 PM
You will definitely have my respect after you master the Kid Charlemagne solo. It's is not fast or flashy; however, it is a iconic solo that left many young guitarists scratching their heads in the days before tablature and YouTube.

Em7
05-01-2013, 01:06 PM
looks like there's a couple of small notation mistakes in both, but clearer than the (ascii?) guitar tab.

One cannot go by the string and fret because the same note can be played in several places on a guitar.

Mikegarveyblues
05-01-2013, 02:36 PM
One cannot go by the string and fret because the same note can be played in several places on a guitar.

Ahh, sorry, I didn't mean that... yep the different tabs have some of the licks in different spots which isn't a big deal but economy of movement is important so if it seems you need to make a big or awkward movement between licks it's important to see if there's an easier way to play it.

What I meant in this case is the notation has a couple of errors such as a full tone bend when it should be half or semitone. For the most part they seem pretty accurate.

Em7
05-01-2013, 04:05 PM
What I meant in this case is the notation has a couple of errors such as a full tone bend when it should be half or semitone. For the most part they seem pretty accurate.

I look at tablature as a way to get on the page more quickly than having to learn a tune completely by ear. I am happy if a tab is only 50% accurate. That's fifty percent that I do not have to figure out by ear.

docbennett
05-01-2013, 04:47 PM
Without tablature, I'd still be playing songs using only cowboy chords.

With youtube, I've progressed more in the past 2 years than I had in the 30 years prior.

Em7
05-03-2013, 01:57 PM
Bennett:

Have you ever really listened to the Kid Charlemagne lyrics? The music is so good that most people miss the message. Kid Charlemagne was a real-life Walter White named Owsley Stanley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owsley_Stanley).

"While the music played you worked by candlelight
Those San Francisco nights"

"Just by chance you crossed the diamond with the pearl
You turned it on the world"

"On the hill the stuff was laced with kerosene
But yours was kitchen clean"

"Everyone stopped to stare at your technicolor motor home"

"All those dayglow freaks who used to paint the face
They've joined the human race"

"Clean this mess up else we'll all end up in jail
Those test tubes and the scale
Just get them all out of here"

Mikegarveyblues
05-03-2013, 11:28 PM
Doc, I've got this solo licked at 75% speed. I'm going to spend a few days bringing it up to speed - couple of licks i'm stumbling over at full speed - and then i'll do a lesson video.

I'll tab this out again over the weekend. Let me know if you want me to email the tab or are you happy enough with the tabs you have?

Em7
05-04-2013, 03:19 PM
I've nailed the tabs...I can go 100% speed up to the 36" mark to the point just after he completes the 2nd phrase after moving down to the 5th fret. I'm about to begin the last 25" of the solo, which appears to be a bit more manageable...however, when I play it...even speed accurate...I'm missing the "soul" of the solo so far. I can't get the nuances...the exact emphasis that gives it the distinction. It reminds me of when you talk to an old schizophrenic whose emotions and affect are flat and blunted...you hear what they say...but there is no emotion in the inflections.


The "feel" is definitely part of what makes the solo challenging. Larry Carlton has a unique "soft" touch. It's really difficult to appreciate what he does until one tries to replicate it.

Mikegarveyblues
05-04-2013, 03:50 PM
The "feel" is definitely part of what makes the solo challenging. Larry Carlton has a unique "soft" touch. It's really difficult to appreciate what he does until one tries to replicate it.

Definitely!

When I slowed it down it allowed me to absorb each note a little more. Each note is perfectly played with an incredible amount of 'personality' behind each note. The song isn't fast but it's fast enough that if you don't match that precision you won't recover from that duff note. Bit of a finger twister!

Serious Poo
05-04-2013, 09:05 PM
I've got most of the technical bits down but need to spend more time on the feel and vibe. There are a lot of little gems in that solo!

Em7
05-04-2013, 09:27 PM
I've got most of the technical bits down but need to spend more time on the feel and vibe. There are a lot of little gems in that solo!

That's why it's considered to be one of the most iconic solos in the history of rock. Here's an excerpt from Guitar Player:

http://www.guitarplayer.com/article/the-40-most-influential-rock-guitar-solos/4285



LARRY CARLTON

“Kid Charlemagne” 1976

Carlton was already a session legend known for his smooth-as-silk lines that were reminiscent of Wes, Pass, and Trane when he cut this Steely track. But when Mr. 335 combined a rock dude’s tone with a jazzer’s harmonic sensibilities, he created the standard by which every jazz rocker would be judged. Ask Steve Lukather, Robben Ford, or Mike Stern what impact this solo had on them. Alright then.