Mel Bay Presents

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mgerstyle

azz

COVER PHOTO BY FRAN TAYLOR

e 1985 BY MEL BAY PUBLICATIONS, INC., PACIFIC, MO.

INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT SECURED. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. PRINTED IN U.SA

CONTENTS

SEMINAR

BUILDIN' THE BLUES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 4

THREE AGAINST TWO 19

HARMONICS AT WORK 23

SOLOS

FIVE O'CLOCK BELLS 31

LITTLE BLUES 36

FREIGHT TRAIN 49

DISCO<=J~H~, ~t(; tiC)

I have been wanting to write a guitar book for six or seven years. I was always discouraged because I never ran into anyone who could really help me do it. Then I figured . . . well, maybe John Knowles and I could put out a good book. The more we talked about it, it felt real right.

The most important thing about this book is the information. It's not exactly the notes. I mean you can get the notes but it's understanding the philosophy behind the notes that's important. This could lead a person to their own style of playing. I'm not trying to make you play the way I play. I want to lead you to yourself.

I've included some of the exercises that I went through to develop my own playing. If you feel discouraged at first, it's because they are hard to play ... that's all. Keep playing them and after a while they will start to feel natural and you can add your own variations.

A lot of people helped me along the way. Of course there's Chet Atkins. I love Chet. If it hadn't been for him, I wouldn't have started playing ... seriously. Without Bill Evans, I might have quit playing years ago. When I heard Bill play piano, it was a lifetime of inspiration. He made me realize that I really don't know what's happening because music keeps on changing.

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I would like to give a special thanks to PAUL FORSTMAN, SKIP SORRELLE and BYRON FOGO. PAUL and SKIP helped me transcribe the solos at the back of the book. Believe me ... it was at least a three man job. BYRON joined us at the proof reading stage. I hope that you will work as hard, and get as much out of it as we did.

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..., "T .... .., The music in this book is written in both classic guitar notation and standard TAB. The numbers by the notes are left hand fingerings. A circled number is a string number. The numbers on the TAB lines give the fret and string location of each note. A Roman numeral is used to indicate the fret where a barre is made. The right hand fingers are indicated, p-thumb, i-index, m-middle and a-ring.

If you are used to reading TAB. look up at the music every now and then to see how it relates to what you are doing. If you are used to reading music, check the TAB to make sure that you are not playing the right notes in the wrong position. In either case, try following the printed music as you listen to the seminar cassette or the records containing the solos.

3

SEMINAR

BUILDIN' THE BLUES

Listen to the cassette as you follow the text and examples below.

In EX. 1, the eighth note pairs are played with a triplet feel. There is a slight accent on the second note in each pair.

EX. 1 "

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Q a '0 0 0 ~ 0

....... ..... v ...

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nc n.

Lenny: So at the same time, I'm going to sustain two note chords ••• tritones that will suggest a C7th. We'll leave the root out because in this case we're using the note "C" on top.

The notes in a C7th chord are C, E. G and Bb' . The E, Bl1 tritone will suggest a C7th chord when played with a C bass or against a C melody.

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.... . - EX. 2

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4

John: That would be where the four chord comes.

L: Yeah. Then you can cbange the notes and maybe play something like two "C's", two "B P 's",

EX 3

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to> ., 0 0 ....
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J , . L: Then it becomes a melody. So you go 1, 2, 3, 4& and on the 4&, the chord comes in. That's what makes it swing.

EX.4

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-, :"" L: Right? So then you're getting into syncopation.

5

L: The pentatonic scale is ...

EX 5

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~ - L: •.• and that scale will fit against a one chord and it also fits against a four chord. So we'll make up a little melody going. . •

EX 6

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Now Lenny adds the bass part from EX. 4 to the melody in EX. 6. Notice that he leaves out the melody note "F" on the 4& of the first bar to make room for the four chord.

6

EX 7

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, Lenny and John

7

Practice singing chord roots while playing tritones to improve your ability to hear the implied seventh chords.

EX. 8

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'" - f When you can sing the roots, practice singing the pentatonic scale against the tritones. Notice that Lenny's vocalizing is playable on the guitar. With practice. your fingers and voice will work together.

8

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o. ..., v .. ... D '-' t'> g
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L: So we've used one scale against three chords and it sounds good. The idea is that it simplifies how to play the blues. I mean because you know that pentatonic scale is going to fit. So it gives you a little bit of confidence.

9

It all comes together in EX. 10. On the cassette, it takes Lenny about five minutes to get to this point. It- may take you a little longer.

EX. to

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EX. II

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In measure 9, Lenny uses a fragment of the G mixolydian scale against the G7 tritone. In measure 10, he uses a fragment of the F mixoJydian scale against the F7 tritone.

L: It's a good idea to try and play straight four on the bottom because it is kind of hard. It's a discipline because you have to keep doing the same thing all the time, but it creates a nice little groove and if you can pJay something on top of it, it gives you independence.

11

L: Playing the pentatonic Jike tltpt. that's the simplest way of playing the blues. That comes out of gospel music. But then when Charlie Parker came along, he had a different scale for each time he changed chords. So b~ might USf the pentatonic on the "C" chord. Then when hetd go to tbe "F" '1hord he'd use the mb:olydian scale of "F" just to change the sound.

EX. 12

4

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The mixolydian scale sounds like a major scale with a flatted seventh. The 0, F and C mixolydian scales and the corresponding tritones are shown below. Notice that you can reach about an octave of sGal€ from each tritone,

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2_ (, :tF :l..c. L: Or you could change the whole sound of the blues by playing a "C" mixolydian scale instead of the pentatonic.

Lenny plays an F mixolydian scale against the F chord as in EX. 12

EX. 13

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L: So it gives you a blues but it's a different kind of color ... a different kind of feeling. So that's another way to play the blues.

13

L: This is the blues using more than three chords.

EX. 14

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---- ----

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'n '" .~ n ... ... 1.. ,.;. ~ ~ '" 'i\. ... ...
... ~ ..... ..... , .. ._ - " "" ... L: I wanted to make sure them chords sounded good so I started singing my own roots because I'd be practicing at home and there wasn't any bass player.

14

And now ... twelve bars using the pentatonic scale over the changes of EX. 14. Again, Lenny's singing is playable.

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f L: That was mostly pentatonic.

In EX. 16 Lenny plays over the changes of EX. 14. Notice that the G-e# tritone in measure 8 is inverted. It still implies an A 7 chord. Also there are a few outside melody notes. Check out measures 4 and 5.

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.... u _I_ .... , In EX. 17. Lenny plays a variation on the changes given in EX. 14. In measure 7, there is an E7 implied by the D-O# tritone. This E7 replaces three chords (C7, F7 and E7) in EX. 14. It gives you more time to play over one chord.

16

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u ~ - ... po'" ~ .",. a - l!I = __r::_:_1;_
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• 17

Notice how the repeated triplet figure gives unity to this twelve bars. The outside B~ in measure 2 and F# in measure 4 are both 4# against their respective chords. The 4# is characteristic of the lydian scale.

EX 18

4

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... - - L: So you have all these possibilities. Once you know these modes you can mix them up as you go along and that's what's so nice about it. There's the discipline but in using that discipline that's how you reach your freedom. That's how you get to the real freedom by using that kind of discipline.

18

THREE AGAINST TWO

There is no easy way to get the feel of playing quarter note triplets against straight Quarter notes. Try listening to Lenny and focusing on the steady triplet while letting the quarters soak in. Then reverse the process and focus on the quarters. Now try playing the triplets while listening to the quarters. By now you should be screaming to try it all together ... go ahead.

EX. 19

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- oJ ... .... 19

EX. 20 mixes quarter triplets with eighth triplets against a straight quarter note comp, Listen to Lenny and try tapping the eighth note triplets which are built into the swing feel and you will hear an underlying pattern.

It might help to count out loud, "123123" and accent every other number.

> >

1 2 3 ,j,

:> 123 ~

The numbers are eighth note triplets and the accents fall on quarter note triplets. Now if you can pat your foot on the "I", that's the straight quarter comp.

EX. 20

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p

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~ .... ~ ~ .., oJ .:;: :: -; ~ ~ ~ oJ oi
.... '"'" - - .,. .,. .., " .,. - ., ~
~ - - .., .., m--------

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20

In EX. 21 Lenny plays the first phrase of "Freight Train".

EX 21

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~ EX. 22 is a half-note triplet accompaniment to the first phrase of "Freight Train". Notice how the first measure is boom-chic-boom and the next is chic-boom-chic. When you hear it together, it sounds like boom-chic-boom-chic but the timing is odd.

L: And you're going ...

EX. 22

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11' 11
JI "T
l " A .....
I.A""
J i r - r t r - I f I - I
r
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-a .._ ~ <J ., -' oJ
~ "Z. ... "Z - """
- '" ..., 21

EX. 23 is the upside down of EX. 19. The triplet is on the bottom and the straight time is on the top.

L: So it's like going ...

EX. 23

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II A go """
} r r f r r r - - - - - -
If r r f r -
r
l 3--J L____ '3 ___.J
3~ L____ 3 ___J
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......
-r -z _"7 - ...,. ..,.
~ ... oJ _, oJ .J "7 ., 'Z.. .... "7' "7
oJ J ~ .J _, ..., L: Right? The quarter triplet's on the bottom. But you're not playing bass chord-chord .•• you're playing bass-cbord-bass-chord. So it sounds like you're playing in 4/4. But you're using a three feel. It's mind boggling.

EX 24

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-

-

22

HARMONICS AT WORK

L: I first learned to do the harmonics when I was living on the farm. You know and picking it with a pick and using my left hand to play the harmonics. What we're going to do now is touch the harmonic with the first finger and pick it with your thumb pick.

Touch the sixth string at the twelfth fret with the tip of your right index finger. Now sound the string with your thumb (pick). Lift your index finger right after the harmonic sounds so that the note will ring. It may help to keep your index finger straight so that moving your thumb wiJI not cause your index finger to contract.

When you sound a harmonic, you will hear a pitch that is one octave higher than the pitch of the fretted (or open) note. The notation shows a regular note ( J ) for the pitch you hear and a cue note (f ) for the note you fret. In the tab, harmonics are indicated by an "X" under the fret number.

EX 25

1

1

. J
! -
I -
} .::..... - i I
- -r-
T
"
- ~
" ~
"" -:
"" :-;
A "':
'"' In EX. 26, sound the open fourth string with your right ring finger. Then sound the harmonic as in EX. 25. The two notes in succession create the illusion that two harmonics were played.

EX 26

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-
...
) • .z, - pt pLJ
- pt
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A
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..... 23

L: Say I add a "C" note here. . . and see what happens.

EX. 27

1

'f,

t

EX. 28 is EX. 27 with a barre. Now you must touch the string twelve frets above the fretted note to sound a harmonic. This twelve fret distance always divides the string in half.

EX 28

I-----------------

1

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t1 Q. _,o\ar:1
100
..
• l'
'-"II"
J If" - ~ Yl) v
-
pt
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~ EX. 29 adds a pull-off (slur) to what we already have. Playa third string harmonic, sound F# on the first string, and then slur the F# to an open E. You should hear the first three notes in a descending G major scale.

EX 29

a..

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t
... -""-
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-
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, 24

EX. 30 is EX. 29 with a barre. Again, make the harmonics by touching the string twelve frets above the fretted note.

EX 30

I--~------ - ------

3

a. Z.

. -
A ~J ]j r-i-r ,_
_!'_!'_ '.
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J P v 1> Vt
21
J ....... ..
-'_ .... .__

-'-
.;, EX. 31 combines scales and arpeggios to imply a 2-5-1 progression in the key of G. Be sure you have mastered the skills in EX. 25 - EX. 30 before letting this one bring you to your knees.

7-(["----------

3 Q.

EX.31m. 3

It

p

t

1Z[-- - --------------

2-

c, [1!1

25

We have been sounding the harmonic and the regular note separately but they can be sounded together. This creates an inverted interval. In EX. 32, you would hear a major sixth (G below E) without the harmonic. The harmonic raises the G above the E to sound a minor third.

EX. 32

" J I 1 J
..i. ..
'::I
]l]l v ~ ~
.. - -
} I i - '-!: - i I
-t - t
1
v -
- "" ,.. - A
"" "" - ~ .... ....
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.... ,.. ';;
"" L: I'll do a minor nine •.•

EX. 33

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- ... -
11 II - II X
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} ilL T f I
#'f
'l
" .....
_~ ..... ')
..... ,_ ~
v 'l
'1_ ...
"- I,: See what I'm doing is just playing a straight barre (at the fifth fret) and making an "F" chord. So that you've got your three on the bottom, and you've got six (on the fifth string) and your nine (on the fourth string).

EX 34

IJ:.--------------

. i
11 I J. J. I
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5 X. ~ ~ 5 .x

26

L: Here's some nice stuff here going into "D" .••

EX. 35 works as a 2-5-1 progression in the key of D. Each chord is one harmonic plus three fretted notes. You will have to get your right hand little finger into the act. The harmonic sounds as the second from the top note in the chord, creating a close voicing not normally heard on the guitar.

i:X.35

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x

In EX. 36, Lenny is playing four note chords as in EX. 35 but he has added a G bass note that sustains under the progression. You will need to sound the sixth string with your thumb and then move into position to play the harmonic on the fifth string.

EX. 36

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L: One thing about these harmonics ..• once you've got the pattern of it, you'll notice that it works on some chords and on some chords it don't work on and the chords it don't work on are real straight chords. If you were to playa "G" like this •..

EX 37

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...--'"T _ . v-
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" ~
- ....
} - t V
t
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-r ,....
r" ....
'7 _,
oJ x

It's kind of a nice effect but what you want to try and do is at least get a Major 7th in there. So put the F# in there.

EX. 38 r:1 n -
J1 r--1 -
- - V
J
J " - t " I.J
t
.., .,
... 07 ~ -:d
.. .... ~
.. ~ "'t"
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~. e
~ L: Oh, that won't work ... this has to work ...

EX. 39

28

L: Gee. I've never played that one before ... it's new isn't it ... it's nice to discover a new one isn't it.

L: So what you've done is that you 've altered the chord. You can do something interesting with jus' the plain "G" chord by lowering your Major 7th and lowering your 5th. Now lower would sound like this ...

) 2 3 4 I I

0 4~
04 .0 ill

L: But now when you put the harmonics in, it sounds like ••.

EX. 40 r;] j1_ Q
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t t
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't' J ~ A -r
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i< -'/. EX. 41 uses a major scale, harmonized with seventh chords. The root of each chord is a harmonic. These close voicings are difficult or impossible to finger without using the harmonic technique.

EX. 41

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T ~ 29

J: Now that's just this, isn't it?

EX 42

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J ... . , - wi' L: That's all it is.

J: And you're moving the roots up and putting them inside the chord.

L: Yeah. So it's a good way of getting your inversions. You'lI find that you'n be able to get these inversions that would be very hard to reach. So see you can do things like this ...

EX 43

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~ ~ - J ~ ... - J ~ J: Let's call it a night.

L: Yon want to call it a night? Crazy.

30

FIVE O'CLOCK BELLS

LENNY BREAU

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31

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, - - ~ FIVE O'CLOCK BELLS

t-r--
~

r ill Let the chords ring into each other. Listen to Lenny's recording.

[] In the first bar, second beat, Lenny flattens his second finger to fret two strings. He does the same thing in line 6, first bar.

[!] The small (cue) notes are .the notes.that Lenny sings. In line 5, Lenny sings the same notes that he plays.

[!] The left hand chord during the harmonic passage is an ~ 13. The 9th of the chord is on the 6th string.

331l4t

IT11 The harmonics in the third bar are all played on the .open 5th string. Touch the string, with your right index finger, at the 7th, Sth, 4th, 3rd and midway between the 2nd and 3rd strings. Experiment to find the exact spot.

35

LENNY BREAU

LITTLE BLUES

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LITTLE BLUES

X. could be ...

Lenny uses a lot of the same rhythmic and harmonic devices in LITTLE BLUES. (key of E)' that he demonstrates in- BUILDINt THE BLUES (key of C). Watch for these as you work through the solo.

[JJ The chord in bar one is cut short by lifting the lst finger. Let go of all but the 6th string. Lenny is always careful to stop sounds or let sounds ring as necessary to- serve his musical

imagination. Listen closely to the recording. .

[.2J In bar three, Lenny frets two strings with his 3rd finger. Lenny makes these partial barres with different fingers as the situation demands.

(!&J The changes in this twelve bars are a lot like the changes in EX. 14 in BUILDINt THE BLUES. The extra note in the chords is a 13 or a #9 depending on the root you hear. For

. example . . . o}Co X

El3

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G
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or ...

48

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OJ Lenny mutes the 4th, 5th and 6th strings at the bridge, using the edge of his palm. The thumb pick plays the bass notes (stem down) unless indicated otherwise.

~ In bar one, Lenny frets two strings with his second finger.

~ The half note triplet figure that. begins in bar three. is slightly different than the one demonstrated in THREE AGAINST TWO but the idea and the feel are the same.

59

DISCOGRAPHY, etc.

"Guitar Sounds from Lenny Breau" (RCA LSP-4076; out of print in USA)

The SEMINAR (BUILDIN' THE BLUES, THREE AGAINST TWO and HARMONICS A T WORK) is available on cassettte from Mel Bay "Publications.

Lenny's recordings are not easy to find. They are worth the effort it takes to track them down.

FIVE O'CLOCK BELLS and LITTLE BLUES are on "Five O'Clock Bells" (AD 5006; Adelphi Records; P.O. Box 288; Silver Springs, MD 20907).

FREIGHT TRAIN is on "The Legendary Lenny Breau ... Now!" (Sound Hole; P.O. Box 120355; Nashville, TN 37212; order direct).

You might also look for ...

"The Velvet Touch of Lenny Breau-Live" (RCA LSP-4199; out of print in USA)

"Mo' Breau" (Adelphi Records; P.O. Box 288; Silver Springs, MD 20907) "Standard Brands - Chet Atkins and Lenny Breau" (RCA AYLl-4191)

.

"Lenny Breau" (SO 112; Direct - Disk Labs; 16 Music Circle South; Nashville, TN 37203)

Lenny has been doing a column for Guitar Player Magazine for a couple of years now. Jim Ferguson has done an excellent job of editing the column. Check your local library for back Issues.

60

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