Knaifhogg
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2012
10 IQ
#1
I found this nice song today from that Sound City album: Mantra

I love how it builds up slowly with more and more things thrown into it. I thought it would be a good song to practice finding out what they're playing!

I made some progress, I feel the root is E, and the chord progression (on the piano) sounds something like E major, E something with F#, and A/E.

I played this little melody that sounds like the vocals which goes G#, A, G# - E, F#, G, F# - G, F#, E. It really sounds awesome!

Later in the song when it changes a bit the piano is playing E, G# - E, G - E, A over and over.

I can't really figure out the guitar part. It's the same thing over and over with changing root I think? Or maybe I am just imagining that with the piano playing.

So what I am really wondering is what scale sort of fits? The vocal melody is a bit chromatic with 4 notes in a row. And what's really playing on the piano?

I am getting better at finding the notes I hear on my guitar but with borrowed chords and such I find it difficult to really find the pattern!

Obviously they play it because it sounds awesome. I want to understand what's behind it all so I can maybe apply it to my playing!
cdgraves
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
10 IQ
#2
The chords are E D C, all major. There's no single scale that covers this, because each chord is a key change. If you were improvising a guitar solo over this, you could literally just move through those keys and sound fine.

The melody starts on the third of each chord change - G# over the E, F# over the D, E over the C (your Gnatural in the melody should have been an F#).

Whenever you get confused in music, follow the bass!
Knaifhogg
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2012
10 IQ
#3
Thanks for replying. Is there some idea behind not staying in the same key? Seeing as sometimes if you change key it sounds awful, but here it really fits well together.

In the melody, he does sing G, F# (while still on the D chord) and lands on E on the C chord.
food1010
Bassist
Join date: Jun 2007
285 IQ
#4
Quote by cdgraves
The chords are E D C, all major. There's no single scale that covers this, because each chord is a key change. If you were improvising a guitar solo over this, you could literally just move through those keys and sound fine.!
It's actually E Bm C (A). The E major actually becomes an E minor later in the song.

The song is in E, with a lot of modal mixture (borrowing elements from the major key and the minor key).

Basically, over every E major or A major chord, the melody fits into the E major scale. For every B minor and C major chord, the melody fits into the E minor scale.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Knaifhogg
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2012
10 IQ
#5
Thanks a lot! It's clearer now. What should you be looking at to figure that stuff out? Obviously finding the right chords is a good start..
innovine
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2012
60 IQ
#6
I found this useful, and would appreciate it if anyone would like to break down other songs in a similar way... ie identify chord progression, mention the key (or key changes) and what notes hnd scales are placed over the chords. Speculation over what other notes would work is also welcome! Im at the point where i know the scales and chords but am still learning how it fits together.
macashmack
Maskcashmack
Join date: May 2011
170 IQ
#7
Quote by innovine
I found this useful, and would appreciate it if anyone would like to break down other songs in a similar way... ie identify chord progression, mention the key (or key changes) and what notes hnd scales are placed over the chords. Speculation over what other notes would work is also welcome! Im at the point where i know the scales and chords but am still learning how it fits together.

Just make a thread about any specifics and people will answer
Hail
i'm a mean bully
Join date: Jan 2010
60 IQ
#8
Quote by macashmack
Just make a thread about any specifics and people will answer

yeah every time i try and make a big post/thread about the basics i feel like i might as well just make some articles and lord knows i don't have the patience for that
Quote by theogonia777
Hail killed MT

Quote by jongtr
I want to be Hail when I grow up.
macashmack
Maskcashmack
Join date: May 2011
170 IQ
#9
Quote by Hail
yeah every time i try and make a big post/thread about the basics i feel like i might as well just make some articles and lord knows i don't have the patience for that

But your advice is so good tho.