Monday, 23 January 2012

I Go Wild

Another great insight that comes out of the Keith Richards autobiography is this quote:  "Nothing's ever a straight major (chord).  It's an amalgamation, a mangling and a dangling and a tangling thing."

Again, right on, Keith.

While we all have a tendency to think in terms of straight chords, the best songs - and the best guitarists - deliberately mix things up.  Suspending a note hear, mixing two chords together there, jumping ahead with a note or two from the next chord, holding a note back from the last chord.  Letting a note from the melody sound like a blue note in the harmony.

We're not talking about the deliberate sophistication and complexity of jazz, with its brain-hurting 11th and 13th chords.  We're talking about simple major, minor and seventh chords supporting shuffles, suspensions and short runs.

We're talking mangling, dangling and tangling. 

Rock and roll is simple, 3 chord stuff.  It would get pretty boring pretty darn fast if we didn't deliberately mess it up.

And Keith should know.  He's the master of mess.

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