Tears - how do you go about playing these chords here?

HotTinRoofHotTinRoof Florida✭✭✭
edited July 2015 in Repertoire Posts: 308
Hey Guys,

Been awhile. I'm getting back into the swing of things and have some interest in getting a GJ jam group together down here in Sarasota, FL.

I have a question regarding a few chords on 'Tears'. I learned the solo version in Michael's Book Unaccompanied Django awhile back and am only now looking at the lead sheet in the Django Fakebook.

The A section goes

|C- Eb |Ddim7 G7|C- Eb |Ddim7 G7|
|[C7/Db |F-/C |Bdim7|Eb/Bb |
|Adim7 |F-/Ab... and so on.

How are you going about playing the C7/Db, F-/C, F-/Ab and Eb/Bb?

Before I go presenting my possibly confounded shapes I want to ask you, the experienced forum, what the best is?

And the first Eb doesn't quite sound correct either? Do you suggest another chord? Cm/Eb perhaps?


Thank you.


  • bopsterbopster St. Louis, MOProdigy Altamira M30, Wide Sky PL-1, 1940? French mystery guitar
    edited July 2015 Posts: 512
    Damn phone keyboard...,
  • HotTinRoofHotTinRoof Florida✭✭✭
    Posts: 308
    I missed that Bopster, please check in when you are on a more friendly device as I would love to hear your thoughts.
  • jonpowljonpowl Hercules, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Altamira M01F
    Posts: 684
    I like the Robin Nolan gig book version of Tears for the chord shapes. Also, check out Django in June for the tier 2 lead sheet/tab for a nice version of Tears. ( You are quite close with your C-/Eb, from the Gig Book:
  • bopsterbopster St. Louis, MOProdigy Altamira M30, Wide Sky PL-1, 1940? French mystery guitar
    Posts: 512
    Stuart hit the nail on the head - if my phone typing wasn't goofy, I woulda said something similar. It's all about the descending bass notes complimenting the series of ii-V's that take you back to Cm (first ii - V into Fm, then to Eb, then a longer ii - V into Cminor).
  • edited July 2015 Posts: 3,707
    A technical point...C/Db indicates to me a Triadic C with a flat 9. As the chord has both root C and C# (Db) can't be a diminished. Usually one uses the b9 in dominant or altered harmony but what the heck.

    One has to keep in mind, many of the originators of GJ have little or no harmony training, and they just play what sounds good to them. Sometimes the names can be a little unorthodox.

    The voicing I use for tears is the first inversion Cm triad as shown above with the doubled minor third. Sounds fine for the C7/ Db one can use x,4,2,3,1,x or if you have the fingers 9,7,8,5,x,x
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • C7/Db is the slash chord way of writing C7b9 as well. Now I understand what you were saying. C# diminished has all the notes of C7b9 except the root and makes an easier sub for the moving bass line.

    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • HotTinRoofHotTinRoof Florida✭✭✭
    Posts: 308
    Terrific guys. Thank you so much. I always forget the the django in june website. It is quite well done and very resourceful. I'll play around with the suggestions above.
  • edited March 2017 Posts: 4,229
    I was not happy with the changes and chords I found in the iReal pro and was looking for something better and found this thread.
    I liked the open strings nature of that Django Cm/Db that @stuart mentioned and then came up with this progression over the first four bars:
    X3101X, XX1013, XXO111, X2303X

    My version of iReal pro chart
    I decided dim chords sounded nicer to me than m7b5 in the 2nd and third line of A section.
    Dims were just more sad and tearful if you will.

    The Ao in the 1st bar of last line in the A section could be skipped but I was looking for something to keep that 2 5 1 going.
    Weirdly enough that bar could be done as Ao Ab69.

    For the G7 in the 2nd bar of last A line I use the inversion with 5th in the root so X5546X.

    But what's most interesting about the melody in this part of the song is that usually even though dim chords are enharmonic so every step and half it's basically the same chord with a different root in bass (I'm sure this isn't a news to anyone here), there's always one root that really works with the melody. The others not really even though in theory they should. But in this case, where I use Go to Fm for example, Bb or Db or E also work great.

    For the second ending of B section, Db7 to G7sounded nicer to me than the common Ab7 to G7.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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