Trippy Beatlesesque chord progressions


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04-27-2006, 02:06 AM
So I'm a big Beatles fan, but I have no idea how their chords work...they seem to be just so amazingly out of key so often, but they work so do you manage to get a sound like this? Look at almost any of the more psychedelic Beatles work, and you'll know what I'm talking about...any tips on getting a sound like this?

04-27-2006, 09:11 AM
I think that this may happen if you write on the piano and change the chords to guitar for recording. Or maybe if you take too much LSD like the Beatles

04-27-2006, 12:30 PM
They were notorious for figured bass lines. Try using different root notes for regular chords, and making almost a melody from the running bass notes.

04-27-2006, 06:38 PM
^True, the bass was really big...thanks for the tip.

05-11-2006, 12:47 AM
So erm, anyone else?

05-11-2006, 01:00 AM
Erm, I know beatallica_fan has analyzed quite a few of the Beatles' songs. You might want to PM him or something, I know he floats around sometimes :)

Personally I don't know anything about them.

-SD :dance:

05-12-2006, 10:09 AM
A lot of the time is the vocal melody that leads the tune rather than the chords, which almost take a back seat. Take Here there and Everywhere, its starts fairly simple, G Am Bm and C if memory serves, giving us the key of G. This bridges into F#m7 and B7, both have one accidental but are often used within the key of G, D7 is also used, which is in the key of G. These themes continue for most of the song but there is a middle section with a key change. The tune shifts from G to Bb, via and F7 chord. This sounds right as it is lead by the vocal melody, the chords go F7, Bb, Gm, Cm and D7, the second time the D7 is used to switch us back from Bb to G. The simple lesson from that song is the vocal melody is what makes these odd chord choices work, its almost as if it were worked out first and then the chords were found to fit, which is an approcah you could try yourself.

The beatles loved dominant chords, and used them more skillfully than any other artist that comes to mind. the song glass onion starts with an ultra dissonant progression of Am to F7, this is then resolved beatifully by a Gm7 chord into a C7. Again these chords dont belong in one key, the dominant chords are used to create tension which is then resolved, again by both the vocal melody and chords, the lyrics even highlight this, the line under the F7 to Gm7 resolution is '....heres another place you can go'.

the beatles (especially George Harisson) loved switching between majors and minors but retaining roots, while my guitar gently weeps and things we said today, both go from Am to A major, creating a very uplifting feeling, Something does a similar thing, going from C major (the relative major of Am) to A major. The opposite move can be used for a sad sound, take the IV chord of a key, make it minor and then resolve to the root, eg in In my Life, the verse resolves D Dm A.

Another trick is cycling in fourths, this is where you take a start chord, take the fourth of that chord and construct the next chord with that as the root, eg in you never give me your money the chords go Am7, Dm7, G7, C maj 7, Fmaj7, Bm7b5 and E7 which then goes back to Am7, so you can cycles endlessly. (nb you dont have to use dominants, any chord with the right root can worK). This trick was stolen by Gary Moore for his songs parisienne walkways and still got the blues.

Thats all that prings to mind now but if you have any specific examples pm me and i will do my best to work out whats going on, i did do some lessons on this in the dim and distant past so if you search you may find them as well.