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Get Ready...Temptations version chorus chords

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Larry Kaye, Feb 16, 2003.

  1. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    This is a real simple one. My band, a bunch of non educated old farts and I an educated old fart disagree as to the chords on the chorus of the original Temptations recording of Get Ready.

    We play the song in C so the chorus is in Eb.

    They have used Eb, Cm, Fm, Bb for the past 20 years, including the last 5 years I've been in the band. We just got two new horn players, one of which is helping on background singing during the chorus which is why this ever came up at all.

    I say the original, transposed to our key, chords to the chorus are Eb, Ab, Fm, Bb. I downloaded both the MP3 of this and Rare Earth's version and they both did not go 1 6 2 5. They went 1 4 2 5. I tried to explain that if they played a c major chord while I was playing an Ab in the bass, that would mean that we were collectively playing an AbM7 chord, which is the 4 chord of the Eb key the chorus was in. This isn't exactly theory rocket science but it shot right over their collective heads because, of course, "how could a bass player possibly know anything about chords, music theory, harmony, vocals, anything other than the boom boom bass parts, right?", the typical a-hole put down attitude of front line wannabe musicians.

    Does anyone concur with me that the original recording of Get Ready by the Temptations, which I think was in D major and the chorus in F, has chorus chords of F, Bb, Gm, C, which when transposed to our key are Eb, Ab, Fm, Bb?

    My defensiveness on making this point stems from another guitar player I worked with that insisted that even though the bass player was going from A to D, the chords were C and D. I told him that the bass note usually determines the chord name, and that we were playing Am7 to D, not C major (with an A in the bass? Come on... how often does that happen?) to D?


  2. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I wasn't familiar with the song, so I just downloaded it, and listened up the chorus.

    The original is in D, indeed, and chorus is in F.

    And you're right, buddy. The chorus is F Bb Gm C - essentially.

    What have these people got wrong with their ears? :D I just listened to it once, and I can tell you it's F Bb Gm C :D
  3. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    can really cloud one's hearing/thought process.

    These are the same guys who have been doing things a certain way for so long any deviation is panic inducing. Initially I couldn't play Mac the Knife with anything more than the polka umpa umpa 1 . 5 . 1 .5 for the first verse or they totally freaked out. These are the same guys who are using 30 year old equipment and have never changed tubes!!

    In spite of everything, I do really love the band and continue to exert more and more influence in how we do things, run things, and they are realizing that bottom line, I know a hell of a lot more than they do about music, but every once in a while, ignorance rears its ugly head.

    I don't know why they got it wrong in the first place, 20 years ago. My guess is they learned it off of a wrong piece of sheet music!!
  4. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I have played that song many, many times over the last thirty years with many different people. 1 4 2 5 is correct, your band mates are wrong. But you already knew that.
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Are we talking about horn players? Certain keys are easier for them to play - especially the flat keys - and you will often find them transposing pieces into an "easier" key!! ;)
  6. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    No excuse for playing a vi chord instead of a IV chord :D
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Shouldn't that be "Cloud Nine" & not "cloud one's"?

    ...always here to help.
  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    If the guitarist still insists he's playing a "C" chord(C-E-G) over your "A" note...to me, he's playing an Am7 with no root. FME, that happens a lot. In fact, that's how I would prefer things(usually).
    Off the top of my head, "Badge" has a similar thingee goin' on. IIRC, the 2nd chord in the verse could be played either-
    Relative minor/major.

    Of course, one way is correct...whatever.

    BTW, IIRC(part 2)-
    The Standing In The Shadows transcription book has your F-Bb-Gm-C changes in "Get Ready".
    Keep doin' what you're doing & hopefully the others will get on-board!
  9. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I agree with JimK on this one, actually Larry.

    C with an A bass, Am7... same thing. When the guitarist is playing C, and the bass in on an A - that's an Am7. The guitarist doesn't have to be playing all the notes in the chord for it to be that chord.

    And like Jim says, C/A (as a voicing for Am7) is not uncommon at all. In a piano voicing, I'd do that quite often actually. Play an A in the left hand, and a C chord in the right hand, giving Am7. Generally I find I prefer the sound of it, without the A in the RH too.