#1
Ok so I'm ATTEMPTING to analyzing the song, this is what I have. The first riff is just a tritone playing C and Gb. Over this, a synth plays a melody from the locrian mode. So know we know that since it a C locrian, it is a mode of the Db major scale. After this riff Alex plays three licks that come from some sort of diminished scale. The notes of the first lick are C, Db, Eb, Fb, Gb, Ab, Bbb, and B(not sure if I named those right). The next two licks resolve to Gb, and use different notes which are D, C, B, A , G, Gb, so the D and the G are new notes. I don't know if that means they're changing chords for the next section because it is the fifth of C diminished and the next section starts with a Gb minor. The next section is going between a Gb minor chord and an A minor chord, or is it a Bbb minor?(named from a C dimished chord). My guess is that these come from a dominant seventh substituion. A C7 chord can be substituted by an Eb7, Gb7, and a Bbb7. Then I'm guessing they just decided to make them minor through a chord quality change cause they thought it sounded better? Anyways I'm not really sure where those chords come from(probably pretty obvious by now =p) The next section is going between a B7 and a Cmaj7. Again not sure where these chords come from, the only connection I can draw between the two is that the Gb minor and B7 seem to be areas of resolution, and A minor and the Cmaj7 seem to be points of tension. Gb minor is a common tone substitute for B7, and Cmaj7 is a common tone substitute of A minor. Underneath the B7, Geddy is playing a B9th chord on the bass, and a Cmaj9th under the Cmaj7. On top of those chords, I think Alex is just playing a B7 melody, and Cmaj7 melody respectively. I didn't transcribe all of the bass solo but it seems like Geddy is soloing over a B7 and then switching to a C scale with a #4. So I'm guessing he's playing modes of E harmonic minor? I'm not sure what to make of the first part of the last lick he plays. This is the tab for guitar:
D-----------5----------------9-7-5-4-5-----
A--------5--------9-7-6-------------------7-
E--5-6----------------------------------------

The only part I'm confused about is the Bb on the E string and the D on the A string. Is he substituting an Em7b5 for a Emin/maj7? I'm just wondering because the Bb sound really out of place.

Then the guitar solo I'm guessing is all in E harmonic minor, or does he use the B phrygian dominant and the C lydian b3 modes? I'm not really a modes guy, so please don't bash me if that's off =P I only transcribed two or three licks so thats why I'm assuming he does the same thing the whole solo.

The last section of the song is an A minor chord. So I'm guessing that sounds good because it resolves down a fifth from E(the solo) to A(this bridge section). Over the top Geddy plays an A minor melody while lifeson plays some notes from A minor that harmonize with what Geddy is playing on the synth.

That is basically everything I have. I'm very sorry to those I left confused because of my probably far off...ness. So as you can tell some help would greatly be appreciated.
#2
Wow modes gone crazy! Well I can assure you there's a lot less modes happening here than you think.

The intro should be considered as separate from the main song.

To properly analyse a song, you should start by finding the key/modes with reference to the tonal center and chord structure.

So what is the chord progression for the main part of the song?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#3
Quote by AlanHB
Wow modes gone crazy! Well I can assure you there's a lot less modes happening here than you think.

The intro should be considered as separate from the main song.

To properly analyse a song, you should start by finding the key/modes with reference to the tonal center and chord structure.

So what is the chord progression for the main part of the song?


There isn't really any chord progression. It's basically just two different vamps through the whole song. It goes from Gb minor to A minor in the B section, and the C section including the bass and guitar solo vamps between B7 and Cmaj7. Have it a listen, it's a strange song. The only part that might imply a chord progression is the bridge. But, in the bridge there is an A droning in the background with two separate melodies (one form the synth, one from the guitar) that make A minor, C major, and E minor chords. But since the A is droning in the background, they're basically just playing around with an A minor 7 chord.
#4
Quote by WalrusNutFart
There isn't really any chord progression. It's basically just two different vamps through the whole song. It goes from Gb minor to A minor in the B section, and the C section including the bass and guitar solo vamps between B7 and Cmaj7. Have it a listen, it's a strange song. The only part that might imply a chord progression is the bridge. But, in the bridge there is an A droning in the background with two separate melodies (one form the synth, one from the guitar) that make A minor, C major, and E minor chords. But since the A is droning in the background, they're basically just playing around with an A minor 7 chord.


I had a listen, but I don't have access to a guitar right now to figure it out for you. You should know that there's ALWAYS a chord progression, even if chords are not played.

Anyways, based on your chords and my interpretation of how they apply to the song, there's modulation going on at the start, a melody in Gb minor, then the same melody shifted up to A minor. Then it stays in A minor for the B7 and Cmaj7 part - listen, it resolves pretty strongly to the A minor chord. The B7 is borrowed from A melodic minor, the Cmaj7 is diatonic to the key of A minor. So the scales used over this section are Gb minor for the Gb riff, and A minor (with accidental) over the rest.

Behold the power of the major/minor system!
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#5
You got the introduction right for sure. The first vamp I would either call a Gbm to Bbbm or F#m to Am. The theory behind it then would be: new tonic (Gb/F#) to a chromatic mediant chord. Keep in mind that Geddy plays all this with his fingers...sweet.

The second vamp I've always played as a B and C7. EDIT: His licks during the B imply B7, so B7 -> C7 unless I've just been playing the chords wrong. Note how this relates back to the previous vamp AND the original Locrian bit: the root notes are from that F#m, but with the b5 (from the first part) instead of a natural fifth. This continues through the solo, where you've identified the scale Alex is taking most of his licks from: B Phrygian Dominant. Most everything else in the solo can be explained away with tastefully-applied chromatics, so don't get too tied up with all sorts of scales.

In that synth Interlude, there's a G in there somewhere between those Am chords. This makes me think the roots are based around the F# tonic from the first vamp, with the G playing the part of the bII (noticing a theme, here?)
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
Last edited by soviet_ska at Jun 30, 2011,
#6
Quote by AlanHB
I had a listen, but I don't have access to a guitar right now to figure it out for you. You should know that there's ALWAYS a chord progression, even if chords are not played.

Anyways, based on your chords and my interpretation of how they apply to the song, there's modulation going on at the start, a melody in Gb minor, then the same melody shifted up to A minor. Then it stays in A minor for the B7 and Cmaj7 part - listen, it resolves pretty strongly to the A minor chord. The B7 is borrowed from A melodic minor, the Cmaj7 is diatonic to the key of A minor. So the scales used over this section are Gb minor for the Gb riff, and A minor (with accidental) over the rest.

Behold the power of the major/minor system!


Thank you very much. The last part of the song seems really simple now, being the A minor, B7, and Cmaj7. But, I still have a few questions. So when you say that the intro is separate from the rest of the song, are you saying that the Gb in the C diminished is not tied to the Gb minor chord at all? I feel like there has go to be something going on there because they share a Gb and a Bbb. Could that just make it a common tone substitution?Also, how does the A minor connect with the Gb minor? Just for the record, if you couldn't already tell, I like to think in terms of chords instead of modes. I just tried to think in terms of modes because I remember hearing how this song used them.
#7
Quote by WalrusNutFart
Thank you very much. The last part of the song seems really simple now, being the A minor, B7, and Cmaj7. But, I still have a few questions. So when you say that the intro is separate from the rest of the song, are you saying that the Gb in the C diminished is not tied to the Gb minor chord at all? I feel like there has go to be something going on there because they share a Gb and a Bbb. Could that just make it a common tone substitution?Also, how does the A minor connect with the Gb minor? Just for the record, if you couldn't already tell, I like to think in terms of chords instead of modes. I just tried to think in terms of modes because I remember hearing how this song used them.


Well there's modulation (ie. key change) occuring between the A minor and Gb riff, there's a repeated melody line too in each of the keys. Apart from that I think you'd be looking too far into it. It's practically the same as in a pop song when they shift the melody of the final chorus into a different key so it's higher.

As for the relationship between the intro and the Gb chord, you could argue that the common notes are used as a "pivot" into the Gb minor. I really don't have a guitar on me now, so I'm sure someone could figure it out faster for you. I'm just on my lunch break haha.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#8
Quote by WalrusNutFart
So when you say that the intro is separate from the rest of the song, are you saying that the Gb in the C diminished is not tied to the Gb minor chord at all?


Don't let me speak for you, Alan, but I think he was trying to maintain the difference between the modal Locrian section and the rest of the song, which is tonal. I saw the Gbm/F#m as the result of a modulation to the tritone of the original part of the song. From there, the rest of the chords make sense tonally, but note that they are influenced (<- key word) by the Locrian mode. The rest of the song contains chords based off of F#, G, A, B and C, or the 1 - b2 - b3 - 4 - b5 Locrian pattern.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#9
Quote by soviet_ska
Don't let me speak for you, Alan, but I think he was trying to maintain the difference between the modal Locrian section and the rest of the song, which is tonal.


There is no modal locrian section, that would require one diminished chord vamp, which does not occur. Also, modes fall within "tonal" theory.

Edit: But it's good that you're recognising certain note patterns, you're still in a good position to help out TS, just ignore modes
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#10
Quote by soviet_ska
You got the introduction right for sure. The first vamp I would either call a Gbm to Bbbm or F#m to Am. The theory behind it then would be: new tonic (Gb/F#) to a chromatic mediant chord. Keep in mind that Geddy plays all this with his fingers...sweet.

The second vamp I've always played as a B and C7. EDIT: His licks during the B imply B7, so B7 -> C7 unless I've just been playing the chords wrong. Note how this relates back to the previous vamp AND the original Locrian bit: the root notes are from that F#m, but with the b5 (from the first part) instead of a natural fifth. This continues through the solo, where you've identified the scale Alex is taking most of his licks from: B Phrygian Dominant. Most everything else in the solo can be explained away with tastefully-applied chromatics, so don't get too tied up with all sorts of scales.

In that synth Interlude, there's a G in there somewhere between those Am chords. This makes me think the roots are based around the F# tonic from the first vamp, with the G playing the part of the bII (noticing a theme, here?)

Good observation about the A minor and C chord roots relating to the F# diminished. So it's almost like they're playing one big diminished chord by going from F# minor, to A minor, to Cmaj7. So now my guess is the B7 was thrown in for harmonic interest because there is a lot of tension between the B7 and Cmaj7 due to the half step intervals (D# to E and B to C, and F# to G), and as Alan said, comes from A melodic minor. Also, my guess to the G chord is that it's just diatonic to A minor. I didn't have a real good listen to that part but I think the chords may be A minor, C major, G major, A minor. But I don't see why you couldn't make the connection of the G being the bII of F# and the bIII(A) and bV(C) are in the bridge too. So I guess these flattened root notes coming from an F# diminished give the song sort of diminished theme.
#11
Quote by AlanHB
There is no modal locrian section, that would require one diminished chord vamp, which does not occur. Also, modes fall within "tonal" theory.
D

Actually Alan(I may be eating my words hear in a second =D) The only notes played over that section are C and Gb, so wouldn't that be a diminished vamp which would allow the use of the locrian mode? If those melody notes aren't from the locrian mode, where else would they come from?
Last edited by WalrusNutFart at Jun 30, 2011,
#12
Quote by WalrusNutFart
Actually Alan(I may be eating my words hear in a second =D) The only notes played over that section are C and Gb, so wouldn't that be a diminished vamp which would allow the use of the locrian mode? If those melody notes aren't from the locrian mode, where else would they come from?


In the intro? They could come from many places, including accidental land. There could be a chord progression that's droning on C and is utilising the blues scale. There could be a progression in Gb which is doing the same (gasp).

But it isn't modal, there's definite resolution/s there, too strong to be within modal world.

Let's say you play a song like She Caught the Caty, which is in A maj and also employs a D#7 within the song. Is it locrian over the D#7? Nopey, for the same reason it isn't in this song.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#13
"I may be eating my words here in a second". Yep I'm full. Thank you very much I've learned a lot. I'm really sorry to have to tell you this but I think I going to try my hand at analyzing La Villa Strangiato next....
#14
Hmm...I wasn't thinking about the resolution of the melody in that first section. If I'm remembering the notes correctly, the implied harmony would be something like C*- Ab7 - C* - C*addb9(no3) - C*. Hey what do you know? Another two chord vamp. These types of chord don't like to be resolved, but it appears Rush attempts to add some with that b2 -> 1 resolution on the final chord.

EDIT:
Quote by WalrusNutFart
I think I going to try my hand at analyzing La Villa Strangiato next....


I hope you can count your time signatures! That song has plenty of good changes in it.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
Last edited by soviet_ska at Jul 1, 2011,