Music for Use

Music for Use

Reasonable Transcriptions: Stupid by The Long Winters

Cooper Ottum

Sometimes, bands with less-than-enormous-and-zealously-devoted audiences suffer from Horrible TAB Syndrome. Actually, most tablature that's found on the internet is pretty bad, in my experience. Or at the very least, not particularly thorough. (One notable exception might be the Jonathan Coulton Wiki, which has very good tablature for many of Coulton's tunes, much thanks to the work of Suuuupaadave.)

So the point of this post is to bring my take on a song that I wanted to transcribe for my own purposes. I don't plan on posting this to the big TAB sites like 911Tabs or UltimateGuitar, even though they are okay resources in general. I also don't plan on posting this to the seemingly-defunct Long Winters fan site, Hater High (plus, there's already a not-bad transcription of Stupid there). But, seeing as there's really no point in protecting my transcription work, because it's really just a teaching tool, please feel free to copy and distribute as you see fit. While you're at it, buy When I Pretend to Fall, because it's a terrific album, and because it will be easier to learn the songs if you own the recordings. 

My emphasis in creating this transcription was on the accuracy of the chords and structure. I have some specific notes on little details that might make it easier to sound more like the record, but I was mostly interested in making a transcription that's easy to follow. There are many good ways to cover a song, and it isn't my intention to point anyone toward playing according to a particular arrangement. Be creative, and enjoy. 

If you don't own the recording, it's available on Rdio


Stupid

The Long Winters

from the album When I Pretend to Fall

Intro

A - Ama7

Verse 1

A - C#mi - E - D

She has no idea she could make me do anything

She acts like it's the simplest thing for me to be there

A - F - A - E - D

You tell me no, that I'm a fool to go calling her, and calling her

You can call me stupid when she tells me it has to end

Chorus 1

A - D

Stupid, you could call it that

Stupid, but you have no idea

A - D - A - E

How stupid I would feel

If fifteen years from now I see her

A - D - A - F - D - A

And she says why didn't it happen between us, stupid?

Transition 1

A - Ama7

Verse 2

A - C#mi - E - D

New York soon will hum, the electric car has come

She laughs when I pretend to fall

A - F - A - E - D

You call me out, let her down easy please, can't you see she believes?

My friend, you called me stupid then, but you're the one that doesn't see

Chorus 2

A - D

Stupid, you could call it that

Stupid, but you have no idea

A - D - A - E

How stupid I would feel

If fifteen years from now I see her

A - D - A - F - D - A

And she says why didn't it happen between us, stupid?

Bridge (Solo)

Bmi - A - E - D - A

Bmi - A - E - D - A

E - D

Transition 2

A - Ama7

Chorus 3 (Out)

A - D

Stupid, you could call it that

Stupid, but you have no idea

A - D - A - E

How stupid I would feel

If fifteen years from now I see her

And she says why didn't it happen between us

She says why didn't it happen? You have no idea

A - D - A - E

How stupid I would feel

If fifteen years from now I see her

A - D - A - F - D - A

And she says why didn't it happen between us, stupid?

Notes

The recording is NOT tuned to A=440

So if you're going to play along, things will sound pretty weird unless you tune somewhere around A=448–450. I'm not sure why this is the case, but trust me: it's much more difficult to tell if you're reproducing the chords accurately when your guitar is in a different tonal universe.

The Intro and Transition chords are best played in the "C" form.

e.g.

    A    Ama7   
e---09---09
B---10---09
G---09---09
D---11---11
A---12---12
E---xx---xx

(It's probably a decent idea to omit the high E string in these chords, which will keep the attention on the movement between A and G# on the B string)

You can play the whole Verse higher on the neck, if you want.

It's pretty safe to play the Verse like this:

    A    C#mi E    D
e---05---04---07---05
B---05---05---09---07
G---06---06---09---07
D---07---06---09---07
A---07---04---07---05
E---05---xx---xx---xx

And so forth (This is most likely better for making a decent sounding rendition on an Acoustic Guitar).

However, you could also play it like this, and keep the fuzzy resonance of the wrapped strings high on the neck:

    A    C#mi E    D
e---xx---xx---xx---10
B---10---09---xx---10
G---09---09---09---11
D---11---11---09---12
A---12---11---11---12
E---xx---09---12---10

    A    F    A    E    D
e---xx---08---xx---xx---10
B---10---10---10---xx---10
G---09---10---09---09---11
D---11---10---11---09---12
A---12---08---12---11---12
E---xx---xx---xx---12---10

This will sound nice on an Electric. For the chorus, I'd suggest moving down to the A in the “E” form off of the 5th fret, because in that section you're shooting for a fuller, more standard Rock sound.

I'm not going to attempt to transcribe the solo.

You're on your own for that business. It probably isn't too much of a chore.

The last chord sounds like it's an A and an A7sus4 simultaneously

If you want to play the A7sus4, you can try it like this:

    A7sus4
e---05
B---05
G---07
D---05
A---07
E---05

Happy playing.

Make sure to send me a note if you see anything horrifically wrong.