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His name is Ramblin'. When he gets a chance, he leaves his mark on everybody's pants - Blind Arthur Blake, Police Dog Blues

Author Topic: Chords on a couple Sheiks tunes, and one from big chief henry  (Read 3277 times)

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Offline crustypicker

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Re: Chords on a couple Sheiks tunes, and one from big chief henry
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2021, 05:43:14 PM »
Hey John I did mention the tunes “that’s it” and “alma waltz”. Sorry for the confusion.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Chords on a couple Sheiks tunes, and one from big chief henry
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2021, 03:56:03 PM »
Hi crustypicker,
In "That's It", are you asking about the IV chord of the D minor or the IV chord of its relative major, F? If you're asking about the IV chord of the D minor, they play a regular G chord for two measures, resolving into C7 from there. If you're asking about the IV chord of F major, they play the full chord, X-1-3-3-3-X on the interior four strings for one "boom-chang" (half a measure) And then lower the fifth string from the first fret to the open string and do another "boom-chang" in the second half of the measure.
All best,
Johnm

Offline crustypicker

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Re: Chords on a couple Sheiks tunes, and one from big chief henry
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2021, 01:19:17 AM »
On that’s it  I meant the relative majors IV chord (the bflat).Thank you,I appreciate that. That is  what I was doing to begin with I guess I was just second guessing myself. How about alma waltz though is that bass walk from c to c#  to d? do use full chords over it? So F to C to C# then d minor?  I can’t really tell what chord they are using and the voicing I have been using is x567xx playing it as a triad. I feel like it’s probably not what he’s playing but it does work. Thanks a bunch a really appreciate this site a whole lot, there’s  so many awesome talented people who have put so much time into decoding this stuff. I sit and work on licks and songs for ages and it really helps to be able to ask some you battle hardened country blues experts especially you John. Cheers!
« Last Edit: February 08, 2021, 01:21:16 AM by crustypicker »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Chords on a couple Sheiks tunes, and one from big chief henry
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2021, 01:20:13 PM »
Hi crustypicker,
Here is a link for the Mississippi Mud Steppers doing "Alma Waltz":



As near as I can tell, when the bass line walks up C-C#-D the chords being played are a C7 against the C note, A C#7#9 against the C# note (this is just like moving a C7 on the interior four strings up one fret, but making sure to sound the open first string along with the chord--that's the #9 and it imparts the godawful sound), followed by a D chord against the D note in the bass, which sounds even worse. I can't believe the melody players didn't tell the guitarist, "You ain't got it yet--in fact, you're not even close!" I hope this helps.
All best,
Johnm

Offline crustypicker

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Re: Chords on a couple Sheiks tunes, and one from big chief henry
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2021, 06:21:09 PM »
I agree that is a weird way to back up that melody and if it was me I would have played different chords to accompany that melody. I still find it interesting his choice for such a simple melody. Once again they prove to use unorthodox tactics which I enjoy. Thanks again pretty silly.

Offline RobBob

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Re: Chords on a couple Sheiks tunes, and one from big chief henry
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2021, 06:39:35 AM »
I have found that the older players, black and white, tended to go for harmonic frames that leave us cold today. Not too much of a stretch to the Harmolodic approach that Ornette Coleman used.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Chords on a couple Sheiks tunes, and one from big chief henry
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2021, 07:39:07 AM »
I think the difficulties arose, Bob, when they were playing Pop or Tin Pan Alley-derived tunes that employed a harmonic language that was beyond their ken or experience. If you've never played a diminished seventh chord, or a minor seventh chord or minor sixth chord, you're probably not going to sus it out by hearing a band arrangement and figuring out by ear the individual notes that comprise the chord. You're much more likely to play something that sounds "right enough". And what passes as "right enough" is very much in the ear of the individual behearer. Lots of times the balance struck between playing the music as it was composed and playing it with the knowledge and tools that you have at your command can sound fine in a different sort of way, or charming. Other times it comes across as dead wrong or bizarre--determinations once again that are made in accordance with the the taste and tolerance of the listener.

I admit to not hearing the connect between what we're talking about with the chordal choices for "Alma Waltz" and Ornette Coleman's music at all. Ornette knew exactly what he was doing, his biggest issue was finding the right players--ones who could hear and understand and speak in the musical language he wanted to utilize in his music. Fortunately, he found those people, Charlie Haden, Don Cherry, Billy Higgins, Eddie Blackwell, Dewey Redman and others. The coherence of what Ornette did is attested to by the fact that his musical language has been incorporated into the musical vocabulary of Jazz improvisation and composition by a wide variety  of players working today, including many who never played with him or perhaps even saw him perform.

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: February 09, 2021, 03:00:42 PM by Johnm »

Offline gmeyer

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Re: Chords on a couple Sheiks tunes, and one from big chief henry
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2021, 10:45:42 PM »
Speaking of 'the ear of the individual behearer'... I have been playing 'Too Long' by the M Shieks for years and listened to it tonight and now I am wondering if I have been playing it right enough for too long.
Anyone want to suggest what chords they play?  I sing it in the key of C, but the Sheiks don't. 

Offline Johnm

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Re: Chords on a couple Sheiks tunes, and one from big chief henry
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2021, 06:12:17 AM »
Hi gmeyer,
I'll transpose the chords Walter Vinson played to C, since that's the key you've been playing it in.

    INTRO:|   C 2 beats    |    G    |      C      |     C (cut off after three beats|

   VERSE: |    C    |    C    |    C    |    C    |

               |    C    |    C    |    C    |    C    |

   CHORUS: A1 |    C   |    C    |    C    |    F    |

                  |    G  |    G     |    C    |    C    |

              A2    |    C    |    C    |    C    |    F    |

                  |    E   |    E    |    G     |    G    |

   BRIDGE: B |    C    |    C    |    F    |    C    |

                 |    E     |    E    |    D    |    G    |

           A3   |    C    |    C    |    C    |    F    |

                  |    G    |    G    |    C    |    C    |

If you'll humor me, I'll indicate where I think the melody and harmonic language of Pop music of the time suggest different chords.

   1. fourth bar of the verse should be a G7
   2. eighth bar of the verse should be split between two beats of G7 and two of C
   3. fourth bar of each of the A sections of the chords should be an A7 rather than an F
   4. fifth bar of the A1 section of the chorus should be a D7, with G7 in the sixth bar
   5. In A2, fourth bar should be A7, with D7 in the fifth and sixth bars and G7 in the seventh and eighth bars
   6. In the bridge, fifth and sixth bars should be A7, seventh bar should be D7 and eighth bar should be G7
   7. A3 should be changed to match A1, with an A7 in the in the fourth bar, D7 in the fifth bar and G7 in the sixth bar.

You could keep all of the changes I've suggested and play straight major chords rather than seventh chords where they're suggested, too. I guess the question is whether you want to reproduce the Sheiks version or edit. Incidentally, there is a recording of Charlie McCoy doing this song where I think he comes closer to the chords I suggested. Anyhow, that's what I've got, I guess.

All best,
Johnm 

                 
« Last Edit: April 02, 2021, 06:25:22 AM by Johnm »

Offline gmeyer

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Re: Chords on a couple Sheiks tunes, and one from big chief henry
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2021, 10:54:32 PM »
Thanks John, that is really great and your discussion about what could be played is very helpful to understand what I should play if I want to sound more like the Sheiks (than not).

Currently, I play it like you suggested but in the choruses, I substitute the D7 for the G in the 5th bar for A1 and A3, and again in the 7th bar of A2.  I don't really lean on it, but pass through on the way to G. After listening to that song countless times, it just sounds right...

Again, many thanks for the help making sense of these wonderful tunes!

 


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