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The Man Who Sold the World - Nirvana / Bowie tribute

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mattguitar
(@mattguitar_1567859575)
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RE POST WITH 100% CORRECT CHORUS SECTION

Greetings my steel and nylon plucking friends. Here's one off MTV unplugged in New York, Nirvana covered this Bowie song as a tribute. I must say, I really like their version, sorry Bowie fans! As some of you know I am very new to electric, so this is one I will be working on - as such its very much one I am learning as much as you might be, I hope.

Right as usual I will try and give as many playing tips as i can figure out...

Timing For the verses, its all in 4/4 time, that is stay on each chord for a count of 4. You will note that most chords you stay on for two bars in the verse, (count 4 twice) and I have tried to indicate where the singing is in relation to the chords by putting them in twice - so you'll see an A after an A to denote where they fit. I hope this makes sense to you.
The ONLY exception to this, is the verse bit "I thought you died alone"...on the "died" you play just 2 beats of A (this follows a 4 beat A). Its best played with two downstrokes and then straight back to the Dm.

See the seperate section "Chorus" as this is played in its own unique way totally seperate from the verse strumming!!

Chord shapes
I have listed these out as open chords - there is one exception, the C# (and I am sure someone will correct me that its not a C# at all anyway!!!) but you have plenty of time to get to this so it shouldn't be a problem.

A - x02220
Dm - xx0231
F - full barred F OR xx3211 cheat (like me!)
C - x32010
C# - x4666x (if you really can't do that, slide an A up to 6th fret and just play the middle strings xx666x. Be a devil....(get it?).

Strumming pattern
Couldn't be easier - just play Down Down Up Up Down (1, 2, 3+ 4). On the C# just hit it hard and let it ring. Don't forget the timing of the A at the end of line 6 (see "timing" above).

Riffs
The song is based round two main riffs. Note that riff one, and the outro solo, are all played on one string, the G. For space's sake, I haven't included all the strings on the tab, only the G string for these bits. I hope you'll forgive my lazyness but it seemed a waste of time including strings that are never played! One forms the intro and a guitar fill after the chorus, the other is the main chorus.

Let's have a look at riff one.This is played on electric, with a bit of overdrive i think -

RIFF ONEG:--2-----2-2---0-------2h3p2---0---|

Use your middle finger to play the 2nd fret, then hammer on and off the 3rd fret with your ring finger. Should be pretty easy with a little practice.

it should sound (timing wise) dum dum dum dur.......diddle um. With a distinct pause between the open string and the hammer on section. When you're playing this as the intro, play it through 5 times like this, then on the sixth time add an extra note like this -
G:--2-----2-2---0-------2h3p2---0-2 (let ring)

Ok so that's riff one tackled - pretty easy.

Chorus The next riff is more tricky, the experienced players will recognise it pretty quickly (I am not a technical buff but i think its C major scale? anyone care to comment?) followed by F and then Db /G/a

It looks like this and is played in strict eighth notes for the first two bars (C and F - so its one and two and three and four and..) followed by a bar of picking single notes on the count of one, three and four. Its probably easier to tab this. Note where the singing is!!!

Riff two
Note first bar is C, second is F
e:---------------------|--------------------------|
B:---------------------|--------------------------|
G:--------------2-3-5--|--------------------------|
D:-------2-3-5---------|-----------------0--2--3--|
A:--3-5----------------|--------0--1--3-----------|
E:---------------------|--1--3--------------------|
"not me.." "we.."

e:------------------|
B:------------------|
G:---------------=--|
D:------------3-----|
A:-4-------------4--|
E:------------------|
"never lost control"

e:-----------------|--------------------|
B:--------------------|--------------------|
G:--------------------|--------------2-3-5-|
D:---------------0-2-3|------2-3-5---------|
A:--------0-1-3-------|-3-5----------------|
E:--1-3---------------|--------------------|
"the face.." "to face."

e:--------------------|--------------------|
B:--------------------|-6-----------------|
G:--------------------|-6-----------------|
D:---------------0-2-3|-6------------------|
A:--------0-1-3-------|-4------------------|
E:--1-3---------------|-x-------------------|
"of a ..man who stole the world


Right that's about it really. So lets have a look at the whole song.

Play intro as detailed above, with extra note after 5 "straight" runs though.
A
We passed upon the stairs,
A Dm
We spoke of was and when
Dm A
Although I wasn't there
A F
He said I was his friend,
F C
Which came as a surprise,
C A A(2) Dm
I spoke into his eyes,I thought you died alone
Dm C
A long long time ago .........oh no(into riff 2)

Chorus one
(Riff 2) see notes!!!!

not me.....we never lost control
the face...to face...with the man who sold the world...into riff one!

Verse 2
A
I laughed and shook his hand,
A Dm
I made my way back home,
Dm A
I searched for form and land
A F
Years and years I roamed,
F C
I gazed a gazely stare,
C A A (2) Dm
We walked a million hills, I must have died alone,
Dm C
A long long time ago ..........who knows? into riff 2

Chorus two
Riff 2
not me.......I never lost control
you're face...to face..with the man whol sold the world ( into outro )

Outro
A * Dm *
G|--2-2-2-0---2h3p2-0---2-2-2-0---2h3p2-0---2-2-2-0---2h3p2-0----

F
G--2-2-2-0---2h3p2-0---2-2-2-0---2h3p2-0---2-2-2-0---2h3p2-0----

Dm A
G--2-2-2-0---2h3p2-0---2-2-2-0-----5/7-9-10--9--9-9--9-9--9--9-9--

Dm F
G--2-2-2-0---2h3p2-0---2-2-2-0---2---/10--10-10--10-10-10--10-10-

Dm A
G--10-10--10-109---9-7-7--7-7--7-7-7-7--7-7--7/9-9--9-9-9--9-9--

Dm F
G--9--9-9---2-2-2-0---2h3p2-0---2-2-2-0---0-2----/10--10-10--10--

Dm A
G--10-10--10-10-10-10--10-109-9--7--7-7-7--7-7-7-7--7-7-7--7/9--

Dm F *

G-9-9--9-9-9--9--9-9--9-9--2-2-2-0---2h3p2-0---2-2-2-0---2h3p2-0-2--|

I hope you enjoy this. Given that its taken me about 4 hours to do all this (I have posted it once and for some reason it never hit the site!) I hope at least a couple of you have a go at it. And please do feed back to me what you think of it.

Ta

Matt


   
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J Rock
(@j-rock)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 78
 

Thanks....I love this song.

I can look back with a smile, knowing that my ambition far exceeded my talent.


   
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Elvis
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Posts: 49
 

Great post Matt! I really like your clear instructions.
It's also a song i really like. I know how to play the verses but never gotten the hang of those riffs, I'd better try again now.
Thanks alot


   
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mattguitar
(@mattguitar_1567859575)
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Topic starter  

Elvis

(i thought you were dead...!)

Having played this through over the weekend, i can definitely say that riff one / intro is spot on, and verses are spot on. However i am not totally convinced by the riff for the chorus. I have got round this by just playing C - F all downstrokes played one - and - two - and - three (straight eights) - this works just fine. I will see if i can get a better version of the chorus riffs and if i do i will repost them.

But yeah, great song.

Regards

Matt


   
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silenus
(@silenus)
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Posts: 32
 

Thanks for your efforts...
Really like this song (as the rest of Nirvana unplugged)
and nice tips...
Excellent work :D


   
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Elvis
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Ok riff 1 is starting to sound ok for me but I'm still having trouble with the C# part of riff 2 (we never lost control), sounds strange to me but maybe i just have to work on it!
But Matt the lyrics are man who sold the world (not man who stole the world :D )


   
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mattguitar
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Topic starter  

Elvis

Just try strumming the C# once with a downstrum, sing it, then go back into the other riff part.

The chord is definitely right, i checked it last night.

All the best

Matt


   
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catcha
(@catcha)
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The words are totally wrong to the most important lines of this song they are.....

I gazed a gazely stare at all the millions here
We must have died along, a long long time ago

and without those you would loose the whole meaning of what this song was about and why Cobain chose it and more than likely the song that could best typify his feelings towards the world at the time.
a very important song that influenced many people at the time Bowie wrote it , as was his life on mars.

Bowie a true visionary.

Life on mars was more visionary.....

It's a god-awful small affair
To the girl with the mousy hair
But her mummy is yelling "No"
And her daddy has told her to go
But her friend is nowhere to be seen
Now she walks through her sunken dream
To the seat with the clearest view
And she's hooked to the silver screen
But the film is a saddening bore
For she's lived it ten times or more
She could spit in the eyes of fools
As they ask her to focus on
Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man! Look at those cavemen go
It's the freakiest show
Take a look at the Lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man! Wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?
It's on Amerikas tortured brow
That Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow
Now the workers have struck for fame
'Cause Lennon's on sale again
See the mice in their million hordes
From Ibeza to the Norfolk Broads
Rule Britannia is out of bounds
To my mother, my dog, and clowns
But the film is a saddening bore
'Cause I wrote it ten times or more
It's about to be writ again
As I ask you to focus on
Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man! Look at those cavemen go
It's the freakiest show
Take a look at the Lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man! Wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?

Please dont change Bowies lyrics or else Ill have you beamed up
:lol:

Dont give a shite about punctuation or spelling , I have to do that all day at work.
Free times for rocking !!


   
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mattguitar
(@mattguitar_1567859575)
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Topic starter  

Catcha

Fair cop. To be fair, I got the lyrics from the internet, and you know what information is like on there -- rubbish ha ha.

But i agree, it does kind of explain the meaning. I will correct it later today

Thanks for pointing that out

Matt


   
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cnev
 cnev
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catcha,

Are you a big Bowie, so am I although I like his earlier stuff better.

Funny you bring up Life on Mars, I love that song

Chris

"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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catcha
(@catcha)
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catcha,

Are you a big Bowie, so am I although I like his earlier stuff better.

Funny you bring up Life on Mars, I love that song

Chris

I am a big Bowie fan but I like all bands that deal with "why we are here" etc type lyrics as that is my interest in life :D and Bowie does (did) this so well .
I also love the flaming lips for the same reason and they did a very dark version of Life On Mars .
Thier Yoshimi battles the pink robots concept album has lots of Bowie etc influences in its lifeview lyric wise if not musically

Life on Mars is a concept I believe in ie .. that we are all being looked down upon by a higher race but thats probably getting too deep :) also (Ill get my coat before I say this) I agreed with Bowies distain for Americas Imperialistic nature and obsession with filmstar/actor culture.
Are we all in the freakiest reality show???

it doesnt do to get too deep on it but thats why I like Bowie etc , great brain , great lyricist.

Ive lightened up since but can look back and know I witnessed some of musics great moments before we got into this boyband bulshite etc culture

If you really like Bowie you must see The Life Aquatic (new Bill Murry film) as it has a full Bowie soundtrack and amongst other versions has a Greek?? bloke seu jorge doing life on mars and starman etc in greek?? on a classical guitar , he plays real nice and raw.

Dont give a shite about punctuation or spelling , I have to do that all day at work.
Free times for rocking !!


   
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cnev
 cnev
(@cnev)
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Posts: 4459
 

Matt,

Do you know what the tuning for this is? I play it in std tuning and it soounds OK but I thought Nirvana always tuned a half step down?

Also just so I've got it right after the chorus you play Riff 2 twice? Is that correct. And is the rhythm over Riff 2 the same as the chorus?

catcha

I've been a Bowie fan for years, especially the early years when he didn't get much airplay over here and for the same reasons you liked him. I always thought he wrote some of the best lyrics. at least lyrics that you had to think about. Although totally different music I really enjoy Adam Duritz from Counting Crows, I think he writes great lyrics also.

Chris

"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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oktay
(@oktay)
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On the intro riff, try a slide from fret 2 to 3 and back instead of a hammer on. I think that's how it was on the first tab I've seen for this. I bring this up because it sounds good and is a bit easier for me.

Oktay


   
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mattguitar
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Topic starter  

Cnev - yeah its in Eb tuning, so drop everything half a step

Low to high Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb

Sorry, i actually put this in a "tuning" part of my original draft, but it kept screwing up when i posted it.

Its sounds ok in standard tuning, but if you sing it like Cobain (or try to!!) it won't quite fit the pitch. Nirvana fans please don't send me a million "no one could sing like Cobain"....type messages please!!! you know what i mean though, you will have to alter your voice if you haven't tuned down.

All the best

Matt


   
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yournightmare
(@yournightmare)
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The words are totally wrong to the most important lines of this song they are.....

I gazed a gazely stare at all the millions here
We must have died along, a long long time ago

and without those you would loose the whole meaning of what this song was about and why Cobain chose it and more than likely the song that could best typify his feelings towards the world at the time.

Sorry, but this is Nirvana's version. Kurt Cobain CLEARLY says "I gazed a gazely stare, we walked a million hills, I must have died alone, a long long time ago."

Don't ask me why he changed the lyrics, he was probably completely out of his mind on heroin while performing this and simply forgot the words. Also, on the first season of the Rockstar: INXS, Jordis Unga sang Nirvana's version of Man Who Sold The World and sang the lyrics as "we walked a million million hills, I must have died....." just like Cobain did. And she learned the song from Nirvana's official sheet music/lyrics, not from the Internet.


   
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