Keni Lee Burgess
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Keni Lee Burgess's Discussions

Buying A Cigar Box Guitar? A "What To Consider" Discussion

Started this discussion. Last reply by Keni Lee Burgess Nov 4, 2013. 13 Replies

Cigar Box Guitar - Online Radio Show

Started this discussion. Last reply by Keni Lee Burgess Aug 24, 2013. 2 Replies

House of the Rising Sun - Chords for Strumming

Started this discussion. Last reply by Clock The Wolf Jun 14, 2013. 2 Replies

 

How to Play Bottleneck Slide Cigar Box Guitar

Please visit my Youtube page: www.youtube.com/kenileeburgess

To purchase my CDs, please visit www.ebay.com and search: Keni Lee


Welcome to my page. My name is Keni Lee Burgess, and I'm a New York City subway platform performer, and music teacher. I play a style of guitar, Bottleneck Slide, that became popular in the 1920s and 30s. It developed in the Mississippi Delta by early players like Charlie Patton, Son House, Robert Johnson, Bukka White, Blind Willie Johnson, Mississippi Fred McDowell... Usually the guitar is tuned differently than standard, EADgbe, to an Open Tuning that produces a chord. The two most popular tunings are Vestapol Tuning 151351 or commonly known as Open D DADf#ad and Spanish Tuning 515135 or Open G DGDgbd. A glass bottleneck or metal pipe is worn on the finger, and slid up and down the strings to imitate the human voice. To take full advantage of the tonal qualities of open tuning, many performers of this style choose to play Resonator guitars. The Resonator guitar was invented just before the 1930s by John Doperya and manufactured under the names National and Dobro. These wood and metal bodied guitars contain an internal mechanical amplification system that consists of single or multiple vibrating aluminum cones that increase the tone and volume. To help students who are interested in learning this style, I have produced a series of instructional video CDs recreating the method I used to learn. This approach involves first learning how music works, and then applying it to the guitar. Although, this is a study of music theory, it is not boring and dry, but fun and fully practical. It is my belief that "back in the day", most songs had a strong melody line that made them easier to sing and feel. Many people gained their first musical education by singing on Sunday morning in the Church. Through this method it is possible to learn how to "build" a musical arrangement. Starting with a simple single line melody line, a second note is added to create "harmony". This leads naturally to finding the "three basic chords" that form the foundation of many folk tunes. Finally, by adding strumming and Bottleneck technique, a complete arrangement can be written. Most of the songs on my page, are my arrangements, that I developed using this knowledge. It is my hope that these lessons not only help students technically play better, but supply them with the necessary information, so they can figure out songs or arrange their own ideas. In 2007 I released my first CD, Good & Evil. I worked on the CD for three years with the help of twenty talented musicians, utilizing fifteen different instruments. The CD contains fourteen classic songs and highlights my investigations into the fascinating world of Open tuning. Thank you for visiting my page. Please feel free to write, to share your interest, or ask questions. Enjoy.


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Comment Wall (444 comments)

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At 12:39am on July 29, 2018, Jeffery Scott Musser said…

From what I am seeing, you are working on my tuning. I will eventually build a cigar box, with 4 strings tuned DBGD, because I'm a reformed banjo player, who plays tenor and plectrum guitars in that key. I also play dobro in two sets of G, but I have the most horrible time of transferring what I know fro the dobro to bottle neck guitar. changing from looking over the the fingerboard while it lying flat with that heavy bar, to a bottle neck vertically, really throws me off. I wack the thing on the frets, and it sounds like hell. Let me know what you have for trying to tame this. I have a real nice "Tenorcaster" that would work well for what I'm trying to accomplish. I'm guessing, I'd have to have a riser that jumps over the bridge to be able to play slide cleanly. Point me in the right direction!

At 1:46am on March 2, 2017, Darryl Tuttle said…

Really like your version of red house....anytime I see that on a CD...I buy it

At 8:48pm on December 30, 2014, Mr.C said…
Happy birthday ken Lee burgess
At 4:59pm on May 2, 2014, Spence's Rye said…
Thank YOU, Keni! I may just take ya up on that, best wishes! - Gary
At 1:13pm on April 21, 2014, John said…

well that little greta amps sounds fabulous!!! and you sounded great too!

 
 
 

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