TeCh­nique Fo­Cus

Queen’s Har­mony and The­ory

Guitar Techniques - - PLAY: ROCK -

Be­hind the scenes of seem­ingly straight­for­ward Queen songs are some sur­pris­ingly com­plex ideas. The non-lin­ear big rock riff (most riffs have ‘square’ phras­ing) and clas­si­cal vo­cal canon on the intro sec­tion are two such ideas. Per­haps more com­pli­cated - but seem­ingly sim­ple - is the ris­ing har­mony at the end of the verses. The chords are es­sen­tially a se­quence of V-I ca­dences mov­ing up a tone a time, but the vo­cal moves up chro­mat­i­cally, man­ag­ing this tran­si­tion be­tween keys smoothly. This works by be­gin­ning on the 3rd of the first chord, ie a 1st in­ver­sion. This in turn be­comes the root of the next, the 3rd of the next and so on.

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