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Ragtime Annie/Chinese Breakdown: Interchangeable Backup Guitar?

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Feb 25, 2020 - 5:02:03 PM
35 posts since 5/1/2010

I've noticed that the chord changes on both these tunes are just D's, A's, and a little snatch of G at the end of the run.
If you were playing either of these tunes, would your guitarist just be playing the same thing?

Feb 25, 2020 - 5:22:14 PM
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1055 posts since 6/26/2007

Good question, since they're very similar but not quite the same.

As usually played, with a little color coding so you can see what matches:

Ragtime Annie A part:
(2x) D D D A A A A D
Ragtime Annie B part:
D D D G A A A D   D D D G G D A D

Chinese Breakdown (both parts):
D D D A A A A D   D D D G A A A D

Each chord symbol goes for 2 beats (at 4 notes/beat), in case that's not clear.

Dave

Feb 26, 2020 - 6:49:40 AM

2218 posts since 10/1/2008

Fiddle tunes and bluegrass songs and tunes are rife with melodic and chordal crossover. This is to the point that some songs don't need to be played in the same set. The classic example is Red Haired Boy and Salt Creek. Then there are the melodies that when played in a minor key rather than a major one become another tune. A rythm guitar player walks through the changes with a steady measured step be there two chords, three ... the usual ... four with a relative minor or two chord or five unusual. But yes things often sound alike when a player is looking at just the changes.

Feb 26, 2020 - 7:52:03 AM

10691 posts since 9/23/2009

I've mainly played old ballads, old time tunes, etc., and some have such a similar chord progression for guitar.

Here lately, I've connected with an old friend who saw that I play stuff on youtube all the time and she started requesting Beatles songs...lol...of all things. Well, I thought, why not, let's see how that is to try and play Beatles songs...I even created a new playlist of Beatles songs so anybody (of the five people who care...lol) who looks on my youtube channel for old timey stuff doesn't get confused as to when I lost my mind and started jiving on Beatles...anyway, as I've worked through those old Beatles songs, one by one as she requests them...I've thought to myself..."Oh no! This ain't a matter of ONE, FOUR, FIVE chords anymore!!!!"

Lol...I used to play some more hairy stuff on guitar back several years ago...figured up some interesting non I, IV, V stuff, but as of late, focusing more on gettting my clawhammering the way I want it (which apparently will never happen), learning fiddling, learning cello, etc., I've let my guitar playing get lost somewhere inside or possibly even outside the confines of my memory.

Anyway...what I'm saying is the old timey stuff tends to be pretty similar...the Bealtes...no...not similar...they love weird chord progressions...lol.

Feb 26, 2020 - 3:12:21 PM
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4487 posts since 9/26/2008

Dave answered the question. Of course if you play "Chinese Breakdown" in C.....

Feb 27, 2020 - 2:58:56 AM
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DougD

USA

9450 posts since 12/2/2007

Dave, thanks for your concise answer. I might add that some versions of "Ragtimr Annie" have a third part in G, kind of a nod to ragtime structure, which often has a trio section in a new key.

(2x)
GCDG GCDG
(Back to the top)

It gives it a nice lift when it goes back to D.

Feb 27, 2020 - 2:59:12 PM

1055 posts since 6/26/2007

quote:
Originally posted by DougD

Dave, thanks for your concise answer. I might add that some versions of "Ragtimr Annie" have a third part in G, kind of a nod to ragtime structure, which often has a trio section in a new key.

(2x)
GCDG GCDG
(Back to the top)

It gives it a nice lift when it goes back to D.


I actually do play the 3rd section (especially great to throw it in after several times through the 1st and 2nd sections), but figured from the question that the OP was sticking in D. As you said, it does give a nod to ragtime structure; wonder where it was first played?

Dave

Feb 27, 2020 - 3:11:35 PM
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1055 posts since 6/26/2007

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

Dave answered the question. Of course if you play "Chinese Breakdown" in C.....


... then you'll be somewhat unhappy with any backup in D cheeky !  

Interestingly, the Stripling Brothers recorded the tune in C in the mid-1930's, but with a quicker return to the 1 chord than usually played these days (1 1 1 5 5 5 1 1 at the beginning). I think the earliest versions were mainly in C, and it has drifted to D in the last 40 years or so.

Dave

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