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Cortez The Killer Tab

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CORTEZ THE KILLER

         Em7
He came dancing across the water

         D
with his galleons and guns,

Am7
lookin' for the new world

and the palace in the sun.


On the shore lay Montezuma
with his coca leaves and pearls;
in it's house he often wandered
with the secrets of the worlds.

And his subjects gathered round him,
like a leaves around the tree,
in their clothes of many colors
for the angry gods to see.

And the women all were beautiful
and the men stood straight and strong;
they offered life in sacrifice 
so that others could go on.

Hate was just a legend
and war was never known;
people worked together
and they lifted many stones.

And they carried them to the flatlands,
but they died along the way,
and they built up with their bare hands
what we still can't do today.

And I know she's living there,
and she loves me to this day;
I still can't remember when
or how I lost my way.

He came dancing across the water,
Cortez, Cortez.
What a killer.


From: spxhaw@astronomy.cardiff.ac.uk (Howard Wright)
Subject: y/neil_young/cortez_the_killer.tab
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 1995 15:11:43 +0000 (GMT)                       Cortez The Killer  -  Neil Young
`                  -----------------------------------------
                                 From the album Zuma
                                 tabbed by Howard Wright 

                                 (H.Wright@astro.cf.ac.uk)Tuning :
---------

For this song you need a double dropped D tuning (Neil's favourite
alternative tuning).

To get this, just tune both E strings down a tone (a whole step) so they 
both end up at D.
Check them with the 'normal' D string to check they're in tune.Chord Shapes :
--------------


 DADGBD   DADGBD   DADGBD
 222000   000230   x02010

   Em7      D5      Am11
The sequence is : one bar of Em7, one bar of D5, two bars of Am11.

Keep repeating over and over .....

There are a lot of little variations you can try - one thing he tends to
do on the live versions is hammer on to the Em7 shape like this :

D---0------0----------------
B---0------0-----------------
G---0------0----------------
D---0h2----2-------------------
A---0h2----2------------------
D---0h2----2-------------------


You could also hammer on the note on the B string for the Am7 chord :

D----0----0------0----0-----
B----0h1--1------0h1--1---------
G----0----0------0----0-----
D----2-------2------------
A----0-------0------------
D-----------------------


Experiment with your own variations on these chords.


When soloing he also goes for harmonics on the live versions - try harmonics 
on the top 4 strings (DGBD) at the 5th and 7th frets.


Have fun !

Howard
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3 comments total.
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TKO12383 78 wrote on July 18 2007, 03:13 pm

amazing song.

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mjosephw52 149 wrote on August 29 2011, 02:00 pm

Great tab for one of the greatest songs ever written. I play it on ukelele and I do something different for the Am7. I start with an Am, then do a C6 to Am7. I think it sounds better, but that doesn't work so well on guitar.

0 reply
gtrbarbarian 13 wrote on August 13 2014, 06:08 pm

Neil, please tell me you haven't pulled all of your song tabs...you are one of the reasons I started playing guitar 30+ years ago! These will only make people buy your albums more...let the next generation learn from your brilliance!

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