By: Boston Spaceships
Appears on: Zero to 99
Boston effing Spaceships. What more needs to be said? Robert Pollard devoted some of his finest material to this side project, so it’s no surprise that he also decided to add some of their songs to the Guided By Voices live set lists. They played “Question Girl All Right” from Zero to 99 on their 2016 tour, sort of a nice cool-down for the band mid-set. Although it starts out pretty soft, it does get around to rocking by the end. And, as a bonus, Bob got to show off some harmonizing skills with Bobby Bare, Jr.!
“Question Girl All Right” uses floating chord shapes to create the sort of Eastern-tinged sound that can be found in some Led Zeppelin tunes, but in a standard guitar tuning. Pollard achieves this effect just by shifting an open G major chord shape to different frets, leaving the fourth and third strings ringing open.
Figure 1 shows the strumming pattern for the main rhythm figure used throughout the song. As stated above, this is just the open G major chord shape played seven times in the open position, then moved up to the fourth fret and strummed once again as Bb6.
The verse (as shown in Figure 2) is constructed of more of these floated chord shapes. You’re just moving that G shape up to the sixth fret to make the Cadd2 chord, then up again to the eighth fret for Dadd4.
You’ll play Figure 2 twice and then play Figure 3, which is just moving the same chord shapes back down from Cadd2 to Bb6.
The second verse is the same as the first, which brings us to the bridge (Figure 3). You can refer to the chord diagrams above for the voicings used in these chords. They are all played on just two strings, and to go from the G5 to the D/F#, you just need to move your finger on the fourth string from the fifth fret down to the fourth fret.
The coda of the song (shown in Figure 4) uses another floating chord shape, but one that’s less traditional than the open G major. It’s pretty much an open C major, but with the fourth string muted and your pinky on the third fret of the first string. You’ll move this whole shape up to the third fret for the Dsus4 chord, and up to the fifth fret for the Em chord.
These few parts are all you need to put the whole song together. Have fun!