Some Califone pseudo-tablature

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Some Califone pseudo-tablature

Unread postby foobario » Sun Aug 08, 2004 10:52 am

Here's a couple of songs I've been playing lately... they are not definitive, canonical, complete, or correct, but some of the notes match up with the notes in the songs and the results sound vaguely like the real tunes.

Maybe someone with a better ear could flesh these out a bit? I've only been messing with the alternate tunings for a couple of weeks now, and I still don't know where all the notes are. Any revisions/additions/revelations are most welcome.

I'm going to try 'Mean Little Seed', 'Stepdaughter', and 'Fisherman's Wife' tomorrow, so there might be more tab coming. Either that, or a plea for help, that is.

With thanks and apologies to the band... even if I could mimic Tim note for note it still wouldn't sound right without Ben backing it up. BTW the band is welcome to come jam at my place in Portland OR any time you want :)

-- foobario


I play these in DAF#DAD, but I'm sure there are other tunings these songs could be played in. Tim might use DADDAD, or possibly Q&L#:@P.

When I say a string is tuned to 'D' I mean relative to the other strings. I don't know what the hell it is really tuned to, I just tune the low string until it sounds right, call that a D, and then tune the others to it. Detune or capo (or both) your guitar until it sounds right if you want to play along with the CD, otherwise tune it to your voice.

There are other notes in play all of the time... I've just tabbed out an approximation of the main themes.

5__: means hold the note longer
x=7: means slide to the target from wherever sounds best
4h5: hammer on to 5 from 4
5p4: pull off of 5 to 4

For both pull-off and hammer-on, if there isn't room the p or h might not be shown. I don't use any notes higher than the 9th fret in these songs, so if you see a '10' it's really a '1p0', likewise '12' is '1h2'.

##### new black tooth

Code: Select all
D |---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------
A |-----5__-|---------|-----0__-|---------|---------|---------
D |-5-------|---------|-0-------|---------|-2------0|-x=7_____
A |---------|-------0-|---------|---------|---------|-x=7_____
D |---------|-4h5__---|---------|-5p4__-0-|---------|-x=7_____
    x x x x   x x x x   x x x x   x x x x   x x x x   x x x x

The chorus bit is on the second fret, haven't figured it out yet. Definitely a barre across the 3 low strings, and some diddling on and off of the highest.

##### michigan girls

I'm not even going to try to fit this one into bars, timing is somewhat indicated by spacing.

In this song in particular, there are a lot of notes I didn't include... just the main melody/structure is here. As you pick this out, pick/brush the other strings as needed to fill it out (I lightly pick/up-strum the higher strings as I raise my hand to pick the next note). If anyone has the licks figured out for this tune, I'd love to see them.

Code: Select all
D |-----------------------------------------5_____4____-
A |-------0h2__-0__-------------------------------------
D |-----------------2__-2-0_----0__-0__----0------------
A |-------------------------0-2____-----0-2-------------
D |-0_____----------------------------------------------
    x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

                        In... marble...   animal eyes...

Oversimplified Bridge:
D |---
A |---
F#|-x-  (mute this string)
D |-2-  play as needed, listen to song for timing
A |-0- 
D |-x-  (mute this string)

D |---------------------------------------------------
A |---------------------------------------------------
D |---------------------------------x=5__-5-5-5__-5-5-
A |-x=5-5-5-4__-4-4-3__-3-3-2__-2-2-x=5__-5-5-5__-5-5-
D |-0__-0-0-0__-0-0-0__-0-0-0__-0-00x=5__-5-5-5__-5-5-
    x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x 


##### slower twin

^ means pick upwards

--x=7- means slide back from 7 to whatever sounds good on one string, then slide from there back to 7 on the other string

-x=5=7- means slide from wherever sounds good to 5, then slide from 5 to 7

Code: Select all
D |-----6---|---------|-----6---|---------|---------|---------|-7-------|---------
A |-----0-7=x-----0__-|-----0-7=x-----0__-|-0____-0_|_0__-0-0-|-0-------|---------
F#|---------|-----0__-|---------|-----0__-|-x=5__=7_|_x=7-7-7-|-7--(as needed)----
D |---------|---9-----|---------|---9-----|-0____-0_|_x=6-6-6-|-7-------|---------
A |-0__-----x=7-------|-0__-----x=7-------|-0____-0_|_0__-0-0-|-0-------|---------
D |---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------
    x x ^ x   x x ^ x   x x ^ x   x x ^ x   x x x x   x x x x   x x x x   x x x x

First bit of Chorus:
D |---------------------------------------------------
A |-------------(riff over that)----------------------
D |-0h7-------------7-5-7---------0h7-------0h4-------
A |-0h7-(etc)-----------7-(etc)---0h7-(etc)-0h5-(etc)-
D |-0h7-----------------7---------0h7-------0__-------
    x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Next bit of Chorus:

Hell if I know.

Eep!? :shock: what manner of forum from beyond time and space is this, where "code" looks like ass and "pre" decides to add spaces between the lines?


Unread postby overbite » Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:11 am

thats great man, ive been waiting for someone to put some tabs on this site, if i had any trace of a musical ear i would attempt to decipher some songs.......but since i dont i rely heavily on others, much appreciated of course. if possible try to tab "st. martha let it fold" or "dont let me die nervous".....hey maybe tim himself could post a tab or two, that would be awesome-o!!
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Unread postby miche » Tue Aug 10, 2004 1:15 pm

this discussion has been had then all was lost and then dime fang remembered and then i found it for y'all way back on page 1 ... here's what dime fang remembered:

dime fang

Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2003 5:05 pm Post subject:


The tunings tim said he used a lot were DADDAD, which I use to play songs like Slower Twin, Porno Starlet and Don't Let Me Die Nervous (very easy and very fun tune to play). Also I believe he uses open G frequently. Hope that helps.

tab is a cola, right?

Unread postby tom kha gai » Wed Aug 11, 2004 3:06 pm

if i had a hammer, i'd hammer on 5.

my guess is that tim's brain doesn't translate sounds into schematics that look anything like those FUBAR tabs. (fucked up beyond all recognition)

i always find it comical what we humans do when trying to transmute sounds into written instructions.

tab is a cola, right?

and a key above caps lock.
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Unread postby davidbohm » Wed Aug 11, 2004 3:36 pm

I kind of agree with you on that. When I see tabs like that, it makes the song look a lot more complicated than it actually probably is. The majority of times, these players are just holding the chord and not thinking too intently on exactly which notes they are picking from it. Not too say it is all haphazard, but anyone who is going to try to learn the song from this by trying to memorize the exact notes from the chords that are being picked is going to a lot more trouble than is needed. Props on FUBAR too. I also enjoy FIB(fucking Illinois bastard), but that is more of a Wisconsin thing referring to Illinois motorists.

Unread postby Redington » Wed Aug 11, 2004 3:51 pm

I don't know, tabs can be fun. I think they're mostly fun for songs I just want to sit down and play once or twice, or if I'm stuck trying to figure it out.

I never imagined that tuning for Don't Let Me Die Nervous. I've always just dropped the G string to an E and everything worked out just peachy. That song is a lot of fun to play and sing.
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don't forget SNAFU

Unread postby tom kha gai » Wed Aug 11, 2004 4:03 pm

i have resided here in america's dairyland for eight years and never heard nor read the FIB acronym, although i have been passed on the highway's shoulder by many autos bearing illinois plates.

EDIT: i just read a paltry review of last week's milwaukee wilco show in the new shepherd express, and the reviewer used "FIB" in a sentence. as in, "Nobody was going to stop those FIBs from singing along to 'Via Chicago.'"

the tablature issue is all aboot epistemological tensions. the impulse to play along is an honest one. it could be considered "pure," even. but how do we come to know what others create?

i'm not busting on foobario, or any of the tab writers/lovers of the world. i am but an academic, a nerd, who dwells upon such quandaries.

(and while we're on acronyms, don't forget SNAFU: situation normal, all fucked up.)
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Unread postby tim » Wed Aug 11, 2004 6:52 pm

i dont understand this tab stuff. i would just try to tune to the song. most of them are pretty simple without too many chord changes. 2 or 3 note tunings. lots of open strings and drones.
if you have specific questions about tunings just let me know and i'll try to post them (may be slow but i'll get to it.. we dont really play 'correctly' so there you go.

Unread postby pshp » Thu Aug 12, 2004 1:46 am

tim wrote:we dont really play 'correctly' so there you go.

funny, i've been told i don't really LISTEN correctly. maybe this explains why i love califone. no one's doing anything right and it's perfectly fine.
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Unread postby foobario » Thu Aug 12, 2004 5:42 am

Aye, I agree about the transmission of music being somehow cheapened by an attempt to pin it down on the page (especially when the tab is one person's admittedly faulty interpretation), but I had 2 things driving me to post:

1. every so often someone pops up and asks how to play something, and they're usually told something cryptic about tunings and it's left at that. There's a broad range of playing abilities... many people don't have the background to go figure out a song based on "tune your guitar to daddad". The tab gives people somewhere to start, which helps me with the next item...

2. *I* want to know how to play these songs, and I've only been able to figure out so much. Starting a thread by offering some of what I've found seemed more useful than yet another "how the hell do you play X?" post, and it was (and is) my hope that it would encourage others to share their tricks and tips.

The funny thing about tab making it look harder than it is (which it does) is that the tab only shows the key melodic notes... your other fingers are doing other things on the other strings the whole time. I think note-for-note Califone tab would look like the Matrix.

Tim - specific tunings would be awesome. From what I read, people are always asking how to play "St Martha" & "Don't let me die nervous"; I myself would like to play "Michigan girls" and "Slower twin" better, and "Wingbone", "Stepdaughter", and "Mean little seed" at all. If you post the tunings, I'll post licks and advice once I figure the tune out (but it looks like I'll lay off of the tab).

Most songs I don't even want to try though - there's too much lost when the synergy is broken.

Thanks again for the music -

-- foobario

Unread postby miche » Thu Aug 12, 2004 6:40 pm

hey don't lay off the tab - there's probably lurkers who would appreciate your effort ... it's give and take all around so you have to realize that for some, tabs make music look too much like an IKEA instruction sheet while others see it like Whoadude Reeves from the matrix ... no no not the car, the movies.

anyway keep on keeping yawn

Unread postby Nervous John » Fri Aug 13, 2004 3:09 pm

Umm, could someone please post something on how to make my guitar sound like Carl Perkins' guitar?
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Unread postby Guest » Fri Aug 13, 2004 3:35 pm

Nervous John wrote:Umm, could someone please post something on how to make my guitar sound like Carl Perkins' guitar?

you could do it with one of these

Unread postby owl » Fri Aug 13, 2004 3:45 pm

Or maybe just a flux capacitor, not necessarily the whole DeLorian. It's up to you, really.
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Unread postby tideeyed » Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:51 pm

tanx for the tab. I like tab. I learned BLOOD SUGAR SEX MAGIK when it came out from a tab book. Thats kinda how I started to learn guitar.
As someone from Illlinois, I use the FIB acronym quite frequently...always figured it referred to hoosiers.

heres an editor for those who want.
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Unread postby tideeyed » Fri Aug 13, 2004 8:13 pm

here's some DRUM tab for million dollar funeral "live"

INTRO - with feel

llll l lll ll lllll ll ll lllllllll ll lll llllll lll l lllllllll l ll l ll lll l
x x xxxx xx xxxxx xx xxx xx xxx xxx xx xxx xx

llllll break w/ swing feel ad lib. free time

lllllllllll llllllllllllll llllllll llll llllllllllll
xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxx xx xx x

and thats it...
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Shoot me now but...

Unread postby andu » Sat Aug 14, 2004 5:14 am

I'm just a sucker for tab. I like seeing tab for bands because it gives me a starting point to learn and gain insight into the music. Personally, I'll probably take Tim's directive, and if I come up with anything, I'll post it. Most of the time it's for my own amusement, so if the tab is rough or to the T, I dig it either way. :o
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drum tab

Unread postby tom kha gai » Sat Aug 14, 2004 4:16 pm

in that drum tab, is benny the X and joe the vertical lines?

i always hear joe as more of a forward slash, and benny comes across as more of a horizontal wiggle, like an unstable sine wave.

I just stare at the sound.
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Unread postby direwolf207 » Wed Dec 01, 2004 9:38 pm

I actually have seen drum tabs online for some songs. they are the funniest thing I have ever seen!

But thanks fubar for the guitar tabs
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fishermans wife

Unread postby Broken Field » Fri Dec 03, 2004 1:09 am

hey after a show in milwalkee a year or so ago my girlfriend (at the time) approached tim to ask him what his guitar was tuned to while i was chatting with the bass player (also at the time) at the bar because i had talked her ear off about it during the show...anyway he ended up showing me how to play much of fishermans wife on his guitar, still to this day one of the highest points, anyways its tuned to EBEEBE and is very easy to mimick, though much more difficult to immitate. OR the other way around, i will post the tab if anyone is interested, i wont though if no one replys because it takes to much time not to benifit someone....anyway let me know...~BF :twisted:
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Unread postby andu » Fri Dec 03, 2004 2:08 am

Post away! I love the tab!
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Unread postby overbite » Tue Dec 07, 2004 8:49 pm

yes, please post the tab for Fishermans wife. great dad likes to fish.
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Re: Some Califone pseudo-tablature

Unread postby gizmo » Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:13 pm

Here's how I've been playing Fisherman's Wife:
Code: Select all
"There's no..."
verse (x2)
  "Light in the window, no holes in the plot..."
Chorus (x2)
"Fisherman's Wife...."

Bridge (x2)
"No Light, No Light"
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