99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall and counting


There seems to be an inverse correlation between construction and longevity. The longer lasting the song, the simpler you can expect the harmonic and melodic structures to be.

A song I sang as a teenager on long and winding road trips was a riddle in counting backwards from 99 to one. The idea is that the more you drink, the harder it is to count backwards in a group. [Note: Back then, there was no such thing as drinking age, especially on the island of Okinawa!] Add another dimension of modulating it through the major triads based on the twelve notes in a chromatic scale and you will be sure to stay sober!

You can accompany yourself to this song (on Youtube) via Chordify in A major.

As E7 is easier than E on the ukulele,  I’ve substituted E7 for E.

[A] Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall

[B] Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall

[E7] Take one down, pass it around

Ninety-eight bottles of [A] beer on the wall.

Only three chords are needed to sing the counting down part of this song. They follow the functions of I, II, and V or V7. Knowing this, you can easily transpose it to an easier key or one that’s in your voice range, such as

in F major:

[F] Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall

[G] Ninety-nine bottles of beer

[C7] Take one down, pass it around

Ninety-eight bottles of [F] beer on the wall.

in C major:

[C] Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall

[D] Ninety-nine bottles of beer

[G7] Take one down, pass it around

Ninety-eight bottles of [C] beer on the wall.

in G major:

[G] Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall

[A] Ninety-nine bottles of beer

[D7] Take one down, pass it around

Ninety-eight bottles of [G] beer on the wall.

To make it even more interesting, besides counting down from 99 to 1, try modulating half-a-step up each time. Here’s where the following table of chords comes in handy. Definitely bar chords with moving chord shapes helps. Even better, try doing this without looking at the chord table below.

chord_table

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Author: BLOGmaiden

As one of the earliest bloggers (since 1999), I enjoy meeting people who embrace "out-of-the-box" thinking and fear not the unknown. I believe in collaboration for sustainability because it increases stakeholder value.

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