Eric Clapton – Unplugged

“Eric Clapton was ‘unplugged’ in more ways than one at that performance. There, in front of a large studio audience – and later an enormous MTV and record-buying audience – an artist who is know to be very shy dealt with the most painful experience anyone could ever imagine – the tragic loss of his son, Conor.”
Alex Coletti, Producer of MTV’s Unplugged

In February 1993 Clapton won six Grammy Awards for his 1992 released album “Unplugged”. Recorded live in January 1992 in the English Bray Studios, London, he showed his ability to play acoustic Blues with great intensity. Many “MTV unplugged” performances from other artists showed nothing new – they just played an acoustic guitar instead of an electric. EC’s performance was different. He only played songs fitting into the acoustic environment, like old Robert Johnson tunes, or he rearranged the songs completely new, like “Layla”. He used five different guitars:

  1. a Jose Ramirez III nylon string classical guitar, Madrid, 1992
  2. a 1939 Martin 000-42, serial #73234, sold for US$ 791,500 at the Crossroads Guitar Auction 2004
  3. a 1966 Martin 000-28 (converted to Style 000-45 pearl inlay by Mike Longworth), serial #208511, sold for US$ 186,700 at the Crossroads Guitar Auction 2004
  4. a Martin D-12-20 12 string guitar
  5. a Dobro in open G tuning (pre-war model, bought in the 70’s from George Gruhn’s shop in Nashville with a Martin style replacement neck put on it by Randy Wood. [Source])

During this session he played some songs which didn’t make it on the album , but

Since Unplugged EC included an “acoustic set” in every tour.

Song list:

  1. Signe (3:13)
  2. Before You Accuse Me (3:44)
  3. Hey Hey (3:16)
  4. Tears In Heaven (4:36)
  5. Lonely Stranger (5:27)
  6. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out (3:49)
  7. Layla (4:46)
  8. Running On Faith (6:30)
  9. Walkin’ Blues (3:37)
  10. Alberta (3:42)
  11. San Francisco Bay Blues (3:23)
  12. Malted Milk (3:36)
  13. Old Love (7:52)
  14. Rollin’ & Tumblin’ (4:12)

Signe

Guitar: Jose Ramirez III nylon string

Signe was named after a beautiful yacht he chartered when he started writing songs. It’s no Blues – a Bossa Nova-style instrumental. I’ll skip it, because I will focus on Blues songs. A tab is in the archive.

Before You Accuse Me


Guitar: Martin

“The Blues are what I’ve turned to, what has given me the inspiration and relief in all of the trials of my life”
– Eric Clapton

Before You Accuse Me appeared first on “Journeyman”, EC played the electric version. On “Unplugged” he played it acoustic on his Martin guitar. Bo Diddley also played (t)his song on the EC Tribute album 1999. It’s not the absolutely exact tablature as played by EC, it’s a little bit easier to play – remember, this is for beginners. Most of us have the “Unplugged” CD and a CD-Player, you can also get a video or a songbook with tabs of all songs from “Unplugged”.

This song is tabbed almost completely, so that you have something to play without the need of learning the basics or the scale before. However, it’s nice to discover later what’s behind these notes…

Song structure

Before You Accuse Me was written in 1957 by Ellas McDaniel (= Bo Diddley!). It’s a medium shuffle (around 95 bpm = beats per minute) in E, played in fingerstyle on an acoustic guitar. For the simple version you need the following chords:

E7 – A7 – B7, sometimes D7, Eb7 and E

It’s a 12 bar “quick change” (2nd chord A7 instead of E7) Blues:

E7 – A7 – E7 – E7
A7 – A7 – E7 – E7
B7 – A7 – E7 – B7

Chords are:

E E7 A A7 B7 B7

Rhythm guitar

This is the basic riff, played with some variations:

 E7                     A7                     B7
 I-------------------I  I-------------------I  I-------------------I
 I-------------------I  I-------------------I  I-------------------I
 I-------------------I  I-------------------I  I-------------------I
 I-------------------I  I--2-2-4-4-2-2-4-4--I  I--4-4-6-6-4-4-6-6--I
 I--2-2-4-4-2-2-4-4--I  I--0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0--I  I--2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2--I
 I--0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0--I  I-------------------I  I-------------------I

(Usually this is played with the thumb, I use thumb and index finger for a better control)

Intro

The intro is a variation of a very often used Blues lick. The descending chords are E7-Eb7-D7-E-B7 and it looks like:

 E7                    Eb7 D7     Em/E                                 B7
 I-3/4-4-4-4--4--4-4-I-3-3--2-2-I------------0-3-0-3-0------------I-0--------2---0---I
 I-2/3-3-3-3--3--3-3-I-2-2--1-1-I------------0-3-0-3-0--3---------I-0----0-0-0---0---I
 I-3/4-4-4-4--4--4-4-I-3-3--2-2-I-0tr1.....---------------3-2-0h1-I------2-2-2-------I
 I-------------------I----------I---------------------------------I------------------I
 I-------------------I----------I---------------------------------I----2-----2-------I
 I-------------------I----------I---------------------------------I------------------I
                                  (Triller, fast hammer-on and pull-off)         Be-

Vocals

First verse:

 E7                    A7                    E7                E7
 I------------------I-----------------------I-----------------I--------------------I
 I------------------I-----------------------I-----------------I--------------------I
 I---------------0--I------------------0----I-----------------I---------------2-0--I
 I---------------0--I-2-2--4-4--2-2--4---4--I-----------------I---------------2-0--I
 I-2-2-4-4-2-2-0----I-0-0--0-0--0-0--0---0--I-2-2-4-4-2-2-4-4-I-2-2-4-4-2-2-4------I
 I-0-0-0-0-0-0------I-----------------------I-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-I-0-0-0-0-0-0-0------I
 fore...

 A7                  A7                      E7                   E7
 I-------------------I--------------------I-------0----0-------I-0-----------------I
 I-------------------I--------------------I-------0-3b-0-------I-0-----------------I
 I---------------0---I---------------0----I-----1--------2-0h1-I-------------------I
 I-2-2-4-4-2-2-4---4-I-2-2-4-4-2-2-4---4--I-----2--------------I-------------------I
 I-0-0-0-0-0-0-0---0-I-0-0-0-0-0-0-0---0--I-2------------------I----4-4-2-2-0-1-2--I
 I-------------------I--------------------I-0-0----------------I----0-0-0-0--------I

 B7                       A7                   E7                      B7
 I-------------------I-------------------I--0-3-0-3-0------------I-0--------2---0--I
 I-------------------I-------------------I--0-3-0-3-0--3---------I-0----0-0-0---0--I
 I-------------------I-------------------I---------------3-2-0h1-I------2-2-2------I
 I--4-4-6-6-4-4-6-6--I-2-2-4-4-5-5-4-4---I-----------------------I-----------------I
 I--2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2--I-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0---I-----------------------I----2-----2------I
 I-------------------I-------------------I-----------------------I-----------------I

Second and third verse, played same as above. Lyrics skipped for copyright reasons.

First solo

Remember the E pentatonic Blues scale for this solo:

E-Scale

(The chord progression of the solo is the same as above)
This solo contains many standard licks, which occur also on other acoustic Blues songs, for example Malted Milk. The bends are mostly quarter tone bends, the slides are over one or two frets. Not every vibrato is noted, and to get the rhythm listen to the CD!

 E7                                    A7
I-/10-10-10-10-10-10-10-10-10--9---9-I-7-0-----------0-I
I-/12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-10--10-I-9-0-----------0-I
I------------------------------------I-----------------I
I------------------------------------I-----4-4-2-2-4---I
I------------------------------------I-----0-0-0-0-0---I
I------------------------------------I-----------------I

 E7                                     E7
I-/10-10-10-10-10-10-10-10-10-10-10-10-I-/10-10-10--9--9-7--0-------I
I-/12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-I-/12-12-12-10-10-9--0-------I
I--------------------------------------I----------------------------I
I--------------------------------------I-----------------------4-4--I
I--------------------------------------I-----------------------0-0--I
I--------------------------------------I----------------------------I

 A7                        A7
I-----------0-7-6-5-------I-7-6-5----5-------------I
I---------5---------8b--5-I----- -8b---8b-5---5-5~-I
I----4/6------------------I----------------6-------I
I-2-----------------------I------------------------I
I-0-----------------------I------------------------I
I-------------------------I------------------------I

 E7               E7
I-3/4-4-4-4-4-4--I-4-4-3--4-4------I
I-2/3-3-3-3-3-3--I-3-3-2--3-3------I
I-3/4-4-4-4-4-4--I-4-4-3--4-4------I
I----------------I-----------------I
I----------------I-----------------I
I----------------I-----------------I

 B7                                A7
I-----------0-0-9-8-7------0------I---0-7-6-5----5----------I
I---------5-----------10~---------I-5---------8b---8b-5-----I
I------/6----------------------/6-I---------------------5-6-I
I---------------------------------I-------------------------I
I---------------------------------I-------------------------I
I---------------------------------I-------------------------I

 E7                     B7
I-0-0--4-0-4-0---------I---0---0-0---I
I---0--3-3-3-3-3-------I---2---2-2---I
I------4-4-4-4---4\2-0-I---0---0-0---I
I----------------------I-------------I
I----------------------I-2---2---2---I
I----------------------I-------------I
(or alternative the turnaround from the intro)

4th verse (Come on…), 5th verse (again same as first verse)

Second solo

(The chord progression of the solo is still the same as above)
The solo starts like the first solo, then it jumps into the ending:

 E7                                   A7
I-/10-10-10-10-10-10-10-10-10--9---9-I-7-0-----------0-I
I-/12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-10--10-I-9-0-----------0-I
I------------------------------------I-----------------I
I------------------------------------I-----4-4-2-2-4---I
I------------------------------------I-----0-0-0-0-0---I
I------------------------------------I-----------------I

 E7                                     E7
I-/10-10-10-10-10-10-10-10-10-10-10-10-I-/10-10-10--9--9-7--0-------I
I-/12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-I-/12-12-12-10-10-9--0-------I
I--------------------------------------I----------------------------I
I--------------------------------------I-----------------------4-4--I
I--------------------------------------I-----------------------0-0--I
I--------------------------------------I----------------------------I

From here it's a little bit different:

 A7                        A7
I-----------7-6-5----5--------0-----I---7-6-5----5--------0--I
I---------5-------8b---8b-5-0---0---I-5-------8b---8b-5---5--I
I----4/6--------------------------6-I-------------------6----I
I-2---------------------------------I------------------------I
I-0---------------------------------I------------------------I
I-----------------------------------I------------------------I

 E7                        E7
I-0-0--4-0-4-0------------I-0---------------------I
I-5-0--3-3-3-3-3----------I--3-2-0---0------------I
I-6----4-4-4-4---4-2-0h1--I--------2---0h1p0------I
I-----------------------2-I-----------------------I
I-------------------------I-------------------0-1-I
I-------------------------I-----------------------I

 B7                  A7
I-------2-2-2-2-----I-3--/7-6-5----------I
I-----0---0-0-0-----I-2---------8b-5---5-I
I---2-----2-2-2-----I-2--------------6---I
I-------------------I--------------------I
I-2-------------3-4-I--------------------I
I-------------------I--------------------I

 E7                        D#9 E9
I--7b-7b--0----------I-0---------I
I--8b-8b--0--0-------I-----6--7--I
I--------------2-0h1-I-----6--7--I
I--------------------I-----5--6--I
I--------------------I---6----7--I
I--------------------I-----------I

Hey Hey

Guitar: Martin

“Hey Hey was written by Big Bill Broonzy, and it was probably the first blues song I ever heard. I used to play it in pubs when I was very young. I never felt that I mastered it, so I wanted to give it another shot.”
– EC, interview 1993

This is an old Big Bill (William) Broonzy tune, Hey Hey. It’s a fast Blues in E, so you need the well known chords E7-A7-B7 (I-IV-V). The songs starts with a nice intro, the licks can be used for other songs too. At first the slap and slide from B to E, which is a rather big interval compared to the “normal” slides over one or two semitones. If you know the intro, you know the song, because it contains everything you need. Not too difficult at all.
The only thing which is a rather tricky is to keep the bass line going. Start slowly with a steady bass picked with your thumb, than add the licks. You’ll see that most of the time you can play using chords, especially A7 and B7.

Chords are:

E E7 A A7 B7 B7

Here we go:

 E7                                             A7
I------------0----9---9-----0----------------------------3---2-0---3-3---0-2-0-------I
I--------8b--0----8---8---8-0-0--------------------------2---2-0---2-2---0-2-0-------I
I--------7b--------------------------------------------2-----------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-2/7----------------------------2/7 repeat...------0----0-0-----0-----0-------2/7---I
I-----0--0---0--0---0---0-----------------------12\--------------------------------0-I
0:00                                            0:06

                          B7              A7              E7
I-------------------------------5----7--5-------3p2-0-2-0--------4---0---2p0---0-----I
I-------------------------------4----4--4-----2----------------0---0---0-----2-------I
I-----------------------------4---------------------------0tr1-----------------------I
I-------------------------2/4---4--4------4/2----------------------------------------I
I-(repeat the beginning)-------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                          0:12

  E7
I-----0---I
I-----0---I
I-0h1-1---I
I-----2---I
I-----2---I
I---------I

Now, what are we playing? To understand it better, here’s an alternate tab using the first fingering pattern of the Blues scale, if possible, along with some remarks:

I------------3b--------0-------------0-----I
I------------2b--------0----14-14------0---I
I---------------------------12-12-12-------I
I---2--------------------------------------I
I-2----------------------------------------I
I----------0-------------------------------I
 2 notes      2 notes  E5   what's   E5
 from E7      from A7       that?

The 14/12 double stop doesn’t fit into our scheme, but sounds great. It sound a bit like a minor chord, but not completely. You can find it by yourself – play E minor and add the 6th (B-string, 2nd fret) and you get a Em6. So you see that sometimes notes and chords from other scales can give a good sound.

As already said you can step through the whole song with this using the standard Blues scheme:

   E7         A7         B7
I---------------3---3------5---5--------0-0-0---0-0-------0-----I
I----3---3------2---2------4---4-------/3-3-3---3-3---0-3-------I
I----1---1------2---2------4---4-------/1-1-1---1-1---0-1-------I
I----2---2---------------4---4----------------0-----0-----------I
I-------------0---0---------------------------------------------I
I--0---0------------------------------(to change from E4 to A7)-I

The end is also simple, just play the chords E6 – E – E6 – E7. That’s it.

Tears In Heaven


Guitar: Jose Ramirez III nylon string

On March 20, 1991, the 4-year old Conor Clapton climbed accidentally out off an open window and fell from the 53rd floor to his death from a Manhattan apartment, where his mother was staying. The day before EC and Conor visited a circus, where Conor asked a lot of questions. Another song, Circus Left Town, was also recorded during this session but did not appear on this album. It was released in a new version later on Pilgrim.

Born in August (EC named an album after that) 1986, Conor was the only son of EC and the Italian Model Lori Del Santo. All this happened a few month after EC lost his close friends Stevie Ray Vaughan (guitarist), Colin Smythe and Nigel Browne (Road Crew) in a helicopter crash.

EC dedicated this song (co-author: songwriter Will Jennings) to his son. It was originally released in January 1992 on the “Rush”-soundtrack:

“It was written for the film Rush. The timing was perfect, because they needed a song about loss and I had plenty of them. Tears In Heaven was actually in a very embryonic stage when I was approached and I completed it for Rush.”
– EC, interview 1993

“I’d walk out, start playing that, and the applause… they would drown me out. I would get furious. Afterward, offstage, I would be inconsolable. I was feeling vulnerable and exposed – and they’d be chanting and yelling and whistling. I was raw and not able to make sense of it.”
– EC, interview 2001

“Eric and I were engaged to write a song for a movie called Rush. We wrote a song called ‘Help Me Up’ for the end of the movie… then Eric saw another place in the movie for a song and he said to me, ‘I want to write a song about my boy.’ Eric had the first verse of the song written, which, to me, is all the song, but he wanted me to write the rest of the verse lines and the release (‘Time can bring you down, time can bend your knees…’), even though I told him that it was so personal he should write everything himself. He told me that he had admired the work I did with Steve Winwood and finally there was nothing else but to do as he requested, despite the sensitivity of the subject. This is a song so personal and so sad that it is unique in my experience of writing songs.”
– Will Jennings

METRO DATELINES; Inquiry in Death Of Eric Clapton’s Son
(http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CE0D6143EF931A15750C0A967958260)
Published: New York Times, March 22, 1991
New York City’s Corporation Counsel said yesterday that his office was investigating whether criminal charges should be brought in the death of the rock star Eric Clapton’s 4 1/2-year-old son, who fell from the open window of a high-rise apartment building on Wednesday.
‘I have no reason to doubt that it certainly was a tragic accident,” the Corporation Counsel, Victor A. Kovner, said at a news conference. “Whether there was a criminal violation of the city’s health code is a matter that is now under investigation.’
The boy, Conor, was killed on Wednesday when he fell from an open window in an apartment on the 53d floor of the Galleria Condominiums at 117 East 57th Street. The police said the boy’s mother, Lori Del Santo, a friend and a housekeeper were in the apartment at the time.
At issue is whether the apartment owner is liable because there were no window guards. Mr. Kovner, whose office prosecutes violators of the city code requiring window guards, identified the owner as a Manhattan-based corporation, EuroAmerica 92 Inc.
– NY Times, March 22, 1991

Tears in Heaven is a tricky one because I can’t play that anymore. It would be inappropriate to use the memory of my son or what I felt at that time to gain any kind of influence with the audience.
– EC, Esquire, October 2007

So let’s take a look at the music behind the song. It’s no Blues, it’s a ballad, but it can move you to tears like a good blues. At first – the key. It’s written in A, this is the chord the songs starts with and ends with. Once again, playing the correct bass lines is very important. To get the feeling for it, I have made a tab of only the bass notes, they are played with the thumb:

I-----------------------------------------------------I
I-----------------------------------------------------I
I-----------------------------------------------------I
I-----------------------------------------------------I
I------0----------------------------------------0-0-0-I
I--0h2-------4-4-2--2-2-2--0-0-0--2-2-2--0-0-0--------I
0:00

The next step is adding the part for the other fingers. I included an audio sample of playing the A chord this way.

 A                   E/G#      F#m7      F#m7/E    D/F#        E7   A
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I----------2h3p2-----5-----5---2----2----2----2----3---3----3---3---2---2---2--------I
I--------2-------2---4-----4---2----2----2----2----2---2----2---1---2---2---2----etc-I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-----0-------------------------------------------------------------0-0---0-0--0-----I
I-0h2----------------4---4-----2--2---2--0--0---0--2-2---2--0-0---0------------------I
0:00

Chords:

E/G# F#m7 F#m7/E D/F# E7 A

To understand which chords are used, we need to know the chords of the A major scale:

A(I) – B(ii) – C#(iii) – D(IV) – E(V) – F#(vi) – G#(vii) – A(VIII)

Remember: lowercase = minor, uppercase = major chord.

E/G# means E major chord with G# as bass note (“slash” chord), it fits the scale. F#m7 is F# minor plus seventh and fits also. Same does F#m7/E, D/F# and E7 – check it out! (Got it? Notes of F#m7 are F# – C# – A – E). And – BTW – F#m is the relative minor to A. That’s what makes the good sound.

If we leave our well-known Blues form, it’s getting more complex with all the chords you can use. Although there are some general rules which chords are useful, it’s up to you to play the chords that belong to a scale and to listen, which special mood every chord can build up.

A short note on how to play it: try to play with chords, even if you don’t pick all strings. Players with big hands can use the thumb to press down the strings on the low E-string. If you play this song on a nylon string acoustic (which usually have wide fretboards) and your fingers are too short, play it with barre chords, that means pressing down all strings on one fret with your index finger and adding the rest with the other fingers.

OK, on with the song now. The intro is also played during the first two verses, with a few modifications and additional notes like these before the chorus starts:

I------------2--4--4/5--4--2--0------I
I--------------------------------3---I
I------------2--4--4----4--2--1--2---I
I------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------I
I--------------------------------2---I
  same... 0:28

  E   A
I-----------I
I-0---2---3-I
I-1---2---4-I
I-----------I
I-----------I
I-0-0---0---I
heaven..
 0:34

The chorus itself (I must be strong…) has a different set of chords, but they also fit into the scale:

F#m7/E – C# – A7 – Bm7 – D – A

Chords:

F#m7 C# A7 Bm7 D A

Between A7 and Bm7 there are some notes that can be described with other chords, but you can also just take the notes. The following tab shows the chords which are played like in the beginning, plus the extra notes:

  F#m7 C#  A7                Bm7 D    A
I--2---1---0---------------------------------------I
I--2---2---2--------------2---3--3-----------------I
I--2---1---0---3---3---4--3---2--2-----------------I
I--------------2---2---2----------------------etc.-I
I-----------------------------2------------0-------I
I--2---1---0---2-2---2----2------2----0h2----------I
   00:37                              00:54

At 2:04 (Time can bring…) the sound changes, and with it the key. Try the chords above – they don’t fit. The key changes to G major, the the chords are played as arpeggios at first:

  C       G            Am     D    G
I-------------------1--0---------------I
I-----------1-----0----1--1---3----0---I
I---------0---0--------2----2-2-2--0---I
I----------------------2---------------I
I--0-2-3--------2------0---------------I
I----------------------------------3---I
  2:04                             2:07

Chords:

C G Am D G

From G on the chords D – Em – D – G – C are played like the example from the beginning, then the beginning (from Time can…) is repeated and ends with D – E, again followed by

  E   A
I-----------I
I-0---2---3-I
I-1---2---4-I
I-----------I
I-----------I
I-0-0---0---I

After this have a small solo using mostly the chords from the intro:

  A         E      F#m7             D
I-------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I--2h3p2----5/7-5--2---2---2---2----2h3-3-2-0------------0--2--3---repeat-I
I--------2--4/6-4--2---2---2---2----2---------2--4/6--4--1--2--4----------I
I-------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-0-----------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------2-2---2-0-0---0------------------------0--0--0---------I
 2:27                                2:33                           2:38

Than we have another chorus (Beyond the door) and the last verse. Both are played like before. Finally the song ends with:

A
I---------------------------I
I-------2-3-2h3p2-----------I
I-----2-----------4-2-4/6~~-I
I---2-----------------------I
I-0-------------------------I
I---------------------------I

Lonely Stranger

Guitar: Jose Ramirez III nylon string

Lonely Stranger is a slow ballad written by EC in the key of E major. I don’t know why, but it was always the weakest song of the album for me, except the nice intro:

I-0-----------------------0-----0-3-5-5/7-5/7---3-5-3-0h3p0---0--------------0-------I
I---3p2p0----0--------------3/5-----------------------------3---/5\------3-----3--0--I
I----------2---0h1----------------------------------------------------/4---4---------I
I------------------2-----------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I--------------------0---------------------------------------------------------------I
 0:00                                                                 0:07

I------------------------------0---3b-0---3b--0---etc.---------------0---------------I
I--------------------------------0------0-------0-------0---0----------0-------------I
I--2-0---2---0h1------------------------------------------2---0tr1-------------------I
I------2---2-----------------2-------------------------------------------------------I
I-----------------2-1-0--------------------------------------------------------------I
I-----------------------3b-0---------------------------------------------0-----------I

               E          E        A      Am6  E
I--7b--0-----------------------0-----------------------------------------------------I
I--8b----0----------------0----0--2---------0--0-------------------------------------I
I----------2---0h1--------0h1-----2-------2----0h1-----------------------------------I
I------------------2------2-------2-------4----2-------------------------------------I
I--------------------2--------------------3------------------------------------------I
I----------------------0-----------0-0-0---------------------------------------------I
 0:16

As you see, can we use our well-known Blues scale in E. The end of the intro is the main theme of the whole song – always E – A – Am6 -E.

Hey – Am6? What’s that? It’s A minor plus a sixth: 1 – 3b – 5 – 6 or A – C – E – F#.

And yes, the C doesn’t belong the scale we play. But it sounds good anyway…

The chords for all the 4 verses are the same:

E – A – C#m7 – F#7 – G#7 – F#7 – B – E
(I must be…)
E – A – C#m7 – F#7 – D – A – E
(I have…)

The chords for the chorus are:

E – F#7 – B – E – A – G#7 – C#7 – E7
(Cause I…)
A – A#7 – E – C#7 – F#7 – B9 – E (… A – Am6 – E)
(But I…)

Chords:

E A B D Am6 C#m7 F#7 G#7 E7 A#7 B9

Enough for my least favorite…

Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out

Guitar: Martin

“Nobody Knows You” was one of the first songs the young EC played for a few bucks in a pub together with “Hey, Hey” and the “San Francisco Bay Blues”. The basics are already described in the Layla-album, the key (C) major and the chords (using the cycle of fifths) are the same. So I’ll show the differences here.

Let’s go right into it with the intro:

  C             E7        A7          Dm         A7 Dm           F     F#dim
I----0-0---------0--------3-3---3-----1-1---1----3--1-1----------1---1---0---0-------I
I----1-1-----------3--2---2-2---2-----3-3---3----2--3-3----------1---1---1---1-------I
I----0-0-----0h1----------2-2---2-----2-2---2----2--2-2----------2---2---2---2-------I
I----2-2------------------2-2---2---0-----0----0----0----0-1-2-3---3---4---4---------I
I--3---3----------------0-----0------------------------------------------------------I
I----------0-------------------------------------------------------------------------I
 0:00                                                    0:09

   C          A  A7     D7           G7
I----0-----------3-3----2-2---2-2----1-1----1-1--------------------------------------I
I----1--------2--2-2----1-1---1-1----0-0----0-0--------------------------------------I
I----0--------2--2-2----2-2---2-2----0-0----0-0--------------------------------------I
I----2--------2-------0-----0--------------------------------------------------------I
I--3----2-1-0------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I---------------------------------3-------3------------------------------------------I
                        0:15

Chords:

C E7 A7 Dm F F#dim A D7 G7

With this chords you can play the whole song, it repeats over and over. The only thing which is a bit different is the guitar solo. But even here the chords can still be used!

The solo starts at 1:46

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I----------------8-10--10-8h10--8---------------5h6-5-6-5----------------------------I
I-----------5-/9------------------9-7-5---5---------------7-5-7----------------------I
I-------5-7-----------------------------7---7~~-----------------7\5-3-5-3------------I
I--3-/7-------------------------------------------------------------------5-3-4-5----I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
 1:46

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-------------------------------------------7-7-8-9--10---7----8-9-10----------------I
I-----------------------------------13\-----8-8-9-10-11------------------------------I
I-----10-12-10-12-13-10-12-10----10-----12------------------7--8-9-10----------------I
I-/12-------------------------12-----------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
  1:57

I-----------------------------I
I-12-13-14-15-15h16p-15-------I
I-----------------------------I
I-----------------------------I
I-----------------------------I
I-----------------------------I

We carry on like above, and you can find out the ending by yourself – start with a bending on the 6th fret of the B string…

Layla

Guitar: Martin

For “unplugged” EC rearranged this song completely new. But if you know the original, you’ll see that it’s less different than it sounds like. The keys are the same – D minor and C# minor, which is just a semitone below.

The intro already contains the main musical theme. You can start playing the chords Dm – Bb – C – Dm in your favorite position. In the next step we play them as power chords:

        D5     C5 Bb5    C5 D5
I-------------------------------------I
I-------------------------------------I
I----------7--------------------------I
I-------7------5--3--5---5--7-repeat--I
I--0-3--5----5-3--1--3-0-3--5---------I
I-------------------------------------I
 0:00

Chords:

D5 C5 Bb5

Of course you can play it using some open strings, too. Up to now it’s easy. You’ll hear that the main Layla lick is still there – played as a laid-back shuffle. The next part is more away from the original, but uses still some of the licks. You can use the D minor Blues scale, but you have to add some notes from the major scale to get this kind of “Spanish” sound.

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I--------------3-3--3/5---5----------5-6-5h6p5----5-6-5---5-6-/8-6-8-/10--8-10-/13---I
I----------7---3-3--3/5---5--------7------------7-------7----------------------------I
I-------7--7---3-3--3/5---5--7---7---------------------------------------------------I
I--0-3--5---------------0----5-------------------------------------------------------I
I--------------------------------D-minor-chord!--------------------------------------I
0:12                             0:18

I-------10-12-10h12p10----10---------------------------------------------------------I
I-10-13----------------13----13--10----10--------------------------------------------I
I-----------------------------------12----12--10h12p10-9-10-9-7----------------------I
I-------------------------------------------------------------root-------------------I
I-------------------------------------------------------------note-------------------I
I-------------------------------------------------------------D----------------------I
                                                              0:27

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------5-6-5-------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I----7-------7-5-7-------------------------------------------------------------------I
I--7----------------\5-3---3-5-3-----------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------5-------5-3-5---0-3--changing into C# minor--4--------------I
I--D-minor-chord!--------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                         0:32

Many guitar players only knew the first or first two fingering patterns of a scale and are not familiar with this. No problem – the same note can be played on several places. Take a look at the scale and you’ll see that you can also play it using the first fingering pattern of the D minor Blues scale (which starts at the 10th fret) and adding a few “major” notes (marked bold when played for the first time). Always locate the root note D! Here’s the alternate tab:

I-------------------------------------------------------------------10-12-10h12p10---I
I------------------------------------------------10----10-13--10-13------------------I
I--------9-10-9h10p9----9-10-9----9-10-/12-10-12----12--------------------------etc.-I
I-----12-------------12--------12----------------------------------------------------I
I--12--------------------------root--------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
0:18

We continue with the vocals. As already said, we change to C# minor. Look at the original Layla if you want to know why this chords can be used. The chords in the unplugged version are nearly identical:

C#m7 G#7
What….lonely
C#m7 C D E7
and…..side
F#m B
You…..running
E A
hiding..long
F#m B
you…..your

key change back from E to D minor

pride…Layla (chorus and next verse follow)

Chords:

C#m7 G#7 C D E7 F#m B

At 2:56 the solo in D minor starts:

I--5b-5b---5b-5b-5b---5b-------------------------------------------------------------I
I--6b-6b---6b-6b-6b---6b------------------------12/13-13-13--repeat---13-15-13h15p13-I
I--------7----------7----7----7-5---------------13/14-14-14--several-----------------I
I---------------------------------7-6-5-3--------------------times-------------------I
I------------------------------------------5-8---------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
 2:56

I----------------------------10-12-10h12p10----10------------------------------------I
I-----13---------------10-13----------------13----13-10-10-10-10-11-10-8-------------I
I-14-----14-----10-12-----------------------------------------------------10-9-7h9---I
I------------12----------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I

I-------------------------------------------13b-10~~----10-12-10h12-10---------------I
I-----------5-6-5h6p5--------------------------------13----------------13--10-10\----I
I-7---5---7-----------7-5------------------------------------------------------------I
I-------7-----------------7-6-5-3-5-3------------------------------------------------I
I--------------------------------------5---------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
        3:13

I--10-13b-10~~--15-15-15-13b------12-13-15-13-15-13-15---12-13-----------------------I
I------------13----------------15------------------------------15-13-----13----10----I
I---------------------------14----------------------------------------12----12----12-I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                            3:26

I-------------------------------------------------I
I-------10--10-10-11-10---------------------------I
I-10----10---9--9-----9--5------------------------I
I----12--------------------7-6-5-3b---------------I
I-----------------------------------5--Layla...---I
I-------------------------------------------------I
                                     3:35

Another chorus follows (D minor) until the end, which is played similar to the intro. Always locate the scale, it’s much easier!

Running On Faith

Guitar: Dobro

Running On Faith is a slow ballad from Jerry Lynn Williams, which appeared first on EC’s Journeyman album in 1989. Both versions are pretty much the same, EC plays slide on a Dobro in open G tuning (D-G-D-G-B-D), and the key is (guess it…) G major. The chords are simple, mainly G – D/F# – Em7 – C – G. The tab I noted here is as always in standard tuning. (BTW: if you want to start with open tuning, this is a good song to start – you just have to tune both E-strings (to D) and the A-string (to G) down a full tone. All other strings can be left in standard tuning.)

Let’s start with the intro (use a slide):

I------------------------3---------10\8------------3-----------------------3---------I
I--/12-12\10-10--8---3/5---5\3----------11/12--------5-5-5/6-6-4/5-----3/5---5/7-----I
I------------------------------4--------------12-------------------5-------------7---I
I-------------------------------------------------------------------5~-------------7-I
I--------------------------------------------------------------(C chord)------(D)----I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
 0:00                                                                  0:23

I---------3--------------------------3~~---------------------------------------------I
I-----------/5--5/7------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-4\2-------/5--5/7--7-6-5--3/4\2-0------Lately...-----------------------------------I
I-----/5----/5--5/7------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                 0:33

The intro also contains the main licks for the vocal parts. The chords are (key G major):

G      D   Em7   C
Lately ... faith

G    D   Em7
What ... do?

G7    C
... But ... right

D           G   C  D
... when ... you

(The chords for the other verses are the same)

The bridge:

C           B7    Em
I've always ...

Em7        C   G
... One ... day

A7           C         D
... Seems ... care ...  me

Chords:

G D Em7 C G7 B7 Em a7

The only missing thing now is the short solo at 2:30

I--5/7--7-7-7/10-10-10\-3-----3-5-5/7-7-7-7/12-10-10-/8-------------------3----------I
I-------------------------3-5---------------------------12-11-10--2/3/4/5---5\4\3----I
I-----------------------------------------------------------------2/3/4/5---------/5-I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
  2:31                                                            2:45

I----------7------------------------/3~~---------------------------------------------I
I--5-6-7-7---7\6-5--/3\2-0--------------6-6----3\2-----0-----------------------------I
I--5----------------/3\2-0-2-0---0-----------------3/4-------------------------------I
I------------------------------0---------------------------------3/5-3-0-3-0---------I
I--------------------------------------------------------------3--------------/3-----I
I---------------------------------------------------------3-/5--------------------3--I
                                                          2:55

I--------------I
I--6/8-8--3/5--I
I---------3/5--I
I---------3/5--I
I--------------I
I--------------I

And the outro:

G          F6   Cadd9
Love comes over you (repeat...)

Chords:

G Fmaj7 Cadd9

Walkin’ Blues


Guitar: Dobro

Another Robert Johnson Blues played with a glass slide originally in open G tuning. This is one of my favorites of this album, a real, slow deep Delta Blues. Although it can be played with standard tuning, it’s hard to do this with a slide, because the main riff (as played in the intro) is based on the G chord (notes: B and D). So this is a good chance to play a bit with a simple open tuning.

Why simple?
Well, three of our strings are already in the right tuning (play the G major chord and you have three open strings with the correct tuning). Two bass strings are not used very much, so we can leave them in standard tuning (the drawback is that we can’t play an easy bass line this way). The only one we have to tune down a full tone is the high E-string. Just tune it down to the pitch of the B-string pressed down at the 3rd fret – now it’s tuned in D.

You’ve already found out the key – (yes, G), and so you also know the chords: G(I) – C(IV) – D(V). And as most of Robert Johnson’s Blues songs it’s a 12 bar Blues. So you can start playing rhythm to the song…

Some general tips: leaving out the (not open G tuned) two bass strings (E + A) you can play the following chords by placing the slide here:
– G (I): open strings (or 12th fret)
– C (IV): 5th fret
– D (V): 7th fret
Better than starting to learn each and every lick note for note is to play the song with these chords and add more licks later. Get the feeling first! You’ll see that most parts of the song are played around these positions. To get the percussive sound let the strings slap on the fretboard or knock with your fingers on the guitar.

Now let’s start, put a slide on your favorite finger (once again, finger!), tune down the E-string as described before and start playing:

G
DI-10/12-12-12-12-12-12--10/12-12-12--10/12-12-12---------------------------------0---I
 I-10/12-12-12-12-12-12--10/12-12-12--10/12-12-12--10/12--10/12-10/12-10/12-------0---I
 I-------------------------------------------------10/12---------------------12~--0---I
 I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
 I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
 I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
0:00                                                0:04

G
DI-10/12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12--------12-------12--------------------------I
 I-10/12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12--10/12----10/12----10/12--------12-12--11---I
 I-----------------------------------------------------------------12-12--12-12--11---I
 I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
 I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
 I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
0:06

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I--10~---0-3/5---3/5--5-5-5-5\3------------------------------------------------------I
I--10~---0-3/5---3/5--5-5-5-5\3--0-/3-0-0-0------------------------------------------I
I--------0-3/5---3/5--5-5-5-5\3---------------0-0--/5\3-0-3-0-3-0--3/5-5-5-5---------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
0:13                                                               0:23

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-----------------------------------------------------0-0-0-0-0-0-0------------------I
I-----------------------------------------------------0-0-0-0-0-0-0------------------I
I-0-3-5-/7-0-3-5-/7--0-3-5-/6\5-0-3-/6\5--0-3-0-3-0---3-3-2-2-1-1-0------------------I
I---------------------------------------------------------------------3/5-5----------I
I-----------------------------------------------------(important turnaround!)--------I
                                          0:30

The chords for the vocals are the standard-12-bar-blues-chords described before. The descending bass line is played with the E and A string in standard tuning like:

   G7  G6          G             C           G                     D         C
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I--0-0-0-0-0---------repeat...--/5-5-5-----------------------------/7-play---/5------I
I--0-0-0-0-0--------------------/5-5-5-----------------------------/7-around-/5------I
I--3-3-2-2-1--------------------/5-5-5--------0-5~~-----------0-5~-/7-here---/5------I
I--------------1/2-----------------------------------1/2----3------------------------I
I------------------3-------------------------------------3---------------------------I
0:36                            0:48         0:54
Woke up this morning            Woke up...   shoes
                    feel around...

and so on using the turnaround described above. The solos are almost played like the intro. We need the end, playing around the G chord:

 G
I-----------------------/12------------------------I
I--0-0-0-0--0-0---------/12--11/12-----------------I
I--0-0-0-0--0-0---------/12---------12-------------I
I--3-3-2-2--1-0------0-----------------------------I
I----------------3/5---------------------1/2-------I
I--------------------------------------------3~~---I
   3:19

Chords (standard, if you don’t use the tabbed chords from above):

G7 G6 C D G

Alberta

Guitar: Martin (12-string)

Before starting with this old “Huddie” Hudson Ledbetter song, tune your guitar back AND REMOVE THE SLIDE (OK, hang on hang on!).

Huddie Ledbetter (1889-1949) is better known as “Leadbelly”. With his powerful 12-string guitar he played not only Blues, but as a songster also folk and country music. After many years in the Angola Penitentiary prison (he killed a man) he became very popular even for white people. He was one of the first black Blues musicians who played during the 30’s in New York for a white audience, later he toured even through Europe.

Like Huddie EC played a 12-string for this song. It’s more a folk song than a blues, played with simple chord strumming. The key is C, the chords are C, F, G (very simple…), sometimes Fm. There’s not much to tab here, the only interesting thing is the bassline.

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I--------------strum------------------------------------strum------------------------I
I--------------C chord--G chord-----------0---0---------C chord-G chord--------------I
I---------------------------------0-0-0h2---2---2-0----------------------------------I
I----------------------------------------------------3----------------------0-2-3----I
I-0-0-1-1-1-2-------------------------------------------------------------3----------I
  0:00                            0:11

then with the drums starting the chord sequence C – C7 – F – C – G – C – G – C – F – Fm. With this you can play the whole song! The rest is always the same, a short bass run followed by chord strumming. Lay back…

Chords (you know, I suppose…):

C C7 G F Fm

San Francisco Bay Blues

Guitar: Martin (12-string)

Keep your 12-string and laid back feeling, another strummed Blues in the key of C. The song is from Jesse Fuller (1896 – 1976), a folk Blues musician (who also played with Douglas Fairbanks (!) in Hollywood movies). He recorded this song 1955, but is became later more popular by Peter, Paul and Mary. It was also one of EC’s first songs he played in pubs for a drink or two.

If you watch the video, you see that most musicians used a strange whistle called “kazoo”.

The chords here use the cycle of fifth (see basics), and since there’s only chord strumming there’s nothing to tab. We only need the chords, here they are:

C – F – C – C7 – F – C – C7 – F – C – A7 – D7 – G7 (and back to C)

Chords:

C C7 F G7 D7 A7

Malted Milk

Guitar: Martin

Malted Milk is a peculiar song. It’s very ironic, because it’s quite clear that it’s not malted milk he’s referring to throughout the song. It came from a period where Robert was changing his style, and it sounds to me like he came across Lonnie Johnson in his travels. There was a massive shift in his style of accompaniment and his style of singing. I’ve never approached this song before-and probably wouldn’t have if I hadn’t had this opportunity to try it out. It’s a very beautiful song and it’s very simple and I wanted to end the set with it because it sort of brings it back home for me.
– EC, Interview 1993

For beginners there’s also a more simple version.

Malted Milk is another slow Robert Johnson Blues in E (fingerstyle!). Except during the turnarounds we use our standard chords E7/A7/B7. The song starts with a typical Robert Johnson intro, keeping the root note constant (E-string) while walking down chromatic notes on the D-string (It’s the same sequence as for example the turnaround from Key to the Highway, played in G).

Let’s go:

 E                              B7
I-----12-12-12--12----12-(7)------5-5----5---5---------------------------------------I
I---------------------------------4-4----4---4---------------------------------------I
I---------------------------------4-4----4---4---------------------------------------I
I--12----12-11-----11-10--9-----4------4-----4---------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
  0:00

Using the same notes we can also get some new turnarounds elsewhere on the fretboard (Judy Garland’s somewhere over the fretboard?!) – just to have some if we need one. The timing is a bit simplified…

I--0-0-0-0-0------5-5---5-5---------------------------------2-2-----2----I
I-----------------4-4---4-4---------------------------------0-0-----0----I
I-----------------4-4---4-4---or this way-------------------2-2-----2----I
I---------------4-----4---4-----------------2-2-2-2-2-----1--------------I
I--5-5-4-4-3-2------------------------------5-5-4-4-3-2-----------2------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------I

OK, on with the vocals. We have a 12 bar quick change Blues, so we know already the chords (noted for the first verse, the rest is the same):

E7 A7 E7 E7
I ...
A7 A7 E7 E7
I ...
B7 A7 E7 B7 (turnaround)
Baby, ...

Chords:

E7 A7 B7

The chords are picked with the fingers, not strummed. There are interesting bass lines played throughout the song like

 E                                     A
I------------------------------------------------I
I---------------------------------------------2--I
I--------1--------1--then moving to A:--------2--I
I--------2--------2---------------------------2--I
I--2-3/4---2-3/4------------------------2-3/4----I
I------------------------------------------------I

The turnaround is also played in the solo, which is following now. We use the E Blues scale with the fingering pattern starting at the 5th fret. Get familiar with the notes before you start playing. Something doesn’t fit? Yes, we need an additional note from the (guess it) major scale, located at the 6th fret of the G-string. This note (C#, the 6th note if the E scale) belongs to the E6 chord as well as to the A major chord, that’s why it sounds good at this place.

We also bend from the 7th into the 8th on the B-string. Root note E is the 5th of the B-string. The notes for the first part are:

EI----5-6-7-------I
BI----5---7b(8)---I
GI-4----6---------I
DI----------------I
AI----------------I
EI----------------I

And it looks like:

I----------------------------------------------7-6-5---------------------------------I
I------5-7b(8)-7b(8)-7b(8)rb7-5---5~~------5-5-------7b(8)--7b(8)rb7-5---5~~---------I
I--4/6--------------------------6-----4/6------------------------------6-------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
2:01                                   2:05

I-/7-7-7-/10-10-10--7-7-7--4--4-4--4-4--4--------------------------------------------I
I-/9-9-9-/12-12-12--9-9-9--5--3-3--3-3--3------5-7b(8)-7b(8)-etc.-----------~--------I
I-----------------------------4-4--4-4--4--4/6---------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------repeat from start ...---------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
  2:09                                      2:13

I----------------------9-8-7-----------7-6-5----5----5------------7-----6-6----5-5---5-I
I------------------7-7-------10~~----5-------8b---8b---5---5-5----6-----5-5----4-4---4-I
I---------------/8----------------/6---------------------6------7---7-6---6----4-4---4-I
I-then...-4/6-5-4------------------------------------------------------------4-----4---I
I---------two guitars!-----------------------------------------------------------------I
I--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
  2:26                                                          2:34

Next vocals follow until the end, played with the strings snapping on the fretboard:

I-----7-10-7---------------------------------------12--------------------------------I
I--/9--------9--7b(8)-7b(8)rb7-5---5-5~~~--------9-----------------------------------I
I--------------------------------6-------------9-------------------------------------I
I--------------------------------------------9---------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------0-----------------------------------------I
  3:17                                     (Or just the open E chord)

Old Love

Guitar: Martin

“But, when we rehearsed it, he didn’t like it. He said, “No, I don’t want to do that.” So, OK, we go on and we rehearse other songs. We learn all the songs. Comes time to do the show. We do the performance [and it is] very successful. And when we are finished there are no more songs to play, but the audience wants more. So Eric [said], “What can we do? What can we do?” He turned to me and he said, “What can we do?” And I said, “Do ‘Old Love’.” And [it was] a very special moment for me, because that was the first time I had a strong solo with Eric. It was a very special moment for me.”
– Chuck Leavell, interview 1995

With “Old Love” (written by EC and Robert Cray, who joined EC on this track on the EC album “Journeyman”) we leave the Blues again. It’s a slow ballad in A minor, we need more than our I-IV-V standard chords. The chords look very complicated, but it’s easier than it seems. The basic sequence is repeated all over the song and contains the chords

Am – Dm7/A – G7sus4 – G

The chords can be played like (look into your chords book):

 (Intro)             Am  Dm7/E  G7sus4  G
I--------------------5---5------3-------3----I
I--------------------5---6------3-------3----I
I--------------------5---5------5-------4----I
I--------------------7---7------3-------5----I
I------0-3-0----0----7---7------5-------5----I
I--0-3-------3b------------------------------I
                                barre chords!

Before starting with the song, play these chords a couple of times to get a feeling for the chord changes. Once again it sounds like a “logical” sequence, building up and releasing the tension. To understand why these chords can be used, we need the A minor scale, which is identical to the C major scale except the root note:

A(i) – b(ii) – c(III) – d(iv) – e(v) – f(VI) – g(VII) – a(viii)

Remember from the basics: lowercase = minor, uppercase = major chords. That means Am and G are already easy to understand – they fit. D has to be a minor chord, which is OK, and it’s also played as 7th. The notes are 1 – 3b – 5 – 7b in general or D – F – A – C for this chord. Isn’t it great? Again all notes are from the A minor scale containing the notes A-B-C-D-E-F-G… we only replace the root bass note D by an E.

Then we get a G7sus4. Seems to be a rare chord, very exotic. But it isn’t – 7sus4 chords are used very often in rock/pop/folk/jazz music because they belong to a very common scale, the “Mixolydian” scale. This scale is very similar to the “standard” major scale (also called “Ionian mode”), the only difference is the flattened 7th note. Again look at the basics for more: A minor, C major and G mixolydian share the same notes. They all are modes of the Ionian C major scale and can also described by mixing the major and minor pentatonic. The G mixolydian starts at the 5th degree of the C major scale, which is the dominant, so we get the dominant 7th chord G7. Up to now we know this already… If we now replace the 3rd note of the triad with the 4th we get the “suspended” (sus) fourth. Together with the rest of G7 we have G7sus4. If you play it followed by a G major chord you can hear the tension created by the sus4 is seeking resolution to the 3rd of the major triad. A short look at the notes: 1 – 4 – 5 – 7b in general or G – C – D – F for G7sus4. Again all notes are OK!

Now we know the chords for the intro and the first verses until …through my head. Then have a change using the chords:

F – E7 – E – Am – Am/maj7 – Am7 – Am6 – F – E7 – F – E7

The sequence Am – Am/maj7 – Am7 – Am6 looks a bit strange until you play it:

   Am   Am/maj7  Am7   Am6  F
I---5-----5-------5-----5---1--I
I---5-----5-------5-----5---1--I
I---5-----5-------5-----5---2--I
I---7-----6-------5-----4---3--I
I------------------------------I
I------------------------------I

Chords:

Am Dm7/A G7sus4 G F E7 E Ammaj7 Am7 Am6

Notice the descending bass line of the D string while playing mainly a Am chord resolving in the F major chord (which also belongs to the A minor scale, play Am followed by it’s 6th chord F – nice sound).

Then another strong change – E7. The notes are E – G# – B – D (major triad plus minor seventh), and the G# doesn’t fit in the A natural minor scale. However – it sounds quite good. It belongs the other minor scales we know from the basics – the harmonic and the melodic minor. And the reason these scales where developed from the natural minor was exactly this – the need for a strong dominant 7th!

Enough scale thinking now. You know the chords, you know why, you can play it now.

What’s missing is the solo. A few things may help learning this: the chord sequence is exactly the same as during the vocals, and the scale we use is the simple A minor scale. You know this scale already – it’s equal to the C major scale, only the root note is different. Root (I) is A, IV is D and V is E. Because of the “Spanish” sound due to the semitone steps used I tabbed it almost complete. We start around the 12th fret:

A minor
A minor scale notes

I--12b-12b---------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I--13b-13b-------------12-13----12-13-12h13p12----12-12--12-13-15-13h15p12-12-13-----I
I----------14----14-14-------14----------------14------------------------------------I
I-------------14---------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
  3:22

I--------------------------------12-10-12-10h12p10----10-----------------------------I
I-12h13p12----12-12-12-----------------------------13----13-10h13p10-----10----------I
I----------14----------14-14-14\-------------------------------------12b----10-12-12-I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                       3:28

I----------5-7-8-7h8p7-5-7-5---------------------------------------------------------I
I-12-12\-5-------------------8-5----5------------------------------------------------I
I---------------------------------7---7-5h7p5---5-4----------------------------------I
I---------------------------------------------7-----7-5------------------------------I
I-------------------------------------------------------7-6-5-------5-5/7---5------5-I
I-------------------------------------------------------------8-5-8-------8----5-8---I
                                                                       3:40

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I--------------------5---------------------------------------------------------------I
I--------------4-5-7---7-5h7p5-4-5-4h5p4-2-4-2h4p---2---------------------5-7/9------I
I-7-7-7----5-7------------------------------------5---5-2-------------5-7------------I
I--------7------------------------------------------------5-7---5-5/7----------------I
I-------------------------------------------------------------8----------------------I
                                                                           3:49

I--------------8-8-----8-10-10/12-8-10-12-15-12h15p12----12-12-12~~-12---------------I
I--8-8-8-8-8---8-8--10--------------------------------15---------------15-13-12------I
I--9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9--------------------------------------------------------------14---I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                                          3:56

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-12-------12-13-13-12----12-12-12~--13-15-13-15-15/17-15-17-15~~-15-17-15h17p15-----I
I----14-14-------------14--------------------------------------------------------17--I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                                                            4:03

I---------------------------------------------------------------------------7-8-10---I
I-15-17-15h17p15------------------15---------------------------8-8---8---10----------I
I----------------17--repeat----17----17-14-14-14-14-14-14\--/9-----9---9-------------I
I--------------------several---------------------------------------------------------I
I--------------------times-----------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                               4:08

I--8h10p8----8-7--10-10-10-10-10\--8--8--8---7-7-7--5-5------------------------------I
I---------10------12-12-12-12-12\--10-10-10--8-8-8--5-5------------------------------I
I--------------------------------------------------------7-5-4-----------------------I
I---------------------------------------------------------------7-5------------------I
I-------------------------------------------------------------------7-6-5--3-5-3h5p3-I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                  4:13

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------very fast...------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------5-7-5h7p5---5-----------------I
I----3-5---3-5-5/7-5--3----3-5-3---3------------7-7-7------------7---7-5---5---5/7---I
I--5-----5---------------5-------5---5-3-5-3-0---------------------------8---8-------I
   4:20                                         4:24

I------------------------------------7-8-10----8----8-8-10/12-10h12p12----10---------I
I-----------------5---5-----8---8-10--------10---10--------------------13----13/15---I
I-----5---4-5-5/7---7---7/9---9------------------------------------------------------I
I-5-7---7----------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                      4:30

I-----------15-12----12----------------------------------12-12-12-12-12-12-----------I
I--13----13-------15----15-13-12-12-13-12----------12-13-15-15-15-15-15-15-13-13-12--I
I-----14----------------------------------14----14-----------------------------------I
I--------------------------------------------14--------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
                                                         4:38

I-----12-12-12\-10-10-10------7h8-7h8p---7~~\----------------------------------------I
I-12--13-13-13\-12-12-12---10----------8---------------------------------------------I
I-----------------------------------------------------------------(like intro)-------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I----------------------------------------------------5-2-3-0-2------0-3-0---0--------I
I------------------------------------------------0-3-----------0--3-------3----------I
                                                                  4:48

… then going on with the chords above right into Chukie’s piano (5:16) solo. The end is for you to find out…

Rollin’ & Tumblin’

Guitar: Dobro

The final song – back to the Blues! Muddy Waters, Son House, Sunnyland Slim and more Blues greats played this song, it’s a Blues classic, written by Hambone Willie Newbern, first recorded 1929. EC played it already during the 60’s with Cream. The song is a Blues in G (G – C – D) played on a Dobro with – guess it – open G tuning (Muddy’s favorite in his early days) using a slide. Since this is still for beginners I’ll show you how to play it in standard tuning – we simply use the three strings that are already tuned in open G – the D, G and B string. It’s easy – believe me. I transcribed them playing almost on one or to strings, but it’s no problem to use another scale fingering pattern depending on your needs (slide – no slide / open tuning – standard tuning).

The rolling rhythm background fades in like (with or without slide):

  G
I-----------------------------------------------I
I-----------------------------------------------I
I--0-3b-0----0-3b-0-0-0-0-0-0-3b-0----0--etc.---I
I---------3b-----------------------3b-----------I
I-----------------------------------------------I
I-----------------------------------------------I
  0:06

The main theme goes like this:

  G
I-------------------------------------------------------------I
I-------------------------------------------------------------I
I-------12-12--12-12-12-12p10----10b------0-3b-0----0--etc.---I
I-12-12-----------------------12-----12----------3b----repeat-I
I-------------------------------------------------------------I
I-------------------------------------------------------------I
0:48

   G     D       C
I---------------------------------I
I---------------------------------I
I--0-0--7-7-7-7--5-5-5\--0-3b-0---I
I---------------------------------I
I---------------------------------I
I---------------------------------I
 1:05

The chords between for slide guitar (G, C and D):

   G   C   D
I--------------I
I--0---5---7---I
I--0---5---7---I
I--0---5---7---I
I--------------I
I--------------I

and in standard position:

G D C

Then jamming around at 2:43:

I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I-----------15\13-11/12--------------------------------------------------------------I
I---/12-12--------------12--3b-0--12--10\--/7--0--etc..---12\--0-3/--0-12-12--etc.---I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
I------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I
   2:43                                                   2:58

You can play on hours and hours – use this song to enhance your slide playing… We’ve just finished the album!