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Donald Fagen: guitar tab and chords for Green Flower Street, The Nightfly

    
    Green Flower Street - Donald Fagen
    ----------------------------------
    
    From the album "The Nightfly"

    Transcribed by Howard Wright [hakwright (at) gmail (dot) com]
    and Chris Davis [crdavis.music (at) gmail (dot) com]


Howard's notes
---------------
A big thanks to Chris for sending me his excellent transcription and getting
this started. I've modified some of his chord shapes/names, but much of what
I ended up with owes a lot to Chris' initial work.

Finding chord voicings that work on the guitar but still capture the key
harmonic flavours is always a challenge on strongly keyboard-based songs
such as this. And like many of the Nightfly songs, the harmonies here have 
a strong voice-leading element, where the movement of individual notes that make
up the chords needs to be balanced carefully to achieve a satisfying transition 
between chords. 

I've included alternative chord shapes for some sequences, where different 
trade-offs are possible between harmonic fidelity, pleasing chord transitions
and playability of the chord shapes. Feel free to experiment further to find
chord voicings that work for you.

I find that using a more finger-style approach (rather than a pick) with my 
"strumming hand" works best to get the tight/staccato sound of the rhythm part.
Using thumb and 3 fingers to pluck the strings works for most of the chords
(which have 4 notes), and a strum can be used for chords with 5 notes.

This finger-style makes it easier to avoid/mute selected strings (often in the 
middle of the chord), but if you prefer to strum with a pick, you may find slightly
different voicings work better for you.

All chord shapes (including alternatives) are given at end.


Chris' notes:
--------------

(regarding the main intro/verse vamp)

I'm not sure how to characterize the said harmony figure. On the one hand, the 
funky Am6 flavor suits the song, with the sequenced neighbor chord of the E7/A 
(really just the tritone sound) as a passing thing, like an appoggiatura. 
Really it shouldnít be called E7/A, as that suggests a function.


Intro:
-------

Pay attention to the dynamics and use of staccato for the last note in each
phrase.

E----------------------------------------------------------------||
B----------------------------------------------------------------||
G----/2--2--2--------/2--2--2--------/2--2--2--------/2--2--2----||
D----------------------------------------------------------------||
A--0---------------0---------------0--------------0--------------||
E----------------------------------------------------------------||


Intro and Verse vamp:
----------------------

This vamp is based on an Am6 sound, with the higher notes in the chord
moving up a tone then back down. The basic rhythmic pattern uses 3 chord
hits, with the 2nd chord strongly accented. But there's a light, staccato
repeat of the 3rd chord - almost like a ghost note - in the first half
of the intro pattern (see tab below).

The voicing that I find works best on guitar for this Am6 vamp in the  
intro and verse is based on a x0421x shape, in other words:

    Am6 E7/A Am6       Am6 E7/A Am6
                         
E------------------------------------
B-----1--3--1-(1)--------1--3--1-----
G-----2--4--2-(2)--------2--4--2-----
D-----4--6--4-(4)--------4--6--4-----
A--0-----------------0---------------
E------------------------------------

You could also use a x0455x shape, moving up and down 2 frets, but the closer
voicing of the x0421x sounds better to me.


Verse 1:
--------

Note the subtle variation of the vamp on each occurrence of the line "it's murder": 
after this line the vamp DOESN'T drop immediately back down to Am6 but stays 
2 frets higher until the start of the next vamp sequence.
(How many hundreds of times have I listened to this song and never noticed that?!)
This variation happens in exactly the same way in all verses, so is clearly
deliberate - possibly done to add a little extra harmonic tension on those lines.


       Am6 E7/A Am6              Am6 E7/A
Uptown 			 itís murder           out in the street 

       Am6 E7/A Am6              Am6 E7/A Am6    


       Am6 E7/A Am6              Am6 E7/A
Uptown 			 itís murder           out in the street 

Cmaj7     F#7     Fmaj7     E7


Am6        E7/A  Am6       Am6    E7/A Am6
  Thatís where I found my man Ė dírin  plum    

C/D                  D      C/D       F/G
  Thatís where youíd be if you found one     


Chorus:
--------

          Fmaj7      B7          Em11       F/G
Where the nights are bright  and joy is complete
       
Fmaj7   E7         C/D
Keep my squeeze on Green Flower Street


Vamp:
------

Am6 E7/A Am6      Am6 E7/A Am6    

Am6 E7/A Am6      Am6 E7/A Am6    


Verse 2
-------

(chords as verse 1)

Since May, thereís trouble most every night
Since May, thereís trouble most every night (trouble every night)
Where once we danced our sweet routine
It reeks of wine and kerosene


Chorus:
--------

Where the nights are bright and joy is complete
Keep my squeeze on Green Flower Street


Vamp:
------

Am6 E7/A Am6      Am6 E7/A Am6    

Am6 E7/A Am6      Am6 E7/A Am6  


Bridge
-------

Gm9                      C13
  Thereís a special place   for lovers

Fmaj9add6            Dm7
  One we understand

G9                     Bb/C
  There where neon bends in daylight sky

A/F     Dm/F     A     Dm/A

Cm7               Eb/F
  In that sunny room  she soothes me

Bbmaj7                  Ebmaj9
  Cools me with her fan               

          Bm7      B7                    Bb/E  E  Bb/E  E  Bb/E  E  Bb/E  E    
Weíre drifting, a thousand years roll by
   

Solo
-----

Gm/C  Am/C  Gm/C         Gm/C  Am/C  Gm/C

Gm/C  Am/C  Gm/C         Gm/C  Am/C  Gm/C

Gm/C  Am/C  Gm/C         Gm/C  Am/C  Gm/C

Gm/C  Am/C  Gm/C         Gm/C  Am/C  Gm/C

F/G

Gm/C  Am/C  Gm/C         Gm/C  Am/C  Gm/C

Eb/F     F     Eb/F    Ab/Bb

Abmaj7   D7    Gm11    Ab/Bb 

Fmaj7    E7    C/D     D/E



Vamp:
------

Am6 E7/A Am6      Am6 E7/A Am6   


Verse 3
-------

(Same chords as previous verses, with slight variation for the
"burns with rage" line to reflect the richer vocal harmonies)   

       Am6 E7/A Am6         Am6 E7/A
Lou Chang,          her brother is burning with rage

Am6 E7/A Am6            Am6 E7/A Am6 

       Am6 E7/A Am6         Am6 E7/A  
Lou Chang,          her brother is burning with rage

 Cmaj7      F#7(#9)     Fmaj7     E7(#9)  Am6/9
(Lou        Chang       burns     with    rage)

Am6       E7/A Am6            Am6 E7/A 
   Iíd love to know whatís on his mind

C/D            D               C/D     F/G
   He says hey buddy, youíre not my kind


Chorus:
--------

            Fmaj7    B7          Em11       F/G
Where the nights are bright  and joy is complete
       
Fmaj7   E7         C/D          F#7b5
Keep my squeeze on Green Flower Street

            Fmaj7    B7          Em11       F/G
Where the nights are bright  and joy is complete

Fmaj7   E7         C/D                  D/E
Keep my squeeze on Green Flower Street


Outtro:
--------

Am6 E7/A Am6    Am(maj9) 



Chord Shapes
=============

All chord shapes used are listed below (including alternative shapes),
broken down by section.

Intro & Verses:
---------------

Am6	E7/A
x0421x	x0643x

The descending sequence Cmaj7 F#7 Fmaj7 E7 holds an E at the top of the first 
three chords, falling to a D at the top of the E7 chord, with a steadily 
falling pattern of root + 3rd underneath. 
With minimal voicings on the guitar you could play: 

Cmaj7	F#7	Fmaj7	E7
x3545x	xx435x	xx325x	xx213x

Finding slightly fuller voicings that keep the "held top note with falling root + 3rd" 
elements is harder on guitar than keyboard, but for the F#/F/E shapes you could use:

F#7	Fmaj7	E7
2x435x	1x3210	0x213x

Another option (Chris' original shapes) is to use the top open E string throughout:

F#7	Fmaj7	E7
xx4320	xx3210	xx2130

C/D	D	C/D	F/G
x5555x	x5777x	xx0553	xx5565

Verse 3 "burns with rage" sequence

Cmaj7       F#7#9        Fmaj9add6   E7#9     Am6/9
x3545x    x 9 8 9 10 x    x87780    x76780    x04500

or:

Cmaj7	F#7#9	F6/9	E7#9    Am6/9
x3545x	24x355	1x3233	0x2133  x04500


Chorus:
-------

  Fmaj7          B7              Em11      F/G
x 8 10 9 10 x    7 x 9 8 10 x    x7778x   xx5565

  Fmaj7          E7        C/D
x 8 10 9 10 x    x7979x    xx0553

Alternative shapes for this chorus sequence:

Fmaj7	B7	Em11     F/G
xx3555	x2x445	xx2233  xx5565

Fmaj7	E7	C/D
xx3555	xx2434	x5x553

Additional chords in final chorus:

F#7b5    D/E
2x231x   x7777x

Using x5555x for the C/D chord that precedes the F#7b5 gives a better transition
to this chord in the final chorus.


Bridge:
-------

  Gm9                C13         Fmaj9add6   Dm7
x 10 8 10 10 x    8 x 8 9 10 x    x87780    x5756x

(For a more compact voicing you could omit the top E in the Fmaj9add6 shape 
and just play F6/9 x8778x, or use Fmaj9 x8798x)
 
  G9              Bb/C    A/F     Dm/F    A       Dm/A	
x 10 9 10 10 x    8x876x  x8x655  x8x76x  x0x655  x0x76x

(for the A/F and A shapes above you may want to omit the top A note to emphasise
the moving 3rds)

Cm7     Eb/F    Bbmaj7  Ebmaj9	
x3534x  xx3343  6x776x  x6576x

(you could use Eb6/9 x6556 instead of Ebmaj9 - I think both the 6, maj7 and 9th
are in the keyboard voicing)

These voicings work nicely for the "we're drifting line": 

Bm7	B7
7x770x  7x780x

Alternative voicings, which include the change in bass over the B7 chord:

Bm7	B7/D#	 
x2423x	x6744x   

The long descending keyboard arpeggio part that leads into the solo section
is based on an alternating Bb/E E sequence:

Bb/E              E
0 x 12 10 11 x    0x999x


Solo:
-----

Gm/C     Am/C     F/G	
x3533x   8x755x   3x321x	

(C bass note in the Am/C shape can be omitted)

Eb/F           F            Eb/F     Ab/Bb 
x8888x    x 8 10 10 10 x    x8x886   xx8898   

  Abmaj7               D7                Gm11              Ab/Bb
x 11 13 12 13 x    10 x 12 11 13 x    x 10 10 10 11 x      xx8898

Alternative shapes for this sequence: 

Abmaj7   D7       Gm11     Ab/Bb
xx6888   xx0778   xx5566   xx8898

or even:

Abmaj7   D7       Gm11     Ab/Bb
4x554x   x5453x   3x331x   6x654x

For the last line (Fmaj7 - "keep my squeeze") use same shapes as for chorus.


Outtro:
--------

Am6     E7/A
x0421x  x0643x

Am(maj9)
x 0 10 9 9 7

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Last updated: May 2018