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Author Topic: Charlie McCoy's "Too Long" chord progression  (Read 2076 times)

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Offline Rockdale

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Charlie McCoy's "Too Long" chord progression
« on: December 15, 2010, 07:26:46 PM »
Hey everyone,

    This song has been stuck in my head for the last week. I've been trying to play along with it but I'm getting stuck somewhere. It sounds like it's played in the key of D and goes through a I-VI7-II7-V7 kind of pattern and then something like I7-IV-VI/#VI-VI/#VI-II7-V7 in the bridge but I could be way off; there's a lot of cracks and pops on the recording I have. Any help would be very much appreciated.

    The thing about this song that I really love is the little lick that happens after the line "...and your daddy don't need you no more". This is what I hear:


Offline banjochris

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Re: Charlie McCoy's "Too Long" chord progression
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2010, 11:01:42 PM »
This is one of my favorite tunes -- it's actually played in E-flat, no capo or anything. There's a whole thread on here about playing in flat keys, take a look. So the chord progression is:


so there's a IIIm chord in the bridge, but other than that it's mostly the I-VI-II-V progression. Oh, and that little lick is played on a mandolin, not a guitar, but the notes are right (but the key isn't).

Offline Rockdale

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Re: Charlie McCoy's "Too Long" chord progression
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2010, 09:44:07 AM »
Thanks for putting those changes up. I wasn't sure about the key; the pitch when I was playing along was somewhere between D and Eb but I was probably just out of tune slightly or something.

The progression makes sense but maybe I'm not listening close enough because it sounds like the piano does some half step motion in the bass during the bridge on the part where he sings, "...but now there's another...". Not sure if this signifies a chord change or not though. I also don't know how many recordings of this are out there but the only one I have is on the Document CD Complete Works 1928-1932, if that makes a difference. That mandolin lick in there is so cool. Lately I've been thinking the song would work well as a duet for acoustic guitars. Has anyone on here tried that?


Offline frankie

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Re: Charlie McCoy's "Too Long" chord progression
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2010, 12:42:49 PM »
If I was drawing a chord chart, I don't think I notate the half-step motion, but you can get a similar effect on the guitar by playing a Dflat7 one beat before you start the C7 measure.

The Mississippi Sheiks do this - just Walter and Lonnie, and Walter doesn't play the changes the same way the piano player on McCoy's recording does.  The changes are simplified, and a little strange, actually.  I like it both ways, actually.  When I play it, I take elements of both.

There's no reason it couldn't sound good as a two-guitar tune.  Betcha it'd have a pretty neat sound if one guitar took backup in E-flat (no capo) and the other took melody in C, capo 3 (pitch would be E-flat).

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