Chapter Two: The Three-Chord Trick and the Blues
Welcome back to my mini blog within a blog on Dominic Pedler's Songwriting Secrets Of The Beatles – read the previous parts here
Once again we see Pedler's ability to create songwriting gold from very base materials. He demonstrates how these 3 basic chords are the foundation for all the other clever stuff that goes on around them in even the most non blues influenced materials. After going into great deal about the V to I progression he examine the 'plagal cadence' going from IV to I which is a big part of songs like Let It Be (p.32). He then hits the minor 4 progression (p. 33ff) (known as the infamous Ticket 8 here at Beatles Songwriting Academy) which may possibly the only thing I've covered in more depth than this book (see the posts here).
Another interesting thing that Pedler points out is how often the Beatles would use the minor three chord trick to create contrasting bridges for major key 12 bar blues (p.39). I'd noticed this in Can't Buy Me Love but you can also hear it in She's A Woman, You Can't Do That, I Feel Fine, A Hard Day's Night.
The chapter finishes off with a crazy table (p. 41) that matches key words in Hey Jude to the function of the chords that support them. So “you can START" is about action which is matched by the dominant chord that is raring to go somewhere, and lands on the tonic (I) for “to make it BETTER” which is 'grounded'. I'm not sure I buy into it but it sure is interesting.
These first two chapters have really laid the ground work excellently for what's to come and I've learned a whole lot of stuff.
Other versions - UK The Songwriting Secrets ... (Kindle)
USA The Songwriting Secrets ... (Hardback)
USA The Songwriting Secrets... (Kindle)