Wednesday 22 February 2023

Missing Notes

Yeah, I missed some notes.

In hindsight, it is pretty obvious, so it's a wood-for-the-trees moment. But some other notes I missed weren't quite like that, they were more about not having a good ear.

Let me explain.

In my recent cover, which I'm still pretty happy with, for the melody, "Ev-ery breath (you take)" I played "Ev-ery breath" as B-B-B.  Whereas, of course, it should be B-C-B. Maybe not so much "missed" as "got wrong".  But, they don't specifically sound wrong, in fact you could sing it B-B-B and it would sound fine, it just lacks colour.

I put that one down to wood-for-the-trees, because I was so focussed on the chords, and the left hand fingering, and the timing, and the tone/touch - the trees - that I didn't notice I had missed a key note to the song - the wood.

Those subtle 7ths, and 9ths, and the rest, which bring so much depth to music, I haven't trained my ear to recognise enough.  I'm still stuck in the beginner's land of recognising basic chords, not the added spices!

A prime example of that is I only recently noticed that in "Us and Them" from Dark Side of the Moon, starting from a Dsus2 - ie it has an octave E in it (Dadd9?) then goes to an Esus2/D - ie move the first chord up two frets but keep the D bass, and then continues the tension on a Dm major7 - ie has an F instead of an F# (minor) and a C# (major 7th).  I had played that forever as a D major with the major 7th rather than minor with major 7th! While the dissonance of the major 7th already gave the chord some spice, I should have heard the minor coming through rather than the major.

So basically, more ear training required.

While we are still talking about missed notes and Dark Side of the Moon - I have dusted off my arrangements in celebration of 50 years of DSoTM.  I came across some sheet for Breathe, and noticed the very first note in the slide guitar at the start isn't just an octave E - it is an octave B as well.  Not sure why I was only hearing the fundamental E, and it sounds fine when I play it, but adding the octave B - and then playing two note "chords" for all of the slide guitar work - sounds so good!  I look forward to sharing more with you!