Jump blues bootcamp with Chris Corcoran
Continuing our journey back to the 1940s and 50s, we look at where jazz and blues collide to produce one of music’s most exciting formulae! The Tenor Of Tiny Grimes
Tutor: Chris Corcoran Gear used: Framus Broadway archtop (with flatwound strings) through a Honeyboy 5 amp
LLoyd ‘Tiny’ Grimes was an important figure in the jazz and R&B worlds. Born in Virginia in 1916, he began playing during the 1930s, adopting the four-stringed tenor guitar as his main instrument after an initial foray into the world of music playing drums and piano. His career in jazz saw him playing with Art Tatum, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker and Coleman Hawkins, to name but a few. In fact, we recommend that you rummage through YouTube to find the rare footage of Tiny duetting with Art Tatum in order to give you more of an insight into his style. Grimes remained musically active up to the time of his death in 1989 and is regarded as one of the true unsung heroes of the jazz age.
As Chris mentions here in the accompanying video, Tiny’s choice of tenor guitar means that we regular sixstringers might need to keep a careful eye on the positions in which Tiny plays on the fingerboard, owing to the two bass strings – the E and A – not being available in the mix. Naturally, this won’t affect the actual pitches so much, but the timbre could be different if you’re aiming for 100 per cent accuracy.
Chris Corcoran channels four-string tenor guitar player Tiny Grimes this issue