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Old 05-08-2013, 03:39 PM   #1
NoTTD
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"Stepping Down"

Newby here. What does it mean when a chord notation says "C stepping down to D"? I understand and can play the basic chords but can;t figure this out. Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:25 AM   #2
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Well, it's not the sort of thing you could slide into, so I expect it means to actually make a relatively normal sort of change from C to D... but it seems to imply that you may use some kind of tempo or volume shift to facilitate the transition... I'm really just guessing. I've never run into such a notation myself.

Of course an open D has a higher pitch that a C, so I'm not sure why they say stepping "down"... unless they are talking about coming from a higher octave C.

One other thought... perhaps they mean a C played hoizontal (one note at a time), followed by a D. You might give that a try and see how it sounds.

I think the phrase "stepping down" is not a true musical term... and that's the source of the confusion.

Last edited by Prescott_Player : 05-11-2013 at 02:35 AM.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:28 AM   #3
Captaincranky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoTTD
Newby here. What does it mean when a chord notation says "C stepping down to D"? I understand and can play the basic chords but can;t figure this out. Thanks in advance.
Well first, you can't "step down" from "C" to "D" using the same chord fingerings, it just isn't possible.

If you could upload the music, or find a link to it somehow, I think we all might learn something.

There are things called, "slash chords" which indicate a different note in the bass than either the "root" (1st or tonic note of the chord), or outside of the basic triad. (C major is comprised of the notes C, E, & G. So there, the D would be added to the bottom of the chord. Guess what that's not really easy to do either.

I do see the possibility of a slash chord bass run from C to A on the A-5 string.

C major open would have a C on the 3rd fret 5th string, a B on the 2nd fret, and then the A note open. A is part of the D major chord.

So notated in slash form C/C, C/B, D/A. So here, the bass walks down while you continue to strum through the change. (C/C isn't normally notated that way, C in the bass of C major is understood, I put that there for clarity).

Last edited by Captaincranky : 05-11-2013 at 04:31 AM.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:47 AM   #4
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Since there seems to be some interest, here's the notation fo5rm Little Feat's Willin (on this site):

(No chords - let previous D resound)
And if you give me

(No chords again but I use a stepping C)
C step down to G
Weed, Whites and wine
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:09 PM   #5
Captaincranky
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Right, "stepping down", is a "descending bass run" from C, (3rd fret A-5), B, (2nd fret A-5), A (A-5 open), to G, (3rd fret E-6).

If you played the chord along with the bass notes, they would be "slash chords"

C/C, C/B, C/A, G/G

The "if you give me" acapella part goes right up the "I" (Tonic G) chord inverted "D,G, B". Those vocal notes are the same as the pitches of the D-4, G-3, B-2 sung in that order. Try it.

Heck, if you're uncertain of your pitch and are trying to sing the song, you can always cheat and play the open strings as your own accompaniment.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 05-16-2013 at 06:11 PM.
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