Saturday, December 30, 2006


Gee-tar Tabs

Our friend Mike Kinsella played second guitar with us on the first two of our band's last three shows. Preparaing for that involved writing out guitar tabs for the songs we'd be playing together. Since people sometimes have asked me how to play this song or that, I thought the notes I sent over to Mike might be of interest to some folks here. Guitar nerds, play along!

For starters you should tune your guitar to standard a half step down

Eb Ab C# F# Bb Eb

If your guitar plays funny--say, kinda out of tune--or if the strings are all flappy you could try moving up a string gauge, like .11s instead of .10s. Probably you'll be totally fine. I also use those nice Shubb capos, or the crazy new magical G-Force ones I think they're called, to keep from being pulled sharp by a capo without manual tension adjustment that's too tight. But you're as capo-savvy as me, so . . .

Note I AM GOING TO REFER TO THE CHORD POSITIONS AS IF WE WEREN'T TUNED DOWN, i.e. what they look like, not what they are. So I'm going to call the third string a "G" not an F# string. And even though what looks like a G chord is actually an F# chord when you tune it down a half-step, I'm still gonna call it a G.

Similarly, if I say for instance "3rd fret" and there's a capo involved, I mean "3 frets up from the capo."

In no particular order -

CATASTROPHE
Starts as a B power chord (I just play it as the 1 and the 5, no octave) at the 14th fret on the A string. Actually I play it at the 9th fret on the D string. Whatever.
Slides down to an octave chord at the tenth fret on the A string. We're calling that a G. These two chords alternate through the intro and the verses, until on the last one before the change, during the build, I add the 5th to that octave chord.
"Catastrophe keep us together . . . ": D and G, back and forth. Except the G looks like this
2
3
0
0
x
3
with that F# hanging around up top until the last time through when it resolves to a Gsus5 chord
3
3
0
0
x
3
which is a chord I play in like every song and so will refer to again and again.
"I've got a plan": "A" power chord and Gsus5 chord, back and forth. Notice just before the big part of the song this section is twice as long.
"At the end . . . of the world . . . ": D chord where the F# up top pulls off to become an E, and then that dimish-y G chord up, similarly pulling the top F# away to become an E. Before the transition back to the verse I always do a little left-hand-mute percussion on beats 3 and 4 a la Fugazi.

ALREADY LOST
It's fine on this one to just focus on the choruses, which is a Gsus5 then D then C, with the top portion of the chord holding steady. Gsus5 we saw above. D looks like this
3
3
2
0
x
x
and C looks like this
3
3
0
x
2
x
I think you call those those D/G and C/G. We're going to see them a lot too.
Every other time through the chorus when Caithlin does the little descending line I do it too, keep the top part of that chord in place and walk down bottom: C B A F# G.
You're welcome to try to learn the verses or to improvise another part for it if you like. The two basic chords are
0
0
5
5
0
x
and then
0
0
5
5
3
x
It might be good to just play those chords and let them ring as we come out of the 2nd verse. The transition part is Gsus5 and the C form above, except the E string is mostly open on both.

ARTIFICIAL LIGHT
capo 2nd
Opening chord--"No one defies"--is Csus5
3
1
0
x
3
x
then let go your index finger
3
0
0
x
3
x
then kind of an A minor
3
0
x
2
0
x
and finally a G, which in this case I play like this
3
0
0
0
x
x
but you can play any way you like.
"Simultaneous sitting": Csus5, walk that A string down one fret from C to B and hold tight up top, then that A minor chord above, then back to the B.
"Why is this technology . . ?" Csus5, climb to open D string and hold the top, fret 2nd fret or D and hold the top, back down to D.
"If I could just breathe" is the normal verse descending bit again, with that little twinkly riff up top. You're welcome to just frame the chords or play it with me, it's just 5-3-1 on that C chord, starting at the third fret or the E string.
"Always breathe back in." You could sit out the first half of this if you want, but should definitely be in for the back half when it picks up. The chords are like this:
3
1
2
x
3
x
(kinda of a C kinda of an F), then Csus5, then A minor with the 3rd fret on E string fretted, then G with 1st fret on B string added (call that G/C?), and back up again. Until the last time through the last chord is the same as the 2nd chord of the verse
3
1
0
x
2
x
to set up the tension for that resolve to C.

LIFE OF LEISURE
capo 3rd
I might have you play along on the verses, or it might be really cool for you to play a big E minor chord and let it hold over 'til halfway through. Then put your left hand across the strings to mute them all (don't press down too much) and use your middle finger on the low E string so when you strum across them all you get a harmonic at the 12th fret [relative to the capo, i.e. first dot at the top of the neck] and everything else just goes chuck-a-chuck. This is the whole verse except when I take my hand off the top strings to make more noise at transition points (like after 4 bars at the upbeat of 4), etc.
Transition to chorus is regular old G chord, then low E string moves down 1 fret to F# while B string is fretted at 3rd fret (optional).
"When will it all fall through . . .": Gsus5, D/G, E minor with top two strings still fretted as with previous chords (you can play this with the low E string or with just the top 4 strings, whichever you like), then C/G.
"On and off": the chord shapes turn into big generic cowboy-chord G, C and D.
"At first you . . . " this is an F bar chord but not fretted on the high or low E. The third (G string) pulls away open, that's the movement you hear. The second chord is a C, likewise the third (in this case D string) pulls away. Then on the third time through a high G is added to both chords, third fret on the high E string. On the last time through the C chord changes to G instead, then the low string descends to an F#.
BREAK--> big E minor chord. I solo on the high E (can't hear it very well on the recording). Welcome to make something up here or else just follow along with 8th notes on the high E. Coming out there are descending 12th fret (relative to the capo) harmonics, E B G - E B G - E B G - E B G and triplet palm mutes out.

ATLANTIC
tune high E string down to C#. Or don't and just ignore and mute that string.
The opening riff/chorus part is a Csus5 (D string is muted) chord that slides around, with the high E (now a C#) ringing out as a drone. It starts at the 10th fret (use pinky to move B string up two frets for opening riff), slides to 5th fret and then 2nd (B string open). Wait out intro and come in with the rest of the band.
Verse "Oh beautiful": C chord. Don't strum high E string. Then right away strum again but with B string open, plus the high C#.
Short break in verse after singing. Strum C chord but leave out low C (it's kind of an A minor at the same time, so . . . ) and with the B string frettted at the 3rd fret. Pulls away to open B, then strums at first fret (C), open to B quick and fretted again at 3rd. Way easier than it looks written down.
When the guitar opens up and drops out as we swing into the end part, and bass takes over, I just take my hand off and let it float for those four bars. Then it's a C chord, but all the action is on the B string. All pull-aways/hammer-ons: D C B C B C D C B C B C D C B C . . . repeat. You could maybe play this sometimes and goof around part of the time. When it kicks in it's Csus5, but the B string goes B C B C B C B C B C over and over til the drums double up and then that tricky riff above plays over the chord for the second half. Back and forth. Ends on Csus5.

THERE WILL BE NO NIGHT
I didn't send you a copy of this but I can
Basically in A (G# that is). I tune all crazy for it. Basically an open G# drone with movement underneath on the A string - 9th fret, 7th, 5th. Some harmonics, chords at end. Very simple. If you have time you can make something up. We're going to play the Atlantic EP in its entirety and in order.

CT CATHOLIC
capo 1st. This one is going to be so cool.
Intro and "Maybe now . . .": C4 shape at 11th fret, turning into a regular ol' C.
"Hottest summer ever": Gsus5, guess what--hold that top in place!--E minor, D, C. Then when it gets quiet, same progression but in normal cowboy-chord form.
The progression for the build is Gsus5, Em, D/G, and then "need any words" is a big regular C, then bigger D which I've started just letting ring out because it sounds more crazy. The explosion part is the same as the normal ig part, but the D and C are flipped--very important--so it's Gsus5, Em, C/G, D/G. You could keep chording through there while I play my dumb solo, or whatever. Same build at end.

SOUL SINGER
The entire verse is basically a big E drone:
0
0
9
9
7
0
all the way through, until that chord shape descends to the 4th and then 2nd fret. The top strings ring out all the way through. Mute the low E when the shape moves, or fret on the E string in the same place, whichever.
When it climbs it goes to the 12th fret, and then the top octave part (G string) drops down one fret to become what I think is called a sus7. It holds on the sus7 when it opens up. If you want to play that diddly stuff at the end or something like it, be my guest. It's just 13th, 14th, 15th, 13th over and over, basically.

HELL AND HIGH WATER
tune high E string down to C#, drones through whole song really
This one is a slightly more complicated. Don't kill yourself if it doesn't come quick.
Starts on Csus5 with B string open, adds one fret to C, then D. Open again, repeat until last time through climbs on B string to 5th fret and back down to 3rd.
"I've seen the girl . . . ": Csus5 form at 5th fret, B string opens up. Back down to intro riff, back up.
Transition to chorus riff slides just B string w/drones to 5fret, then 8th. Chorus: Csus5 at 10th fret, pinky frets up 2 on B string, slides in that shape down to 5 then to a normal Csus5, then Am, then G (with high E fretted up 2 frets extra to compensate for tuning), finally Fsus2 thing (might say C4), looks like this:
0
1
0
3
x
x
End thing enters on upbeat of 4, it's the Fsus2 (aka C4) to C to G (with E string up two frets).

MYSTERY AND MISERY
I'm going to have you do this in the cleaner, inverted 2nd guitar form from the record.
Opens with a Gsus5, but mute the B string. Add the 3rd fret on the B string on the upbeat of 1 in the second bar. The second chord is a Csus5, adding the third (2nd fret D string) at the same place I mention above.
"But now I am acquainted . . ": That Fsus2 aka C4 form from Hell and High Water
0
1
0
3
x
x
then C. Repeat all this. Right before the change it goes Fsus2 C Fsus2 G instead.
Chorus - "You've got a . . .": C without the D string, adding the 3rd fret on the E string halfway through, then Fsus2 like this
0 then 3
1
0 . . . . . and then add 2
3
x
x
"Oh, you're wicked . . . ": Am, G.
"I can something your eyes" break: G, G4 (1st fret B string), Gsus5 (3rd fret B string), back down to G4, G hammers on to G4, G, G4 to C ("aren't I?").
And repeat.

BOTTLE
This one I haven't sent over either.
Very simple. Starts as E power chord (7th fret), then octave chord
x
x
x
9
x
7
then
x
x
7
0
x
5
then
x
x
9
7
7
x
then repeats except last chord is
x
x
6-7-6
7
7
x
and finally before transition is as above but G string holds at 6th fret.
"It's like a bottle to the head": E and E4, back and forth, only on the top 4 strings--
0
0
1-2
2
x
x
Break: B power chords, A (no third), D, E.
Repeats, etc. That's the song.

2 Comments:

At 7:12 PM, Blogger .::Hung::. said...

Thank you so much! I've been searching for some RM tabs and I was wondering if you could kindly post tabs for "terrified".

I'm really bummed that I wasn't able to catch any RM shows while you guys toured Canada. Thank you for the many years of inspiring music. One can only hope for a reunion tour :)

Hung

 
At 9:54 PM, Blogger Matthew said...

Wow, this just made my day. I've been looking forever for tabs. OOooOO I can't wait to play along!
Thanks!
-Matt

 

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