THE GUITAR’S THE STAR by Adrian Clark
Manchester’s trend-bucking off-spring, James, aren’t adverse to a bit of bottle…
DESPITE HAILING FROM MANCHESTER, James have never really slotted into the ‘Manchester band’ mould. During their first flush of success in the late 80s, they sounded nothing like the trendy ‘Madchester’ bands, such as the lnspiral Carpets and the Stone Roses. Ten years later, James are still going strong, but guess what – they sound nothing like Oasis! Part of their appeal lies in the fact that they’ve always staunchly refused to follow trends, which may explain why they’ve never achieved fame on a huge level – the general public, it seems, just can’t cope with a bit of originality.
Anyway, to fit in with our slide theme this month, I’ve decided to transcribe the lead guitar part from the song She’s a Star, which can be found on the ‘James: The Best Of ‘compilation. This sort of thing would be a good introduction to non-blues slide – it’s reasonably easy, not least because you can play the whole thing on one string! In the transcription below, you’ll see that I’ve placed the part on the third (G) string, but it’s s just as easy on the second (B) string – just move every note down by four frets.
One possible reason for using the G string is that, if your guitar has quite light-gauge strings and low action, the G string provides a little extra resistance to prevent the slide rattling against the frets. For more info check out the Introduction To Slide on page 140…
Theory-wise, the underlying chords are G, Gmaj7 (F# bass), Cadd9 and D. These chords all derive from the G major scale (G A B C D E F# G) and if you scan through the slide part, you’ll see that all of the melody notes do indeed come from that scale. It’s very easy to map out a scale fingering when you’re only dealing with one string at a time, so why not figure out where all of the G major scale’s notes lie on either the B or G string, and then use your new-found slide expertise to improvise some melodies of your own?
You can always use the backing track on the CD. Have a thoroughly slippery month and I’ll see you next issue.
This song appears in James: Whiplash- Guitar Tab. Order no. AM944009, published by Music Sales Ltd. and is available from your local music shop or directly from Music Sales Ltd, Distribution Centre, Newmarket Road, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 3YB. Tel: 01284 725725. Visit the Internet Music Shop at www.musicinprint.com
GUITARIST • MARCH 1999