In my last post I spent some time talking about the influence that the band Jars of Clay had on worship music. This is particularly true of the rhythm that they used in a majority of the songs from their self-titled debut album (including “Worlds Apart”). Granted, they may not have invented this particular rhythm, but after the success of this album, it became almost the default rhythm of aspiring acoustic guitarists everywhere.
Another thing that was used a lot in this album was an unusual alternate tuning, which is from low to high, E-A-B-E-B-E. I would be curious to know where Jars’ guitarists, Stephen Mason and Matt Odmark, discovered this tuning, or if one of them came up with it himself. I googled “EABEBE tuning,” and it corrected me by directing me into a search for BEBEBE tuning. Then when I reassured the web search that I did want EABEBE, I found mostly content about playing Jars of Clay songs, particularly their early stuff. They do not use this tuning much any more.
I won’t go into much detail about this particular tuning other than to say that if you want to learn any of Jars’ early stuff, you will not be able to nail that sound without using this tuning. There’s certainly ways to mimic the drone sound (accomplished readily in EABEBE) in standard tuning (I did include a chart for “Worlds Apart” using standard tuning above), but believe me, it’s not the same (insert confident nerd laugh here). Just tune the D-string down to B and the G-string down to E, and you’ll find it to be a very simple tuning to work with.
Below is a video with a live version of the song that I found very helpful when I was transcribing the rhythm part. You get a decent view of Stephen Mason’s left hand. Also, the arrangement here is closer to the original recording. They often do it more like the arrangement from their live album, Furthermore.
I pulled from a lot of different sources to try and put down an accurate transcription of the chords for this song. First, to be clear, this chart is meant to be a transcription of the rhythm part of the original recording. That said, I did listen to the Furthermore version as well but deferred to the original when there were differences. I also relied heavily on the above video to figure out where on the fretboard his hands were located. In regard to the chord voicings that I listed in the EABEBE chart, certainly there are other positions that would also work and even sound accurate, but I tried to reflect as best as I could the fingerings and positions used by Mason in the video. Finally, here are a couple more links that deal with the EABEBE tuning and “Worlds Apart” that I found extremely helpful.
- http://brian.germer.net/CGN/lessons/lesson.htm (EABEBE Tuning)
- http://www.christianguitar.org/csong10176/Jars-of-Clay-Worlds-Apart- (Tab of the Furthermore Version)