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San Quentin: Introduction

 

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San Quentin

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What's up everyone, today we're going to learn "San Quentin", as performed by Johnny Cash at San Quentin. This song is a great example of the classic Johnny Cash sound.

We'll look into the steady strumming of Cash's own guitar playing, and we're also taking a look at an electric guitar that's going to do some pretty interesting rhythm playing as well as play the theme of the song.

Now, there's a bit of a twist in this version of the song. Because it was recorded live, at San Quentin correctional facility, you're going to have to pay a lot of attention to the singer.

There will be a number of times where there are odd amount of bars and certain chords vamped longer than the usual form, which is something that is a direct result of the live version, because the band had to wait for the crowd to settle down.

Another thing that is a direct result of the live version is how the electric guitar approaches the part. Basically he never plays exactly the same thing twice and even though he's staying fairly conservative with his jamming, he still changes the guitar part a lot! So there's lots of musical lessons to take away from this tutorial, not just cool guitar licks.

This song is in 4/4 time signature and at a tempo of 170 BPM.