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Cover tips for JB songs Expand / Collapse
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Posted 22 February 2011 12:20


Supreme Being

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I thought posting a topic for musicians might be good.

Someone started a subject on it but I thought grouping tips might be a good idea.

For us who (try to!) cover James Blunt guitar or piano, would it be possible to share tips here just for pleasure?

If Billy's okay, of course.

I discovered a few days ago that by detuning my guitar one step (2bb), I could find easier chords to arpegiate to play "into the dark", whose chords are really hard to play otherwise for beginners...

I still don't know how to arpegiate but test everything... so far I just stroke downwards very softly and quite rapidly to stick to the original song.It's just so good to play it on the guitar while singing it even it's it's not the official version, of course...

Who else is covering JB's guitar or piano here? Do you have tips or personal interpretations of his songs?
Post #169243
Posted 23 February 2011 22:23


Supreme Being

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first : thank you Billy for editing.

For "into the dark" I transposed the chords after having detuned my guitar 2bb down 

so I get :

intro Em D G G/F#

Em G D

G/F#                   Em            D                 G for the verses  for each line

love is         madness that's quick to burn

and lying in   the embers is where     we are...

and if my          promise is     unreturned

before the day is over      I will             depart

Chorus

              C          D               Em

if I could choose I'd have you stay

D             C                              G/B           D

but I gave my heart to you and it's yours to break

G             G/F#             Em

before my fears tear us apart

D                       C      D          G (G9 between the two verses)

won't you follow me into the dark?

G/F#                        em                                  D       C

love is                       blindness                  I cannot see

underneath our roots are tangled        and buried deep

when the leaves have fallen               from the trees

do we grow together                            entirely?

 chorus

C G EM BM

C EM D D between the two last chorus(es)

I haven't got the slightest idea if that's right or not but with my guitar detuned it sounds okay with my voice and the melody (as confirmed by my husband thought, on afterthought, he might be slightly biased!!)

 

You can also play it while using your fingers to strum a DDU softly instead of using a pick  or use a soft pick...if you stick to the melody it seems to work too.

I don't knwow what james do as this song's special and has no real video yet. So if I can see him playing on Feb, 28th in London that might be a plus but I think I'll sit too far.

Post #169525
Posted 24 February 2011 05:06


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Looks like the same as what I have, just transposed.
G/F# is the guitar line over the base line, you can play it as a G and skip the F# and it should sound find.
The original chords (as far as I can tell) are
A (which is A/G#) F#m (Which is actually a pretty easy chord) E & A for the verses and

D E F#m
E D A E
A F#m
E D E A

for the choras.

Some of these chords are a little more difficult but I think the transitions are easier (E is closer to A then C is to D, etc.)
If you learn it in the original key you can play along with JB too, otherwise you're on your own.
Post #169575
Posted 24 February 2011 14:25
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Carry you home

Trouble is her only friend and he's back again

G                    Em      C                     G        ( Em C )

Makes her body older than it really is

G                     Em      C                    G        (  Em C )

She says its high time she went away no one's got much to say in this town

If she had wings she would fly away and another day God will give her some

G                      Em                                   C                                   G

Trouble is the only way is down, down, down

G     Em  C G

As strong as you were tender you go I'm watching you breathing for the last time

D  G     Em    Bm     Cadd9

A song for your heart but when it is quiet I know what it means

G                           Em                                        Bm

and I'll carry you home, I'll carry you home.

C      G

And they were all born pretty in New York City tonight

Am    G   D

and someone's little girl was taken from the world tonight

Am     G   D

under the stars and stripes

Am             G               D

As strong as you were

C                  G

tender you go

G            Em

I'm watching you breathing for the last time

Em                 Bm                       Cadd9

A song for your heart but when it is quiet

G                               Em

I know what it means and I'll carry you home

Bm                              C

I'll carry you home

G

Post #169608
Posted 28 March 2011 09:24


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Thanks to James sending a link to an old video of him  performing on Sesame Street, I am now able to play "you're beautiful "AND "My triangle" : on the last one my girls are singing along and improving their English as well as their geometry :  "This shape was brilliant, this shape was pure, I saw three angles, of that i'm sure, and I saw three pointy corners and then i saw three straight lines, the top was very narrow and the base was also wide... A triangle, my triangle, My triangle..........is bluuuuuue!!!"

 

Very bad job for my fifth finger though...it really hurts since you don't move the last two fingers during the whole song

 That was the "tip" mind you because before that I never realized I could play it more easily if i did not move these fingers, silly me!

 

By the way, thank you Susan for Carry you home chords. They work really well : in an acoustic live video this is exactly what James is playing. I got the strum and rhythm too and really enjoy playing it. The bridge ("And they're all born pretty in NYC....") is a little harder but I'm still working on it...

 

On another topic, if you like them, there are some nice and easy versions of Greenday's holiday/boulevard of broken dreams and good riddance... It's great to play  too...

 

I'm ill right now (bronchitis) and can only play (on the sofa with liters of hot tea) and not sing  but if I'm better I plan to buy a new guitar next week. For my first --which was a gift-- I did not know how to play so I wasn't able to try it . I've changed the strings twice but well, it's a really cheap model and vibrates a lot, there's nothing more I can do. Since I often use a capo it vibrates even more.   I'll keep it to play outdoor... 

 

For next guitar, I'll take the time to try it -- even if I ridicule myself by playing in the shop (guess what?)!  I think it will be an electro acoustic.

 

 It's like a big adventure choosing one's guitar now I can play.  It's really exciting. I understand how you must have felt the other time when you bought yours.

 

 My husband is moving to electric only...much more his style (which means he'll have to work out some picking to accompagny my "Blunt family beginners sessions" (which means "Mother-is-playing-James-Blunt (again)-to-her-three-girls")

 

 I've ordered Some kind of trouble guitar tabs too. I'll see what I can do about them! Too bad "into the dark" is not in them...

 

 I've downloaded the song, watched videos of gigs while he's performing it but it's quite hard to identify all chords. I don't know what to do to have that tab in fact. Maybe offer James to do his laundry for one year in a row, do you think he'll accept? There's a version on the Internet but I don't think it is so accurate: his fingers do not do all the proposed chords it seems...

 

I also reviewed my Stay the night strum...It seems a DD DUDUDU D is closer to reality...Have you tried playing it?

 

Susan : a spare sofa, is it? 

Post #173903
Posted 02 June 2011 19:21
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Cassiop and anyone interested, here is my own unique cover of Best Laid Plans, but don't laugh please I only practiced it for about half an hour before making this video!
Post #181548
Posted 09 June 2011 00:27


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Goodness I don't think I've been in this forum yet with the third album.. I hope it's the correct one I was looking for.. I had watched a video on Live Gigs and shows thread and had a listen to this one..

~

Her name is Emily and singing Stay The Night (cover)

A talented young girl! She's got something...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLZF0ruqql4&feature=related

 
Post #182205
Posted 09 June 2011 08:14
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that's a nice cover, Emily is a star in the making!
Post #182238
Posted 26 June 2011 14:26
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here is my own version of No Bravery.  I think my voice and the video went out of synchronicity, but I found it challenging to sing and I am glad that I did!
Post #183732
Posted 26 June 2011 19:47


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I saw your video, Sus and as always I liked the way you interpret James' most moving songs with your special style.

I found it hard to sing on No Bravery too, I don't really know why..I tried normally, then with a capo on each fret but nothing seemed to suit my voice pitch...

The best version stays the one without capo but I guess it's hard to sing because we know the original song (on piano) so we got accustomed to James singing it while playing that instrument. If you strum the strings I find it hard...But I won't be able to hold the fingerpicking during the whole song for my cover so I'll try nonetheless.

I just had a question : I don't do the E/G (I do an Em) and the D/f (I do a D), do you stick to the songbook, did you actually do these chords?

waiting for my new guitar (on Monday I hope), then i'll take the deep plunge.

I'll check the other covers someone posted here, I did not have the time (sorry, man, no offense, I was moving!)

Post #183764
Posted 30 June 2011 16:29
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well we are all waiting for your cover Cassiop!  Why not try an acoustic guitar?  I know it's not the same sound, but at least it'd be less painful for you.
Post #184088
Posted 01 July 2011 08:09


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Thanks Susan. I'm not happy with the cover as the mic did not work so the guitar is louder than the voice but well, everything has a beginning

I'm still using the original medium (or strong?) strings that's why some chords sound bad, it's really hard to play for me when the strings are not light. I guess it's steel, not nylon, for sure.

i'll have to make a video of my fingers one day

 I mean i'm really playing the guitar there is no doubt!!!

I'm going to the music store tomorrow with several objectives :

* have the strings changed into light one, preferably D'addario's like James or Dean's (I don't want to do it myself on this guitar, it's still guaranteed and the other time I did not do it properly and the sound was impaired)

* have my soulmate find his guitar

* be charming enough with the shopassistant to be able to try a Gibson acoustic just to see what it is to have Amy macdonald's guitar for five minutes...(lol, which is not likely to happen!)

 

I'll come to see if I can post other covers from this Sunday onwards...I'm waiting for yours...

Post #184167
Posted 01 July 2011 09:31


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Hey! I tried another guitar cover of Cry and youtube beeped again

...I really think  the detection algorythm needs rebooting because the guitar playing is nowhere near James's version with my awful B chord!

--

I tried to play it on the seventh fret instead of the normal B but it's still bad...

But I promise  (Billy) I'll post here if youtube beeped again so as i always keep my promises,here is the link:

Can you hear that awful sound I make during the bridge? Oh God!

--

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmKTic7s_3w

 

--

Right, looks like I've got the summer to work my barred chords...It's only been 2 months that I can play them anyway so I guess I can only improve with time and training. 

 If I remember well I started the guitar last December (to show my older daughter who wanted to start that it was possible...)

I just took a guitar and started with the Em...At that time it took me a week to make it sound right and my fingers were red and sore every night! Then I clearly remembered watching James's songbooks wondering how the hell will I one day be able to play that  kind of chords

 

Not to mention the strumming patterns

 

I'm really awstruck when I see real guitarists playing...I'm kind of looking forward to this summer gigs and festivals now...

 

 

 

Post #184171
Posted 04 July 2011 15:06


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Right. Again, but this time 30 seconds longer, so quite slower than the first version..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVk4vxthjuE

The Bms are still awful, sob sob... despite my practising everyday

 

Post #184530
Posted 08 July 2011 19:40


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Hi Guys,

I'm afraid I've been cutting into your topic because I'm keen to get it back on topic... as a useful thread for those wanting to cover James' songs. I hope you don't mind! Thanks!
Post #185010
Posted 10 July 2011 20:19
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I have spent the last hour or so working on what I think is James' best song of all, from many perspectives, lyrically, emotionally, musically. 

It's just processing at the moment so will post it soon.  I pull a lot of faces during this one as there is so much emotive content so I apologise in advance.  I love this song to pieces!  I can sense the real James in this one, his family background, his unrequited love for a woman and his turning to God for guidance.  Beautiful I just wish I coud sing this perfectly, maybe one day I will.

 

 

Post #185341
Posted 13 July 2011 21:01


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Right. Billy has done the housework, I'm finding my tracks again.

SUsan your cover is beautiful...I just hope James watch it, really. I was totally moved by your interpretation...

-

So since I can't edit my other posts (other username, the one with the strange characters...), I'll add here the new version of" Into the dark" chords , close to the real one according to what I saw in the gig...

No need of a capo if you have James's voice pitch..Otherwise you can try on Fret 1... 

My tip is a beginner's tip for beginners... It's only here to help if you are starting the guitar and want to play that beautiful song...It's my interpretation of the song...and it may be wrong, if you have other ideas, just add them, we could finally be able to play it right...

-

The song is a 4/4...I'm still trying to find the real strum but the strum is cut on some chords like the E and E7 (?)  before ending the strum on the A which is a 4/4 plus the end strum (I don't know if I'm making myself clear enough...I've got trouble with theory...).

-

Let's say some chords are full strum, others are cut, others are 1 strum and a half... YOu have to feel the song and know that, independently of your strumming pattern, some words MUST be sung on some chords so you have to train until you find the right strum and rhythm which is consistent enough to make you actually sing exactly this words when you change your chords...I've tried to put the chords+ words in special characters so that you can see..

After what I saw I've got now:

-

intro : F#m  E(cut) A (1 1/2)

-

you start singing on the end of the A chord...(count 4? James did...)

            F#m                    E(cut)    A

Love is madness        that's quick to burn

And lying in the embers       is where we are

And if my promise is            unreturned

Before the day is over,         I will depart  (and then you've got the rhythm for the other verse...)

-

CHORUS

               D (cut?)       E(cut)   F#m

If I could choose I'll have you stay

        E(cut)     D(cut?)                E7(?) (one strum?) E (end)

But I gave my heart to you and it's yours to break

              A       E7(cut)  F#m

Before my fears tear us apart

               E cut) D(cut) E(cut)  A(full)

Won't you follow me into the dark?

-

 

             F#m                              E(cut)   A '1+1/2)

LOve is blindness       I             cannot see

Underneath our roots are tangled  and buried deep

When the leaves have fallen       from the trees

Do we grow together                entirely?

             Bridge: D A F#m C#m D F#m E E (but I need to watch another vid for the length...)

Now, try and tell me...

You can arpegiate on the first verse and chorus if you manage, I find it too hard for the moment...Sus...It's up to you!

 

edited by me : the strum (unlike other songs where it is complex) seems pretty simple here, the song is more lead by the piano and mouth organ.

-

 I do not see james' wrist doing something other than DUDUDUDU...however try I focalise on his hand and what is queer is that it does not really work whan I do it (yeah, I'm not James Blunt you'd like to say...)

 

Can't practice this week, am heading to see the last Harry Potter opus with my eldest daughter, then to the Guilfest with the three she-elves...

Feeling pretty tired, hope I won't fall ill...

You can tell I'm down when I don't use smileys to show my emotions...

Post #185679
Posted 14 July 2011 10:02


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Sus, forgot to ask, what strings do you arpegiate in "Same Mistake"? and in what order (with the chords in the songbook as usual, i've got them)
Post #185699
Posted 20 July 2011 22:24


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I'm just laughing to myself seeing I'm the only one left participating here...Right, or should I cry? I may, I swear..not a nice sight...

Please, anybody...

Billy...what's the time limit to have the topic erased if no-one answers except me?

Right/ I'd better practice to fill the other "cover" topic then..

Post #186498
Posted 22 July 2011 09:08
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Hi Cassiop I am still here, I can't really explain the chords though, you're much more accomplished than I am at them.
Post #186690
Posted 22 July 2011 09:39


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No I'm not Sus. the problem is that as I try to learn how to arpegiate properly so am looking for some theory tips for it. I guess that there are some "fixed" patterns to use (which i can't find for the moment)

For exemple, I tried playing "No bravery " with easy chords while fingerpicking the 2nd 3rd and 4th chord like 4,2,3 twice I think on each different chord...but I guess it's "not enough".

Do you apply the same pattern?

I'll try to make you a video to explain okay?

Post #186695
Posted 22 July 2011 10:10
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say you were playing the A chord, then you just play those three strings, either in sequence or alternating the notes, to produce different effects.   It's very hard to explain it, I once tried teaching my little nephew with not much success. Have you ever thought of having some lessons with a guitar teacher?  It will help answer a lot of your questions, Cassiop! best wishes, have a lovely day, speak soon x
Post #186697
Posted 22 July 2011 10:22


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Yeah, much is done on feeling I guess...it's just that I try to gather all the info I can to progress...I'l try to have some proper Guitar lessons this fall...I guess now is the right moment.

Have a nice day...

Post #186698
Posted 26 July 2011 20:48


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I was trying to play 1973 but well...might not be able to do anything except break a string!

Susan you wanted to do it if I remember, what do you do to give the special rhythm to the song? There are a few good videos of James performing acoustic versions of it on youtube but hell...it's really hard to get the movement he makes with his hand...There's some kind of palm muting involved apparently.

Post #187220
Posted 29 July 2011 15:32


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hum...apparently I've been playing too much James Blunt in the last few weeks...Someone close complained..I might have to do a little pause and try other covers...

Pity, I nearly had my carry you home version with the official chords ready...

Post #187573
Posted 05 August 2011 20:21


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For those of us wanting to find tips about how to play 1973, there are a few very interesting videos of James performing it during a  live acoustic, first with Ben (two guitars version, but Ben has a 12 chords), second with Paul on the piano. The two versions are totally different and as James said "1973 is a band song" so it's quite hard to play while being only 2, let alone being alone

But I found the two videos really interesting...

Anyway, here are the links, the chords are easily noticeable on the videos, it's more the movement of the handwrist that's problematic...to carry through the whole song...

Off on holiday right now...I hope I'll manage a cover of this beautiful song before...ermmm...Christmas?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSPr3uHVFio&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybNUIbdVqk4

Post #188475
Posted 13 September 2011 15:02


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God,this thread has some success...

After how much time of "unviewing-unanswering" does Billy erase a thread? Just to know...

Post #193162
Posted 16 September 2011 08:02
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Hi Cassiop, I just saw your post, though I have been quite busy and my computer laptop has quite a small screen so I often miss the misc discussions.  I posted on your you tube the 1973 cover?   I am having some guitar technique lessons, you might be interested to hear, it's amazing what can be learned in a short time.  I am definitely going to work on another song time soon Cassiop, Susan x
Post #193531
Posted 22 September 2011 08:31


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cassiopée (22/02/2011)

I discovered a few days ago that by detuning my guitar one step (2bb), I could find easier chords to arpegiate to play "into the dark", whose chords are really hard to play otherwise for beginners...

I still don't know how to arpegiate but test everything..?

It's strange because now that I can play the real chords, the intro part is still a mystery. The more I listen to the song the more I've got the feeling the fingerpicking at the beginning is too low to be a guitar...is it actually a bass? or maybe it is a guitar detuned?  I'm still asking for help here because it would be nice to arpegiate the first verse and chorus...James does not play before the second verse...

I think that live the keyboard or piano takes this special arpege...

Susan, could you listen to the song and tell me what you think?

Post #194341
Posted 22 September 2011 08:55
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Cassiop as I said before why don't you go for guitar lessons.  Sorry hun, I have got to go to work now, have a great day, the sun is shining here, it's a beautiful day!
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