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"Blood & Roses" - the Smithereens

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by abarson, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    Started trying to learn this song, but quickly realized that the root note is D#, not E.
    Does anyone know if the whole bass is supposed to be detuned, or just the top string? Is this supposed to be performed on a 5-string? Looks like just a 4-string P-bass in the video...
    The Smithereens - Blood And Roses - YouTube
  2. digitalmoney


    Nov 13, 2011
    Appleton WI
    I learnded it from tab hehe

    open E is that wrong?
  3. sevdog


    Mar 2, 2008
    You sure he isn't playing an octave higher?
  4. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    I didn't check out the clip (although I am familiar with the song). My band did some Smithereens a long time ago. If memory serves, they tuned down like Van Halen, Stevie Ray, etc.
  5. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    All the Smithereens stuff is de-tuned by a half-step.

    So yeah, it's open E but de-tuned so the pitch is actually Eb. Which means you can either learn it in E and tell your singer to deal with it, or you'll have to bring a 2nd bass tuned down a half step unless you decide to go that route for all your songs.

    BTW great song and a fun bass line. First real cover band I was ever in had it in our show. Good times.
  6. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    We always do it in E.
  7. Hamrhed


    Dec 26, 2007
    Most of The Smithereens stuff is tuned down a half step....

    I've been playing stuff from the recent live album, The Tommy tribute, and the new record- all tuned to D#
  8. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I know some people get really bent out of shape when a song isn't covered in the EXACT key it was recorded but IME you have about a half-step of fudge. In other words if your singer can handle it in E vs. Eb then go for it. Or go down to D though that would require either a 5-string or playing a 4-string in dropped D which might present a bit of a challenge with fingerings on that particular song.

    It's when you start dropping (or raising) songs a full step or more from the recorded version that things start sounding a little wonky.
  9. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    We used to just play Blood And Roses in Eb without detuning. My current band plays Behind The Wall Of Sleep by The Smithereens and play it in Eb. We would not bother detuning for one song.
  10. Based on his hand position during the outro, I say he's tuned BEAD like a 5 string minus the high G string. I really like that dark bass line.

    You notice all the air time bass players get in a video!!

    Here's what I'm gettin' for the vamp line:

    D#min scale


    That notation works in any minor scale.
  11. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    wife and I to see them this summer...great show!
  12. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Yes, I recall an interview with all three of the axe-wielders in a Guitar Player mag-
    All De-tuned for the singer's sake.

    With the Open/De-tuned "E" so in the face on this tune...I say play it in "E".

    That oughta be a sight...reminds me of a similar issue with "Beat It"...it is slightly not "E" but not quite "Eb" (IIRC).
    Well, of course, we played in in "E".
    Our singer, a space cadet...was very good at praticing along with a recording...and she stayed flat until she just finally gave up.
  13. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ..."Blood & Roses" always reminded me of "Riders On The Storm".
  14. As they say in Maine, Can't get theyah from heeyah...:ninja:

    As a big Doors fan, I still like Blood & Roses though....darker and moodier than Riders.....
  15. mildbill


    Aug 5, 2008
    Bangor, Me
    Yes, but oftentimes, here in Maine, it's true! Also, I always played this song in E. Nobody ever complained...
  16. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I saw Smithereens years ago, at a big outdoor venue in Indiana. One of those deals where they had a midway and everything and you pay the day's admission and get to see the bands that night for "free". I think it was like a $10 or $12 ticket (oh, the good old days... ).

    Anyway, they opened for Cheap Trick and while I'm a huge Cheap Trick fan, I have to say that on that night at least, Smithereens was the better band.
  17. Hamrhed


    Dec 26, 2007
    That would have been a great show! I've seen CT several times but I've yet to see The Smithereens (although I've been a fan since 'Especially for you' ). I will see them this year if at all possible... The new record '2011' is a good one...
  18. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I'm in the "Riders" camp for mood...even though someone close to the band dubbed it "cocktail Jazz".
  19. ERMAL


    Jun 20, 2003
    San Antonio, TX
    The Smithereens' Pat DiNizio is a big Black Sabbath fan. I read an interview that after seeing Sabbath live and picking up some guitar licks, he wondered why they didn't sound the same.
    He then figured out they tuned down a half-step and the rest is rock and roll history.
    The Smithereens are hands down my favorite band - no B.S. just loud guitars and great melodies. My band at the time, got to open for Pat on his solo tour in 98' and at a performance in Lawrence Kansas, the whole band signed the back of my RIC Blackstar.
    IMHO you can't go wrong with The Smithereens
  20. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    I have played lots of Smithereens tunes and never detuned or changed the key. I don't mind playing in sharps and flats. :D

    Here is a really cool Smithereens song to play that you don't hear much anymore.

    Smithereens - Time and Time Again
    Smithereens-Time and Time Again.m4v - YouTube

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