Ann Arbor


Getting started with Ann Arbor

This write-up gets into John Fahey's song, Ann Arbor. For a sampling of what it sounds like, here's Fahey's own performance of Ann Arbor, live in Hamburg.

As lovely as that live performance is, this write-up is based on the recorded version, from the album Visits Washington, D.C.

Transcription of what Fahey plays

This is a transcription of the notes Fahey uses on the recording.

The tuning of the song is EADGBE, standard tuning; the key is C.

Next, it's onto the notes!

Section A / Part 1 of 2

The I chord

The song begins with the root C-chord; the I-chord.

Instead of being the usual C-chord, the 3rd fret of the 6th string is played in the bass; that G-note makes it a C 'over' G chord, C/G

Section A / Part 2 of 2

Adding the E7

Next, Fahey moves onto the E7/III7 chord. It's the common I-III7 chord progression.

The I-III7 chord progression usually leads into the IVmaj, which it does here.

Section B / Part 1 of 2

Moving to the IV chord

The Cmaj-E7 / I-III7 chord progression then leads into this Fmaj/IV chord. So the full progression so far is I-III7-IVmaj.

Note: the opening & closing of the 2nd string (B to C to B) makes this a Fmaj#11 / IVmaj#11 chord

Section C / Part 1 of 2

the Turnaround I chord

To put the turnaround of the song together, Fahey plays a I-V7-I / Cmaj-G7-Cmaj ending. There's the 'G7' chord acting as a 'secondary dominant' that leads back into the Cmaj.

This is the Cmaj portion; he moves onto the G7/V7 chord next.

Section C / Part 2 of 2

the Turnaround: V chord

Finally, to lead back into the root/C-chord, Fahey uses the V7/G7 chord.

And that's the it as far as new parts to play!


Ending things off with this song

Thank you for following along with John Fahey's beautiful composition, Ann Arbor.

It's an enjoyable song to play in the key of C, standard tuning.

Posted by blah148

Leave a Comment