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Some songs I like to play. See also my Charts page.
READIN started out as a place for me
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how to design a web site.
There has been some mission drift
here and there, but in general that's still what it is. Some of
the main things I write about here are
listening to (and playing) music, and
watching the movies. Also I write about the
work I do with my hands and with my head; and of course about bringing up Sylvia.
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This is a fun song, by Syd Barrett. It is also quite easy to play on guitar, as I discovered this evening. I cannot guarantee the chords here are accurate but they sound alright. (Woops -- some of those chords were way off -- these should work a little better.)
C G This is a story bout a girl that I knew C G She didn't like my songs and that made me feel blue B♭ A G She said a big band is far better than you.
C Am She don't rock and roll G She don't like it C Am She don't do the stroll G Well she don't do it right C C7 And everything's wrong F F6 And my patience is gone C When I woke one morning G And remembered this song. C Am G Kinda catchy, C Am G I hope C C7 That she will talk to me now F F6 And even allow me C G To hold her hand and forget that old man. F C C7 I strolled around to her pad F C G Her light was off and that's bad F C G Her sister said that my girl was gone F G But come inside boy and play play play me a song.
I said yeah Here I go She's kinda cute don't you know That after a while Of seeing her smile I knew we could make it A-make it in style.
So now I've got, all I need She and I are in love, we've agreed She likes this song, and my, others too So now you see my world is... Because of this tune.
What a boon this tune, I tell you soon we'll be Lying in bed Happily wed And I won't think of that girl What she said.
The key thing in picking this song is that nearly every time there is a G chord followed by a C chord, you need to end the measure of G by hammering on from an open G string to an A. That will establish the mood of the song -- for everything else you can pick and strum pretty loosely. Keep a nice walking pace, a little faster in the middle of the song.
posted evening of August 6th, 2003: Respond ➳ More posts about Guitar
One little one goes in the room and turn, turn, turn Two little ones go in the room and turn, turn, turn Three little ones go in the room and turn, turn, turn Four little ones go in the room and turn, turn, turn Five little ones go in the room and turn, turn, turn
The melody is about what you'd expect it to be, sort of a take-off on "Ten little monkeys jumpin' on the bed".
posted evening of August 28th, 2003: Respond ➳ More posts about Sylvia
The Crooked Timber thread on annoying Christmas songs inspired me to think of "Father Christmas" by the Kinks, one of very few non-annoying popular Christmas songs. (Thanks to Apostropher for telling me which song I was thinking about. Google supplied me with lyrics and I came up with some chords that seem about right. The rhythm is still giving me a little trouble. Here is Tim Harris' transcription, which seems a little better than mine, he plays it in G while I prefer C.
posted morning of December 7th, 2003: Respond ➳ More posts about Music
A song was running through my head all day; tonight I figured out (roughly) how to play it. The song is "Tell old Bill", which I know in a performance by the Chad Mitchell Trio. Here are the chords:
G Tell old Bill, when he gets home, this morning, D Tell old Bill, when he gets home, this evening, G Tell old Bill, when he gets home, C G D To leave them downtown women alone G D G This morning, this evening, so soon.
The fingerpicking is kind of difficult to describe but basically you just play the melody. A lot of time is spent on open B, G string second fret, and open G; and in the alternate melody, a lot of time on E string third fret, open E, and B string third fret. A nice song.
Update: I'm playing it in D now, which is a lot easier on my voice, but I have yet to come up with as nice a picking pattern with the different shaped chords.
Here is how you transition from "Palette" to "CAGWYW":
...G / B / C / / G / D / Em / / G / D / Em / C / G / D / Em / F / F / G7 / C / C C / / F / /...
Trust me -- it sounds sweet. In other jammin' -- I finally figured out how to tie "Stagger Lee" and "C.C. Rider" together; just strum the last chord of "Stagger Lee", rest for a measure, and start right in. That sounds a lot better than the noodling around I had been trying to do.
"Rag Mama" is finally together. Never before have I really been satisfied with how I played that song; but tonight the speed was right, the beat was right, I had the vocals down. (3 out of four times that I played it tonight -- hope I hit lucky tomorrow night on stage.) I am not talking about the Band song called "Rag Mama Rag" -- this is a tune by Blind Boy Fuller (which I originally know via Jim Kweskin and the Jug Band):
A7 I'm goin uptown with my hat in my hand D Lookin for de woman aint got no man G7 Just as well be tryin to find a needle in the sand C Lookin for a woman aint got no man
Chorus: Dwee-de-daw, dweedly-daw, Rag Mama, Come on, baby, do that Rag
Well you get yourself a woman you best get two, One for your buddy 'nother one for you, Got me a wife an a sweetheart too, Wife don't love me my sweetheart do
Took my woman down to Meeker St., Honey now, honey now, whatta'I see, Saw my woman with a man, she was holdin' his hand (that ain't right!) Aw, Pistol in my pocket, black jack in my hand, says I'm gonna get that so-and-so
Now, who'd'a thought my gal would treat me so, Love another man at my back door Mind, mama, what you sow, Cause you gots to reap just what you sow
At the jam today, we finally agreed on chords for "City of New Orleans" -- this is a bit historic as every time we have played it before, we've gotten bogged down in arguing about the correct chords. Here it is:
| G / / / | G / / / |
G / D / | G / / / |
Riding on the City of New Orleans
| Em / C / | G / / / |
Illinois Central Monday morning rail
| G / D / | G / / / |
Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders
| Em / D / | G / / / |
Three conductors and twenty-five sacks of mail.
| Em / / / |
All along the south bound odyssey,
Bm / / / |
the train pulls out of Kankakee
| D / / / | A / / / |
Rolls along past houses farms and fields
| Em / / / |
Passing towns that have no name,
Bm / / / |
freight yards full of old black men
| D / D7 / | G / / / |
And graveyards of rusted automobiles.
| C / D7 / | G / / / |
Good morning America, how are you?
| Em / C / | G / / D7 |
Say, don't you know me, I'm your native son.
| G / D / | Em Em7 A7 / |
I'm the train they call the City of New Orleans
| B♭ C D / | G / / / |
I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.
Dealing card games with the old men in the club car
Penny a point ain't noone keeping score
Pass the paper bag that holds the bottle
Feel the wheels rumbling 'neath the floor
And the sons of Pullman porters
and the sons of engineers
Ride their father's magic carpets made of steel
Mothers with their babes asleep,
rocking to the gentle beat
And the rhythm of the rails is all they feel.
Nightime on the City of New Orleans
Changing cars in Memphis Tennessee
Half way home we'll be there by morning
through the Mississippi darkness rolling down to the sea.
But all the towns and people seem
to fade into a bad dream
And the steel rail still ain't heard the news
The conductor sings his songs again,
the passengers will please refrain
This train's got the disappearing railroad blues.
Update: what I mean to say is, the above is some chords that Jim found via a Google search when he was looking for the lyrics; they agree almost completely with the chords which we all had agreed on, independently of looking at that transcription. (The main difference is, we had F instead of B-flat in the last line of the chorus -- I think the transcription is probably correct here, though F sounds pretty good too.) Ignore most of the 7's and 9's in the transcription, which are good flourishes to put in but not an essential part of the song's chord structure.
I started writing a song tonight (well technically last night I guess, the chord progression occurred to me last night and Ellen had an idea for some words tonight, which I fleshed out to a verse):
A E7 F A What do you know, what do you care A E7 F A What do you know, what do you care D D7 E F Last time I called you you were talkin bout your father E F D D7 And you wouldn't answer straight when I asked about the water A Flowin' by.
Needs more words and perhaps more sensible words but the rhythm of it is very nice.
Update: 2nd Verse
What do you know, what do you care What do you know, what do you care Last time I saw you you were thinkin bout tomorrow And you wouldn't even listen when I asked about the sorrow In your eye.
Update: Here is a bridge, and something like a 3rd Verse
Bridge: D D7 C C9 F E A
What do you know, what do you care What do you know, what do you care I'm always askin you how come you can't forgive her But you won't tell me nothin, always starin at the river Flowin by.
I was happy tonight to write an actual piece of music down -- like I am getting notation enough that I can write in it as well as read. Mom helped me out with understanding the rhythm. I will post a picture of it once I learn how to get notation in my computer. (I may even post a sound file of it if I can figure out how to get sound into my computer.) Sort of a happy syncopated fiddle tune -- I wrote about 4 measures but they are basis for this improvising tune that one can play for a long time without tiring of it.
I figured out how to use the audio recorder on my computer; so here is the melody I came up with last night. Things it would benefit from: rhythm instrument like guitar/piano/drums; a bridge; lyrics; harmony. Still I think it is pretty nice.