Jeffrey Scott “Jeff” Buckley was born 17th November, 1966 in Anaheim, California. Exactly 11 years and 4 months prior, Disneyland Park was built at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. One can only assume that the events leading up to the opening of the park had a direct influence on the birth of Jeff Buckley, and possibly also helped shape his interest in music. After graduating highschool, he moved north to Hollywood where he spent six years working in a hotel playing guitar with various bands, eventually touring with reggae artist Shinehead, a close relative of the band Shinedown.
In mid-1993, Buckley assembled a band, composed of bassist Mick Grøndahl and drummer Matt Johnson. The trio headed to Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, New York (no bears were harmed in the making of Bearsville). They spent six weeks recording for what would eventually become the album Grace, his only complete album before his death in 1997.
Now it’s up to you to channel the spirit of Buckley through your guitar by learning to play three of his hits – Hallelujah, Grace and Last Goodbye. Or alternatively channel the spirit of Mick Grøndahl through your bass, but he’s not dead so that’d just be odd.
This weeks pack requires two things. Tuning and a capo. Take a look below to see what’s what.
- Jeff Buckley “Grace” – Drop D for Lead/Rhythm/Bass
- Jeff Buckley “Hallelujah” – Capo Required for Lead ; E Standard for Rhythm/Bass
- Jeff Buckley “Last Goodbye” – Open G for Lead/Rhythm; Drop D for Bass
Is the Jeff Buckley Song Pack fun on Bass?
Hallelujah takes a more relaxed approach. So relaxed that you get to chill out and listen to a minute of fancy guitar work before the bass comes in! Given the nature of the song you can’t exactly expect this to be “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” but there are positives to sitting down and playing a slow one like this from time to time, especially for new players – the slow oncoming notes give you ample time to prepare your fretting hand without getting flustered.
Grace goes back to being an active song but probably less so than Last Goodbye as this one uses more open notes and sustains. It’s not all a walk in the park however – I found the section starting at around 3:28 required more of my attention than I was ready for. It also has plenty of little fast slides mixed with HOPOs scattered here and there.
[Sidenote – I think on the whole, the charts for Bassists have been really awesome so far this year]
Ok, what about Guitar?
Hallelujah’s Rhythm chart is a fairly standard chord song. Think of it like a mellow Bob Dylan song, except with a good singer. It mainly stays around the same open chords which you’re probably used to a lot now – F, G, Am – but does have a few bits here and there to mix it up a notch (BAM!) The Lead chart for it though…all I can say is good luck on not sounding like the cats that fight outside my window some nights (someone once told me cats make the same noise when they copulate. The hell is that about, Nature?). Turns out I have something my old music teacher Mrs Mellenger called “stupid fingers.” But I can imagine that when given the time and attention this song needs to know it fully you’ll be ruddy bloody impressed with yourself.
I actually had some trouble on Grace though, mainly on Rhythm. The section that starts on an Em and slowly moves up to Bm11 was fine – that just involved careful fingering and movement. What I had issues with were the generic power chords on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd frets. I don’t know if it was my tuning or the game wanting to hear certain notes that were getting drowned out by others (it happens sometimes). I only managed to get 65% on my sight read thanks to the game dropping several whole sections. But it sounded good on my end so that’s good! The Lead has the same Em to Bm11 section as Rhythm but has a much harder and higher up intro on the 14th frets that gives you some fast strumming/fast fingering action.
In short, Jeff Buckley is a great addition to the game. You’ll probably spend plenty of time learning the guitar parts for this pack, and not just for Hallelujah. Maybe it’s time to learn how to finger pick too.