Sunday, March 23, 2008

Another Sip from the Fountain

If you don't know many songs, if you're looking for a quick one to pick up when you don't know much about the guitar, pick up "Closer To Fine" by the Indigo Girls. This is probably a song that should have been on my repertoire list, and it probably wasn't. ( It was. ) It's not a song that I personally think about all that much. I haven't even really liked it in about 20 years. But there are things to recommend it.

First of all, all the college girls know it and love it. They will sing along. And if you are a person who loves college girls and wants them to love you, that's a good one to know.

Secondly, it's a guitar lesson in a song, with some neat things accessible by the beginner.

It's in A, capo'd at the second fret, which means it looks like G. So, I will talk about it like it was G. It's a simple G, too: G - 320033 , C x32010 and D x00232, most of the time in that order. Second most often in reverse order. Get a capo, play the song and try to play along and you 'll know how to get through most of it.

There are exactly two points of musical cleverness. Point A is a tag on the end of the verses. "I'm trying to tell you something 'bout my life" Dah dah dah dah! If you look at it as chords, it's D suspended 4th, D, D suspended 2nd D. Or:
e --3---2---0---2--------------
B --3---3---3---3--------------
G --2---2---2---2--------------
D -----------------------------
A -----------------------------
E -----------------------------
Because you're not really holding those chords, it's not Dsus4, D, Dsus2, D. You're really playing a semi-melodic G F# E F# bit while holding a D. But that's as good a way as any to learn the concepts of the suspended chords.

Suspended because you suspend, or carry over, a note from the previous chord. In this case, you're not really doing that.

Point B is "The best thing you've ever done for me", where you switch between two chords, a C and a Dsus4. Scratch that. Reverse it.
e -----------------------------
B ---3---------1---------------
G ---0---------0---------------
D ---4---------2---------------
A ---5---------3---------------
E -----------------------------
The suspended note here is the open G, the fourth of D. You'll notice that, otherwise, you're just playing a C chord two frets up. What could be more simple than that?

So, that's it. That's every tricky part to "Closer To Fine". That's everything you need. Except the speed and a good right arm. Because, if you can't get it right, if you can't change the chords fast enough, you really sound horrible.


Anonymous said...

After listening to the roommate play parts of the song, I still haven't figured it out.

It's pretty funny, and hit's a little close to home.

Dave Jacoby said...

It's totally three-chord stuff!! Man, you suck!!! B)

I like doing the D suspended fourth thing in many places where a D is called for. It's a trick that I keep using.