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Starman - David Bowie.


(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
Topic starter  

I've always been a fan of Bowie's, but particularly his earlier work; I love Mick Ronson's lead work, and also Bowie played a lot of acoustic guitar in the early days, and the two guitars meshed together beautifully for me. This song can be played a couple of ways....the original is mostly barre chords (including Bb, Gm and Ab which can't be played as open chords...) so I've tried to simplify it a little by using a capo. There are still a couple of barres in there - can't seem to do the song without a Gm, but apart from that there's only really a Bm and an F#m to worry about, and they're both at the same fret and you change from one to the other.

Anyway, if you want to play in the same key as the original, slap a capo on the third fret and away we go.....

Starman - David Bowie

Intro - G D G D (two bars of each chord)
(Bowie mutters something under his breath, but I'm damned if I can make out what it is!)

1st Verse...........

(NOTE - all chords are relative to the capo, so an F#m chord, for instance, which is 244222 will actually be an Am chord with the barre across the 5th fret - 577555.)

(Em)Didn't know what time it was, the lights were low - oh - (D)oh,
(D)I leaned back on my radio - oh - (A)oh,
(A)Some cat was layin' down some (A7)rock'n'roll, lotta soul, he said,(D)(F)(G)
(Em)Then the loud sound did seem to fa - a - (D)ade,
(D)Came back like a slow voice on a wave of pha - a - (A)ase,
(A)That was no D.J. that was (A7)hazy cosmic jive,(F#m)(E)

There's a little one-note solo played over the F#m and E chords - all on the B string at the 10th fret. (Sounds almost like morse code to me - anyone know?)

CHORUS

(E)There's a (D)starman (Bm)waiting in the sky,
He'd (F#m)like to come and (A)meet us,
But he (A7)thinks he'd blow our minds,
There's a (D)starman (Bm)waiting in the sky,
He (F#m)told us not to (A)blow it,
'Cause he (A7)knows it's all worthwhile, he told me,
(G)"Let the (Gm)children lose it,
(D)Let the (Bm7)children use it,
(Em)Let all the (A)children boogie!"

There's a fairly simple solo here - note that the chords are relative to the capo, but the notes in the solo are NOT - they are the real positions on the fretboard. It's easier to think "B string, 9th fret" than it is to think "B string, 6 frets up from the capo."
G D A D (Rhythm Chords)
E |----------------------------------|
B |----------------------------------|
G |-7-7-5---------5-9-9-7-5-------5--|
D |-------8-7-7-8-----------7-7-8----|
A |----------------------------------|
E |----------------------------------|

G D A Em - start of verse 2
E |----------------------------------|
B |----------------------------------|
G |-7-7-5---------5-9-9-7-5----------|
D |-------8-7-7-8-----------7-(Em)---|
A |----------------------------------|
E |----------------------------------|

2nd verse......

(Em)I had to phone someone so I picked on you - oo - (D)ooh,
(D)Hey, that's far out so you heard him too - oo - (A)ooh,
(A)Switch on the TV we may (A7)pick him up on channel (D)two,(F)(G)
(Em)Look out your window I can see his li - i - (D)ight,
(D)If we can sparkle he may land toni - i - (A)ight,
(A)Don't tell your poppa or he'll (A7)get us locked up in fright,(F#m)(E)

Again, that one-note morse code solo is played over the F#m and E chords.

CHORUS

(E)There's a (D)starman (Bm)waiting in the sky,
He'd (F#m)like to come and (A)meet us,
But he (A7)thinks he'd blow our minds,
There's a (D)starman (Bm)waiting in the sky,
He (F#m)told us not to (A)blow it,
'Cause he (A7)knows it's all worthwhile, he told me,
(G)"Let the (Gm)children lose it,
(D)Let the (Bm7)children use it,
(Em)Let all the (A)children boogie!"

(D)Starman (Bm)waiting in the sky,
He'd (F#m)like to come and (A)meet us,
But he (A7)thinks he'd blow our minds,
There's a (D)starman (Bm)waiting in the sky,
He (F#m)told us not to (A)blow it,
'Cause he (A7)knows it's all worthwhile, he told me,
(G)"Let the (Gm)children lose it,
(D)Let the (Bm7)children use it,
(Em)Let all the (A)children boogie!"

Repeat solo, singing la-la-la-la over the top of it and fade out........

Oh yeah - and if you don't want to muck about with a capo, and you're confident enough to play this with barre chords, all you have to do is raise the pitch of the chords written above by three semitones....ie instead of Em (capoed) you'd play Gm as a barre chord, etc.

: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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(@jimjam66)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 72
 

This looks great, thanks Vic. I'll definitely give it a try with barre chords - my music teacher is trying to get me to practice them and this looks like a good excuse to!

Cheers,

David


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(@jase36)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 247
 

It's strange you've put this up today. I've been working on Ziggy Stardust for the last week or so and just trying to tie up my timing on the verses so I've had the I pod on alot to get it clear in my mind. Anyway its an old Bowie singles collection I transferred and Starman is the song before Ziggy Stardust so its cropped up a few times by mistake. Having listened to it I had a quick look this morning and an even quicker strum and decided it was one to leave, I couldn't get the groove at all. I'll have to give it another go. If your playing the chorus without a capo are you playing all as E and A shaped barres? or are you mixing in open chords for say C, C7 and D minor?

On the subject of Bowie wasn't his early stuff great. Time seems to have diluted how far ahead of his time he was but so many of his early hits still sound fresh. I Dont like his later stuff but respect to him to still be making music as his earliest records are now forty years old (as old as me).

http://www.youtube.com/user/jase67electric


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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4478
 

Vic,

I'm with you on Bowie and Mick, he was my favorite guitarist back then, I loved his tone.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


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(@rodders)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1094
 

Really nice job there Vic,

There are some quick changes in there, like the (D)(F)(G) bit.
I'm having a bit of trouble getting the change from D to Bm at the moment. Its just a case of being out of practice I'm sure as a lot of the stuff I have been doing lately Bm hasn't featured much at all

I have run through this just now and have noticed how well it sounds, after first trying it with my 335 and thinking what the hell is wrong here and then realising I tuned it to open G a few weeks ago to play Rollin & Tumblin
After a retune,......Much better

Be excellent to each other & party on dudes!
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=686668


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
Topic starter  

Jase, I actually play it as written above, but without the capo (and of course all the notes in the solo are 3 semitones lower!)

If I'm playing in the original key, ie playing along with the CD, I play the Bb and the F at the first fret; later, where there's a quick run of chords (F, Ab, Bb, Gm) I tend to go from the 1st to the 4th to the 6th to the 3rd frets using E-shaped barres, or variations thereof. When I'm changing to a C7 from a C, I use the open chords - otherwise, I'm playing the C7 as x35353. But that's just the method that suits me best - sheesh, after all these years, you'd think I could change quickly to a C7 in open position, but I've always avoided it!

: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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 lars
(@lars)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1121
 

(including Bb, Gm and Ab which can't be played as open chords...)

gm: x10033

This is a great song! Having practiced Life on mars for a while - this is a good one to continue with. Good suggestion, thanks!

lars

...only thing I know how to do is to keep on keepin' on...

LARS kolberg http://www.facebook.com/sangerersomfolk


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 lars
(@lars)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1121
 

Just two small comments:

I haven't dug out the record yet (Hunky Dory is it?) so I might well be wrong - I couldn't even remeber the verse
- but in the chorus it just felt so right to keep the f#m all the way to the A7 (skipping effectively the A) and I also liked the sound of a F#dim (xx1212 or x67575) instead of a Bm7 on "let the children use it" - could be right try playing a bass-line D-Eb-E on the D-F#dim-em chords.

I'll be back

lars

...only thing I know how to do is to keep on keepin' on...

LARS kolberg http://www.facebook.com/sangerersomfolk


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 lars
(@lars)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1121
 

Another tiny-tiny detail - guess you don't mind Vic

If you add a sus4 to the E after the F#m after the verse (phew) you pick up (hah) the A in the "morse code"

...only thing I know how to do is to keep on keepin' on...

LARS kolberg http://www.facebook.com/sangerersomfolk


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
Topic starter  

Another tiny-tiny detail - guess you don't mind Vic

If you add a sus4 to the E after the F#m after the verse (phew) you pick up (hah) the A in the "morse code"

I don't mind in the slightest, Lars, on the contrary, I'm glad of the help! What I do is try and tab out the song how it sounds to me - any suggestions about strum patterns, chord substitutions, fills, riffs, etc, only add to the song!

: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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