What are the chords to "Bird Song" by Bert Jansch (simplified for a beginning guitarist)?
October 22, 2011 3:38 PM   Subscribe

What are the chord progressions for "Bird Song" by Bert Jansch?

I'm also looking for the chords to "October Song" by Bert Jansch. I'm beginning the guitar and a long way away from being able to play like Bert or even read a real guitar tab. I just wanted to know the actual underlying chords of these songs so I can kind of fake my way through them very, VERY simply. After searching online, I've come across the full tab, which is not really helping me... does anyone know just the names of the chords - doesn't even need to be lined up with the lyrics?
posted by parsley7 to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
posted by blob at 6:18 PM on October 22, 2011

October Song: here seems to be the standard tab.
posted by blob at 6:20 PM on October 22, 2011

and tab isn't difficult. The lines correspond to the string on the guitar (top line is the top E string on your guitar) and the number is where you put your finger. Form chords from the combination of fingers and strings.

Jansch's music isn't really meant to be strummed; he was a fingerstyle guitarist.
posted by blob at 6:25 PM on October 22, 2011

Beginning guitar and a long way away from reading tab doesn't really make sense. If you can play guitar at all, you can read tab. It's simply a diagram of the guitar with the numbers indicating the frets.
posted by John Cohen at 7:36 PM on October 22, 2011

Sure it does.

If someone is coming to guitar from a different instrument, it makes sense. Or if they're trying to understand how the progression is constructed so they can transpose for their own vocal range or accompany someone more skilled/play along with a recording, knowing the chord names is a different kind of reading, and more useful than only knowing where to put your fingers.

parsley7, if you're going to transcribe the chord names yourself from the tabs, it's not too hard if you keep in mind that Bird Song is DADGAD tuning. You might find this kind of tool useful.

Like blob said, these aren't really going to lend themselves well to a strum, and if you end up analyzing all the passing chords you're going to complicate yourself to death and lose the melody at the same time. There are a couple of Youtube videos showing how to play these tunes -- you might get some help from one of those guys.
posted by Sallyfur at 11:58 PM on October 22, 2011

Thanks for the ideas, all... yeah, I did come from another instrument and I think in terms of sheet music.. I understand how tab works in theory but right now I'm just at the /very/ beginning. I'll keep working at it :-)
posted by parsley7 at 12:22 PM on October 23, 2011

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