Dancing in the Streets – Martha and the Vandellas
Transcribed from the 1964 recording:
Learning “Dancing in the Streets” is a good track for a beginner to intermediate player. This classic motown hit has many of the signatures in form and arrangement. The majority of the tune is only a few open chords, E major and A, but it’s that pesky middle section that will be difficult. G# Major, F# minor, C# minor, Bsus4, and B are all barre chords. Here are some suggestions on how to make this section easier if you feel you are not ready for barre chords yet.
Any barre chord can be simplified down to a version that is easier to execute. One approach is to only play the 3 lower strings of each chord. For example, to play F# minor, play the 2nd fret of the G, B, and E string. For C# minor, play the 6th fret of G, the 5rd fret of B, and the 4th fret of E.
The Bsus4 to it’s resolution to B can also prove challenging if barre chords and chord extensions are something you have not dived into yet. An approach to making this easier is to just ignore the “sus4” part of the chord, and just play B major. If a barre chord B major is tricky, as before, play a 3 string version of it. 4th fret of G, 4th fret of B, and 2nd fret of E.
With simplifying the barre chords comes the a cost. The verses will sound bigger, since open chords have that effect. Simplified barre chords sound thinner and must be addressed, even highlighted. What should be done is that the barre chord section should also be different in the strumming pattern you choose when comping. If your verses are quarters and eights, you make the other section more active. This will really help add dimension to a section where a compromise had to be made.
Download the Sheet music below:Dancing in the Streets