|[Sittin' On] The Dock Of The Bay|
From Wikipedia's entry for (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay:
(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay is a song co-written by soul singer Otis Redding and guitarist Steve Cropper. It was first recorded by Otis Redding in 1967, just days before his death. It was released posthumously on Stax Records' Volt label in 1968 ...(Boldface mine)
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VideosAll these links go to YouTube, unless otherwise noted.
Listen to how gentle and understated the performances are on the original recording, but filled with poignant emotion. That's why they call it soul, baby!
- Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay (Official Video) from RHINO
- Learn the lyrics and chillax with this version of the original recording Otis Redding-Sittin' on the dock of the bay (lyrics).
- You can hear how the song developed in the studio if you check out: Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock of The Bay (Take 1). This version didn't get pressed onto vinyl, but features a fine and gentle touch on the acoustic guitar by Cropper. Best: Otis's vocal warm up over the intro! Fail: the whistle part. Everyone gets a chuckle over that, and the ending is a bit abrupt.
Steve Cropper wrote and performed this guitar part, and it's a terrific example of how to use barre and first position chords in a rhythm guitar part. This song also sounds sweet on the acoustic.
- Best instruction overall: Especially if you appreciate chord & strum charts and vocals, check out Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay - Otis Redding - Acoustic Guitar Lesson (easy - ish) by Guitar Tutor Man. This complete version include the bridge, and a very clean strum pattern, well illustrated. Plus, the whistle outro! Sweet. Then, he plays it again again in slow motion.
- Add the groove back in with Otis Redding - Sitting on the Dock of The Bay - how to play - Acoustic Guitar Tutorial from martyzsongs. Marty teaches this using barre chords for the verse and open (1st position) chords. He takes some time to teach the timing of the verse riff, too, plus some fantastic right hand techniques. But, no bridge part! Bummer.
- Super easy beginner guitar (1st position chords) if you don't want to use the barre chords at all, check out Dock Of The Bay - Otis Redding (Songs Guitar Lesson ST-504) How to play - YouTube. Doesn't really capture the feel of the original, IMHO, not my pick.
By the one and only Donald "Duck" Dunn. He and Cropper were the definitive soul session duo, and this track is the perfect illustration.
Some of the videos below are "Play alongs," which can sometimes be a chance for the bassists to have a little fun and improvise parts that aren't on the original recording. Always form of inspiration, and some great performances, sometimes.
- It doesn't get any simpler than this one. Learn the essential loop in less than 2 minutes on: How To Play "Dock Of The Bay" On Bass
- A great "play along" for bass with a lot of 5th's and some smoove chromatic runs- sweet groove! Sittin' on the dock of the bay - Bass Play-along - YouTube
- Playing closer to the nut, Adam Stevens (adamstevensbass) rocks it on his Bass Play Along: Otis Redding - Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay (Donald "Duck" Dunn) - YouTube
Chords and Lyrics
I based my chart on Dock Of The Bay Chords (ver 2) by Otis Redding @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com. Remember to play gently, so you can hear the seagulls in the background...
Artist: Otis Redding Song: (Sittin' on the) Dock Of the Bay INTRO G x 4 VERSE 1 G B Sittin' in the morning sun C C B Bb A I'll be sittin' when the evening come G B Watching the ships roll in, C C B Bb A then I watch them roll away again, yeah CHORUS G E I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay G E watching the tide roll away G A ooh I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay G E wasting ti---ime VERSE 2 I left my home in Georgia Headed for the Frisco bay 'Cause I've had nothing to live for and look like nothing's gonna come my way CHORUS So I'm just gonna sit on the dock of the bay watching the tide roll away, oooh I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay wasting time BRIDGE G D7 C Look like nothing's gonna change G D7 C Everything still remains the same G D7 C G I can't do what ten people tell me to do F D So I guess I'll remain the same VERSE 3 Sittin' here resting my bones and this loneliness won't leave me alone These 2000 miles I roamed just to make this dock my home CHORUS Now I'm just gonna sit at the dock of the bay watching the tide roll away, oooh Sittin' on the dock of the bay wasting time OUTRO: [whistle over these two chords from and fade out] G G G E (repeat)
How To Play - Tips
These suggestions will help you play in the spirit of the original recording. Of course, nothing says you can't play a metal version, or a reggae version, or whatever you like. If this is the case, please ignore the following tips and do it the way you want to. Otherwise, here are some ideas for you and the band.
- Use a light touch. This is a gentle and wistful song. This is true for all the instruments, and especially the vocal part.
- Rhythm Guitarist: if you are playing with a bassist or in a band, emphasize the top three strings (e b g). Mute and use a light touch, especially on the verse.
- Groove: keep it relaxed. Slide up to the next note or chord for that smooth, rolling sound. Think of the ocean and the tides.
- Sound: clean and open, like a breeze off the ocean. Try an acoustic for the rhythm guitar and a clean sound for the lead guitar part. There's also some tasty horns and keys on the original recording, but they don't come in until the chorus, so be patient.
- Whistle: great if you can pull it off. Otherwise, could be a detriment. Consider playing this line on a guitar or another melody instrument if your whistle is weak.