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Author: Subject: Blue Sky

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  posted on 11/5/2005 at 03:19 PM
This is one of my favorite ABB songs and I just had a few questions about it:

1) Does Duane play slide on this song? I was always under the impression that he did, but lately it sounds like he is fretting the notes.

2) Was this song sped up at all? It is slightly sharper than standard tuning, and I was just wondering.

Thanks for your help.

 

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  posted on 11/5/2005 at 05:49 PM
I believe it is in the key of G rather than the key of E. And Duane did not play slide on the studio version.

 

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  posted on 11/6/2005 at 12:09 AM
Are you sure that it is in G? I play it in the E major scale and have to tune to a 445 caliber instead of the normal 440. But thanks for the answer to the slide question. That makes the song a little but easier to play.

 

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  posted on 11/6/2005 at 06:01 PM
The Allman Brothers played Blue Sky in both E and G. The last time they played on the XM Eat A Peach Broadcast in 2004 it was in G.

 

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  posted on 11/6/2005 at 09:50 PM
No, it was in E. The original version is in E (maybe it's sped up...I never noticed) and at some point Dickey changed it to G. They play it back down in E now, including on the XM thing.

 

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  posted on 11/6/2005 at 10:01 PM
I remember the ABB changing the key to G in concert several years ago, just figured it had to do wiht Dickey's vocal comfort range.

 

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  posted on 11/7/2005 at 09:44 AM
quote:
No, it was in E. The original version is in E (maybe it's sped up...I never noticed) and at some point Dickey changed it to G. They play it back down in E now, including on the XM thing.

 

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  posted on 11/7/2005 at 09:50 AM
You're right! I made a false assumption based on the conversation between Gregg & George prior to the start of the song. It is in E on the XM EAP receration.

 

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  posted on 11/7/2005 at 11:04 AM
quote:
Are you sure that it is in G? I play it in the E major scale and have to tune to a 445 caliber instead of the normal 440. But thanks for the answer to the slide question. That makes the song a little but easier to play.


Back when EAP was recorded if you didn't like the speed of the song they would speed up or slow down the tape which would alter the pitch. They couldn't have recorded it at 445 because a B3's tuning can't be altered so they must have speed the tape up. Mtn Jam is also not exactly at pitch. I would adjust my turntable untill it sounded like my guitar at 440 or like you I would tune to the album.

Now they have the ability to speed up or slow down recordings and maintain pitch

No slide on Blue sky.....Duane does some pedal steel type riffs by bending to the E chord from the C# minor position. Little finger baring the 12th fret of the High E and B string then he would bend the G string from F# on the 11th fret to G# and play all three string togther while bending the just the G string

[Edited on 11/7/2005 by goldtop]

 

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  posted on 11/8/2005 at 09:52 AM
quote:
I remember the ABB changing the key to G in concert several years ago, just figured it had to do wiht Dickey's vocal comfort range.


Actually I believe they changed it when they started doing Franklin's Tower> Blue Sky. Try playing Franklin's Tower in the key of E. It doesn't sound right. Much better in G, even though I believe the Dead played it in A.

 

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  posted on 11/10/2005 at 02:41 PM
quote:
quote:
I remember the ABB changing the key to G in concert several years ago, just figured it had to do wiht Dickey's vocal comfort range.


Actually I believe they changed it when they started doing Franklin's Tower> Blue Sky.

No that is NOT true...the key was changed MANY years ago waaaay before they started doing the Franklins Tower intro.

Okay, this subject has come up a few times in the past few years on "Blue Sky" regarding key changes etc and I will try and hit on all the points at once. A couple of you guys were a bit off on some of your observations and some you were of course, accurate.

So...Obviously the stunning original version on the "Eat A Peach" LP was played in the key of E which was pointed out and yes it was sped up just slightly on the recording. The 3 or 4 times it was played live with Duane in late 1971 was also played in the key of E. However, the key was changed by Dickey to the key of G way back somewhere around 1973 I believe. I have a couple of very early versions wiith Chuck and Lamar in the lineup around that time that confirms this.

The key was not changed beacause of the "Franklins Tower" intro deal that Slowhand thought. Dickey "probably" changed the key because he wanted it at a higher pitch and wanted a more countrified sound to it. The major Pentatonic box where most of the solo is centered around is now 3 frets higher, hence the the "twang" in G. Personally, I never understood this change, it alters the sound and feel of the song way too much and it seems to lose some its its warmth.

The other thing with the song in G is that Dickey's vocal range seems better suited for the key of E especially as he got older. "Blue Sky" remained in the key of G throughout the years until the Dickey split. THe ABB then brought it back at The Fox run and XM Broadcast in 2004 and played it in the key of E for the first time in 30 years or so. I personally Love what Derek and Warren do with the song. Musically at least it sounds much closer to the EAP version than anything in recent memory. The feel, flow, tempo and warmth returned and it was very welcome IMO. They do a great job at adding the Duane/Dickey vibe with Derek sounding especially Duane-lke in phrasing. Dickey still to this day plays it his way, in G, even with Great Southern. I don't get quite as excited about Dickey performing it the way I used to - its lost some of its luster and appeal to me especially since its played so often. I have probably seen the song performed live 40 times or more with Dickey so I guess I just got a bit tired of it after seeing it show after show....I am enjoying the recent ABB versions especially 3/21/05 w/ Chuck sitting in - just beautiful!...They only do it once or twice a year so its a treat when they break it out on rare occasions. Yes its a great Dickey tune that is one of his signature songs but I see nothing wrong with the occasional tip of the cap to him when they decide to play it. Hope this clears some things up...

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[Edited on 8/31/2006 by EddieP]

 
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  posted on 11/10/2005 at 06:19 PM
quote:
hence the the "twang" in G. Personally, I never understood this change, it alters the sound and feel of the song way too much and it seems to lose some its its warmth.


Right on the button for me. The personality of the song changed when played in G.

 

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  posted on 6/24/2006 at 12:37 PM
I know this is an old thread, but I'm hoping someone can help. I just was learning Blue Sky in E and was playing with someone who wants it in a different key. I listened to the New Years show from the Cow Palace '73 and they played it in a different key, which, having read these threads, leads me to think it was in G. Now for the help: Anyone have tab for the intro lick in G? I'm not great at transposing, so any help would be appreciated! Can I just capo it at the 3rd fret, move everything up 3 frets and play it as if it's in E?? Thanks for any help!

 

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  posted on 6/24/2006 at 02:00 PM
Live Version - in key of G
Album - in key of E

i think.....

 

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  posted on 8/30/2006 at 06:59 PM
To semi-quote Dickey from a HOb show in Mass a few years ago... " We did the Robert Johnson song about as close to the orginal as possible... this next one I wrote so I can play the sumbitch anyway I wan't to..." lead in to Blue Sky.

I to like to play along in E & have also learned some versions in G. I think what is missing most is the first solo (ala Duane on Eap or the Suny Release).

I would part ways with EddieP on it becoming boring or mediocre in G when Dickey & GS plays... as soon as Dickey cues up his spot that song still jumps... got the goosebumps again this year at the Beacon...

 

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  posted on 8/30/2006 at 09:15 PM
quote:
I would part ways with EddieP on it becoming boring or mediocre in G when Dickey & GS plays... as soon as Dickey cues up his spot that song still jumps... got the goosebumps again this year at the Beacon...


If you read my post again which was from last year, I never said boring or mediocre at all my friend - go look. Its a phenomenal song and the original version on EAP is a timeless classic which I never tire of hearing - except in that silly commercial of course . I wholeheartedly agree that the fans still do get quite pumped when Dickey is ready to take off on his patented melodic solos - he is still a master at that. I just 'personally' got a "little" tired of hearing it every single show I saw whether it be with The ABB or DB&GS so it lost just a little excitement for me to hear at times live.
I believe really special songs like "Blue Sky", "Dreams" etc should be just that - special and not played every show. I would say that about any ABB song that was played every single show whether its a Gregg tune or a Dickey tune - I like variety and not knowing whats coming next. The ABB changes their sets every night so its pretty tough to get a repeat song. I will also stick to my statement about "Blue Sky" sounding better in the original key of E - I know lots of folks feel the same, especially the guitar players among us. It's still a wonderful upbeat tune that always gets people happy, smiling and groovin in the aisles...and thats really what it's all about.











[Edited on 9/3/2006 by EddieP]

 
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  posted on 9/1/2006 at 12:36 AM
The speeding up of the tape explains a lot to me. I remember having to retune every time I practised along with "Ramblin Man". I always wondered why it wasn't recorded at A440.
 

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  posted on 9/1/2006 at 07:45 AM
Yes Amy you can just capo on the third fret and play everything three frets higher. You can also do the same without the capo. Just play G, C, and D instead of E, A, and B.

Yes this topic has been brought up many times before and I stick by my original assertion that Dickey probably wrote the song in G. G, C, and D are the cowboy chords most country folks learn to begin with and are probably most comfortable with. Heck I'd even throw New Jersey Eddie P. in that category. "Ramblin' Man,""Long Time Gone,"etc. are out of G with theexception of being sped up. Possibly sped up to NOT sound so country.

 

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  posted on 9/1/2006 at 08:58 PM
Gotta disagree on Dickey writing Blue Sky in G originally.
Listen to Mountain Jam about 1 minute before the drum solo and you'll hear the precursor of the lick that brings the song back to the vocals after the solos. Being that mountain jam was in E, that lick evolved in E, and the rest of the song flowed from there. I figure Dickey much later on wanted to give it more of a country feel, and changed it to G, the Nashville key ;-)

You can also hear the precursor to Les Brers in Am during Whipping Post from LAFE, which by the way the section of Whipping Post is in Am :-).


Lastly, I am pretty sure that the reason ramblin man was sped up, was because they had an edited version that cut out a lot of the solo at the end, that they still couldn't get to be under 3 minutes, which was the magic number for getting your song played on Top 40 radio. Pretty sure it was a tad over, so I am sure the producer, sped it up just enough to get the edited version down to 3 minutes, and the unedited version with the longer solo made it to Brothers & Sisters. Might be the same for Blue Sky, I just don't recall if it was a top 40 single or if you could buy it as 45 RPM 8 inch vinyl. Wow anybody remember those!!!!!!!!!

[Edited on 9/2/2006 by SkyDogSys]

[Edited on 9/3/2006 by SkyDogSys]

 

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  posted on 9/3/2006 at 10:07 AM
As usual Barry very astute theorizing, but ... I won't be happy till I ask the man himself. I recall a friend once saying that he got to go backstage at a gig in Charlotte years ago where Dickey and Duane were working up a riff which would later become a tune. One wonders if they happened on the riff during the jam or included it because it was something they had previously worked up. A sort of which came first deal.

 

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  posted on 9/3/2006 at 04:31 PM
quote:
Lastly, I am pretty sure that the reason ramblin man was sped up, was because they had an edited version that cut out a lot of the solo at the end, that they still couldn't get to be under 3 minutes, which was the magic number for getting your song played on Top 40 radio. Pretty sure it was a tad over, so I am sure Tom Dowd, sped it up just enough to get the edited version down to 3 minutes, and the unedited version with the longer solo made it to Brothers & Sisters.
Johnny Sandlin was the producer on Brothers and Sisters.

 

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  posted on 9/3/2006 at 06:42 PM
Maybe somebody can ask Mr. Sandlin that question when they see him
Thanks for the correction.

 

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  posted on 9/3/2006 at 07:04 PM
quote:
Maybe somebody can ask Mr. Sandlin that question when they see him
Thanks for the correction.


We can ask him next month

 

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  posted on 10/30/2006 at 03:41 PM
So does anybody have the tab for Blue Sky in G?

 

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  posted on 10/30/2006 at 04:46 PM
I asked Johnny Sandlin about why Ramblin Man was sped up, and he said that Dickey thought the song sounded like it was dragging. Johnny put Dickey's hand on the Speed control knob on the tape machine, and Dickey turned the knob until it 'sounded right to him'.
 
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