Friday, 22 January 2010

Ask Me Why

Ask Me Why is a B - side and album track. There’s some interesting chord stuff going on in this song.

The verse starts after a (2 beat pick up) on the iii chord (G#m) and the song itself also finishes there rather than the root (E).

Whereas many songs are based around the I, IV, V chords here the V (B) isn’t heard till the end of the verse & the IV (A) doesn’t make an appearance till 0:50 - about a third of the way through (the song is 2:28). What you do get is lots of non-diatonic chords III (G#7), I+ (Eaug), iv (Am), II (F#).

The chord change from vi (C#m) to iv (Am) to I (E) is particularly nice (0:18).

Melody wise, the best part is that the lead-in melody to the tag

“Ask me why, I’ll say I love you” 

is the same as the lead into the verse

“I love you, ‘cause you tell me things…”
but the verse drops to a ii (F#m) chord and the tag rise to a IV (A).This is a nice little example of the Beatle ‘same but different’ approach.Once again this contributes to the overall sense of catchiness of a song.

Sadly the tag’s brilliant left turn doesn’t lead us anywhere interesting, the lyrics are poor & the overall structure is very odd – not an entirely bad thing, but they just don’t pull it off. A bunch of good ideas, rather than a great song.

Tickets To Write

T6 - try staying off the root for a change (especially as the first chord).


T7  - Try not to use all three major chords (I, IV, V) early in the song.

T8 - use the minor iv – either after a vi (as they do here) or after a IV (as they do in other songs – I’m sure I’ll find some!!!) then go back “to where you once belonged” – The root (I) chord.

T9  -  this is a close relation to T4 (creating new parts in a song out of existing parts) only a micro scale. Try creating new bits of melody out of the tune you've already got.

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