Chords With a Low E Bass Note
When you are trying to replicate guitar parts, there are times when things just don’t sound right without the correct chord voicing. One of these times is when the voicing of an E chord is played with the root up on the 7th fret on the A string and the open low E string is being sounded as well.
Two great examples are I Saw Her Standing There (The Beatles) & Paranoid (Black Sabbath). The chord diagrams are below.
The E7 is the home chord for I saw Her Standing There – which is a 12 bar blues pattern. Using the open E string gives the rhythm part the chug that makes it bounce along. This particular 7th chord voicing has a nice blusey sound and was used by The Beatles frequently in the first half of their career. Lennon and McCartney in particular were well versed in using interesting chords and voicings, at one point they envisaged themselves writing show tunes. As it happens they discovered LSD instead!
Paranoid starts off with a heavy distorted chord with a little riff, using an E5 power chord – a chord without a third sounds better (clearer) with distortion than the corresponding major chord. The riff is played by hammering on from the 7th fret to the 9th fret on the A string then the D string, a first finger barre across the 7th fret facillitates this. Like many of Tommy Iommi’s ideas, it is simple but brilliant.
There are many more examples and I will be highlighting a Jimi Handrix example in my next post.
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