Saturday, October 29, 2011
Total randomizer on this blog post, but I was just sitting around re-learning some wonderful tunes that I've learned in the past when I just felt the need to share some Guitarings with you guys.
Anyone familiar with a tune called Unfaithful Servant by The Band? If you're not, please give it a listen.. It's truly incredible.
Ok, now that you've heard it, here's the mind-blowing part of the tune. The chord movement is nothing short of genius and I'll tell ya why. Not that this hadn't been done before, but whenever you play around with different bass notes on your chords it opens up a world of chordal possibilites far beyond that of the normal majors, minors, and basic extensions you may know. This song is a great example of this. (Capo it at the second to play along with the recording from the brown album.) The tune opens on a G chord.. You could play it like a normal G - 320022. Then the next chord is a stacked chord you've seen before. It's D/F# - That's D with an F# in the bass, played like this - 2X0232. The next one is an A/E - Pay it like this - 0X2220. (Doesn't it move so nicely? Notice the chords move from G to D to A, while the bass goes from G to F# to E). And then the final chord is the absolutely genius substitution chord. It's an Amin7. Played like this - X02010. The A/E to the Amin7 is so freaking beautiful by itself, let alone with Rick Danko's moving tenor on top of it.
So then the second half of the verse goes G - D/F# - E7 - A. Which releases the tension and sets up another verse. Truly genius songwriting.
Those chords more than likely came from a piano before they made their way to the guitar. On the piano it's not much more difficult to experiment with different bass notes, because that's the purpose of your left hand. On the guitar however, you have to sometimes completely rebuild your fingering to accomodate, but when you find those great stackers on the guitar, it can really elevate what you're playing!
Anyway, I hope you dig that tune, because to me, it's an example of a perfectly crafted song!