- "With 'Bigmouth Strikes Again', I was trying to write my 'Jumping Jack Flash.' I wanted something that was a rush all the way through, without a distinct middle eight as such. I thought the guitar breaks should be percussive, not too pretty or chordal -- I wanted a cheap, Les Paul sort of sound. The main riff is based on an Am shape, with a capo at the 4th fret. I buried this one little guitar part in just the right place, so it sounds like overtones of the main part, but it's really there. On the first of the two breaks, I'm playing slide through an AMS harmonizer, really high. For the second one, I used a Gibson Les Paul Black Beauty and a Rickenbacker together, playing a regular Em shape, but it's sampled and triggered off the snare drum roll."
"People sometimes ask me who Anne Coates is, but it's actually a name I made up. The high, synthetic-sounding backing vocal on that song was down to a bit of kit called an AMS Harmoniser."
"[Morrissey’s high-pitched vocals were] done with a harmoniser, we just put the vocal through it and set it at some strange interval. We tried a few intervals until we found one that was weird in the right way. Later on we invited Kirsty McColl to come down. Morrissey and I had wanted to meet her because we were fans of her single 'They Don’t Know'. It seemed like a good way to meet her, to invite her to come down and get in on the session, which was unusual because we didn’t have a lot of guest musicians. She came down and she only appeared on the "ooohs" that appear in the guitar break. That was the start of an amazing friendship and partnership that I had with her, so a lot happened on that day, it was a big day for me."
- Johnny Marr
Nanuke has been kind enough to provide these scans from the "Smiths Best" complete scores book published by Shinko Music in Japan. This book is even rarer than the Louder Than Bombs: Off The Record book, so this is just fantastic to have access to it. At this point, I think we have almost every published version of Bigmouth now available on this page.
lunachangue sent me this rough translation of the performance notes:
this is strong accoustic 16 beat cutting guitar tune. for this song side guitar(or 2nd guitar?) use capo 4 fret and C#m E F# A B chords turns to Am C D F G, so turns to simple chords to play, but this songs speed is so fast and need sustainable power, so you not to be strain, right hand need to be smooth and fast,
not only guitar, but also bass and drum as well need speed and keep 'groove'
drums high-hat and guitar cutting must be same timing
D part slide guitar is like string sound effect on this song, If you play improvised slide guitar, you really need to practice hard, but this songs slide play is simple so good to start slide play from this song as your first step.
C and G part harmonized woman chorus gives mysterious effect on this song, if you play in band it will be good by woman chorus support.
On D part there's electric piano, but its not an important part so you can omit when you play in band.
Here is another tab, along with 2 backing tracks which have been uploaded here(right click to save as).
Here are the guitar and bass tabs from Guitar For The Practicing Musician, July 1990 issue. Notice the first guitar break calls for a slide part played at the 31st fret(!).
Here are the scans from the Singles tab book:
I have uploaded 2 Guitar Pro tab files here. Compare them to the tabs above.
I have also added the pages from the Queen Is Dead piano songbook with guitar chord boxes:
Here is Johnny doing a super quick run through on his Martin D-35:
Here is Daniel Earwickers awesome take, including the bass part:
Another cool version from lunachangue:
Daveyc25, rhythm on a Rickenbacker:
From nicknoh69, a pretty complete version:
thirdynumberone includes the second guitar break in his version:
Here's IFoughtTheLaw369, doing the whole song:
Here's a slowed down, simplified lesson from michaeltonge1:
Here's kusaka2580 on a Ric:
Here's dhowellbassist on a Ric 12. Awesome job on the break!
Here's 325C58 on acoustic, hofner bass and les paul:
Daniel Earwicker also added guitars and drums to 325C58's video:
Here's johnnymare, playing along to a backing track:
Here's sonofdrcross, doing Rourke's entire bass part:
Here's davidguitarist91 on his Les Paul: