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  1. #1

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    Since I am trying to recover my talking ability after a stroke, I daily read out loud a short passage from a book "The History of the Guitar in Jazz" by Norman Mongan. On great advantage of the computer and the Utube internet means I can listen to videos and recordings of artistes as well as reading about them.

    At the moment I am reading about George Van Eps and can thoroughly enjoying listing to his solos. One thing I cannot understand is that occasionally there are flashes of his guitar neck and sometimes across the first frets is what looks like an extra knuckle. I cant find closeups of it and can find no explanation in Wikipedia.

    Can anyone enlighten me?

    George Van Eps - My Guitar 1966 (FULL ALBUM)

    Diegh

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Van Eps had what he called the "5th finger technique," which may be what you're talking about This was slanting one of his fingers, usually the index finger, so that the finger fretted one string on one fret and another string one fret above or below. For example, EbMaj7#11:

    - 6 8 7 8 5

    The index finger frets the 5th string at the 6th fret with the tip, and the 1st string at the 5th fret with sort of the side of the finger at the knuckle. You can get there with the standard Ebmaj7 with the 5th on the top:

    - 6 8 7 8 6

    and dropping the index finger knuckle one fret down. Many people have to roll that finger just a bit to get the strings fretted cleanly. The other three notes are the same as the standard Ebmaj7 at that position.

    If you can find the GVE interview in Guitar Player magazine written by Ted Greene, I think that technique covered there and was where I heard about it many years ago. Great interview with a master musician- I think no jazz guitarist, except maybe Ted Greene and probably not even him, has caught up with GVE's harmonic conceptions on the guitar.

    Best wishes for your stroke recovery! While you report having speech problems, your use of written language appears intact. Do you have dysphonia rather than aphasia?
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  4. #3

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    I’m not sure if you ran across this yet... but I found this e-book on Amazon... a nice biography of VanEps that you might enjoy


    Guitar Man: The Story of George Van Eps: Harrison Stephens: 9781980275756: Amazon.com: Books

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddep View Post
    I’m not sure if you ran across this yet... but I found this e-book on Amazon... a nice biography of VanEps that you might enjoy


    Guitar Man: The Story of George Van Eps: Harrison Stephens: 9781980275756: Amazon.com: Books
    Just looked at this on amazon. I was inspired just by reading the "look inside" part.
    There's no money above the fifth fret.

  6. #5

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    Christopher Parkening, the classical guitar virtuoso, also used that technique on occasion.

    He called it a "cross-bar" and I remember coming across it when I was learning his transcription of Prelude #1 In C Major from The Well-Tempered Clavier by J.S. Bach.

    Regards,
    Steven Herron
    George Van Eps Tabs - Guitar Solos, Tab Books, Instruction DVDs + Video Lessons

  7. #6

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    Thanks for those replies but they didn't solve the problem for me. I attach a pix of him and guitar taken from a Utube video.....


    George Van Eps-screenshot-90-jpgThe white things at the top of the fingerboard are the unexplained items.
    Deigh

  8. #7

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    He called it a "cross-bar" and I remember coming across it when I was learning his transcription of Prelude #1 In C Major from The Well-Tempered Clavier by J.S. Bach.

    I wonder if that is what it is? He also invented a device to cut out feedback, but I can't find anything about that either.
    Deigh

  9. #8

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    Van Eps invented and manufactured a string dampener, designed to eliminate or reduce the sympathetic vibrations from open strings on an archtop.

  10. #9

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    You can also see the device in many pictures of Herb Ellis, who also used one.

  11. #10

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    everything you wanted to know about george van eps, that ted greene asked ....the complete interview of george van eps by the great ted greene...



    this was edited down to a magazine article....which is also online at ted greenes archival site

    TedGreene.com - Audio - Ted Greene, George Van Eps Interview



    cheers

  12. #11

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    ps- jim hall with van eps damper...very early on with chico hamilton quintet...jim was still using his les paul!!!


  13. #12

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    Thanks everyone for the replies. It is obviously a string dampner now I look at it closely. Think I will have to get one!
    Deigh