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The Wolves Chords

version 4
version 4

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"The Wolves"
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        The Wolves (Act 1 and II) - Bon Iver
Tabbed by: Greg Lisi
Email: Gregory.Albert.Lisi@hotmail.com

I searched and I searched, listened, then listened again, and I wasn't 
entirely convinced of the tunings previously posted for this beautiful 
song.  The chords were no doubt correct, but after finding some relatively
close-up shots of Justin playing this in concert on YouTube and listening 
further, I can say with a fair degree of confidence that this is the way he
plays it live (with the exception of the La Blogotheque's Un Concert A 
Emporter clip where he is playing it on an acoustic and in standard tuning 
it would seem).  

Also, I shouldn't neglect to mention that the tab posted by
fostertspam@yahoo.com was helpful and it would be an injustice 
not to give him/her credit for the top three strings (FAc).  My ear
(and the rest of me) thanks you for giving me a basis with which to start.  

Plus, I do want give some due to the "Ver 2" tab posted with 
the Open F9 tuning (sorry, but I couldn't find your name on the tab 
to address you directly).  It too was close and has similar chord shapes 
to the tab I am posting, but in the end the Open F9 tuning just didn't 
sound right to me. 

The full lyrics and chord changes have already been provided in other 
tabs so I'm gonna skip that here as well as all the little add-ons and
harmonics that Justin puts into the song, all of which I don't have the
time to tab out properly here.    
Tuning: DFCFAc
Song Key: F

INTRO, VERSE ("Someday my pain, someday my pain will mark you")

      F     Dm      C 

Pick the 5th, 4th, 2nd, and 1st strings on Dm and C chords 
arpeggio-style (as in a broken chord) making sure to let the 
high c on the 1st string ring out as you move back down the neck 
to the F.  Listen to him play it live to figure out the exact timing.  
It's fairly simple.
BRIDGE, CHORUS ("With the wild wolves around you" and "What might 
have been lost")

      Bb     Dm     C 
D|----0------0------X-(or 0)----|

All the chords here are strummed fully and I leave it up to you whether 
or not you want to play the open D (6th string) on the C chord (I do).  
It creates a nice pedal tone through the progression, which ever so 
subtly helps that dissonant quality as it crescendoes to that frenetic
discordant climax (personally one of my favorite aspects of his music).

Please feel free to e-mail me with any corrections, additional info, or 
just to let me know how it worked out for you.  


P.S. If you're interested, here are the notes, a little theory, and more 
on those cool pedal tones. 

      F (F,A,C)     Dm (D,F,A)     C (C,G)      Bb (Bb,D,F)

When played in both the verse and chorus the 1st (high c), 2nd (A), and 
3rd (F) strings create an inverted pedal tone, thus a dissonance occurs 
in the C and Bb major chords which resolves to a consonance in the 
F major chord (in the verse) and therefore doesn't change the root or 
tonal centers of those chords.  

Because of this, I hesitate to name the Dm a 7th chord, even though 
its flatted 7th (c) is there, nor do I think it's appropriate to name 
the C chord, C6sus4, even though it's missing its 3rd (E) and is 
replaced by a suspended 4th (F) along with its 6th (A).  The same holds 
true for the Bb chord which although it has its 7th (A) and its 9th (c) 
and is technically a Bbmaj9, I think it's safe to call it a Bb.     
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5 comments total. Showing first comments.
0 reply
540tofakie wrote on April 24 2009, 05:09 pm

Very well done.

-1 reply
psstewart wrote on August 1 2009, 08:40 pm

Outstanding description and attention to detail. Good job.

+1 reply
playmystrat wrote on December 1 2009, 07:45 pm

I avoid retuning my guitar but keeping the right pedal tones (F,A,C) by placing capo at 5th fret and playing F (33x010), Dm (002010), C (3x0010), Bb (103010). A good compromise between the right sound and convenience!

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