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Thread: Nobody Knows You When .... chord progression confusion

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    Default Nobody Knows You When .... chord progression confusion

    Last night I was noodling and thought "oh yeah, 'Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out' " - I used to fingerpick that on guitar. So for GDAE, I figured I'd give it a shot and looked it up on GuitarTabs. There, it's in C. The last part of the song seems to be 1 6 2 5. The first part seems to be something like 1 3 6 2 6 2. The final G makes sense as a V chord to push home to I (C) but that first sequence seems strange on paper, though it sounds fine to my ear. Just seemed weird that there was no IV chord, as one example. The chords suggested are in this order: C E7 A7 Dm A7 Dm, then "Took all my friends out" = Dm D7 C A7 D7 and finally, G7. So that last part C A7 D7 and G5 is pretty clearly 1 6 2 5. But when I Google 1 3 6 2 6 2 progression (the first part) there's nothing, so just trying to understand what rules, if any, apply.
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    Default Re: Nobody Knows You When .... chord progression confusion

    There is a IV chord. Replace Dm D7 with F F#dim7.

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    Default Re: Nobody Knows You When .... chord progression confusion

    OK, interesting, thank you. So I guess the theory for that part is that the Dm is the relative minor of F so that they share the same notes and F is the IV. That's cool. Thanks for pointing that out.
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    Registered User Bruce Clausen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nobody Knows You When .... chord progression confusion

    At the beginning you have two phrases: C-E7-A7--- then Dm-A7-Dm--- . So you could say you're "in C" for two bars modulating towards Dm, then "in Dm" for two bars, if that helps with the logic.

    Quote Originally Posted by mclaugh View Post
    There is a IV chord. Replace Dm D7 with F F#dim7.
    Right. It's usually played F-F#dim7-C/G-A7. Or Dm-D#dim7-C/E-A7/C# would also work there.

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    Default Re: Nobody Knows You When .... chord progression confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Clausen View Post
    At the beginning you have two phrases: C-E7-A7--- then Dm-A7-Dm--- . So you could say you're "in C" for two bars modulating towards Dm, then "in Dm" for two bars, if that helps with the logic.



    Right. Or Dm-D#dim7-C/E-A7/C# would also work there.
    Fantastic - thanks for this, too. I'm sure this is a no brainer for you guys but having the underlying understanding - even roughly - lets me go to chord tones and then suddenly, I'm playing something far more interesting. It's exciting to see lightbulbs going on.
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    Default Re: Nobody Knows You When .... chord progression confusion

    That little pause there on the A7 ... Well, that leads naturally to the Dm, being its V chord.

    AT the time this was written the circle of fifths was very popular. One thing songwriters had to watch out for was repetition - one didn't want to duplicat "Blue Moon" or "Heart And Soul," two examples of popular songs that lean heavily on the I-VI-II-V-I progression. So any way they could work a new twist into the chord structure, they would.
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    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nobody Knows You When .... chord progression confusion

    C / E7 / A7 / / / Dm / A7 / Dm / / / F / F#dim / C / A7 / D / D7 / G / G7 / is the progression I normally use, with a "bass" run on the G string from the C down to A for the C / A7 and a "bass" run up the G string from G to the B for G / G7
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    Default Re: Nobody Knows You When .... chord progression confusion

    That’s the same one, yes.

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    Default Re: Nobody Knows You When .... chord progression confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by mclaugh View Post
    There is a IV chord. Replace Dm D7 with F F#dim7.
    Quote Originally Posted by shaundeane View Post
    OK, interesting, thank you. So I guess the theory for that part is that the Dm is the relative minor of F so that they share the same notes and F is the IV. That's cool. Thanks for pointing that out.
    You could think of it as F6 to F#o7.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    C / E7 / A7 / / / Dm / A7 / Dm / / / F / F#dim / C / A7 / D / D7 / G / G7 / is the progression I normally use, with a "bass" run on the G string from the C down to A for the C / A7 and a "bass" run up the G string from G to the B for G / G7
    For example | C C7/Bb | A7 | ?

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    Default Re: Nobody Knows You When .... chord progression confusion

    Not necessarily. Try sliding the entire chords down by half-steps, not just a bass line - C B Bb A7. Not uncommon. Is it "correct" by music theory standards? Probably not. But it's cool as long as you don't overdo it. It's close to cliché. The bass run from G up to B is typically G A Bb B. You hear this sort of thing pretty often in material from this era.
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    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nobody Knows You When .... chord progression confusion

    Yes those are the notes JB and are quick, mostly chromatic runs which I cannot resist on these type of tunes. They have become a bit cliche for a reason, they’re perfect for these tunes an never grow old to me. The G to G7 run is less commonly heard and was implanted in my musical psyche by Jimmie Rodgers who made wide use of it in his playing.
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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nobody Knows You When .... chord progression confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    Not necessarily. Try sliding the entire chords down by half-steps, not just a bass line - C B Bb A7. Not uncommon. Is it "correct" by music theory standards? Probably not..
    Well, I've used that chordal movement too, but as C B7 Bb7 A7.

    Correct? It sounds good when used in the right places.

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    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nobody Knows You When .... chord progression confusion

    When playing solo mandolin on vocal tunes, like this one, I often choose chord voicings that allow for a moving “bass” figure on the 4th string and in the case of this song, add little chromatic runs at key points.

    Example:
    C: 5-2-3-0
    E7: 4-0-2-0
    A7: 2-5-4-0 or 2-2-4-3

    Dm: 7-7-8-10
    A7: 6-5-7-0
    Dm: 7-7-8-10

    F: 2-3-3-5
    F#dim: 5-4-6-5
    (run to A7: 5 4 3 2)
    A7: Use one with A on G string from the run

    D: 7-4-5-c
    D7: 5-4-5-x
    G: 0-0-2-3
    (run to G7: 0 2 3 4)
    G7: 4-3-5-x

    Those voicings are just examples, I’ll mix and match voicings until I find what sounds best with an eye on “bass” note movement, but this is all about playing solo, for an ensemble I might take an entirely different approach

    https://youtu.be/s-ynh2NR9Bs

    Last edited by Mark Gunter; Apr-22-2021 at 10:24am.
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nobody Knows You When .... chord progression confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    They have become a bit cliche for a reason, they’re perfect ...
    They sure are. In fact, they sound so good I don't even think of them as cliché. They're just right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    When playing solo mandolin on vocal tunes, like this one, I often choose chord voicings that allow for a moving “bass” figure
    Yepper! I do the same thing. Glad you went into all that detail for the OP's benefit. That means I didn't have to.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Well, I've used that chordal movement too, but as C B7 Bb7 A7.
    OK, that's what I thought you meant. Just wanted to be clear.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  23. #15
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nobody Knows You When .... chord progression confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Well, I've used that chordal movement too, but as C B7 Bb7 A7.

    Correct? It sounds good when used in the right places.
    That’s it exactly David, that harmonizes the notes in the runs I was referring to
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