Star LETTER PRIZE
Blackstar are giving our star TG letter one of their brilliant pedals each month. Visit www.blackstaramps.co.uk and tell us which you’d like, should your letter be the lucky one. tuition sites, that teach this simple song in the minor key. Beware: the Theory Godmother knows who you are!
So if we’re agreed on the major nature of the song – and I hope we are – then all we’ve really got to talk about is the G chord. Take a look at Ex 3: this is the chord sequence of the original. The G chord crops up at the same point that the vocal melody hits aG–E’s minor or ‘blue 3rd’ – as if the harmony is really just accentuating or underlining this bluesy point in the tune. If I were going to reharmonise it and keep things harmonically on track I’d probably just use an A7; the G being the b7th of the A7 chord, it would carry the melody and then I would go straight to the B and back through the A before ending up on the E once again (Ex 4). Play both with the melody; I think the original is better. The thing is, A7 is not quite as dramatic as a nice fat G5 (Ex 5) at that point and so, despite the fact that it might clash a little with conventional music theory – and let’s face it, both the blues and a great deal of traditional folk music does just that – it’s better to let it stand.
Try playing the tune in the way I’ve outlined it here – in the key of E major, not E minor – and hopefully it will sound a little more authentic.
The Name Game Dear Theory Godmother
I discovered a really nice chord recently, but I don’t know what it’s called or where I should use it. Is there any chance you could come to the rescue please?
Jim The chord you sent me (Ex 6) is an Am9. The notes, from bass to treble are: AGCBE. A is the root, G is the b7th, C is the b3rd, B is the 9th and E is the 5th. Put those in the correct letter order – A CE G B or root, b3rd, 5th, b7th and 9th – and you have a textbook Am9. Sweet-sounding version, too! It sounds great with the b3rd sharpened to C# (try one after the other); conversely you could play the six-string version with the open first string and follow it with G6 (simply play an open G chord with the first string open! Nice chords!