Slide Guitar Lesson Pt 4 – The Cruel Sea “Black Stick”

He said that there are two types of music, selfish music and generous music

Quote Don Was (Interview)

How The Slide Guitar Can Create A Memorable “Hook”

When I was creating the slide guitar lessons for Australian Guitar Magazine I was keen to do a lesson on “Black Stick” by The Cruel Sea because there are a lot of interesting musical ideas and components that make it a perfect Pop/Rock recording.

The slide guitar line that Black Stick features and repeats throughout the course of the song is a great example of a “hook” in pop music.

It’s extremely catchy and likeable, you hear it once and you don’t forget it.

It’s rare that a melody should be instantly memorable so it’s definitely worth checking it out.

Bring On The Drum & Bass

That’s not the only thing that’s attention grabbing about “Black Stick”…

What the rhythm section plays (drum & bass) really rocks, and grooves hard and magnificently! so much so that we can understand the popularity that “bass & drum” music enjoyed as a genre at one stage and still has to this day has an underground following.

Of course the bands singer, Tex Perkins, always gives a strong rhythmic vocal performance which helps to reinforce the rhythmic drive of the song but the melodic strength of the song is certainly carried by the slide guitar.

It’s not a very difficult part to play but it’s very effective and is integral to making “Black Stick” the interesting song that it is.

Selfish Music vs Generous Music

I recently heard an interview with the great record producer and president of the legendary jazz record label “Blue Note” when he made an interesting comment (his observations about music come from a lifetime of experience) .

He said that there are two types of music, selfish music and generous music. He went on to explain that selfish music is when musicians over play and show off their virtuosity and technique while generous music is written and played for the listener, “music that’s open and has something to offer and give the listener”.

I’m sure that “Black Stick” qualifies as “generous music” by Don Was’s reckoning.

Don Was – “Blue Note” Records.

We’ve got the tab for you to download and the backing tracks to play along with so have fun learning
Black Stick.

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