This seems stupid to ask but I'm sure some others are wondering it too. I'm trying to really study my favorite artists music to see what things I can put in my own playing and such. But how does one really analyze a song?

So far I have look at the progressions, and how they relate to the key in degrees (such as ii-V-I...just as an example). And I'm trying to see in the solo's, which I know are probably improvised, what note in comparison to the key really sing to me, such as the vi-I interval. I feel like I'm missing something still, can anybody lend a hand in guidance.

Thanks a bunch.
Quote by uvq
umm why do you wanna do that?

So that he can pick up new techniques and become overall, a better songwriter

TS: Try to figure out what scale(s) the song is using, and identify the intervals that sound the best to you.

Once you know the scale that the song is using and you've figured out the chords, try to find a relationship between the chords and the scale. This only works well with a little more complicated chords though, eg dom7s and fully dimished chords.
Signature? What's a signature?

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The chord progression, timing, tempo, the scales used over the chords, dynamics, phrasing, all along with the key, of course, are all some things that should probably be taken in to consideration when analyzing a song.

Weird example of what could be said:

"Oh this is an x progression with x going over it"
"It goes from common time to 6/8 here"
"The tempo speeds up until the climactic solo for an effect of tension+release"
"harmonic minor is used in the verse but when it gets to the chorus, the lead breaks into mixolydian"
"These notes *points to random notes in verse* are accented to add to this feeling which is complemented by this *points to random part*, in the chorus"

I don't know. That's usually what goes on in my head when I look at/listen to a song.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”

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Quote by TUMFP
I'm trying to really study my favorite artists music to see what things I can put in my own playing and such.
Thanks a bunch.

I thought that summed up the answer to why.

Thanks firebreath and metal. The scale is in Ionian so that shouldn't be too difficult, but I do see what you are saying for when I start to hit more advanced chords and scales. I appreciate both the answers. Thanks
Last edited by TUMFP at Jul 11, 2008,
The most important thing to solos is articulation.
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Quote by uvq
umm why do you wanna do that?

umm maybe to understand the music he enjoys to take something deeper away from it?

You can analyse a piece on many different levels. What you're doing already is great, but also try looking at the structure of the song, how sections are connected, how different voices move in relation to each other, the dynamics, the tempo(s) etc.etc. Basically, try to figure out how each different component of the music is contributing to the piece.
Most players will have a technique they use repetatively. Friedman does the huge interesting bends while Wylde using that low e squeel.
The first thing to consider is the key and then the chords.

If you're analysing a line, try to first bracket what you're looking at by a phrase
or idea. See if you can figure out any general, overall things the phrase is doing.
Something like it's moving down in 3rds, or triplets encircling chord tones, or ...
I dunno could be a lot of things. Usually there's something about the phrase that's
holding it together. Then you can look at indvidual components used to construct
the phrase.

Taking an isolated interval or note out of context is probably generally not that
helpful. Any single note compared to the progression might seem like a real clam
unless you consider what's coming before or after it.

Don't be constrained by the bar or chord change vertical lines. The melody can often
anticipate or flow across these lines to generate interest.
Since the chord progression you used as an example is a Jazz progression, I'm going to assume that your into Jazz and are trying to analyze a Jazz song.

If you are interpreting Jazz, you should know that Jazz can be thought of as a general genre. What I mean is, you'll get more out of it if you study what scale and what important notes the artist is using, instead of every single note. Where are they playing which part of the scale? What notes are they using to lead into other notes? What notes are just filler to get to the important ones?

Things like that.

Keep it funky.
What helped me with solos, is to learn the solo, and study the chord progression under it. Then you see how it all flows, and why certain notes are used in certain places. Then try to solo over that same progression on your own.
The thing to creating a good progression is to, believe it or not, look at the notes that stay the same from chord to chord. It is called the common tone principal, and it is what makes the chords progress with much more fluidity.