Sunday, January 30, 2011

Toro Y Moi - Still Sound Tab & Chords

Toro Y Moi has an album coming out soon liking hte feel of it so f4r.Here's the main bass riff that repeats w/ slight variations 4 most of hte song:

A| /10 *slide down
E|8 86 44 xx 6 88 86 44

4 the verse there r some very sparse root/5th guitar hits
that go along with hte bass riff revealing hte chords Cm, Ab, &Bb.
He also likes 2 play a couple of quick B6 chord strums on hte last
eight-note b4 hte riff repeats.

Section Change
"It was a finer life..." 8 bars of Bb
"alone..." |Cm|Cm|Fm|Eb|

Main riff 4 next 16 bars

"It was a finer life..." This time only 4 bars of Bb
"Cuz I don't..." |Cm|Cm|Fm|Bb| x 2

Musical Bridge |Fm|Fm|Ab|Bb| x 2
oooh...|Fm|Fm|Bb|Bb| until main riff resumes.

Now 4 a quick lesson. The coolest part of the song is how on hte
second time he plays hte Bb change it shortens to 4 bars and brings
us 2 the Cm sooner. This provides forward motion in a way that is
strangely both subtle and dramatic. This is a sleight of hand that
any songwriter can use to spice up an arrangement if it begins
2 feel stale and predictable.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fever Ray - Seven - Tabs Chord & Lesson

Starts off with just the following riff for the verses

D|3 3
A| 5 3 5 5 3 5 3 3
E| 5 3 5 5 3 5

G| 3
D|5 5 3 3
A| 5 5 3 5 3 3
E| 5

The chords for the verse r only implied by the riff, but here they r:

( "| |" denotes one measure)

Verse: |Dm|Dm|Am|Am|Gm|Gm|Dm|Gm CF| *note the C and F chords are quick hits on the last

couple of notes acting as a turnaround

In the B section keys make the harmonic progression more clearly defined, it is:

Chorus: |Gm|Gm|F|F|Cm|Cm|Bb|Bb|

Okay so 2 get up under the hood of the song it seems like a harmonic change occuring
every two bars is an important theme. There is that little turnaround on the verse which
breaks it up a little, but not much. For the "B" section this harmonic rhythm
somewhat surprisingly continues. An easy way to add energy to the song and get some
lift would have been 2 move toward changes every measure or so, but she chose
differently. She instead uses 2 other tricks of the trade to keep the song from
stalling out. Firstly, she changes key, and this provides some movement that the
song is calling 4. Secondly, she changes the length of the harmonic phrase from 8
bars to 16 bars. After it reaches the 1st Bb in this section yr ear is
subliminally expecting it to move back to the Gm and cycle the progression again but
instead she takes a zig when you are expecting a zag and composes a new 8 bar movement
2 end the section. If you listen to the song a few times you'll feel a nice warm push
when the song moves to that "F" chord and this is why. So, 2 summarize there r multitudes
of ways 4 adding variety 2 yr songs and sometimes it pays to pursue the less obvious ones.
If you have a simple three chord progression 2 jam on u may feel like u need to throw some
different chords in there for variety, but this is not necessarily the case u can play
those same three chords till the strings fall off but just do a little digging and find
other ways 2 keep the listeners interest.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ariel Pink - Round and Round Lesson #2

More with our in depth look @ this Ariel Pink number. The first bridge section consists of the following chords: D F#m Bm and C#m. The more straightforward way of viewing it is as being in the F#m(i) key which makes the other chords D(VI) Bm (iv) C#m (v). This does work theoretically but sometimes theory and how yr mind interprets what u hear r 2 different things. This section seems on some esoteric subliminal level 2 consist of an invisible "A" chord. An invisible chord exists as a chord u somehow sense belonging 2 a progression even if it is never played just by the relationship that exists between the chords that are played. This can set up an expectation that this chord will make an appearance eventually and when it occurs all that built up tension is released dramatically. So viewing the progression in this light the chords serve the following function F#m(III) D(IV) Bm(ii) C#m (iii). The only thing missing is that invisible "A" chord and when it emerges in the chorus it really jumps out of the speakers @ u. Another example would be a progression that goes Dm/G/Em/F if a song with this progression ever moves solidly to a "C" chord u have the perfect setup for a powerful chorus. So the next time yr writing a song and at a loss 4 where a change should take u think about which missing chord looks like it could potentially b a part of that progression and try moving toward it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Focus and Priority in Songwriting

These are the basic elements of songcraftiness: melody, harmony, rhythym, lyrics, structure (also perhaps tempo variance and dynamic variance but irrelevant for modern music since they have been all but eradicated). When sum 1 is attempting to shape these elements logically n 2 what we call a song it is done with the understanding that they should have a heirarchical relation 2 each other. Priority, not always, but generally is based on the genre of music. e.g. folk music typically places lyrics at a higher priority than dance music where the rhythym is usually more important. 2 ignore this will be a detriment to n e musical composition. If u disagree try writing a song where the lyrics are challenging and complex; the melody intricate with a wide note span; the harmony rich and full of harmonic surprises; the rhythym syncopated and driving; and the structure takes many twists and turns. U will quickly realize ur song sux. 2 avoid this disaster decide b4 or as yr writing a song what element is most important, second in importance, etc. and sculpt the song so each element understands it's role and fulfills it. Otherwise u will get the musical equivalent of a room full of voices shouting @ the top of their lungs 4 the listeners attention simultaneously and human attention span is limited so this is not desirable.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ariel Pink Round and Round Lesson #1

Tried putting this 2gether but is more info than a single lesson can cover, so breaking it up like Lykke Li. First thing 2 note is how the title is worked n2 the music. U c this n the intro chords which indeed go round and round in an interesting kind of way. This theme continues 4 the verse as the riff doesn't move anywhere harmonically just keeps cycling between the same few notes like on a merry-go-round. He does it again brilliantly when it's chorus time he hits the word "hold" on a held upbeat. If u imagine ne other word n that spot u can feel the drama that this specific word choice provides. Try singing it while changing the word to come on instead of hold on and the difference is obvious. Other more overdone examples of this technique include having the music stop when the lyric has the word "stop" or "quit" and singing high notes on a word like "up." Basically the idea is 2 analyze your lyric and musical choices and make sure there is some synergy involved. Also this is the kind of spice that a little goes a long way overdo it and it will hurt yr songs more than u help. On the next part we'll look at the wonderous world of the invisible chord.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ariel Pink - Round and Round Tab & Chords

Feel like this was the best song of 2k10 and couldn't find a tab anywhere so here it is:

  Intro: nah, nah... F#m/C#m/E(stabs) 
nah, nah... C#m/F#m/E (stabs)

G| Main Riff
A|9 11 7 9 11 7 4
You (D) play (C#m) air guitar (Bm) for a band (F#m)
and I (Bm) I will break (F#m)eardrums (Bm)in the back (F#m)
and I'll (Bm) back you up (Fm) as your front (Bm) man (F#m)

E|7 10
B| 10 (lead gtr. over change)
B Chord
E| 7 7 7 9
B|9 9 7 9 9 9 9 9 (phone ringing section)
G|8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8

Now that sounds.. (B chord with some G# and A notes thrown in)

Hold (E) on (A) I'm (E) coming (B) (progression repeats)

Next section (lady....)
Chords: E/B/A/C#m/C#m/B

B|9 9 7 7 5 5 5 9 7 (played with a slide feel)
G| 8 6 4 6 6 4 6 8
D| 6

(E)sentimental (C#m)heartbreaking (B)everythings my fault

E|16 17 14 16 12 14 9 11(note: use hammer-ons)
B| 12
D| (lead before last chorus)

finally, last chorus same as before and make sure you
time the E chords right on the chorus since they act
as more of a passing chord. Will give a proper
songwriting lesson on this one soon since there is so
much interesting material here, so keep an eye out.