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Help playing a TRILL

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by snoopyjc, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. I'd like to get any advice in playing a trill like in Joan Jett - I Hate Myself (listen here).

    Specifically, what notes do I alternate between (D-E or Eb-E) and do I hammer both notes alternating, or hammer, pull or just hammer the E and hold the lower note. Help!

    --joe http://www.simplegroovenj.com
  2. IME, it's usually a half-step difference(so D-Eb) using a hammer/pull technique.
  3. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Depends...Rock, Classical, Jazz

    Rock is usually a half-step up.
    Classical and Jazz tends to be three notes combo. A half-step up, then half-step down, then the note. Other times whole-step up, half-step down then the note and the reverse of that.

    You have options.
  4. I'm looking for somebody to actually LISTEN to the track (I have a link to the portion above) and give me advice. Thanks!
  5. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    Not really, if the notation is specific and correct. What you've described with your 3 note combo is probably some sort of a turn, and is most definitely not a trill. The notes involved in any ornamentation are not defined in half-steps or whole-steps but rather by the note itself (eg. an A marked "tr" for trill you would alternate between B and A). The quality of the notes are defined by the key signature, and if they are to be altered an accidental appears above the ornament (continuing the above example, if the composer wanted you to use Bb, a flat would appear above the "tr")

    See the wikipedia article on ornaments for a brief overview: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ornament_(music)
  6. The trill in the song you specified sounds like Eb-E. I'd fret the Eb with my index and hammer the E repeatedly with my middle finger.
  7. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks for the correction. Studying in Jazz schools a long time ago some terminlogy is melting together.
  8. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    That's understandable! The only way you stay sharp with this stuff is by using it, and these ornaments are most common in baroque and classical music. After that composers started notating exactly what they wanted, with the trill and acciaccatura being really the only ones that are commonly given from the romantic period onward. Mordents and turns are uncommon, but used, and the appoggiatura and many others are almost completely out of use. This is one of the reasons I like studying baroque music is that it keeps you sharp in many ways!
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If I'm not mistaken, that was the great Kasim Sulton playing that.
  10. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Sweet! I really like the stuff he did with Utopia.
  11. jady


    Jul 21, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    That may have been what I call a "sliding trill". Hammering the 2nd note gives a percussive attack on the hammered note. In a lot of funk/R&B songs you will hear a trill that is smooth and funky, that is done by rapidly sliding one finger back and forth between the 2 frets (i.e. Eb to E). That is what it sounds like to me although I could be mistaken. Playing with low action and a light touch helps this a lot.
  12. Very true, although I personally wouldn't do it too often on sharp steel rounds! :D This is a great sounding technique.

  13. Watch at 03:02 - he's just wiggling the D string at the 14th fret!


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