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Is my songbook getting out of control at this point?

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(@alangreen)
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Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 5342
 

Then I have some like My Sweet Lord. I love the late great George, but he is all over the map! :shock: Em A D Bm F#dim B7 G#dim C#7 F#m B C#m. Now, to me those are pretty exotic progressions.

Yes, the chord progression is pretty exotic, but:

Em and F#m are the same shape two frets apart

likewise A and B

likewise Bm and C#m - and they're derivatives of the A-shape (actually the Am shape)

likewise B7 and C#7 - and they're derivatives of the A-shape too (actually the A7 shape)

and likewise F#dim and G#dim but they're only one or two frets apart depending on which way you go - and these are the easiest (relatively speaking) because the same four string chord will give you four diminshed chords in one. How? Well, the notes for F#dim are F#, A, C and D# and they're all a minor third apart so the notes for Cdim are C, D#, F# and A - you see the connection. So you finger any one of those four at xx1212 (low to high) and G#dim can either be played as xx0101 or xx3434 (and it will also give you Bdim, Ddim and Fdim at the same time). Wonderful things, dim chords.

So, D is the only chord that's out on its own, and you can play the whole song without putting your fingers any higher than the 6th fret.

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


   
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(@davidhodge)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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Em A D Bm F#dim B7 G#dim C#7 F#m B C#m. Now, to me those are pretty exotic progressions.

Or use a capo on the second fret and you've got:

Dm G C Am Edim A7 F#dim B7 Em A Bm

I strongly suspect (though I've not played this in years) you can use diminished seventh chords, so remember (or read "Augmented Diminished Dementia" here on the Guitar Noise site) that you only need one of three shapes to make all twelve diminished seventh chords:

xx0101 = Ddim7 or G#dim7 or Bdim7 or Fdim7

xx1212 = Ebdim7 or Adim7 or Cdim7 or F#dim7

xx2323 = Edim7 or Bbdim7 or C#dim7 or Gdim7

Certainly makes things easier. Hope this helps.

Peace


   
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(@minotaur)
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Em A D Bm F#dim B7 G#dim C#7 F#m B C#m. Now, to me those are pretty exotic progressions.

Or use a capo on the second fret and you've got:

Dm G C Am Edim A7 F#dim B7 Em A Bm

I strongly suspect (though I've not played this in years) you can use diminished seventh chords, so remember (or read "Augmented Diminished Dementia" here on the Guitar Noise site) that you only need one of three shapes to make all twelve diminished seventh chords:

xx0101 = Ddim7 or G#dim7 or Bdim7 or Fdim7

xx1212 = Ebdim7 or Adim7 or Cdim7 or F#dim7

xx2323 = Edim7 or Bbdim7 or C#dim7 or Gdim7

Certainly makes things easier. Hope this helps.

Peace

Thanks.

He's got it capoed at fret 2. But the chord sheet is using the names and shapes I mentioned before, except the F#maj (different from chord charts I've seen).

I'm going to play around with it according to your listing. :)

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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(@kroikey)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Out of interest I'd love to see your wish list of songs. :)

I did something similar to you, I focused on finding songs I could play, or knew I'd be able to have a crack at fairly early. Once I could play a few, badly, my enthusiasm got the better of me and I scoured around and found 20 songs I couldn't play but could feel them within my grasp. Now I can play them easily, but not necessarily at speed, or with fluency. I'm also struggling with smooth chord changes whilst keeping a strumming pattern going. Changing strumming patterns is a nightmare for me, and a lot of songs use the same pattern. I'm also trying to sing too, which is terrible. But it means when i play people know what I'm playing, rather than some chord progression that could fit a thousand songs.

You'll get through that list before long, and you'll naturally know which ones to practice next. Usually it'll be a song with all the chords you know but an extra 'exotic' chord thrown in. Sometimes it'll just be the speed of the chord changes. But I can play all the songs I picked out, and then some. Its great when you can think 'Wow, I'd love to play that', then go find a tab or chord sheet and immediately bang out a half decent version. Then you'll get excited! 8)


   
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(@minotaur)
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I'll post it later when I get home.

I found that I am breaking my rule of sticking to just the few songs in my "current projects" list. The reason is that there are things in some of the other songs that I need to practice on... barre chords, finger work. For example, Dream On is not in my "current projects", but the intro is some good finger stretches and changing of fingering exercises. I'm not going to tackle the whole song right now, just the intro. It's not all about chord changes. :wink:

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Is it better to work on something a little harder, like My Sweet Lord for example, or get really proficient with the easy stuff, then tackle the hard stuff. Or is it better to make sure you are working on some hard stuff (chord changes, rhythms, etc.) along with the easy stuff? I always think it's better to work on the hard stuff in any project, along with the easier and smaller stuff. Then the rest is gravy.

I've always found - but remember, this is just MY take on it - that struggling to master the harder songs will invariably result in you learning something new, and useful, that'll come in handy time and time again.

Rewind back to about five years ago, when I'd just joined GN. I'd been playing guitar for a long time, albeit poorly - all I knew was a handful of chords, mostly in open position. I'd shy away from chords like Bm - seemed every song I wanted to play featured that darned chord! - and transpose it to a different key, so hopefully the Bm would be an Am. There wasn't very much of any use to me in the easy song database then - until Wes Inman started tabbing out some songs. I'd been playing a version of "All Right Now" for years - then Wes tabbed it out, and all of a sudden what I was playing actually sounded like the real thing! It was a bit of a struggle at first - unfamiliar chords, took time to get the feel of it - but I persevered and now I can knock out a pretty decent version of it almost in my sleep. One of the things Wes mentioned was that he could recognise chords by listening to them - minors, sevenths, ninths etc - so I figured if he can do it, so can I. So I started really concentrating and listening to guitar parts - these days, I can recognise most chords. Still have a little trouble with diminished and augmented, but there really aren't many songs I know that feature those chords.

The same thing happened with "More Than A Feeling" - for years I'd been playing D, Dsus4, C and G. All of a sudden I could tell the guitarist (the acoustic one) was using 320033 to play G, and Cadd9 - x32033 - instead of C. Those chords have come in very handy - surprising how many songs feature them! I did find a decent tab for it in a songbook, but even then I had to play around with it a little, experiment with fingerings, etc before I finally sussed it out.

Under The Bridge - tabbed out by a certain W. Inman, esq - was another one that opened my eyes. Wes tabbed it out using what looked like some very strange chord voicings to me - until I tried them. Again there's a lot of useful info to be gained from playing a song a different way - I learned a lot about chord voicings from just that one tab, and it also got me exploring new possibilities - what if I tried this, etc?

Nantucket Sleighride, I worked out for myself - asked for help a couple of times, but no-one seemed to know the song. So I persevered, worked at it, played with it, nagged at it, kept at it like a dog worrying a bone - eventually, by trial and error, I found the last couple of chord changes slotted into place - from C to Cmaj7 to Cmin7, all at the third fret. I was proud of myself the first time I managed to play through that, I can tell you - there's something very gratifying about playing a fairly hard song that you've worked out for yourself!

They were three songs I'd wanted to play for years - and I gained something from all of them. I CAN play an Eb chord, and I CAN go from open chords to barres. I CAN find different voicings for chords, and I CAN work songs out for myself. At the moment, I'm still working on "Touch of Grey" as mentioned earlier - I'm almost there, just fiddling about with the bridge/ middle eight sections, and I WILL get there eventually! But the main thing I got from mastering those songs was self-belief - I CAN is the important phrase, there. Once upon a time - pre GN - I'd have given up and looked for an easier song - not now. I CAN play it - I WILL work it out. That's my mantra these days. The only song that's totally flummoxed me recently is Kashmir - and I'm blaming that on my hand injuries over the last few years! I WILL get it eventually, though....

So I'd say, if there's a song out there you just HAVE to have in your repertoire, go for it. Even if you think it's ahead of where you are now. Break it up into tiny pieces - work on it a little every day. Sooner or later those pieces will all fit together - and you'll probably learn something, or some things, along the way that you'll need in the future.

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@minotaur)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Is it better to work on something a little harder, like My Sweet Lord for example, or get really proficient with the easy stuff, then tackle the hard stuff. Or is it better to make sure you are working on some hard stuff (chord changes, rhythms, etc.) along with the easy stuff? I always think it's better to work on the hard stuff in any project, along with the easier and smaller stuff. Then the rest is gravy.

I've always found - but remember, this is just MY take on it - that struggling to master the harder songs will invariably result in you learning something new, and useful, that'll come in handy time and time again.

...

So I'd say, if there's a song out there you just HAVE to have in your repertoire, go for it. Even if you think it's ahead of where you are now. Break it up into tiny pieces - work on it a little every day. Sooner or later those pieces will all fit together - and you'll probably learn something, or some things, along the way that you'll need in the future.

:D :D :D

Vic

Wow Vic! Thanks for the insights and encouragement. I thought as much that if you work on the easy stuff you get comfortable. It's like putting off a nasty job. Not that playing is nasty. I figure that once I get my fingers to work so that the "tough" chords are easy, it should all fall into place.

And like I said above, I've actually started to peek at some of the other songs to try new things. I don't want to get bored with working on the same few all the time, waiting to get them perfect. I think if I do some other things as well, I can only build up my skill set and expand my vision and see how things work.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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(@minotaur)
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Out of interest I'd love to see your wish list of songs. :)

As promised...

Across The Universe The Beatles
Angie The Rolling Stones
Bang A Gong T Rex
Bolero Charo
(I'd love to play it classical-style)
Brown Eyed Girl Van Morrison
Coconut Nilsson
(just as a haha… it's a C7 through the whole song but picked)
Come Together The Beatles
Could It Be Magic Barry Manilow
Dream On Aerosmith
Dust In The Wind Kansas
Every Breath You Take The Police
Fields of Gold Sting
Fire and Rain James Taylor
For What It's Worth Buffalo Springfield
For You Blue The Beatles
Friends Led Zeppelin
Give Me One Reason Tracy Chapman
Greensleeves Stevan Pasero
A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall Bob Dylan & George Harrison
Heart Of Gold Neil Young
Hey Jude The Beatles
Horse With No Name America
House Of The Rising Sun The Animals
I Hear You Knocking Dave Edmunds
I Heard It Through The Grapevine Creedence Clearwater Revival
I Will Survive Gloria Gaynor
(from the ESD)
Imagine John Lennon
It's Too Late Carole King
Law and Order The International TV Orchestra
Let It Be The Beatles
Lonely People America
Losing My Religion R.E.M.
Me and Bobby McGee Janis Joplin
My Sweet Lord George Harrison
Night Moves Bob Seger
Rock'n Me Steve Miller Band
Serenity Godsmack
Sister Golden Hair America
Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay Otis Redding
Something The Beatles
Stairway To Heaven Led Zeppelin
Stand by Me Ben E. King
Still The Same Bob Seger
Sundown Gordon Lightfoot
Tears In Heaven Eric Clapton
That's All Genesis
This Masquerade Leon Russell
Tin Man America
Two Of Us The Beatles
Wonderful Tonight Eric Clapton
Working Class Hero John Lennon
The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald Gordon Lightfoot
Yesterday The Beatles
You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet Bachman-Turner Overdrive
You Don't Mess Around With Jim Jim Croce

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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(@kroikey)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 232
 

These are the ones I've also got in my book:

Come Together The Beatles
Dream On Aerosmith
Greensleeves Stevan Pasero
House Of The Rising Sun The Animals
I Heard It Through The Grapevine Creedence Clearwater Revival
Let It Be The Beatles
Losing My Religion R.E.M.
Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay Otis Redding
Stairway To Heaven Led Zeppelin
Stand by Me Ben E. King
Yesterday The Beatles

House of the Rising Sun is satisfyingly easy, with enough of an interesting picking pattern to make it a good practice piece. Stand by Me sounds great with a walking bassline included in the simple chord version (D, D, Bm, G, A, D). You'll probably find that a lot of the songs you've picked will either be very difficult, or sound crap with a single guitar arrangement, at least just playing the tabs/chords. A little arrangement practice never hurt anyone though :)


   
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(@minotaur)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Topic starter  

These are the ones I've also got in my book:

Come Together The Beatles
Dream On Aerosmith
Greensleeves Stevan Pasero
House Of The Rising Sun The Animals
I Heard It Through The Grapevine Creedence Clearwater Revival
Let It Be The Beatles
Losing My Religion R.E.M.
Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay Otis Redding
Stairway To Heaven Led Zeppelin
Stand by Me Ben E. King
Yesterday The Beatles

Cool! :)
House of the Rising Sun is satisfyingly easy, with enough of an interesting picking pattern to make it a good practice piece. Stand by Me sounds great with a walking bassline included in the simple chord version (D, D, Bm, G, A, D). You'll probably find that a lot of the songs you've picked will either be very difficult, or sound crap with a single guitar arrangement, at least just playing the tabs/chords. A little arrangement practice never hurt anyone though :)

I've been doing House of the Rising Sun both arpeggio and strum. Strum is easier, though I like the arpeggio sound. I know almost everyone who does it, and most of the tabs do arpeggio. For some reason I can change chords and keep time better with strumming it. :?

I know what you mean about the single guitar. Sundown uses 4... the 12 string, a second acoustic, the electric, and bass. Yes, a lot of them are difficult. They will be for way down the road. I just have to remember that if I start to work on one of those, I shouldn't get discouraged... just put it down until I have more experience.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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(@kroikey)
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One of my most enjoyable breakthroughs was playing with an arrangement and my fingers automatically adding in a walking bassline from another song! When you go from Em to G, you can play 2nd fret 5th string, open 5th string, then 3rd fret 6th string. This happened automatically and I was impressed my muscle memory had automatically improved a song! This gave me hope and encouragement that everything I'm learning is appliable in other circumstances. Stick with it!


   
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(@minotaur)
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Posts: 1089
Topic starter  

I hear ya! :D

Walking basslines are fun.

Siggi's intro to I Hear You Knocking:
---------------------|
---------------------|
---------------------|
---------------------|
----4-5-6-7-------0--|
--5---------0-2-4----|

From Imagine:
---------------------|
---------------------|
---------------------|
---------------------|
----3-0-3-2-3--------|
--3------------------|

When you find a couple you like, I don't see why they can't be used in other songs, as long as they sound great.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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