This arrangement of Ray Charles' "I Don't Need No Doctor" by John Scofield with John Mayer is essentially a 12-bar blues with a couple of jazzy twists.
(There are also several live versions on YouTube.)
I'm hearing the chords like this, but I'm not sure about a couple, particularly the C69 in bar 6, which seems to have something else in it ... can those of you with sharper ears identify it more accurately?
| E / G A | % | % | % | | C#m7b5 / D11 / | C69 / A11 B11 | E / G A | % | | B11 / / / | A11 / G11 A11 | E / G A | % |
The C6/9 has an added #11. Although this first time, it sounds like he added a b9 as well, perhaps in error (it may just be a harmonic). Sounds great just the same. The following times it's played in the song as a Cadd9#4, and it's not necessarily full on. The #4 is toggled for effect. He toggles his voicings similarly for the D11 (bringing in the F natural to make it minor).
(What voicing are you hearing for the C#m7b5, D11, C69#11 progression?)
First, it's not a C69#11 chord – it's what Jake said, and I said in my post above: a G add9 / B. A #11 in a C chord would be an F# – there is no F# in that chord. Also, the bass note of the chord is a B; how could that make it a C6/9?
These are the voicings I'm hearing: (BTW I decided to call the 3rd chord "G add 9 / B" rather than a G sus2 / B as the latter designation, to me, implies a specific way to voice the chord which is not the way it's voiced by John. I think both designations are technically correct though).
Bern laid it out. I think of it as a D/C (no 3 in the C), but John is playing that G up the oct the first time around and you get that C F# A D G sound... other times you get that D/C or C F#G D ( with or without the A) sound. mix and match. lol
Ahhh, I should have known I'd get into trouble with this. BernMeister you are correct, it's a C in the bass on that chord. In my pathetic defense – I was listening to the first time thru the form on the u-tube posted at the top of this thread. It kinda sounded to me like the bass player was sliding between a B and C, and I assumed it was a B. The second u-tube is MUCH clearer wrt the bass. And the voicing I came up with, with the B in the bass, is a very common one for Sco to play – I know this from personal experience!
As to the chord in question – in the first (album version) track, I stand by my earlier transcription of the upper notes (A, D, G) – I really have a hard time hearing an F# (at least in that first instance). If it's there, I guess I'm losing my touch (or ear!). Of course, now that I know the bass is playing a C, I think that means you could call this a C 6/9 without getting an X from the teacher!
On the live video Linwood posted, you don't hear that A at the top of the voicing – it most definitely is an F#! This will give you an idea of how much free time I have these days: I worked up a quick project with the two versions of these chords alternating and slowed down:
IMO transcribing is great for developing your ear, but figuring out what to call the chords has little relevance if you're just looking to play the song. With this Ray Charles tune, it's possible Sco played the voicing differently each time (they are sure different between the two u-tubes). I think what you came up with is totally cool for the purpose, whether it's exactly what was played or not.
This thread made me think of why I transcribe. Some tunes, I want to test my skills by trying to nail exactly what was played; I was challenging myself. Or, maybe I wanted to play the tune and felt that without the original voicings, it would lose the qualities that attracted me to the song in the first place. The best example of this is an Eliane Elias tune I transcribed a few years ago. It took me a week to do this song, but the block chords with their clustery voicings (starting at the very top of the song) knocked me out and I had to figure them out:
I had absolutely no interest in choosing what to call the chords – I only wanted to play the song!
Most tunes I need to learn, I write out the top line and come up with a chord symbol – what we all know as a lead sheet. That wouldn't work with this tune. With the Ray Charles song though, imo you could probably get away with doing it like that – especially since it's a vocal song and you're not responsible for the melody.