Little Martha – Duane Allman's only completely solo song. Calibrations, contemporary tempo maps, free of charge of course, with some the only real Little Martha speed online, anyway. I was curious, which is basically how I chose the songs.

Generally I choose songs to analyze when the groove is infectious and after a couple of days of hearing it the main vamp or chord pattern is still dancing in my head.

little martha - contemporary tempo map
little martha – contemporary tempo map
little martha
little martha

And so *I* want to know: exactly how fast is that?

I wonder if I could do something with this power – just being able to Create the rhythm in my head while someone else is acting confused and hesitating in thought and action.

little martha
little martha

According to the meanspeed music theory, Little Martha, Duane Allman’s only song which he wrote and recorded alone – said to be taught o him in a dream by Jimi Hendrix in a bathroom, mainly by varying the water pressure in the sink, should be a song that

1) is confident;

2) exudes enthusiasm; and

3) emotes happiness in anticipation.  These would be songs generally between 90-97 bpm.

This song has a mean speed, or expected average tempo of almost exactly 92.0 beats per minute.  The quarter note gets the beat, thefore each beat has a mean length of 652 milliseconds.

little martha
little martha

I looked through about 1,000 of the over 5,000 comments about, well, what the song is “about” to different people, what versions of covers people like.  Frankly, lining up all the “f***8 awesome, dude”‘s and the “Dyane was such a 89&*(87 genius, man”‘s, and given that the song is instrumental, and given that there are no Thought Police making arrests yet (oh, yeah, there are Thought Police – but keep your nose clean and stay away from the telescreen at odd moments and you may be ok), I saw a preponderance of this: why does the song sound wrong?  The answer turns out to be that Duane is playing in an open E EBEG#BE, and that is rough on the guitar, and if it doesn’t snap from pressure, good luck De-tuning it back to G.  Actually, you can’t really do it without that “I’ve been stretched too far sound.”  Much like a rotator-cuff, the guitar sting, especially the G, just never snaps back.  But that of a Duane in very most likelihood playing the song on a guitar he kept tuned as that.  On YouTube – a lot of men – I looked for women but all men – doing open D tuning in the same progression, DADF#AD, but, and as a middling pianist and drummer thins is funny to me, not with a capo (one guy had one), because, like, would Duane ever be seen on stage with a capo?  Thank you!

/Ian Schneider/

June 30, 2009

Meanspeed® Music Summer Education

bring back the boston rag
bring back the boston rag