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  #46  
Old 12-02-2017, 12:24 PM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Originally Posted by lpa53 View Post
I've often noticed that early 50s "rock", Buddy Holly for example, use extremely simple chords and often, at least to my ear, didn't change or add chords when they should have. In comparison, the Beatles used more sophisticated, and more musical, chord transitions right off the bat.
Yes, but they learned just about all of it from that older pop music -along with older jazz, blues and show tunes.
E.g., it was Buddy Holly that use a bVI chord in Peggy Sue (F chord in key of A major), as did Carl Perkins in Honey Don't (C chord in E major). And Elvis's It's Now or Never used a minor iv chord.
The Beatles' ears picked up on all those kinds of things - the uncommon practices as well as the common ones. Essentially, you can't find any element in their music that hadn't been done before. What was new was the combination of so many influences in one body of work.

And as well as that huge library of effects stolen from older music, they were unafraid to experiment. The Lennon-McCartney rivalry (and mutual respect) meant they were always trying to impress each other, as much as anyone else. They each upped their game, in a way they wouldn't have if they'd never met (and in a way they didn't when they split).

And once they'd made it, then George Martin was intelligent and open-minded enough to facilitate and encourage their creativity.
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  #47  
Old 12-02-2017, 06:35 PM
Guitars+gems Guitars+gems is offline
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John Lennon wrote I'll Be Back after hearing Del Shannon's Runaway. Both songs flip between Am and A major keys. So that's pretty un-simple. And you'd never think the 2 songs were related, or at least I wouldn't. I think I'll Be Back is more sophisticated and nuanced in its melody.
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  #48  
Old 12-02-2017, 09:39 PM
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A buddy sent me a link to this film footage of the Beatles recording Hey Bulldog. He said it’s the only Beatles recording session that was filmed, was later disassembled to make a fake video for Lady Madonna (not sure what that means), but a few years ago, some of the original film was rediscovered and Apple has reassembled it to show some of the real recording sequences. I think this is priceless stuff. Enjoy.

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  #49  
Old 12-03-2017, 05:41 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Originally Posted by Guitars+gems View Post
John Lennon wrote I'll Be Back after hearing Del Shannon's Runaway. Both songs flip between Am and A major keys. So that's pretty un-simple. And you'd never think the 2 songs were related, or at least I wouldn't. I think I'll Be Back is more sophisticated and nuanced in its melody.
They have the same "andalusian cadence" chord sequence: Am-G-F-E. (Which was used not only in Runaway, but also Hit The Road Jack and Walk Don't Run from the same period.) But it's obviously the parallel minor-major thing in Runaway that caught Lennon's ear.
The interesting thing - as you say - is he didn't directly copy or steal. Neither Lennon nor McCartney were interested in faithful transcription as a learning process. While they would learn songs properly in order to cover them, influences like this one were often fragmentary or vague. All Lennon took from Runaway was the chord sequence (of the verse) and the minor-major flip. Where Runaway sticks to the minor sequence in the verse, only going to major in the chorus, Lennon goes straight to A major after the first E chord.
And he makes the lyric fit too, which is the genius. So the minor part is "you know, if you break my heart I'll go". But "I'll be back a-gain" is where it turns major, to reflect the positive confidence of that phrase. He knew instinctively (or without thinking about it too much) how to marry major and minor to the mood of the lyric - or vice versa.

(The strange thing about Runaway, in comparison, is that the major section is not associated with a more positive lyric. In fact it suggests a kind of proud stoicism in misery, as if owning up and expressing it makes it a positive, not a negative. "Tears are falling and I feel the pain" - but it's OK because I'm in a major key! Arguably that's a lot more subtle than Lennon's very obvious sad-happy switch, although Lennon's song has other subtleties.)
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  #50  
Old 12-03-2017, 06:59 AM
Nymuso Nymuso is offline
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For serious Beatle fans, there is an Italian guy on YouTube who has dissected most of the Beatles' harmonies and posts instructional videos. Here is a sample of one of the more difficult ones.
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