Song Dissections: 'Don't Stop Believing' By Journey

author: LeoKisomma date: 04/04/2011 category: for beginners
rating: 9.7 / votes: 3 
Alrighty then guys, this is my second requested lesson, and it's not just a written tab of the song before anyone jumps to that conclusion. I will be going over all the chords, phrases, solos and the theory behind all of these if I can. The song is in the key of E major and has no major key changes. Part 1: The main chord patterns. When the piano part at the beginning starts it's following a chord pattern that's quite easy to follow on the guitar, and later on you will have to play this chord pattern, but the guitar doesn't start with this usually. I will put a full version of the song up in tab if I get time, but this lesson is looking at the theory behind it. Tab key:- --4-- = pluck the string shown while fretting the string on the fret numbered --h6- = hammer-on your finger onto the string on the fret numbered, doesn't require the string to be plucked --p2- = pull-off you finger from the string shown to sound a note while fretting the string on the fret numbered -8b9- = luck the string shown while fretting the string on the fret numbered, then bend the string until the note sounded becomes the same as the note sounded on the fret shown to the right of the b. E.g., 8b9 means pluck the string while fretting the string on the 8th fret, then bend the string one semitone/one fret higher in pitch. -8b9r8- = same a regular bend but allow string to return to regular position on fret numbered; think of b as meaning bend, and r as meaning relax --t12- = tap on the fret numbered firmly with one of the fingers in your plucking hand -t9r5- = tap on the fret numbered firmly with one of the fingers in your plucking hand then release your finger from the string either by simply pulling it off or twanging it, but fret the string on the fret numbered to sound that note after the finger tapping the string has been removed -mb7- = bend the string slightly after plucking the string number shown, but don't bend it so that raises the note in pitch by a fret. / = Slide finger(s)up the fretboard to the fret shown \ = Slide finger(s)down the fretboard to the fret shown --9v- = use vibrato by wavering the string up and down by bending it to get a sort of wavy sound Here's the tab for the chords to the main riff. You should listen carefully to the actual song to get a good feel for where these chords appear, as that will be far more successful than trying to find the timing without listening to the song for reference.
Main riff chords part 1a
E||-0----------------|-7----------------||-9------------------5-------------|
B||-0----------------|-7----------------||-9------------------5-------------|
G||-1----------------|-8----------------||-9------------------6-------------|
D||-2----------------|-9----------------||-11-----------------7-------------|
A||-2----------------|-9----------------||-11-----------------7-------------|
E||-0----------------|-7----------------||-9------------------5-------------|
 
Main riff chords part 1b
E||-0----------------|-7----------------||-4------------------5-------------|
B||-0----------------|-7----------------||-4------------------5-------------|
G||-1----------------|-8----------------||-4------------------6-------------|
D||-2----------------|-9----------------||-6------------------7-------------|
A||-2----------------|-9----------------||-6------------------7-------------|
E||-0----------------|-7----------------||-4------------------5-------------|
The chords on the top line are, from start to finish, E major, B major, C# minor and A major. And what does any of this mean and should you care, is probably what the teenagers out there will be saying. The major/minor thing essential tells people what kind of chord to play, and thereby how it should sound. For example, major chords are usually happy sounding and minor chords are usually sad sounding. The capital letters tell people which notes they have to play. The minor chords in this song have minor thirds and the major chords in this song have major thirds. This isn't the only difference between some chords that are major or minor, but the difference is usually in their names anyway. The chords on the bottom line are E major, B major, G# minor and A major. There is really only one chord difference between the two bars but it is definitely noticeable, so make sure that you can play both, one after the other. This song is based on the E major scale and as such you should notice that the chords and notes fall on this pattern shown below.
E||------------------|------------------||--------------9-11-12-------------|
B||------------------|------------------||------9-10-12---------------------|
G||------------------|-----------6-8-9--||-9-11-----------------------------|
D||------------------|-----6-7-9--------||----------------------------------|
A||-------0-2-4-6-7--|-7-9--------------||----------------------------------|
E||-0-2-4------------|------------------||----------------------------------|
Be aware that this isn't all the possible positions to play notes from the major scale in E on your guitar, but it shows you the pattern you'll have to follow to find the other notes. For example, if you pluck the A string while fretting it at the 7th fret, you'll get an E note if your guitar's in standard E tuning. If you pluck the E string without fretting any notes you'll also get an E but in a different octave (it's either higher or lower, in this case lower). You can get an E in the same octave as the one on 7th fret E string either by plucking the E string 12th fret, or the D string 2nd fret. The notes are all over, so it's up to you to recognise them and find them. As the guitar first comes in there is a small repeating phrase that slows speeds up and swells in, then after a while the guitar goes into this pattern, each chord is palm muted after it's hit, but you can get away with letting a chord ring when it gets to the E power chords (the ones to the right of the tab below).
E||------------------|------------------||----------------------------------|
B||------------------|------------------||----------------------------------|
G||------------------|------------------||----------------------------------|
D||-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7--|-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7--||-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2--|
A||-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7--|-7-7-7-7-7-77-7--||-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2--|
E||-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5--|-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5--||-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0--|
Now here's the repeating phrase that's played while the piano's going on at the beginning. The part to the left is the phrase itself, and the chord to the right is how to finish it. Neil Schon plays the chord as a sort of closer to the phrase; you'll have to listen out closely to find out where it comes in. It's just as the song closes a bar of the main riff on the piano.
E||------------------|------------------||-16-16\\--------------------------|
B||-17-p16-----------|------------------||-17-17\\--------------------------|
G||--------18p16----|------------------||-16-16\\--------------------------|
D||------------------|------------------||----------------------------------|
A||------------------|------------------||----------------------------------|
E||------------------|------------------||----------------------------------|
This little phrase is still in E major like the rest of the song if you follow the scale up to the higher frets. The chord he's using is what's known as a moved chord. Essential he's taken the shape of a D major chord and moved it up until the root changed to an E, making it an E major chord instead. Hang on a minute, you said that E major was something else earlier on didn't you?, yes, but like a note can be in different octaves, so to can a chord be in different octaves; what matters is playing the variation that feels right for the music you're playing. Now here's the main riff to the song that most people I've taught this song to concentrate on. This is still in the E major scale, and is probably the part of the song where a mistake is going to be most noticeable.
E||------------------|------------------||----------------------------------|
B||------------------|------------------||----------------------------------|
G||------------------|------------------||----------------------------------|
D||------------------|------------------||----------------------------------|
A||--------------2---|--4--6--4---------||-6--7--0-------6--7---------------|
E||-0------2--4------|------------------||--------------------0-------------|
When you play this riff it is usually a good idea to put a bit of vibrato in there to git it a better feel than simply letting some of the notes ring. As for the solo it's simply like this. I have used the tab provided by OneEightSevenSF as it also explains what the other overdubbed guitars are doing during the solo. Guitar Solo
  E5                    B5                             C#5
  Gtr IV
             ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA~                        ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA
   Q.        E  +Q.      E   a a  Q.        E  +H
|-16b17-----16-(16)-----14-|-----16b17-----16-(16)-------|
|--------------------------|---x-------------------------|
|--------------------------|-x---------------------------|
|--------------------------|-----------------------------|
|--------------------------|-----------------------------|
|--------------------------|-----------------------------|
|
| Gtr II
|                        ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA                ZYABLA~HUYABLA~
|  Q      Q      E  E E  E       +H             E  E E E
|---------0----------------|-----------------------------|
|---------0----------------|-----------------------------|
|--------------------------|-----------------------------|
|--------------------------|-------------------------1---|
|------------------------2-|-----(2)------------2--4---4-|
|--0-------------0--2-4----|-----------------------------|
|
| Gtr III
|  PM-----------------|           PM-----------------|
|  E    E E  E   E  E E  E        E    E E  E   E  E E E
|--------------------------|-----------------------------|
|--------------------------|-----------------------------|
|------------------------4-|---------------------------6-|
|--9----9-9--9---9--9-9--4-|------4----4-6--4---4--4-4-6-|
|--7----7-7--7---7--7-7--2-|------2----2-2--2---2--2-2-4-|
|--0----0-0--0---0--0-0----|-----------------------------|

                               A5
 ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA                              ZYABLA~HUYABLA~      ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA~
   +Q.      E      +E   +E   E  E    Q     E  E  +Q     E  E
|-(16)-----16b17==(16)r(16)-14----|----------------------------|
|------------------------------17-|-16----17-14-(14)-----------|
|---------------------------------|--------------------16-14---|
|---------------------------------|----------------------------|
|---------------------------------|----------------------------|
|---------------------------------|----------------------------|
|
|ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA
|  +H              +E    E   E  E   +H           +E  E  E  E
|---------------------------------|----------------------------|
|---------------------------------|----------------------------|
|---------------------------------|----------------------------|
|------------------------1---2--2-|-(2)----------(2)-1--2------|
|--(4)-------------(4)----------0-|-(0)----------(0)-----------|
|---------------------------------|------------------------0---|
|
|   PM----------------------|        PM----------------|
|   E  E E  E       E    E   E  E    E  E  E  E   E  E  E  E
|---------------------------------|------------------------0---|
|---------------------------------|------------------------0---|
|-------------------------------2-|----------------------------|
|---6--6-7--6-------6----6---6--2-|--2--2--4--2---2--2--2------|
|---4--4-4--4-------4----4---4--0-|--0--0--0--0---0--0--0------|
|---------------------------------|----------------------------|

  E5                       B5                                       G#5
                ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA~
   Q       +E   E  +Q.      E   a a  Q.         a  +E   +E   E  E a  E
|-16b17r==(16)-16-(16)-----14-|-----16b17======16r(16)-(16)-14------17b19==|
|-----------------------------|---x----------------------------17-x--------|
|-----------------------------|-x------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------|--------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------|--------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------|--------------------------------------------|
|
|                           ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA~
| +Q        Q       E  E E  E       +H                   E   E  E    E
|-----------0-----------------|--------------------------------------------|
|-----------0-----------------|--------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------|--------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------|---------------------------------1----------|
|---------------------------2-|-----(2)------------------2---4-------6-----|
|-(0)---------------0--2-4----|--------------------------------------4-----|
|
|  PM--------------------|           PM------------------------|
|  E    E   E   E   E  E E  E        E     E E      E    E   E  E    E
|-----------------------------|--------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------|--------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------4-|--------------------------------------------|
|--9----9---9---9---9--9-9--4-|------4-----4-6------4----4---4--4----------|
|--7----7---7---7---7--7-7--2-|------2-----2-2------2----2---2--2----6-----|
|--0----0---0---0---0--0-0----|--------------------------------------4-----|

                   A5V
    ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA
   +W                   +H.              +Q
|-(17)---------------|-(17)-------------(17)\---||
|--------------------|--------------------------||
|--------------------|--------------------------||
|--------------------|--------------------------||
|--------------------|--------------------------||
|--------------------|--------------------------||
|
|  +H.           E E    +H        +E  E   E   E
|--------------------|--------------------------||
|--------------------|--------------------------||
|--------------------|--------------------------||
|--------------------|----------------1---2-----||
|--(6)-------------7-|--(7)-------(7)-----------||
|--(4)-----------0-5-|--(5)-------(5)---------0-||
|
|   PM-----------|       PM-------------|
|   E  E E E E E E E     E  E E E  E  E   E   E
|--------------------|------------------------0-||
|--------------------|------------------------0-||
|--------------------|--------------------------||
|--------------------|--------------------------||
|---6--6-7-6-6-6-6-7-|---7--7-9-7--7--7---7-----||
|---4--4-4-4-4-4-4-5-|---5--5-5-5--5--5---5-----||
The solo is pretty basic as solos go but it's higher up on the guitar than some, so it may take some effort for beginners to perfect playing it properly. The things to focus on getting right are the bends, as these are going to be the most disconcerting to beginners as they are raising the note to where it should be, so it's like making an accurate guess. It only comes about from practice, and it's never 100% certain that a bend will end well. Make sure that you try and get every note you play is as clear as possible, and if you hear any kind of buzzing or unwanted ringing or the note isn't sounding clearly, in my experience 9 times out of 10 it's the fault of the hand that's fretting the strings, so double check your fingers are where they're supposed to be. For those of you wondering which is playing the guitar solo, the highest set of lines in each group of three is the guitar playing the solo for this particular tab. I hope I've been able to help some of you out there, and please don't simply blam this lesson because there are already tabs out there, I was asked to write this one out by a secondary school student who is learning this as part of his music course. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask his name, but he knows who he is, so this one is for you man if you're reading this. One final tip, it's a good idea to use a thick sounding tone for this song, and to also try and make you toe as smooth as possible as this is not a heavy metal song, so requires slightly less gain than a metal song, but requires enough sustain for the high notes in the solo, so there's certainly some overdrive being used. Take care guys and I'll see you next time.
More LeoKisomma lessons:
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+ Tips For Guitarists: Soloing Secrets Soloing 01/21/2011
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+ How To Sound Smoother In Simple Steps. Part 2 Guitar Techniques 01/17/2011
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