Guitar filter: What are the chords for this cover of Santa Fe by Beirut
June 1, 2013 8:33 PM   Subscribe

This guy has the only worthwhile acoustic cover of Santa Fe by Beirut on Youtube. This tab sounds really wrong to me. The first two chords in the progression (F# and B) are good, then I'm like, whaaa?

I can't find any other good acoustic covers where you can see the guitarist's fretting hand, and Beirut plays this song on an accordion so none of their performance videos are helpful.

F# and B with a capo on the first fret sound exactly like in the Youtube video, so I just need the next 2 chords in the progression.
posted by keep it under cover to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'd hazard a guess he's got the capo on the fourth fret and is then playing the standard D, G & C fingerings.
posted by Balonious Assault at 9:03 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

I played along with it and I agree with BA.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:41 PM on June 2, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks Balonious, that sounds exactly like it! Could you share how you figured it out? Well-trained ear? Some other method of deduction that I need to learn?
posted by keep it under cover at 10:36 AM on June 3, 2013

Best answer: I do enjoy figuring out guitar chords and I guess I have developed a bit of an ear for it after all these years of noodling on the guitar. In this case I thought I recognized the 1-5-1-3 voicing of the "D" fingering, then realized that the next chord in the sequence was going to be a barred "C" (fourth fret) at which point, with the whole chord progression being barred chords, it didn't make much sense to have the capo on the first fret. Slide the capo up the neck a little bit and suddenly it's as simple as it sounded like he was playing it. The path of least resistance!

I'm convinced that the "barred C" fingering is what makes self-taught guitarists like me finally learn to play up the neck or just stay satisfied playing root position chords forever. I kept running into the same wall I presume you did here, where I could hear what I wanted to play but it just didn't make any sense that the bass notes weren't anywhere near where they were supposed to be, and I couldn't figure out any alternatives to that damned stretchy "C" fingering. I finally decided to sit down and plot out the root notes of each standard chord fingering, then figure out how they all intersect with one another. It was a big revelation when I realized that the top of the "C" fingering is exactly the same as the "D" fingering, but when you don't have the open strings of the D chord to utilize you have to shift the bass notes around a little bit by fretting them a little higher up the neck.

I still don't enjoy playing the barred "C fingering" very much, so I'll slide my barre up three frets and play an "A" fingering instead when I can get away with it. Or two more frets and the top of a "G," or three more and an "E." Eventually the network of chord voicings all comes together and you can pick and choose where you want to play, and then it's super easy to figure out where to put a capo to make it the simplest.
posted by Balonious Assault at 1:19 PM on June 3, 2013

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