Mobiusbandwidth.com Morphine transcriptions.

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"Whisper" by Mark Sandman, as recorded by his band Morphine
This is an academic, but not exact note for note transcription in tablature form, for 2 string slide bass guitar, by James Möbius, based on a live performance.

As of publication date, you can view this video at this url:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1iTZItBzGY you can also see the video embedded on this page.

This is posted for music education purposes and the promotion of Morphine music only, no copyright infringement is intended. If you like this song enough to read this transcription and don't already own a legally obtained copy, please purchase one, you can find it on iTunes, or in record stores if there are any of those left. Transcript mobiusbandwidth.com 2012. Song Mark Sandman 2012 hi-n-dry.com

Tuning: D F Slide bass played with a pick, and a metal slide, for best effect. Note: this is not a "dropped D" tuning below the low E string on a standard bass, but the open D string. If you don't own a 2 string bass, you can play this on a 4 or 5 using the 2 highest strings, retune the G string down to an F, you will find the action too low to use a slide without fret buzz, to solve this problem some people dedicate an old 4 string bass for slide, moving the D and G strings to the center position and installing something to raise the nut 1/4". I made my own 2 string slide bass from scratch, you can see that project on this page: the Bat Bass

This live video features 2 songs, All wrong, and Whisper, I transcribed All wrong, which you can find from the menu page, or by clicking here.

Tablature has lyrics interjected for ease of reading and reference but does not detail the rhythms, which you will have to glean by ear. Timeline is indicated throughout at start of each section. Full tab with lyrics is below video.

Tuning: D F, an open minor 3rd.

Mark plays this with a lot of vibrato in his hand for a very dreamy surreal effect, it almost sounds like he's playing through an old spinning Leslie speaker, but you can simulate the sound without one, it's all in the hands, sliding a minor third around gets you a pretty surreal sound all by itself. Check out the Beatles song I am the Walrus, which John wrote by deciding to write a song using all major chords, they're happy by themselves but piled up with no consideration for the modes, the song modulates (changes key) with almost every chord, a fairly unnerving effect for ears used to modal harmony, and used to great effect in this song, it sounds quite natural at the same time as sounding unnatural, like stepping into a forest, where nothing seems quite right but you quickly get used to the new laws of physics you are encountering.

Note: the recording I transcribed for this song has a strange skip in it at the beginning, the music stops and starts over at a slightly earlier point, during the intro to the song. (This is not part of the song.) My timing notes gloss over this glitch.

The sections, out of context:

Main verse groove, this is played with some variation from time to time, but basically this:

Verse, the A section

F---0-----2------3------3-3-3\2-----0-----------2------3-3----3-3---------5---|
D-0--0-2---2/3---3-3-------------0----0-2-(2)---2-3------3-------3-3/5-------|

Bridge: the B section

F-----12\11--10/12\10/12\9--8/10-8/10-7-6-6-5-3---------------|
D-12----11--10/12\10/12\9--8/10-8/10-7-6-6-5-3---------------|

F-----12\11---10/12\10/12\9----8/10-8/10-7-6-6-5-3--------------|
D--0-----11-0-10/12\10/12\9-0-8/10-8/10-7-6-6-5-3--------------|

Chorus, the C section (there is a slide up to the 12th fret as an approach to the first chorus)

F----------------------------------------------------------------|
D--0-0-0-0-0---(etc)-------------------------------------------|

(At song's end listen for drum kicks, play in unison)

Form: intro A, C, (Sax solo) A, B, A, B, A, C


Whisper

Don't worry I'm not looking at you
Gorgeous and dressed in blue
Don't worry I'm not looking at you
Gorgeous and dressed in blue

I know it drives you crazy
When I pretend you don't exist
When there's nothing more I'd like to do
Then come in closer to your lips
Though we haven't even spoken
Still I sense there's a rapport

So whisper me your number
I'll call you up at home
Whisper me your number
I'll call you up at home

(sax solo)

Don't worry I'm not looking at you
Gorgeous and dressed in blue
Don't worry I'm not looking at you

I know you see me see you
As you see me walk on past
When there's nothing more I'd like to do
Then come in close and hear your laugh
Though we haven't even spoken
Still I sense there's a rapport

So whisper me your number
I'll call you up at home
Yea whisper me your number
I'll call you up at home
oaa Whisper me your number
I'll call you up at home
yeah whisper me your number

Tuning: D F
Transcription for 2 string slide bass (or upper 2 strings of a 4 string, tune G string to F )
/ = slide up \ = slide down
Tablature is approximate, this is a live recording transcription, and may vary from studio versions, every live version is going to be a little different, but this is close enough to get you playing the song reasonably well.



3:37 A

F---0-----2------3------3-3-3\2-----0-----------2------3-3----3-3--------5---|
D-0--0-2---2/3---3-3-------------0----0-2-(2)---2-3------3-------3-3/5------| 2X

4:09 A
Don't worry I'm not looking at you Gorgeous and dressed in blue
Don't worry I'm not looking at you Gorgeous and dressed in blue

F---0-----2------3------3-3-3\2-----0-----------2------3-3----3-3--------5---|
D-0--0-2---2/3---3-3-------------0----0-2-(2)---2-3------3-------3-3/5------| 2X

4:30 A
I know it drives you crazy When I pretend you don't exist
When there's nothing more I'd like to do Then come in closer to your lips

F---0-----2------3------3-3-3\2-----0-----------2------3-3----3-3--------5---|
D-0--0-2---2/3---3-3-------------0----0-2-(2)---2-3------3-------3-3/5------|

4:41 (1/2 an A section alternate ending)
Though we haven't even spoken Still I sense there's a rapport

F---0-----2------3------3-3----------------|
D-0--0-2---2/3---3-3------3---10/12------|

4:47 Chorus C
So whisper me your number I'll call you up at home
Whisper me your number I'll call you up at home oh

F----------------------------------------------------------------|
D--0-0-0-0-0---(etc)-------------------------------------------| 4 bars

4:58 (sax solo) A (inverted turn-arounds, ascending one first)

F-----0-----------2------3-3----3-3---------5------0-----2------3------3-3-3\2-----|
D--0----0-2-(2)---2-3------3-------3-3/5------0--0-2---2/3---3-3-------------------|2X

(1/2 an A)
F-----0-----------2------3-3----3-3---------5----|
D--0----0-2-(2)---2-3------3-------3-3/5---------|

5:25 Bridge B 1:

F-----12\11--10/12\10/12\9--8/10-8/10-7-6-6-5-3---------------|
D-12----11--10/12\10/12\9--8/10-8/10-7-6-6-5-3---------------|

5:35 A
F---0-----2------3------3-3-3\2-----0-----------2------3-3----3-3---------5---|
D-0--0-2---2/3---3-3-------------0----0-2-(2)---2-3------3-------3-3/5-------| 2X

5:57 Bridge B 2 (slide up 8 to 10th fret leading into this as an approach)

F-----12\11---10/12\10/12\9----8/10-8/10-7-6-6-5-3\----|
D--0-----11-0-10/12\10/12\9-0-8/10-8/10-7-6-6-5-3\----|

6:10 A
Don't worry I'm not looking at you Gorgeous and dressed in blue

F---0-----2------3------3-3-3\2-----0-----------2------3-3----3-3---------5---|
D-0--0-2---2/3---3-3-------------0----0-2-(2)---2-3------3-------3-3/5--------|

6:18 A (alt end)
Don't worry I'm not looking at you

F---0-----2------3------3-3-3\2-----0-----------2----------------(3/5)----|
D-0--0-2---2/3---3-3-------------0----0-2-(2)---2-3-----------3-3/5-----|

6:30 A (alt end -a little murkier than what I have shown here)
I know you see me see you As you see me walk on past
When there's nothing more I'd like to do Then come in close and hear your laugh

F---0-----2------3------3-3-3\2-----0-----------2------3-3----3-3\2------|
D-0--0-2---2/3---3-3-------------0----0-2-(2)---2-3------3---------------|

6:40 1/2 A
Though we haven't even spoken Still I sense there's a rapport

F---0-----2------3------3-3----------------|
D-0--0-2---2/3---3-3------3---10/12------|

6:46 C

So whisper me your number I'll call you up at home
Yea whisper me your number I'll call you up at home
oaa Whisper me your number I'll call you up at home
yeah whisper me your number

F----------------------------------------------------------------|
D--0-0-0-0-0---(etc)-------------------------------------------| 8 bars

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