Little Martha by The Allman Brothers | acoustic
An acoustic guitar lesson on how to play “Little Martha” by The Allman Brothers from the album “Eat A Peach” released on February 12, 1972.
This is such a classic acoustic finger picking piece. Leo Kottke, a finger picking virtuoso who did his own excellent interpretation of it has called it "The most perfect guitar song ever written."
I've always listened to the "Eat A Peach" version and that's what I used to learn it. It was only recently that I discovered the "Dreams" version that was issued in 1989. It's the original recording which included Berry Oakley's bass part.
It's crazy to hear it with bass! For the "Eat A Peach" version, the bass track was removed and in my opinion a third guitar track was added. It's the one that's bouncing off the D string that you don't hear on the "Dreams" version.
I'm also pretty sure that the "Eat A Peach" version was sped up. Not only can you hear the speed difference, but also where the "Dreams" version is in E, the "Eat A Peach" version is slightly sharp of E, the result of speeding up the tape IMHO.
What I've tried to do in this lesson is to figure out the guitar parts as originally recorded. They were played by Duane Allman and Dicky Betts as a duet. I also think that Dicky Betts added a third guitar part as mentioned above.
You can play this with one guitar by combining the parts but to me the magic of the original is that it's played by two (three?) guitars. That's what makes it sound so cool!
While you can play a decent version of it as a solo piece, it'll never sound the same as the original because there's things you just can't do playing it on one guitar.
The hardest part about playing this is the feel. I've never heard anyone get the same sort of shuffle that those guys got and in my demo, I can't say that I was able to get it completely right.
Feel is what makes the great players great and is always the hardest thing to get down!
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