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Long Train Runnin' - Doobie Brothers

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Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
Topic starter  

I loved this band back in the 70's......great riffs, great songs, the Doobies ROCKED....remember that 80's Michael Douglas film, "Oh No!" he says - the Doobies split!"

Anyway, Wes tabbed "Listen to the Music" ages ago - and he sort of half promised he's tab "China Grove" out if he got I thought I'd do this one.....

There's a lot of it, but honestly, trust me, this song is a GREAT introduction to barre chords....

Ah, let's just get on with it, you can see for yourselves.....

Long Train Runnin' - The Doobie Brothers.

OK, you're going to look at these chords - Gm7, F13, Cm7, B13, Eb, Dsus4, D and F#m7
and think "I CAN'T PLAY THOSE!" - trust me, if you can play a barre chord, this is an
absolute cakewalk!

Let's look at the chord voicings first.....

10 10 12 10 11 10....Gm7
10 10 10 10 10 10....F13

OK, the Gm7 is the same shape as an Am7 - barre across the 10th fret & an Am7 on top...
and the F13 chord always follows the Gm7, so all you have to do is take the Am7 shape
off (and then put it back on!)- these are all you need for the first two verses.

Same for Cm7 and B13.....

3 3 5 3 4 3....Cm7
3 3 3 3 3 3....B13

You'll need these chords for the chorus, and you'll also need:

E A D G B E or E A D G B E
6 6 8 8 8 6 6 6 8 8 8 x.....Eb ( I play it with a barre across the 6th, and a mini-
barre across the 8th...)
5 5 7 7 8 5 or 5 5 7 7 8 x.....Dsus4
5 5 7 7 7 5 or 5 5 7 7 7 x.....D

The only other chord you'll need is the Fm7, that comes in the third verse....and it
comes after and before the Gm7, it's the same chord moved two frets down.....

10 10 12 10 11 10....Gm7
8 8 10 8 9 8....Fm7

Right, you've got all the chords you let's get on with the song!
The tricky part to this one is the strum pattern - I won't be in the least offended if
someone chimes in with a better, more understandable one.....but for now, let's try

It's in 4/4 time.....


d u d d d u d d d u d d d u d d
F13 Gm7 F13 Gm7 F13 Gm7 F13 Gm7

that pattern is repeated throughout the first two verses.......

F13hGm7 F13
Down around the corner,
Gm7 F13
A half a mile from here,
Gm7 F13
See them long trains run,
And you watch them disappear.......

OK, now we come to the chorus - the strum pattern changes slightly....
you play the F13 as if you're going to start the whole pattern over, but instead of
going up to Gm7 you go DOWN to Cm7......

Without love, Where would you be
d u d u d d u d
F13 Cm7 B13 Cm7 B13 Cm7 Cm7 B13 Cm7

F13 Gm7
d u d d d u u d

with-out loooooooooooooooooove...
u d d u d dududud d
F13 Eb Dsus4 D

back to the intro riff.....

then the second verse follows the same pattern as the first....

(F13)You (Gm7)know I saw miss Lucy,
(F13)(Gm7)Down along the tracks,
(F13)She (Gm7)left her home and her family,
(F13)And she (Gm7)won't be comin' back,

repeat chorus.......

The third verse differs slightly from the first two.....this time, you play the F13,
hammer on to the Gm7 and mute it straight you aren't playing anything at
all until the next F13 chord....and this time you alternate the Gm7 with an Fm7....

(F13)Well the (Gm7)Illinois Central,
(F#m7)And the (Gm7)Southern Central Freight,
(F#m7)Gotta (Gm7)keep on pushin' mama,
(Gm7)Cause you know they're running late.....

repeat the chorus again....

then there's a harmonica solo....same chords as for the verses....

then repeat this bit.....

(F13)Well the (Gm7)Illinois Central,
(F#m7)And the (Gm7)Southern Central Freight,
(F#m7)Gotta (Gm7)keep on pushin' mama,
(Gm7)Cause you know they're running late.....

and then the chorus again.....

(F13)Well (Gm7)pistons keep on running,
(F#m7)And the (Gm7)wheels go round and round,
(F#m7)And the (Gm7)steel rails are cold and hard,
(F#m7)In the (Gm7)miles that they go down,

Without (Cm7)love,
Where would you be right (Gm7)now?
(F13)Without (Eb)love,(Dsus4)(D)(Eb),
(NO MUSIC....) Where would you be.....

(Back to intro) - and a lot of ad-libbing until the song fades out.....

When we were in Texas last year, we saw Dylan and Willie Nelson on the 4th of July at Fort worth - and the Doobies were there as well - I got to hear Long train Runnin, Listen to the Music and China Grove and they ROCKED!

Not sure how many Doobies were actually there - but it was Tom Johnston singing, and that was enough for me!

Anyway - enjoy!

:D :D :D


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

Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2261

Sweeeeet! Cheers Vic :mrgreen:

It's one of those songs that I play the main riff of, then realise I can't remember the rest and, of course, always forget to look up when I have the chance :) - Guitar Chord/Scale Finder/Viewer

Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1086

Sweeeeet! Cheers Vic :mrgreen:

It's one of those songs that I play the main riff of, then realise I can't remember the rest and, of course, always forget to look up when I have the chance :)
I'm right there with you chords&scales, the intro is a piece of cake once you've learned the chords but there's a lot more to it, and now thanks to Vic we can progress. I think it may take me a couple of months to get this one down as it does involve a lot of memory cells.
If only you could update ones memory as easily as you can a PC's. My brain is probably on about 56mb ram at the moment and is running on only 500 MHz processor :lol: :lol: :lol:

Maybe I should send a lot of the useless information I have stuck in there to the recycle bin :lol:

First class job as always Vic, this must have taken you a very long time. For one, I think it was well worth it.

Thank you,

Rod. :wink:

Be excellent to each other & party on dudes!

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5044

Nice one Vic!

I too, like C&S & Rodders, used to only know the opening riff to this song, and never sat down to figure out the rest! :roll: Great job on this one, and thanks much! 8)


"The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge

Eminent Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 18

Oh wow, I absolutely love this song, i'm definitely going to try this, real flavour of the 70's, I just got a sudden urge to don some flares.

Active Member
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 9

What a great song,. Thank you for the tabs!!

Mattie, UK based session guitarist and teacher at