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Hmm, weirdly composed song

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michhill8
(@michhill8)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 420
Topic starter  

Hey everyone that's musically smarter than I am, how are you all?

Here's a mindboggler for me at least.

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/d/duffy/warwick_avenue_ver2_crd.htm

It's such a great song (to me), but I can't for the life of me figure out how the guitarist comes up with the chords that he does. From first glance it looks as if it's in the key of Gmajor. But, then a Eb is thrown in, along with an F. Which seems as if it could be the IV and V of Bb Major. How does this work?

Thanks Dudes!
Keep on Rockin'

Pat


   
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Fretsource
(@fretsource)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 973
 

It's such a great song (to me), but I can't for the life of me figure out how the guitarist comes up with the chords that he does. From first glance it looks as if it's in the key of Gmajor. But, then a Eb is thrown in, along with an F. Which seems as if it could be the IV and V of Bb Major. How does this work?
Maybe he consciously chose to borrow chords from the parallel minor key G minor (not uncommon). Or maybe he was just playing around with chords and found some that sounded good together, and whether they happen to agree with a particular key or not was probably the last thing on his mind.


   
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GuitarJace
(@guitarjace)
Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 7
 

It was probably thrown in there on purpose. It generally isn't uncommon for people to throw out-of-key chords in songs, and the one most used is a whole step flatter than the key (F in G, Eb in F, C in D, etc..). Another very common thing is to use chords that don't necessarily follow the Nashville Numbers System. Nashville Numbers is a very good system that helps you quickly write a song or transpose it based on theory. A good example is the common chords of C are; C major, D minor, E minor, F major, G major, A minor, and B diminished minor. A song like Don't Look Back in Anger uses the F minor chord in its bridge, making for a cool and uncommon sound.


   
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hbriem
(@hbriem)
Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 646
 

Borrowing from the parallel minor, i.e. if most of the song is in G major, borrowing the bVII and bVI from G minor, is so common in pop and rock that it is more like the rule than the exception.

The bVII chord in particular is near-universal and is responsible for that bluesy/mixolydian flavour that spices up many major key songs.

--
Helgi Briem
hbriem AT gmail DOT com


   
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