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The Wolves chords

version 4
version 4

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There is no strumming pattern for this song yet. and get +5 IQ
        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.

("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.


| X dead note


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8 comments total. Showing first comments.
0 reply
540tofakie 10 Apr 24, 2009 01:09 PM

Very well done.

0 reply
psstewart 10 Aug 01, 2009 04:40 PM

Outstanding description and attention to detail. Good job.

+1 reply
playmystrat 10 Dec 01, 2009 02:45 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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