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Steely Dan: guitar tab and chords for Babylon Sisters, Gaucho


    Babylon Sisters - Steely Dan
    ----------------------------

    From the album Gaucho

    Transcribed by Howard Wright
    hakwright (at) gmail (dot) com


This is one of Steely Dan's finest moments - a sublime song!
The chords I've written out are mostly based on the keyboard 
parts, but they work pretty well on the guitar. As usual you 
have to make a few compromises to get playable guitar shapes, 
but you can still get an authentic sound. 

The main elements that are lost when playing this song on the
guitar are the clustered notes that feature in a lot of Gaucho 
and Aja songs. The keyboards often use voicings that add an
extra dissonant note to what is a fairly standard jazz chord, 
but on the guitar it's usually not possible to keep all these 
notes so you have to simplify just a little.

The only other difficulty on guitar comes in the intro and 
chorus sections, with the chords for "... shake it!". What you 
have here is a bass part playing the root and fifth (a 
"5 chord"), and the keyboard right hand playing two rising 
triads ("shake it"). This part works much better on two 
instruments, with one person playing the root + fifth bass part, 
and the other playing the triads. On one guitar you've basically 
got a choice of either just sticking to the 5 chords, or playing 
the triads higher up then coming back to the 5 chord to fill in 
the gap till the next chord. 

Note that the studio version of this song starts in F# with the
verse in Bb minor. This is what I've followed for this 
transcription. A lot of the live versions (e.g Alive in America) 
play it a semitone lower, starting in F with the verse in A 
minor.

All chord shapes are given at the end.


Intro:
------

The tablature here is for the keyboard melody (really a
mixture of melody and chords) - the chords that are written
above give the basic accompaniment. 

Although the 5 chords on their own sound rather bare, when
combined with keyboard part (tablature) the effect is to
create fuller chords (majors, minor 7ths etc)



F#5      B5            G#5  

E-------------------------------------
B-----4--7--4-------------------------
G--------------6--8----5h8p5---5------
D-------------------(8)------8--------
A-------------------------------------
E-------------------------------------



  E5         G#5            D#7sus4

E----------------------------------------------
B--------4--7---4---7---4----7---4----7----4---
G------4----4-------4--------10--6----10---6---
D----6----------6-------6----8---6----8----6---
A----------------------------------------------
E----------------------------------------------


  F#5   B5        G#5          B5  

E-------------------------------------------
B----7p4---4---4----------------------------
G--------6---6----5h8p5---5----8h11p8----8--
D-----------------------8-------------11----
A-------------------------------------------
E-------------------------------------------



   E  F#/E  E5(VII) A7b5  D#7sus4

E-------------------------------------------
B--9---11------------4------7---4----7---4--
G--9---11------------6------10--6----10--6--
D--9---11------------5------8---6----8---6--
A-------------------------------------------
E-------------------------------------------



   E  F#/E  E5(VII)  A7b5  D#7sus4               Bbm7

E----------------------------------------------------
B--9---11-------------4-----7---4---7---4---------6--
G--9---11-------------6-----10--6---10--6--8------6--
D--9---11-------------5-----8---6---8---6----8----6--
A----------------------------------------------6-----
E----------------------------------------------------



VERSE 1:
--------

Bbm7          Cm7           Eb9
Drive west on Sunset to the sea

                 Ab/Db      Ab13              F#maj6/7    Bbm7
Turn that jungle music down, just until we're out of town

           Cm7       Dm11                Bbm7
This is no one night stand it's a real occasion

                           Cm7            Eb/F           Bbmaj7 
Close your eyes and you'll be there, it's everything they say

   E7b5            Ebmaj6/7       A7#5                   D5
The end of a perfect day, distant lights from across the bay


NB There are two shapes for the E7b5 and Ebmaj6/7 chords (see below)
that are a bit of a stretch, but sound just right to me. If you find
these too awkward, try the simpler E7 and Ebmaj7 shapes I've put in
as alternatives.


CHORUS:
-------


D5      Dm7      Eb   F/Eb  Eb5
Babylon sisters shake it


D5      Dm7      Eb   F/Eb  Eb5
Babylon sisters shake it


C9(VIII)    F9     Bbmaj7          Bbm7 Eb9
So fine, so young, tell me I'm the only one


Dm7  C9  Eb  F/Eb  Eb5


B/E  F#/E  C#/F# G#/F#  Bb7b9


Ebm7            Db6              Bmaj7  B7 E6/9  A7b5
Here come those Santa Ana winds again


 Ebm7                                     Bbm7

E---------------------------------------------------
B--------------7----7----4---4---4----4----6--------
G----------8---10---8----6---7---6----3----6--------
D---8---11-----11---10---7---8---7----6----6--------
A---------------------------------------------------
E------------------------------------------6--------


There's no way that you can sustain the Eb bass note while playing 
the above chords - you need someone else to fill in the bottom Eb.
A slightly simpler version of these chords that includes the 
bass note is: x6x66x  x6x54x  x676xx  x687xx  x676xx  x663xx



VERSE 2:
--------

We'll jog with show folk on the sand
Drink kirschwasser from a shell
San Fransisco show and tell
Well I should know by now that it's just a spasm
Like a Sunday in TJ, that it's cheap but it's not free
That I'm not what I used to be
And that love's not a game for three


CHORUS:
-------

(Same as before, except for last line)

D5      Dm7      Eb   F/Eb  Eb5
Babylon sisters shake it


D5      Dm7      Eb   F/Eb  Eb5
Babylon sisters shake it


C9(VIII)    F9     Bbmaj7          Bbm7 Eb9
So fine, so young, tell me I'm the only one


Dm7  C9  Eb  F/Eb  Eb5


B/E  F#/E  C#/F# G#/F#  Bb7b9


Ebm7            Db6              Bmaj7  B7 E6/9  F7#9
Here come those Santa Ana winds again



SOLO SECTION: 
-------------

(over first part of verse chords)

Bbm7  Cm7  Eb9

Ab/Db  Ab13  F#maj6/7  Bbm7


               Cm7       Dm11               Bbm7
My friends say no, don't go for that cotton candy

                        Cm7       Eb/F              Bbmaj7 
Son you're playin' with fire, the kid will live and learn

      E7b5                Ebmaj6/7       A7#5        D5
As he watches his bridges burn, from the point of no return



CHORUS:
-------

D5      Dm7      Eb   F/Eb  Eb5
Babylon sisters shake it


D5      Dm7      Eb   F/Eb  Eb5
Babylon sisters shake it


C9(VIII)    F9     Bbmaj7          Bbm7 Eb9
So fine, so young, tell me I'm the only one


Dm7  C9  Eb  F/Eb  Eb5  


D5  Dm7  G/F  Fmaj7  Ebmaj7 Dm7


OUTTRO:
-------

  Dm7                 Eb F/Eb  Eb5       Ab7b5

E----------------------------------------------
B------------10--10---8--10----------------3---
G------------10--10---8--10----------------5---
D-----10-12--10--10---8--10----------------4---
A--12------------------------------------------
E----------------------------------------------

                          


  D5         Dm7     G/F  Fmaj7               Ebmaj7      Dm7

E-------------------------------------------------------------
B------------10--10---12--13----------------------------------
G------------10--10---12--14----12h14-12-10h12-10----10-12----
D-----10-12--10--10---12--14-----------------------12------12-
A--12---------------------------------------------------------
E-------------------------------------------------------------



(repeat last two lines to fade)
 


Chord Shapes:
--------------


EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE
24xxxx     x24xxx     46xxxx     02xxxx

 F#5         B5        G#5        E5  



EADGBE     EADGBE     E  A  D  G  B  E     EADGBE
x6664x     07999x     0  x  11 11 11 x     x79xxx

D#7sus4      E              F#/E             E5(VII)     



EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE
5x564x     6x666x     8x888x     x6566x

 A7b5       Bbm7       Cm7        Eb9



EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE
x46544     4x456x     2xx341     x9886x

Ab/Db      Ab13      F#maj6/7    F#maj6/7 (alt.)



E  A  D  G  B  E       EADGBE     EADGBE     
10 x  10 10 8  x       x8x886     6x776x     

    Dm11                Eb/F      Bbmaj7      



EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE   
x7633x     x767xx     x6553x     x657xx         

 E7b5        E7      Ebmaj6/7    Ebmaj7   


(If you find the E7b5 or Ebmaj6/7 a bit of a stretch, use the 
simpler E7 and Ebmaj7 shapes as alternatives).   


EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE
5x566x     x57xxx     x57565     x6888x

 A7#5        D5        Dm7         Eb



E  A  D  G  B  E      EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE
11 x  10 10 10 x      x68xxx     8x8780     x8788x

      F/Eb             Eb5       C9(VIII)     F9     


Although the overall sound for "shake it" uses an F/Eb chord,
it works best on guitar if you forget the Eb bass and just play 
the Eb and F triads.


EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     E  A  D  G  B  E
x3233x     x7x877     x7x676     x  9  x  10 9  9

 C9          B/E       F#/E            C#/F#     



EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE    EADGBE
x9x898     6x6777     x68676     x46666    9x866x
 
G#/F#      Bb7b9       Ebm7       Db6        Db6    


EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE     EADGBE   
7x887x     7x787x     x7667x     x8789x

 Bmaj7       B7        E6/9       F7#9


E  A  D  G  B  E      E  A  D  G  B  E      E  A  D  G  B  E 
13 x  12 12 12 x      13 x  14 14 13 x      11 x  12 12 11 x

      G/F                 Fmaj7                  Ebmaj7


As on the chorus, you can't get a clean change from the G/F
to the Fmaj7 (equivalent to "... shake it!") if you play the
bass note as well so you'll probably want to drop the F bass.










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Last updated: February 2013