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Help Me by Joni Mitchell

Chords with lyrics

"Help Me" from _Court and Spark_

This is one of my favorites. Larry Carleton is the guitarist on this
song, and he plays some really intersting chordal/arpeggiated stuff (which
I'm still trying to pick out, since they're pretty low in the mix).
This song has a bunch of really subtle changes in it, so I advise anyone who
wants to play it to listen _very_ carefully. I have notated the difficult
bits with an asterisk (*) and indicated why each part is tricky. I
sincerely doubt Carleton had any trouble with it, but for us lesser mortals....
In any event, you need to listen to the song closely to pick up the vocal,
which has lots of jazz rhythms to it. If you can play this with a female
vocalist, I envy you greatly!

So anyway, here goes:

Chords you will use:

Chord diagramA augmentedA sus2 open: x-0-2-2-0-0

Chord diagramA augmentedA major: x-0-2-2-2-0

e minor 7: 0-2-2-0-3-0

Chord diagramG+G major: 3-2-0-0-3-3

Chord diagramG+G major 7: 3-x-5-4-3-2 (this chord is kind of hard if you don't use your
thumb, so you might want to omit the low g on 6, or use another fingering
like 3-x-4-4-3-x, 3-x-0-0-0-2, or x-10-12-11-12-x)
Chord diagramFF major 7: x-x-3-2-1-0 (I like this so that I can embellish easily using open
strings, and because it's an easy slide down from Chord diagramG+G major 7, but you may
want to use 1x221x if you're using a different Chord diagramG+G major 7)
Chord diagramFF major 7 variant 2: x-8-10-9-10-x (use this one in another part, notated
Chord diagramFF major 7 barre)

Chord diagramC majorC major 7: x-3-2-0-0-x (this chord will cause no shortage of headaches
since it is used as a transition and you often are on it for no more
than a beat. I don't recommend refingering it for that reason.)

Chord diagramBb majorBb major 7: x-1-3-2-3-x

Chord diagramD MajorD major 7: x-5-7-6-7-x


|Chord diagramA augmentedA sus 2| Chord diagramA augmentedA sus 2| straight into:


Chord diagramA augmentedA maj  e min 7
Help ..

Chord diagramG+G maj 7
In ..
When ..

 Chord diagramFF maj 7
I k..

I'm ..

'Cause ..

Chord diagramC majorC maj 7       Chord diagramG+G maj 7
And ..

[no lyrics while the horns play one of the song's signature licks]

           Chord diagramC majorC maj 7-A maj-C maj 7
Not ..

*note that the time signature changes here from 4 to 3 for a measure and
then changes back. The best advice I can give you is to listen to the
recording carefully here, and maybe to skip the last Chord diagramC majorC maj 7, since Chord diagramA augmentedA feeds
quite nicely into the next chord as well

[No vocals here: transition between verses where Larry C. does his stuff]

|Chord diagramD MajorD maj 7|Chord diagramBb majorBb maj 7|Chord diagramFF maj 7 barre|Chord diagramFF maj 7 barre|Chord diagramG+G maj|Chord diagramA augmentedA maj *|Chord diagramG+G maj|Chord diagramA augmentedA maj *|

|Chord diagramG+G maj|Chord diagramA augmentedA maj|Chord diagramA augmentedA maj|... back into verse 2

* indicates that the horn players have a riff that is, as far as I can tell,
unplayable by one guitar, so go nuts on an Chord diagramA augmentedA major or Chord diagramA augmentedA blues scale for a bit!
I often play the Chord diagramG+G maj to Chord diagramA augmentedA maj progression with 10th and 12th position barre
chords if I want to play high stuff, but it really depends on mood.

Verse 2:

[back into the Larry C. transition part and then go to the Bridge]


Chord diagramG+G maj 7
Didn't ..

Or ..
Chord diagramFF maj 7

You ..

Didn't ..

Didn't ..

[some vocal gymnastics with call and response "Didn't it feel good"'s]

Chord diagramD MajorD maj 7
Didn't ..

Chord diagramG+G maj 7
Didn't ..

Chord diagramD MajorD maj 7
Didn't ..

Chord diagramG+G maj 7
Didn't ..

|Chord diagramG+G maj|Chord diagramA augmentedA maj *|Chord diagramG+G maj|Chord diagramA augmentedA maj *|Chord diagramG+G maj|Chord diagramA augmentedA maj|Chord diagramA augmentedA maj| ... back into last verse:

Help ..
Are ..
That's ..
Both ..
Not ..

[end verse but skip the Chord diagramG+G maj - Chord diagramA augmentedA maj part and go straight into...]

Outro to fade:

[lots more Larry C. stuff]

|Chord diagramD MajorD maj 7|Chord diagramFF maj 7| ...

Comments, questions, corrections, etc., welcome.

Jay Verkuilen					[email protected]
In the warped world of Mattel talking doll conversations:
Talking Barbie(TM)--"Math is tough!"
Talking Ken(TM)--"Group theory is intuitively obvious."

Other versions of Help Me

Alternative guitar chords and tabs for Help me solo by Joni Mitchell

Help me soloTabs

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