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Online Chords Are a Sham

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Russell L, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Not always, but this one is---Midnight Rider, by the Allman Brothers. I have known and played the song for decades just like the original album track, and it's so easy to hear the changes. I was checking after I saw someone play it a little different than the original, in case I was wrong. Unbelievably, though, EVERY site I saw it on online is WAY wrong. Even tab sites for guitar or bass, the same. How in the world can anyone get this song so wrong? I even listened to it again to make sure I hadn't misinterpreted it myself, but no, I'm right. The biggest mistake I saw online was the use of Am7 instead of C, and then Gm7 instead of Bb. It's just ridiculous.

    Of course, I've seen things like this with other songs online, too. I can forgive little discrepencies, but Midnight Rider? I mean, come on.

    Sorry had to rant somewhere about it.
  2. seescottrock


    Apr 13, 2011
    Utica, NY
    Are those not the relative minor chords of the aforementioned chords? They contain the same chord tones, with another note added.
  3. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    i dont know the song, but you realize that Am7 and Cmaj triad are practically the same chord and are very often used as substitutes for one another. same with Gmin7 and Bbmaj. perhaps the chord that the guitar player is playing is an A minor 7 with a C in the bass? just a thought.
  4. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    I've seen the tendency for those types of sites to just copy what's on the other sites. So if it's wrong in one place, it will be wrong everywhere.
  5. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Right, I understand that. Just like the Gm7 could be Bb6 (Gm7 with Bb in the bass). But when they say Am7 or Gm7 you assume it means with A and G in the bass (root position, that is).
  6. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I noticed that.
  7. It's like the chord frames you see over a printed sheet. Some piano player writes out a lead sheet and piano part, decides what chords he wants, and then hands it to someone else who puts in the most basic chord frame diagram for guitar. They typically have zero to do with what is actually being played.

    I'll guarantee you that unless you look at an actual transcription by a guitar player, you won't get the proper voicings for an Allman Brothers tune in any case.

    (And the bass parts Oakley played often changed depending on his mood. He would play a third or fifth in the bass, which could change the perceived chord.)
  8. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I wanted to comment on some of the sites, but of course you have to register and login there, so I just let it go. I remember one commentor on one site saying that the transcription was "as good as it gets." Sheez, what a dope!

    Yes, Oakley changed things up a lot, true. But even some of the signature licks weren't there. I will admit that there have been a few tunes over the years that have been fairly correct, and that helped when I needed to know something. But this one just floored me.
  9. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Sorry I missed your reply. No, they aren't the relative minor (unless you mean that they are a minor third down, which they are). But, you could roughly say they are like the chords noted with an extra note added, although the extra note is the bass part. The song contains no definite inversions that are needed, so I don't know why you wouldn't name the chord in root position based on the bass note. Real easy.
  10. You get what you pay for.
  11. yup......

    free online resources are great, they got me started years ago. they're seldom completely correct though.
  12. A lot if times chordal reductions of songs include other instruments. If you play a Cmaj7 chord on guitar and your bassist is playing an A note, the chord will technically be a Amin9.
  13. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I understand chordal reductions, simplification, and all that, but here's the thing about Midnight Rider: all the chords are easily recognized as root position chords. That's simply what they sound like. So, there's no need to reduce or simplify them. What's online is just WRONG. I dunno how anyone could come up with the chords they show online when the song is so simple to hear. Why call it Am7 when it sounds like a C triad in root position, and with the bass on the root?

    Anyway, it ain't all about Midnight Rider. I'm disgusted with the junk that gets put online in general.
  14. I agree that there is a ton of inaccuracy out there in the tab world. However, I have to give credit to people who at least take the time to post a tab. I have never posted a tab or a correction, even on easy songs that wouldn't take much time.

    So I guess criticism can come off as hollow unless you're willing to take the time to post correct tabs/chords.
  15. Rune Bivrin

    Rune Bivrin Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Huddinge, Sweden
    It's not just the chords. I recently looked up "Accidents will happen" by Elvis Costello, and all the transcriptions had the line "says she can't go home without a chapter one". ***!?
    It's "says she can't go home without a chaperone", dunkinheads!
    You'd think anyone who digs Elvis Costello would be more than average interested in words...
  16. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    Agreed. If there was a purchasable version of the sheet music I was looking for, I wouldn't mind paying for it. However bass song books are in short supply in general, then couple that with songs books usually being pretty vanilla pop, and I don't really have a choice but to look at online tabs.
  17. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    That depends on how the chord is functioning. A is the 13 (or 6), so the chord could still be a "Cmaj7 add13", or "C maj7/A".
  18. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    I've noticed that as a DB player trying to transcribe songs done normally on a DB. I end up just finding the guitar tab for the chords just to get close and then I listen to the tune to pick up the groove and specific little licks. Then again, I'm not in a cover band, so I never learn the song exactly as performed. Ain't nobody got time for that!
  19. That's true, but my explanation is solely a representation of how the chords could have been misinterpreted.
  20. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Again, my point is, when it clearly sounds like a C major triad in root position, why call it Am7? That would imply an A in the bass. Midnight Rider is easy to tell the chords in, like, say, Marshall Tucker's Can't You See.