Friday, 12 February 2010

I Saw Her Standing There

Now we enter the realm of the totally subjective. I would agree with McDonald’s assessment of it being “a rock and roll standard” (RITH p.69) but for me that doesn’t quite translate into ‘classic song’. Sure, it the main sequence is 16 bar verse (with a 10 bar bridge) rather than the traditional 12, and the melody contains intervals untypical in the blues (like the 2nd and major 7th) but it seems a little too stuck in it’s own genre to have much to teach unless you’re writing straight blues songs (which I'm not).

(...and describing someone’s heart as going ‘boom’ just seems to destroy any credibility you might have built up too...)

Tickets To Write

T1 - the bVI (C maj) reappears at the end of the “So how could I dance with another? oohhh!” line. Here it’s not replacing the I (E major chord) but it still adds the same surprise.

T18 Finish the song on a single ringing chord (here it’s an E7).

This is an arrangement thing, but it’s worth noting that the vast majority of Beatles songs do not fade out, whereas a large percentage of modern songs (if not the majority) do. There are two aspects to this that are worthy of consideration.

First it’s another expression of the Beatles economy – a song with an ending will always be shorter than a fade.

Secondly, fading a song is often a sign of laziness. It’s not the result of a musical decision to fade but rather the sign that a decision on how to end the song has not yet been made (we’ll worry about that when we play live).

T19 If you’re writing a blues song consider subverting it by subtly changing the chord sequence or number of bars.

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