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Struggles with 'Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues'

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Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 279
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Hi, guys.

It's been a while since I was around here regularly, as I'd defected to the world of the four string (the ukulele). However, today (21st September 2013) happens to be the eleventh anniversary of my picking up a guitar. So, I found my way back here. In order to celebrate the eleventh anniversary, I am trying to figure out 'Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues' from this lesson:

I have the first riff going, but can't work out what's going on with the Cmaj7 riff. Could anybody enlighten me, without confusing TAB? I've wanted to learn this for about 5 years, so it'd be good to finally get it down.

Many thanks,


Take care,


Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4472

Funny - I just did this song in my adult intermediate class this past Thursday night. Also funny that we did it so as to improve combining their ears and theory knowledge to in order to figure out what's going on in songs. This guy's good, but how can he not know for sure it's a Cmaj7 chord? Boggles the mind.

Also would make the whole thing easier to each. If you look at the single notes being stressed in the opening G chord section, you'd have this:

F#, E, D, A, (hammer to) B, and the D.

Translating that to the generic number of the G scale, it's (major)7, 6, 5, 2, 3, 5

Now when you hear the single notes being played over the Cmaj7 chord, you hopefully can hear that while the notes have changed, the intervals between the notes haven't. In other words, it's the same exact riff except it's played in a different key. In this case, C.

So taking the (major)7, 6, 5, 2, 3, 5 and putting it into the C scale, the notes of the riff are B, A, G, D, (hammer to) E, G

To play that, you play the open B string, the second fret of the G (which is A), the open G, the second fret of the D (which is E), the open D, hammer to the second fret of the D (E again) and then the open G. Essentially it's the same riff as the first chord, but played on the G and D strings instead of the D and A strings only starting with the open B string instead of the fourth fret of the G string. But (!), since the note of the open B is also found on the fourth fret of the G string, you could play that note there, making both riffs exactly the same but played on different strings.

When you start with the D chord, it also uses the same idea in terms of notes, but uses the b7 (C instead of C#) and the 1 and 2 (D and E) instead of the 2 and 3 - mostly because it involves less moving around from the chord shape.

There are tons of songs that use this idea of repeating a riff - "Day Tripper" is one that immediately comes to mind.

Hope this helps. Just give a shout if you need more assistance with this. Or email me directly if you'd like, too.


Reputable Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 296

Ah nice playing, I enjoyed that.