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Learn Guitar Chords: Won’t Back Down By Tom Petty Easy Guitar Chords

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One of the key ingredients to achieving a great sound is to design your arrangement so that you have some ‘sonic space’ between each instrument in the group; every instrument should have it’s own place in the audio landscape.

If you have ever wondered why you are not getting the same sound as the recorded version this is a good place to start… in many instances the arrangements we find on most guitar TAB sites is designed to produce a complete sound with just one guitar however, taking that type of arrangement across to a group setting can cause ‘sonic sludge’.

Let’s take a sample chord progression from Tom Petty’s – ‘Won’t Back Down’ to show you how with a few simple changes you can improve your ensemble playing by at least 85%!

Tip 1: Be aware that any note on the guitar from ‘C’ (5th string, 3rd fret) and lower is in the bass guitar range; playing chords with notes that are in the bass player’s frequency will produce a muddy sound.

Sample verse chord progression: (Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty)

Em D G

// // | //// |

Standard guitar TAB type power chords.

Em D G

————

————

————

-9–7——-

-7–5—5—

———3—

Problem: No problem here if you are accompanying your voice; however, if you are playing with a bass player the ‘G’ chord will be an issue.

Notice how the lowest note in the G chord is in the bass players’ range.

Solution: By moving the lowest note of the chord up one octave we can avoid a muddy group sound.

Modified ‘group’ version

Em D G

————

————

————

-9–7—5—

-7–5—5—

————

This version will sound better with your bass player and it’s easier to play… not a bad deal!

Now, moving on to the chorus of ‘Won’t Back Down’

The basic chord progression:

C G D G

/// / | /// / |

Standard guitar TAB type power chords.

C G D G

—————

—————

—————

-5——7——

-3–5—5—5–

—–3——-3–

Problem: Again, no real problem if you are the only instrument accompanying the singer however, there’s a fair amount of moving around with fast chord changes so let’s see if we can find a better solution.

Solution: By moving the chords to the middle two strings (3rd and 4th strings) we can play the ‘G’ using open strings thereby overcoming the fast chord change issue.

Modified ‘group’ version

C G D G

—————

—————

-5–0—7—0–

-5–0—7—0–

—————

—————

Actually, what we did here was the exact same principal that we did earlier with the ‘G’ chord.

* the low note of the C chord was moved up one octave (even though the low note of the C chord did not overlap with the bass frequency – it just created a better flow given the chord sequence).

* the ‘G’ chord from the verse was re-located to be played as an open string chord (same pitch and inversion just moved to a different position on the fretboard).

Tip 2: Experiment with different instrument textures and playing techniques to help define each instrument’s musical space.

Example

On the Tom Petty version an acoustic guitar plays standard open string chords with a clean sound while the electric guitar plays the power chords (I have described above) using a palm muted effect for the verse and an open sound for the chorus.

These type of musical contrasts make for a very interesting production that your audience will want to here again and again.



Source by Mike P Hayes

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