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#1499350 - 08/12/05 10:53 AM Tabbing the Levee
Ricochet Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 1029
Loc: Bristol, Tennessee, USA
Made my first effort at tabbing out a tune. My interpretation of Zep's version of "When The Levee Breaks." There's a tab all over the Net using a bizarre tuning, and I believe it to be inaccurate. It turns out to be standard old Delta blues licks in Open G all the way through (and sounds great moved over a string to the bass side in Open D.) Easy as pie!

Here is my version. May be some spacing and alignment issues with different fonts, but it's pretty simple.
\:\)
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#1499351 - 08/12/05 11:19 AM Re: Tabbing the Levee
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 24882
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Hey, thanks! Cool!

That's long been among my very favorite tunes by anyone, any style. Apocalypse in the Delta, by way of Headley Grange!

I believe that you're right about the tuning; I think I used to play it in Open-G, myself. You can even kinda 'fake it' in Standard, as well. There's no need for any "bizarre tuning", sometimes people really outsmart themselves! (I do it all the time...) :rolleyes: ;\) \:D
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#1499352 - 08/12/05 04:52 PM Re: Tabbing the Levee
Ricochet Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 1029
Loc: Bristol, Tennessee, USA
Another guy (using the "ZOSO" symbol as his avatar) just came on there and said that yesterday he saw an interview where Jimmy Page said he played it in Open G on a 12-string.

Standard is the same as Open G on strings 2-4, so it wouldn't be too hard to "fake it," but there are some slide double-stops you'd miss that way, that fatten up the sound. Some people "fake" Open G by just dropping the first string from E to D. Sort of a reverse Drop D.

The bizarre tuning suggested in the widespread tab is EACFAC. That makes no sense to me at all, and it's not even something I've been able to find on a bunch of extensive lists of alternate tunings. Google doesn't turn it up for anything except that tab. Seriously, sometimes I wonder if the music publishers don't hire people to write and propagate bogus tabs, as the RIAA is well known for doing with corrupted MP3s on the file sharing networks.

Have you ever listened to Memphis Minnie's original of "When The Levee Breaks?" It's a bouncy, happy dance tune. The music seems kind of out of touch with the lyrics.

But, in the sage words of R.L. Burnside, "The blues ain't nothing but dance music anyway."
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#1499353 - 08/12/05 06:14 PM Re: Tabbing the Levee
Caevan O'Shite Offline
20k Club

Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 24882
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
I'd hazard a guess that on the recording of "When the Levy Breaks" on Zep's 4th/"Zoso", the guitar is either actually tuned to Open-F (relative to Open-G, just a whole-step down), or the tape-speed was manipulated for one reason or another.
_________________________
Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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#1499354 - 08/12/05 06:43 PM Re: Tabbing the Levee
Ricochet Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 1029
Loc: Bristol, Tennessee, USA
The dude on the other board said that Mr. Page said he recorded it in G and slowed it down to "thicken it up."
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#1499355 - 08/14/05 04:51 PM Re: Tabbing the Levee
Ricochet Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 1029
Loc: Bristol, Tennessee, USA
For anyone who hasn't yet heard it, here's a link where you can hear the original version of "When The Levee Breaks" by Kansas Joe and Memphis Minnie (who were then husband and wife.) 1929, I think.
\:D
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