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Steely Dan: guitar tab and chords for Black Cow, Aja


    Black Cow - Steely Dan
    ----------------------

    From the album AJA

    Transcribed/arranged by Howard Wright 
    hakwright (at) gmail (dot) com
    Thanks to Richard Kunert for lyrics corrections


This is a fabulous track, and one that works well on the guitar. 
As usual, the guitar chords are chosen to reflect the overall 
harmonies, and they aim to capture the key parts from the bass, 
keyboards and guitars.

A few simplifications of the rich keyboard chords have had to be
made in order to give playable shapes on the guitar, but for the
most part the chords below are the same as those on the original
track. 

Many of the chords such as C/D, D/E are played as Cmaj7/D or
Dmaj7/E in the keyboard part of the original track. To my ears,
the simpler D/E is the best choice on the guitar, but you can vary
these shapes by alternating with the maj7 version. For example,
where the transcription indicates D/E (x7x775), you can alternate
this with Dmaj7/E (x 7 11 7 7 x).

All chord shapes are given at the end.


==================================================================
Update (August 2002): 
Corrected octave error on opening line of guitar tab.
==================================================================
Update (June 2002): 
Tab for the intro added, sliding triad figure for the verse added.
Altered some chord shapes, mainly in the keyboard solo section.
==================================================================
Previous update:
I went through this file recently and made a few small changes.
In particular, the A7#5 chord ("you were high") and the Csus2/Eb
("they saw your face") sound right now. What I had previously
(A7#9 and Bb/Eb) were close, but not quite right...
==================================================================


/ = slide (up)
\ = slide (down)
h = hammer on


Intro:
-------

The guitar and bass parts below are played together - the bass part 
works fairly well if played on a second guitar. For the guitar part, 
let the two-note hammer-on (in the first 4 bars) and the strummed 
chord (next 4 bars) sustain for as long as possible. 

The guitar hammer-on at the 17th fret can also be played an octave 
lower (5th to 8th frets). For authenticity, you should play the hammer
on at the 17th fret, but for convenience you may prefer to play it
at the 5th fret.


Guitar:

E---17h20-------------------------------17h20-----------------------
B-------------------------------------------------------------------
G-------------------------------------------------------------------
D-------------------------------------------------------------------
A-------------------------------------------------------------------
E-------------------------------------------------------------------

Bass:

G--5/7\5-----------------------------5/7\5--------------------------
D-------------------5/7\5-----------------------------5/7\5---------
A---------3--3-------------3--3-------------3--3-------------3--3---
E-------------------------------------------------------------------



Guitar:

E----8------------------------------8--------------------------
B----9/10---------------------------9/10-----------------------
G----7------------------------------7--------------------------
D----8------------------------------8--------------------------
A----7------------------------------7--------------------------
E--------------------------------------------------------------

Bass:

G--5/7\5---------------------------5/7\5------------------------
D-------------------5/7\5---------------------------5/7\5-------
A--------3--3-------------3--3-----------3--3-------------3--3--
E---------------------------------------------------------------



VERSE 1:
---------

For the first few lines of the verse (and again later), the 
guitar figure uses a sliding triad shape, as shown below:

E---------------------8------------------------------------
B---8/10\8------8/10---------8/10\8------------------------
G---7/-9\7------7/-9---------7/-9\7------------------------
D---8/10\8------8/10---------8/10\8------------------------
A----------------------------------------------------------
E----------------------------------------------------------

This is played twice during the sections marked "C9(no 3rd)" below. 
(The triad moves from Gm to an Am - with the C bass this gives a
C9 to C6 feel).
You need another instrument to play the C bass for the figure to work 
properly. For a single guitar, strumming the C9(no 3rd) shape is the 
best way to get the flavour of the part.



       C9(no 3rd)                                         
In the corner of my eye I saw you in Rudy's, you were very high


A7#5     C/D            E7#9                   Csus2/Eb
You were high, it was a crying disgrace, (they saw your face)


       C9(no 3rd)                            
On the counter by your keys was a book of numbers and your remedies


A7#5   C/D              E7#9
One of these surely will screen out the sorrow


    Csus2/Eb           D/E  
But where are you tomorrow 



N.B You can also think of the Csus2/Eb chord (x6553x) as an Ebmaj6/7.



CHORUS:
--------

        Amaj7                 Gmaj7/A                C/D(2)      Amaj7
I can't cry anymore while you run around, (while you run around)


Gmaj7   F#m7    F#9(no 3rd)  E6       Eb7#9           D/E(2)  Asus2/C#
Break away      just when it seems so clear that it's over    now


           F#m7(2)  E     Dmaj7         C/D(2)          Eb/F
Drink your big      black cow   and get out of here




VERSE 2 
--------

Just before the start of the 2nd verse, the chords move up to the
C9(no 3rd) shape from two semitones (frets) below, one semitone
at a time:

Bb9(no 3rd)    B9(no 3rd)   C9(no 3rd)
          Down         to   Green street there you go...

(The rest of the chords are the same as for verse 1)

... lookin' so outrageous and they tell you so
You should know how all the pro's play the game
(You change your name)
Like a ganster on the run
You will stagger homeward to your precious one
I'm the one who must make everything right
Talk it out till daylight



CHORUS 2
---------

(same chords as before)

I don't care anymore why you run around (why you run around)
Break away, just when it seems so clear that it's over now
Drink your big black cow and get out of here



KEYBOARD SOLO :
----------------

 G9(no 3rd)       A9(no 3rd)   

 Bb13sus4   D6/9    Bbm11
 
 D9          E9

 Fm13   Gmaj7/A(2)   Fm11    D/E



LAST CHORUS
------------

This last chorus is the same as the others except for the last part 
which goes :


           F#m7(2)  E     Dmaj7          Amaj7           Gmaj7/A             
Drink your big      black cow    and get out of here


C/D(2)     Amaj7    Gmaj13


Amaj7   Gmaj7/A     C/D(2)    Amaj7   Gmaj13  (repeat this line to fade)




Chord shapes :
--------------

Don't be put off beacause there are a lot of shapes - there are some 
unusual chords, but quite a few are just the same shape appearing at 
different positions on the neck (e.g Bb9, B9, C9). Some chords use two 
different shapes - these are indicated as C/D, C/D(2) etc.

NB for convenience I've written a for 10 and b for 11, so a chord shape
written as x9b9a9 is the same as  x  9  11  9  10  9



EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     
8x878x     5x566x     x5555x     07678x     x6553x     x7x775     

C9(no 3rd)  A7#5       C/D        E7#9     Csus2/Eb     D/E        
 

EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     
5x665x     x07654     x05432     x5x553     3x443x     

Amaj7  or  Amaj7      Gmaj7/A    C/D(2)      Gmaj7        


EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE
2x222x     2x212x     x7665x     x6567x     x7777x

 F#m7    F#9(no 3rd)    E6        Eb7#9     D/E(2)


EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     
x4x455     x9b9a9     x79997     x57675     x8x886     

Asus2/C#   F#m7(2)      E         Dmaj7      Eb/F    


EADGBE         EADGBE        EADGBE         EADGBE     
6x656x         7x767x        3x323x         5x545x     

Bb9(no 3rd)   B9(no 3rd)    G9(no 3rd)    A9(no 3rd) 


EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE
6x688x     x5445x     6x664x     x5455x     x7677x 

Bb13sus4    D6/9       Bbm11       D9         E9 


EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE    
x8x89a     x05777     x8x896     3x4455     3x445x

Fm13      Gmaj7/A(2)   Fm11      Gmaj13  or Gmaj13




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Last updated: February 2013