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elvislady
04-20-2007, 11:49 AM
Did Elvis Presley actually play his guitar or was his playing "synced"?
I came across this question on a web site.
http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=553526
elvislady

minty
04-20-2007, 04:33 PM
"I know three cords,believe it or not,and i faked em all for a long time".Elvis looks ok playing the guitar on the 68 Special,played solo guitar on stage 76-77 with Charlie,home recordings and plays guitar on the two records he bought as gifts for his mum.I think he could strum along with the best of them

KPM
04-20-2007, 05:46 PM
He was progressing nicely in the 50s but after getting into the movies big time it probably was not as important since the best studio guys and session players could do it. But if you watch the 68 special he definetly remembered the familiar blues licks to lead into other chords and he had very good strumming, some guitar player for a big rock group commented on the strum he used(but I can not remember the group or name of the player-brain freeze)

hounddog
04-20-2007, 07:27 PM
Elvis played twelve bars blues in the 68 special.
I've also seen it listed a few times that he played the lead bass in You're So Sqaure Baby I Don't Care because Bill Black walked out of the session.
Elvis was a very good rhythm player. You can hear that in his home recordings, the 68 special, and some of the studio outakes. Like most things around Elvis he is underatted.

When you watch him play he knew more than three chords.

thehillbillycat
04-21-2007, 05:35 PM
Elvis knew way more chords than three. Watch 68 special and outtakes from TTWII.

Raised on Rock
04-21-2007, 08:11 PM
Just watch this, and no more explanation needed...

Shake Rattle and Roll
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BTXU-tQyh0

I Got a Woman
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7kKdnL9uks

Baby Let?s Play House
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzOBLGBOJ7w

That?s All RIght
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgriK1b1484


Baby What You Want Me To Do
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x163y1MQLic

Tiger Man
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGW9jxt1Nlc

Trying To Get To You
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uv97WDnl8vY

Little Sister/I Was tHe One/Love Me
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7CDbgEFCWg

elvislady
04-22-2007, 03:10 AM
Just watch this, and no more explanation needed...

Shake Rattle and Roll
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BTXU-tQyh0

I Got a Woman
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7kKdnL9uks

Baby Let?s Play House
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzOBLGBOJ7w

That?s All RIght
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgriK1b1484


Baby What You Want Me To Do
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x163y1MQLic

Tiger Man
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGW9jxt1Nlc

Trying To Get To You
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uv97WDnl8vY

Little Sister/I Was tHe One/Love Me
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7CDbgEFCWg

Thanks for this.(y)
elvislady

Lisarose
04-22-2007, 11:50 AM
Johnny Cash wrote in his book that Elvis was a much better picker than most people knew. And he can play more than 3 chords.

KPM
04-22-2007, 03:21 PM
Ithink that comment about only knowing 3 chords was just one of his jokes about himself.

waymore44
11-18-2007, 06:37 PM
Yeah definitely knew more than three chords. He does 6 in "Are You Lonesome Tonight". C, Em, Am, Dm, G, G7. Then "That's All Right" had 3 chords: A, D, E and he may have done a 7th of each of those chords at some time in the song. I know I would. That's just the Elvis In Concert Video. Look at the '68 special, he plays "Love Me" in F. So there's more chords. He was just joking and downplaying his ability.

utmom2008
11-18-2007, 07:06 PM
Ithink that comment about only knowing 3 chords was just one of his jokes about himself.
I think so too. At times Elvis had a wonderful self deprecating humor:D

rocknroll
11-18-2007, 07:40 PM
For rock and roll, Elvis was a good rhythm guitarist. His work on the Sun recordings was revolutionary even if it was fairly amateurish.

rhythmknights
11-18-2007, 09:39 PM
http://www.elvis.com.au/presley/interview_scottymoore_by_arjandeelen.shtm

this was a great interview with Scotty Moore that i happened to read today. the following quote is way down at the end.


How would you rate Elvis as a guitarist? Fair. He had a good sense of timing and rhythm. He didn't know a whole lotta chords, but those he knew, he really could use 'em. And he'd play a little bass, a little drums...He had rhythm in his voice, he just had a natural thing about that. He could hear a song, and he knew what he could do with that song. And nobody else could do it. They're still imitating him today but they just can't do it. They just don't have whatever it is that Elvis had.
just looking at the YouTube clips that RaisedOnRock quoted, Elvis was more than a fair guitarist, imo.

rickb
11-19-2007, 01:04 AM
I think he was quite a competent player but didn't pursue that as his major strength.
His bass playing on You're So Square is a classic piece of rock'n'roll.
His piano playing is also overlooked.
Rick

TurnpikeTaylor
11-19-2007, 02:17 AM
Just a handfull of chords can go a long way, its not always how many chords you know but how you use them. Elvis was no great player, but he sure could use the chords he knew.

From time to time on various Elvis boards i have seem some fans go crazy over Elvis` guitar playing on the 68 special, but that was very basic stuff.

U.S. Male
11-19-2007, 04:33 AM
Elvis played the rhythm part on the guitar on nearly all of his 50's recordings and live performances, but also on many of his early-mid 60's studio recordings as well (check out the early takes of Like a Baby).

Of course it's well known that he played both the acoustic & electric guitars in the 68 Comeback Special on tv, but he also accompanied himself on quite a few numbers during his return to live performing in Las Vegas 1969.

As the 1970's rolled around, he wanted to be known more as a singer, which caused him to not want to use the instrument very much.

Charlie Hodge once mentioned that "He didn't really want to use the guitar at all during the 70's, but many of the people around him told him that he should, because he had been associated with the instrument for so long, so Elvis decided to use it for the first 2 or 3 songs in the show only."

However, later in the 70's (1974, 1976 and 1977) begin to play a couple of extra songs while accompanying himself on the guitar, because according to Elvis "people ask me if I can still play the guitar and so I have to prove it to them." Songs he would do included "Blue Christmas, Reconsider Baby, Are You Lonesome Tonight, and his first hit - That's Alright."

Unfortunately, we never got to hear him play anything else on this great instrument after August 16, 1977, but it was packed and ready to head out on the tour he was supposed to start that very day.

One can imagine what songs might have been played had he stayed with us a little longer?

MissyM
11-19-2007, 06:06 AM
Of course he could, but his singing was what was focused on. And the way he moves/dances it would be hard to play guitar at the same time. But he diffinately knew how to play. Now do you know who really taught him to play???

SleepyJack
11-19-2007, 07:53 AM
I think he was much better than most people tought..including himself.It would be almost impossible not to improve,considering some of the great guitarists he was involved with..Chet Atkins,Scotty Moore,James Burton....
As with his voice he had a great sense of rythm and timing.Many times I`ve heard it said that he preferred playing bass in private...love to hear that!

elvis himselvis
11-19-2007, 09:42 AM
Elvis played twelve bars blues in the 68 special.
I've also seen it listed a few times that he played the lead bass in You're So Sqaure Baby I Don't Care because Bill Black walked out of the session.
Elvis was a very good rhythm player. You can hear that in his home recordings, the 68 special, and some of the studio outakes. Like most things around Elvis he is underatted.

When you watch him play he knew more than three chords.

thanks for telling this,I never knew this and I LOVE that song(y)(y)
For him playing the guitar,I don't know if he could play it...I think he did,but maybe he only could play the songs he had to sing...

LovesElvis
11-19-2007, 09:07 PM
As someone who has tried (and failed miserably) to play guitar, I admire anyone who can even get three chords out without mixing up fingers & frets and all that. (y) I'm a piano girl.

So you don't see him playing upside down & left-handed a la Hendrix, but it doesn't take a musical genius to see that he knows way more than 3 chords. I agree that it was his way of not bragging. I certainly don't mind watching those beautiful hands play the guitar or piano, but if I had to choose, I'd certainly want the singing any day. Hands down.

poormansgold
11-19-2007, 09:35 PM
I know that Elvis Have The Gift To play every thing that make music sound, We know that he can play Bass, Drums and piano, like great players or singers before him and after him, can't read music, he can't read music, he know few bars so ,
like My step-father he can play guitar and few things, he not read music notes all , it's special gift that god give thoses people.
if he know only 3 chords my hat goes off to Elvis and another's.
there another can read music can't play darn thing only singing
Tom

LovesElvis
11-19-2007, 10:30 PM
For someone who had no formal musical education, he was incredible.

EnigmaticSun
12-09-2007, 02:08 PM
What's interesting to me is whether Elvis did prefer plectrum or fingerstyle? By any means his rhythm playing got the approval of the likes of James Burton and Johnny Cash!

I've been trying to explore his rhythmic style and chords. I found out that if you take the effort to play these right, you get a pretty good feeling of the guitar in your hands.

In combination with flamenco-inspired thumb-technique I'm discovering a pretty distinctive style, so that I can play R&B, blues or rockabilly on the acoustic and classical guitar with my fingers.

Of course people will always associate Elvis with "That's Allright Mama" and such. By any means he would have been pleased to know that his style has inspired me to develop "feeling" for the guitar, whereas he has been criticized by others for supposedly not being a very good player..!

Joe Car
12-09-2007, 03:39 PM
He was so great at making fun of himself and other people for that matter. After having met guitar great Eric Clapton in Memphis, ( I believe in 1974 ) he asked Eric if he wanted some lessons from James Burton, deadpanned, without blinking an eye. It was found out years later, that Jerry Schilling had already filled Elvis in, ( prior to meeting Clapton ) about him being one of the world's greatest guitar players, funny stuff.

elvisville
12-09-2007, 04:02 PM
apart from a couple of pics of Elvis sitting at a drum kit, are there any recordings of him on drums or has anyone been quoted on his ability to play them ?

EnigmaticSun
12-09-2007, 04:17 PM
Would have loved to see the look on Clapton's face, Joe Car! :D

rickb
12-09-2007, 04:53 PM
I think that when he was playing guitar in the studio Elvis was more `into' his music
Rick