Question about a LC guitar technique

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
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Question about a LC guitar technique

Post by thequeenisdead » Sun Dec 03, 2006 2:55 am

Hi there. I was wondering if there are any knowledgeable guitar players on the boards here who could help me out.

I've been trying to learn the picking pattern Leonard employs in songs like "The Stranger Song," "Love Calls You By Your Name," "Avalanche," and "Teachers," to name a few. It's a very fast, triplet rhythm that sounds like it might be a flamenco technique. Due to the speed of his playing, I'm assuming it's probably a very demanding technique and I'd like to make sure I learn it properly.

If anyone can explain the pattern to me, or even just give me the name of the technique so I can look into it, I would greatly appreciate it. I've got an idea as to what he's playing, but again, I'd really like to be sure I know what I'm doing before I dedicate some time to learning it.

Thank you and I look forward to using these message boards in the future.
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Post by Davido » Sun Dec 03, 2006 4:24 am

Hi thequeenisdead, and welcome.
The picking pattern to the songs you mention is a fast triplet pattern. I found it difficult to master and still can't play it faultlessly at the correct speed.(Anyone who ridicules Leonard for 'simple' guitar playing doesn't know what their talking about!)
I think the best thing to do would be to send you a copy of the tab.-either scanned and sent in an email, or by post if you prefer. I have several Cohen songbooks, some with tab. The best one, if you wanted to try to get one, is 'The Songs of Leonard Cohen-Herewith music,words and photographs' Wise publications 1969. (These come up for sale regularly on ebay).
If you search 'Songbooks' on this site you'll see this particular book - it's the third one down in the list.

I'll find mine in the morning and take it from there, if you get back to me.
A 'Personal Message' might be best.
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Post by johnny7moons » Mon Dec 04, 2006 6:18 pm

The picking pattern for 'Avalanche', in particular, is notoriously difficult. Nick Cave once said that the former Bad Seeds' guitarist Blixa Bargeld was the only person he'd ever come across who could mimic it accurately.
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Post by tomsakic » Mon Dec 04, 2006 6:50 pm

I think that leonard used the word "chop" - "Every guitarist has one chop, and I used mine on Avalanche", something like that. In 1992 interview with Paul Zollo, he said that "chop", his unique pattern of playing, is behind many of his early songs, The Stranger Song, Avalanche...
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Post by John K. » Tue Dec 05, 2006 12:56 am

post deleted
Last edited by John K. on Fri May 04, 2007 2:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
I love to speak with John
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Post by MadisonB » Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:18 pm

I still love the story that I read that when LC's guitar teacher killed himself, Leonard thought it was because of how badly he (Leonard) played.
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Re: Question about a LC guitar technique

Post by adrian1658 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:54 am

There's a method to learn theese fast triplets.

I have a guitar for 4 months and this is the first thing I can play.
Here you can hear:
Still need to work on it.
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