Transcription: Hail To The Chief
Composer: Butch Miles
"Hail To The Chief" is a twelve bar blues that begins in F and then modulates five times before the final bar. The keys are: F - Ab - Eb - Bb - Eb - Ab. The recording provides a unique opportunity to study how Freddie selected his one note and two note voicings depending on the key.
In F, the primary note is A - the third of the tonic chord.
Notice that the primary note is always the third or the seventh - the color tones of a dominant seventh chord, i.e., the third determines if the chord is minor or major, and the seventh determines if the chord is a dominant seventh or a major seventh. Also notice that Freddie chooses to play most of his voicings in the vicinity of the fourth to seventh frets, and he always sounds the D string. On most archtop rhythm guitars, the D string has the most acoustic power of all the strings and the notes from the 3rd fret (F) to the 8th fret (Bb) have a timbre that is clearly heard in a big band setting. Freddie likely discovered this acoustical axiom by experience and experimentation.
This session was never issued on CD and locating a copy of the LP may be difficult. However, every Freddie Green devotee should make the effort as his guitar is prominent in the recording mix and his playing never sounded better.
For instruction on how to play one note and two note voicings, see: http://www.freddiegreen.org/technique.html
Transcribed by Michael Pettersen, July 2009