"One Great Thing" by Big Country
From the Album "The Seer"

Tab by Colin Dawson - colin_g_dawson@hotmail.com - December 2008

Comments and corrections welcome!

For more info about Big Country visit www.bigcountry.co.uk

The chords in this song are quite straightforward but the timing of them is not so obvious.
You'll need to listen carefully to the CD to get the timing right.

As with many songs from Big Country's first three albums, the guitars have a heavy array
of effects. The most important one is a pitch shift which mixes +1 octave and +7 semitones
with the original sound. Add delays, distortion and a bit of chorus and you'll be quite
close to the required sound but to get the correct tone will require lots of experimentation
and depends what amp, guitar, equalisation, compression etc you are using. Get the effects
and/or tone slightly wrong and your guitar will sound more like a strangled cat :-)

The delays are a mixture of a doubling effect (i.e. a very short delay - about 40ms - with very
little feedback and the delay effect at about the same volume as the original sound) and a
longer delay (I'm guessing about 240ms with the delayed sound at a lower volume
than the original sound and with a medium feedback).

You'll just need to experiment with all the effects until you get a sound your happy with. Then
the first time you play along with your band you'll probably have to do some further adjustments
to your sound to make sure you cut through the way you intended to. When (if) you
finally get the sound right make sure you memorise (or write down) all of the settings you used.

One of the problems with a guitar sound like this is that what sounds great in a studio or
practice room will usually get completely lost in a big hall. For a big hall you need to take
the acoustics of the room into account and cut down your use of reverb and delays to
compensate for the natural delay and reverb generated by the room. This results in a more empty
guitar sound on stage than you will be used to. Of course, when you sound check, the room is
likely to be empty and the acoustics will completely change when it fills with people so that
will affect your settings some more. Ideally, you'd have your delay and reverb settings adjusted
by the sound engineer at the mixing desk but unless you're very wealthy and have your own sound
engineer you're not going to have that luxury.

In summary, good luck trying to get the sound right, especially for a live situation - you're
going to need it :-)

Personally, I think the guitar for this song sounds great without the pitch shifts and delays
so why not just concentrate on getting a killer lead tone without all the complex effects and
have fun making some serious noise. Enjoy...

 

h = hammer
p = pull
s = slide
r = let ring (sustain)
x = don't play this string

Intro;

If you slide and hammer where indicated, you'll find that this flows
really easily.

 

  E    A     E      B        C#m  E    A     E      C#m      B
E|-----9-9s7---------------------------9-9s7---------------------|
B|9h12-------9-9s12---------------9h12-------9-9s12--------------|
G|------------------11-11s13------------------------11-11s13-----|
D|---------------------------14------------------------------14--|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------|

 

  E     A       B  E     B        C#m E    A     E      B        E
E|14h16----16h19---14h16----16h19----------9-9s7--------------------|
B|------17------17-------17-------17--9h12-------9-9s12-------------|
G|------------------------------------------------------11-11s13----|
D|---------------------------------------------------------------14-|
A|------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------------------------------|

 

Lead guitar through each chorus;
(note that this is slightly different from the intro)

  E    A     E      B        C#m  E    A     E      C#m   B
E|-----9-9s7-7-------------------------9-9s7-7------9-9s7-7------|
B|9h12---------9s12---------------9h12---------9s12--------------|
G|------------------11-11h13-13----------------------------------|
D|---------------------------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------|

 

  E    A    B  E   E   B        C#m    E    A     E      B        E
E|-----9-99-14-12---------------------------9-9s7-7------------------|
B|9h12------------9h12-----------------9h12---------9s12-------------|
G|---------------------11-11-11s13-13--------------------11-11s13----|
D|----------------------------------------------------------------14-|
A|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------|

 

E          A         E        B            C#m
If there’s one great thing to happen in my life

E          A         E               C#m       B
If there’s one great day, if there’s one great height

E      A           B   E             B           C#m
Let it be the time for peace, let it be the time of right

E          A         E        B         E
If there’s one great thing to happen in my life

 

     B                     A            E
I’ve seen too much of what fighting has done

     B                            A               E
I’ve seen too much anger and I’ve seen it far too young

    E                                   C#m            B    A
And talk will come to nothing while the shouting still goes on

    A                           B   
But we are only singers and too many songs are sung

 

E          A         E        B            C#m
If there’s one great thing to happen in my life

E          A         E               C#m       B
If there’s one great day, if there’s one great height

E      A           B   E             B           C#m
Let it be the time for peace, let it be the time of right

E          A         E        B         E
If there’s one great thing to happen in my life

 

     B                                A               E
I’ve seen the way of martyrs and I’ve seen the way of kings

     B                  A        E
I’ve seen the hope that love can bring

  E                              C#m       B   A
I only hope what pleases me will also pleasure you

    A                                B
For mine can never be the hands that make a dream come true

 

Guitar solo;

(No pitch shift effects)

To make the next bit easier to tab and to read I've used the following shorthand;
1 = 11th fret
2 = 12th fret
3 = 13th fret
4 = 14th fret
5 = 15th fret
6 = 16th fret
7 = 17th fret
8 = 18th fret
9 = 19th fret

   E   A          E        B           C#m  E   A           E
E|-----1-2-1h2p1-----------4-6-4h6p4------------6-9-6h9p6-----|
B|-2h4----------4-2rr--4s7-----------7-4rr--7s9-----------9-7-|
G|3-----------------------------------------------------------|
D|------------------------------------------------------------|
A|------------------------------------------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------------------------|

To make the next bit easier to tab and to read I've used the following shorthand;
4 = 14th fret
5 = 15th fret
6 = 16th fret
7 = 17th fret
8 = 18th fret
9 = 19th fret
0 = 20th fret
1 = 21st fret

        C#m   B  E     A   B E       B         C#m
E|6h9-9s1-1s9-1--6h9-9s1-9s1-6--6h7--6-7-6h7p6----|
B|--------------------------------------------7---|
G|---------------------------------------------6--|
D|------------------------------------------------|
A|------------------------------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------------|

To make the next bit easier to tab and to read I've used the following shorthand;
1 = 11th fret
2 = 12th fret
3 = 13th fret
4 = 14th fret
5 = 15th fret
6 = 16th fret
7 = 17th fret

  E   C#m      E B  E      B      C#m
E|2h4-4s6-66-4---4--2h4--4s6-66-4------|
B|-------------7------------------7-4--|
G|-------------------------------------|
D|-------------------------------------|
A|-------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------|

 

E          A         E        B            C#m
If there’s one great thing to happen in my life

E          A         E               C#m       B
If there’s one great day, if there’s one great height

E      A           B   E             B           C#m
Let it be the time for peace, let it be the time of right

E          A         E        B         E
If there’s one great thing to happen in my life

 

 

     B
I’ve seen too much of what fighting has done

     B
I’ve seen too much anger and I’ve seen it far too young

     B                                A               E
I’ve seen the way of martyrs and I’ve seen the way of kings

     B                  A        E
I’ve seen the hope that love can bring

  E                              C#m       B   A
I only hope what pleases me will also pleasure you

    A                                B
For mine can never be the hands that make a dream come true

 

E          A         E        B            C#m
If there’s one great thing to happen in my life

E          A         E               C#m       B
If there’s one great day, if there’s one great height

E      A           B   E             B           C#m
Let it be the time for peace, let it be the time of right

E          A         E        B            A
If there’s one great thing to happen in my life

 

Guitar solo (same as intro);
(no shorthand)

  E    A     E      B        C#m  E    A     E      C#m      B
E|-----9-9s7---------------------------9-9s7---------------------|
B|9h12-------9-9s12---------------9h12-------9-9s12--------------|
G|------------------11-11s13------------------------11-11s13-----|
D|---------------------------14------------------------------14--|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------|

 

  E     A       B  E     B        C#m E    A     E      B        E
E|14h16----16h19---14h16----16h19----------9-9s7--------------------|
B|------17------17-------17-------17--9h12-------9-9s12-------------|
G|------------------------------------------------------11-11s13----|
D|---------------------------------------------------------------14-|
A|------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------------------------------|

 

E          A         E        B            C#m
If there’s one great thing to happen in my life

E          A         E               C#m       B
If there’s one great day, if there’s one great height

E      A           B   E             B           C#m
Let it be the time for peace, let it be the time of right

E          A         E        B         E
If there’s one great thing to happen in my life

 

E          A         E        B            C#m
If there’s one great thing to happen in my life

E          A         E               C#m       B
If there’s one great day, if there’s one great height

E      A           B   E             B           C#m
Let it be the time for peace, let it be the time of right

E          A         E        B         E
If there’s one great thing to happen in my life

 

Outro (extremely fast);

E|3p0-----------------------------------------------x|
B|---3p0-3p0----3p0---------------------------------x|
G|----------2p0----2p0-2p0----2p0-------------------1|
D|------------------------2p0----2p0-2p0------------2|
A|--------------------------------------2p0---------2|
E|------------------------------------------3p0rrrrr0|

 

 

Chords:

CHORD | E A D G B E
A     | 0 0 2 2 2 0
Bm    | 2 2 4 4 3 2
C#m   | 4 4 6 6 5 4
E     | 0 2 2 1 0 0