Monday, July 18, 2011

Landslide - The Smashing Punpkins version guitar tab

My friend Bryce got married awhile ago, and he wanted this song for the father/daughter dance part. He had a twist though, he wanted to perform it and just needed a guitar bed track. I've always liked this song, the original Fleetwood Mac version, the one the Dixie Chicks did, and I'd heard the Smashing Pumpkins one at one time or another (check out this Brokeback Mountain video montage with it!). I've even performed it once or twice, accompanying a singer so I thought I knew how to play it. Sure Bryce, I can make you a guitar track with it!

Turns out I was wrong. The Billy Corrigan version differs quite a bit from what Lindsey Buckingham wrote. The original uses a Capo on the 3rd fret so I slapped it on, took a listen to the Smashing Pumpkins version and lo and behold.. That's not what's going on at all. It's in some sort of alternate tuning! WTF!

To save time I went to Ultimate Guitar Archive and tried the 3 or 4 versions they had there, and as usual. It was a BIG WASTE OF TIME! If the song is complicated or a cover that differs in any way from the standard way the tune is played you can bet the person who submitted the tab is an earless wonder Cro Mangon guitar player with no ability to differentiate notes and string types and intervals to speak of. You should see some of the absolute clueless shite people  slap up there. Surprise surprise, this thing had to be transcribed. So I set about slowing it down in some software and checking out the guts. The guy actually de-tunes the 1st and 2nd strings, 1 semitone down, 2nd a semitone up. I've never heard of a tune that does that. It's almost like Billy C didn't realize the Fleetwood Mac guy was using a capo when he started to lift the tune and just switched the tuning around to accommodate the mistake he made. 

But Ohhh what a great mistake. I now love this version more than the capoed travis picking original. The pull offs to the low open strings sound much better.  After awhile, I checked for live versions of them performing it on youtube and low and behold, Billy C has a capo on the 3rd fret. WTF? I listened to the notes, they are all wrong. He's playing the Fleetwood Mac version live on Yourtube.  Every vid I saw he has a capo and he's playing it the standard way, not his cool studio way.

I finally stumbled on a newsgroup where there was a story that Billy C met Stevie Nicks at a party and she told him she loved the version they did of their song but that her guitar player complained that he was playing it all wrong. Billy C meets Lindsey Buckingham. The CAPO gets slapped on the 3rd fret, a guitar lesson ensues and now he plays it the standard way. Many years later, I am confused for an evening but in the end, here is a tab of what Billy C is doing. As far as I know, it's the only right one out there that I couldn't find, so I did it myself. Woohoo!

Landslide - The Smashing Punpkins version guitar tab

And for you aspiring Karaoke artists, here's the instrumental track. 

P.S. in the course of looking for live pumpkins video I ran across this guy, who has the right of it as well. We only differ in one or two places (and I have proofs for mine so it's right, har har har). Still it's a nice video tut. Check it out!

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