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She Talks To Angels - Black Crowes


(@iraesq)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 62
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I've been listening to a lot of Black Crowes lately (and playing their tunes as a result), and I thought I'd post a tab and lesson on this sad and beautiful song. It's not that hard and it sounds great.

This is the way I play it. It is not exactly the way Rich Robinson plays it on the recording or live, but it's close. If you want that, just go grab the Crowes' Guitar Anthology tab book. This is a straight-forward version, without all the little embellishments Rich always plays with this song.

But you should definitely hear how Robinson plays it. His rhythm is essential to get the sound of this song.

First off, this song is in played in open E tuning (E-B-E-G#-B-E). Don't freak out. Open tunings are not too hard and they sound very rich and full. You can put your guitar into open E by raising strings 3, 4, 5 to the proper note, but this can put some added strain on the neck and strings.

I prefer to tune the guitar down into Open D (D-A-D-F#-A-D) with a capo at fret 2. Lower the notes on strings 6 (full step), 3 (half step), 2 (full step) and 1 (full step). Put the capo on fret 2.

Now you are in open E. Strum all the strings, it's an E major chord. Barre the strings at the 5th fret and you have A major. B major is at the 7th fret.

I play this with or without a pick. It's your choice, though a pick is easier for the last part of the introduction discussed below.

On to the lesson/tab. I'll give you the pieces and then assemble them at the end with all the lyrics, chords and song structure. Enjoy!

MAIN RIFF

Let's start with the main riff used throughout the verses, and other parts of the song. It is an E to A based riff. You will play the strings open and play the strings using the shape of an E Major chord in standard tuning.

Listen to the song for the strumming. I use DUD/D/DUDU, but make some variations for added favor. Here's how it looks with the lyric for the start of verse 1.

(let it ring)
e|----------------------------0-0-0---0---0-0-0-0-------------------|
B|----------------------------0-0-0---0---0-0-0-0-------------------|
G|----------------------------0-0-0---0---1-0-1-0-------------------|
D|----------------------------0-0-0---0---2-0-2-0-------------------|
A|----------------------------0-0-0---0---2-0-2-0-------------------|
E|----------------------------0-0-0---0---0-0-0-0-------------------|
She never mentions the word addiction

INTRO:

Let's break this into 3 separate phrases. For the first phrase, I start with the ring finger on the second string (fret 4) and slide it up to fret 5. I do two quick pull-offs from fret 4 to 2 to open, but you could probably slide those notes if you prefer.

PHRASE 1

|---------------0-------0----------0--------|
|--4s5-5--4p2p0-------0------------0--------|
|-----------------0h1-----1--1p0---0--------| 2x
|--------------------------------0-0--------|
|----------------------------------0--------|
|----------------------------------0--------|

After you play this phrase the second time, you will be playing the main riff again, with a little twist that sounds cool and isn't too hard. You'll be playing natural harmonics.

I won't get into the physics or theory, but at certain points on the fretboard (frets 12, 7 and 5), you can get a very interesting bell-like sound with this technique (think about the opening to Roundabout by Yes or the end of Little Martha by the Allmans).

You are going to gently lay your finger across the strings directly above the fretwire. It is important to be directly above the wire and to avoid applying much pressure. Strike the strings with a quick down strum and, just after you strike the strings, quickly lift your finger off the strings. You should hear a bell-like ringing that sustains. With a little practice, it's easy to pick up and is a cool tool. Try to do it with the individual strings, too.

Anyway, here's the tab for this part. I'll call the little harmonics part the “E-B Harmonics.”

Main Riff Harmonics Main Riff
E B
|--0-0-0--0—--0-0-0-0-----<12>----<7>----0-0-0--0---0-0-0-0------|
|--0-0-0--0—--0-0-0-0-----<12>----<7>----0-0-0--0---0-0-0-0------|
|--0-0-0--0—--1-0-1-0-----<12>----<7>----0-0-0--0---1-0-1-0------|
|--0-0-0--0---2-0-2-0-----<12>----<7>----0-0-0--0---2-0-2-0------|
|--0-0-0--0---2-0-2-0-----<12>----<7>----0-0-0--0---2-0-2-0------|
|--0-0-0--0---0-0-0-0--------------------0-0-0--0---0-0-0-0------|

PHRASE 2

Again, I start with the ring finger, now on the fourth string (fret 2) and slide it up to fret 4. You are now in position for two quick pull-offs. Use the middle finger for the pull-offs at the fret 3 and the index finger for the pull-off at fret 2. You'll also play this at the end of the Break.

Main Riff

|----------------------------------0-0-0--0--0-0-0-0------|
|----------2p0-------------0-------0-0-0--0--0-0-0-0------|
|-----3p0-------0----3p0-----------0-0-0—-0--1-0-1-0------|
|-2s4--------------0-----0---2-0---0-0-0--0--2-0-2-0------|
|----------------------------------0-0-0--0--2-0-2-0------|
|----------------------------------0-0-0--0--0-0-0-0------|

PHRASE 3

Quick alternative notes, using the high E note as the anchor for this run. I find this part easier with a pick, but it can be played finger style. You'll also play this at the end of the Break.

Main Riff

|-0---0---0---0----0-----0----0-----0-0-0--0--0-0-0-0------|
|---5---4---0-----------------------0-0-0--0--0-0-0-0------|
|---------------3-----1p0---0-------0-0-0—-0--1-0-1-0------|
|-------------------------------0---0-0-0--0--2-0-2-0------|
|-----------------------------------0-0-0--0--2-0-2-0------|
|-----------------------------------0-0-0--0--0-0-0-0------|

That's it for the introduction.

The verses are just playing the Main Riff 4 times.

CHORUS:

It's based around an E-B-A chord progression, with the Main Riff and the E-B Harmonics bit thrown in. Pretty easy as noted in the tab. You'll use an index finger barre for the B and A chord.

For the first E chord I play with a quicker down-up strum and then into something like D/D/DUD/D in the B and A chords.

You'll play the E-B-A-Main Riff progression twice. After the second time, you'll play the E-B Harmonics at frets 12 and 7, followed by the main riff again as you circle back into the verses.

E B A Main Riff

e|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-7--7--7-7-7--7--5--5--5-5-5--5----|
B|-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-7--7--7-7-7--7--5--5--5-5-5--5----|
G|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-7--7--7-7-7--7--5--5--5-5-5--5----| 2x
D|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-7--7--7-7-7--7--5--5--5-5-5--5----|
A|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-7--7--7---7--7--5--5---------5----|
E|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-7--7------7--7--5--5---------5----|

BRIDGE

After the chorus that follows the third verse, there is a bridge section. It's just an A-E progression, using a barre at the fret 5. Listen to the song to get the rhythm (it changes a bit). At the end, you'll play phrase 2 and 3 from the intro.

Those are all the pieces. Here's the lyrics and structure.

Intro

1st Verse:
Riff
She never mentions the word addiction
Riff
In certain company
Riff
Yes, she'll tell you shes an orphan
Riff
After you meet her family

Chorus: (No lyrics first time around)

E-B-A- Main Riff 2x

E-B Harmonics - Main Riff

2nd Verse:
Riff
She paints her eyes as black as night now
Riff
She pulls those shades down tight
Riff
Yeah she gives a smile when the pain comes
Riff
The pain's gonna make everything alright

Chorus:

E B A
She says she talks to angels,
Riff
they call her out by her name
E B A
Oh yeah she talks to angels,
Riff
says they call her out by her name

E-B harmonics - Main Riff

3rd Verse:
Riff
She keeps a lock of hair in her pocket
Riff
She wears a cross around her neck
Riff
Yes the hair is from a little boy

And the cross is from someone she has
Riff
not met.....not yet

Chorus: At the end, skip the E-B harmonics and go right into the E for the Bridge

Bridge:

E

A E
She don't know no lover
A E
None that i've ever seen
A E
To her that ain't nothin'
A E
But to me, it means, everything.

Main Riff - E-B harmonics - Main Riff

Intro Repeated: 2 and 3 phrases from intro only

Repeat 2nd Verse

Chorus: 2x

E B A
She says she talks to angels,
Riff
they call her out by her name
E B A
Oh yeah she talks to angels,
Riff
says they call her out by her name
E B A
Oh yeah she talks to angels,
B A
says they call her out
B A
says they call her out
Riff
says they call her out by her name

Outro

Main riff slowly and play the last E chord as an arpeggio


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(@jwmartin)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1437
 

Great lesson, iraesq. I love the song and had played around with the opening before, but now I'll have to learn the whole thing.

Bass player for Undercover


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(@iraesq)
Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 62
Topic starter  

No problem. I hope it wasn't too detailed or hard to follow. Let me know how it works out.


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

I've done this tuning for this song before. It was a few years ago when I was a beginner, but I still managed to pick up most of the song in very short time. I've recently been tempted to put one of my guitars back into that tuning to try some Allman Bros style slide (ie, what Derek Trucks does now) I think I remember being a bit nervous about the tuning as it was rather tight. I might give it a whirl soon.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@jwmartin)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1437
 

Another good song to play in open E is the Gimme Shelter.

Bass player for Undercover


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