Bury the lead?
July 26, 2011 7:32 PM   Subscribe

How do I incorporate the guitar lead in the chorus of Califone's 'Funeral Singers' into a solo arrangement?

Califone's 'Funeral Singers' seems like the sort of song that would be incredibly kickass to play and sing solo, but the chord structure is very repetitive and the chorus totally loses its punch without the lead guitar line.

Can anyone suggest a way to mock and/or incorporate the lead line in the chorus into a solo guitar arrangement? For what it's worth, I'm playing the song as Bb-Fm-Ab-Eb in standard tuning, not the half step down or open Eb tuning.

As probably implied by the fact of asking this question, my formal music knowledge is fairly weak, but I could figure things out if you were able to phrase as, e.g., 'play a [x,y,z note] run on the [x,y strings] over a [x chord in the y chord shape].'

Also, if anyone has any good beginner resources, examples, or general suggestions about doing this sort of thing (i.e., incorporating manageable leads over chords in solo, sing-along guitar arrangements) that would be appreciated too.

Thanks in advance.
posted by jimmysmits to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
I would alternate: play a lead note, then a chord (or bass note) below it, lead, chord, lead, chord, etc.

You can form the chords so they always contain the lead notes.

These are the chords I'd use:

Bb on the 6th fret (this naturally contains all the lead notes).

F "minor" on the 8th fret, except it should really be an F power chord with a G added. (Some people might call it an "F minor add 9," but I prefer "F2" since there's no third.)

Ab add 9 on the 4th fret.

Eb on the 6th fret.

Here are the chord shapes in tab. This doesn't show the exact timing of every note, but I assume you can figure that out by ear. The lead notes are in bold:

posted by John Cohen at 8:01 PM on July 26, 2011

Hey! Another Califone fan!

I can't tell from your profile where you're located, but on the chance that you're actually in Chicago, I'm pretty sure Jim Becker still gives music lessons and could be helpful on this score (even though it's Tim Rutili playing lead on this track).
posted by scody at 9:51 PM on July 26, 2011

Call me crazy, but the first thing I'd do is transpose it down a semitone so you can play chords with open strings: A, E minor, G, D. that way fewer of your fingers will be holding down barre chords and you can add incidental notes, trills, etc.

Or, come to think of it. transpose it up a semitone: B, F# minor, A, E, and (my favourite trick) play it leaving the top two strings open all the time. That's going to add colour to the whole thing, although it won't sound much like the original any more.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 10:37 PM on July 26, 2011

This is a bit of an off-beat suggestion, but you could recreate the guitar line as a oo-oo-type vocal line in between verses or what have you. Not quite the same, but could be nice.
posted by threeants at 6:48 PM on September 4, 2011

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