I’m about to start sharing – through this very blog – chord progressions to some of my favorite songs. Some of these are songs whose chords I figured out completely on my own. Others are lead sheets I found littered about the internet, which I then edited. The internet offers a wealth of available lead sheets and tablature for the aspiring musician, but sometimes they end up misrepresenting the song.
Common errors/weirdnesses found on the internet are:
- a song in the wrong key. I am always amused at this, because generally, it is off by a half step or whole step, the equivalent of one or two frets on the guitar. Meaning: someone didn’t tune their guitar properly that morning.
- alternately, when one is instructed to “tune down” or “tune up” a guitar to play a song correctly. an alternate tuning is one thing, but if I am not tuning my entire guitar up, down, or sideways by the same interval on every string just because you couldn’t really figure out the chord progression. The neck of a guitar offers easily two locations to play any song. If one doesn’t seem to be working for you, find the other one.
- instead of chords we are given the lead guitar line, which may or may not be enough to accurately represent the song. Unless you have an entire band backing you, this is usually useless.
- attempts at representing the proper strumming rhythm generally take up way to much space on the page and don’t seem to be worth it.
There are probably a few more mistakes and awkward things around the world wide web of guitar chords and tab, so it’s possible I will be adding to this list as time goes on. My own attempts at sharing my “fake” sheets with you will hopefully attack each of the gripes on my list head on and provide you with the best representation of how I myself play this song.
Following the chord post will be a harmonic analysis of each song, utilizing roman numerals (which I’ve already talked about on this blog), to analyze how the chords relate to each other. Being able to hear the relationships between the chords is almost as important as knowing the chords themselves. It’s the difference between seeing random words strung together followed by some punctuation, and being able to identify the subject, predicate, and object in any given sentence.
The songs I publish to my blog will mostly include songs that I perform live or songs that I enjoy playing at home. Many of these really are songs that I have spent a lot of time on, from figuring out the basic chord structure to the strumming pattern. Often times I am analyzing music which was never meant to be played by one girl with her acoustic guitar, and I work towards the best way to boil down, say, a nine piece punk band to suit my needs.