Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
- Jun 22, 2020
Tim, I so love your posts. Your knowledge, humility and positivity just shine through (even when I haven’t a clue what you’re talking about 😆). Keep ‘em coming!
You're so kind, Victoria! Thank you so much! While you're here, I'll mention that I LOVE your video of Scarborough Fair from SOTU 564! I love everything about it, and will definitely add it to my list for attempting sooner rather than later.
So for now, I'm pretty well settled on F ("towering over your") to A#maj7sus4 to Dm ("heaa-eaaaad") -- again noting that this is vastly simpler than the name would suggest. As I note a couple of posts earlier, that gnarly-sounding chord is just the middle and ring fingers on the third fret of the G and C strings for one stroke, then moving those back to the second fret for a bog-standard Dm. It's easy, organic, and sounds a LOT closer.
Exactly? No. But close enough for now. The fact is that all of this is an approximation, but the trick is to pull out what sounds most important to me. And as @Wiggy surmised, the answer has a "D" in it.
This made me think of the mystery of the opening chord in A Hard Day's Night. You can find acres and acres of speculation and debate on the web at large, YouTube and elsewhere. Thanks to tracks being broken out for games, surround mixes and the like, we know a lot more than we did before. I find the layout of the argument at The Beatles Bible site most persuasive: they say that George played an Fadd9 (F with a G on top) on a Rickenbacker 12-string, John played another Fadd9 on a Gibson acoustic 6 string, Paul played D on bass, and George Martin played D2, G2, D3, G3 and C4 (middle C). They also observe that George M. had the sustain pedal down, so that there are all kinds of overtones and harmonics in the mix, easily observable on spectral analysis, even if nobody was physically playing them.
[Edit: This article at GuitarWorld adds that G. Martin's notes, plus John doubling a low G, plus Paul's D in the bass, turns the finished combination into something like a Dm7add11. "As it happened the Bass and Piano parts inadvertently changed the quality of the chord from major to minor to suspended dominant seventh."
Moreover, G. Martin's piano was tracked at half speed and doubled in mixing, which adds a completely different tone. Mr. Martin did something similar with In My Life of course, where his piano played at half speed then doubled in mixing sounds more like a harpsichord, all of which explains why nothing that any rational set of musicians will try will not sound exactly like what The Beatles did, since they were of course rarely entirely rational!
Be sure to watch the embedded video there if you're still curious, too! Only two minutes long, but goes all the way into the weeds on why even The Beatles were never able to reproduce the recorded sound of that chord on stage: no acoustic piano with its dozens of undamped strings, resonating like crazy.]
Again noting that I'm not saying any of this. LOL I'm just reporting what I saw at The Beatles Bible, which documents 14 other possibilities that other folks have argued for with at least some degree of authority -- and that's not counting the comments insisting that it HAS TO BE this or that, or CAN'T POSSIBLY BE this or that.
My one and only point being, at some point, ya gotta wade through all those notes on all those strings, and pick four of 'em. Your four may not be my four. There are ways in which both of us will be literally right, and both of us will be literally wrong, but you have to play something. As long as it makes some kind of musical sense, it's close enough.
Because the other thing this makes me think of is that I said something one time about wanting to learn The Doobie Brothers "Black Water" on uke, and the fella I was talking to said, "Yeah, but no fiddle", and I replied "Or guitars plural, or bass, or multiple drummers (after the first album, the Doobies had two), multiple singers, and fancy recording studio." EVERYTHING we play is boiled down from some kind of larger whole -- and hey, he's not wrong. I do not in fact have a fiddle. LOL
For him, that was a deal breaker -- no point in playing the song FOR HIM, without the thing about the song that sounded most distinctive TO HIM. I do get that. There are songs, like Lucy (he says, trying desperately to wrestle his own post back on his own topic LOL) where if I don't have the intro, hook, solo, whatever, then it's not worth the effort TO ME. I'll choose something else. I think of that as more a matter of arrangement than instrumentation, but I get it. "Don't Fear The Reaper" sounds pretty nifty on uke, but it does kinda miss the cowbell.
Some folks work around this the best they can with software instruments, or the many multi-instrumentalists among us who are also so wonderful with multi-tracking and video editing....but the rest of us do our best to make a choice that feels organic, and hope for the best.
So I'm not saying that this is over for me. I've come in for a landing on the slippy syllables (yay!!!), I'm slowly getting comfortable with the intro, and I do still want to figure out the bass walkdown that immediately follows this "heaaa-eaaad"/"awaa-aaaay" passage, but for now, I thank you all for all of your incredibly insightful and generous suggestions that have gotten me this far!
It’s across the universe.
Ain't it just?