Rock & Pop Critiques For Geeks

“I have no idea what aeolian cadences are........they sound like exotic birds”    John Lennon


Top Songwriting Tricks -  a practical framework for pop & rock appreciation

Great songs may possess an indefinable X-Factor (as Mickie Most first dubbed it) but, ultimately, many of music’s finest moments can be reduced to certain basic formulas. More to the point, songwriters ranging from the Beatles to the Hives happily admit to using familiar, tried-and-tested chord structures as a springboard for inspiration.

In looking at a select group of clichéd chord sequences and other harmonic strategies shared by so many songs of all eras and styles, we can develop a simple analytical framework, a ‘road map’, within which to enhance our understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of rock & pop. As well as a geeky summary of the history, theory and emotional effect, each lesson features short MP3 audio clips of classic songs that use the trick in context to help train your ears to identify it next time you hear it.

TRICK 1         The Three Chord Trick

TRICK 2         The 12-Bar Format - Beyond the Blues

TRICK 3         The Relative Minor Vamp

TRICK 4        The Notorious Four Chord Turnaround

TRICK 5         The Doo Wop Turnaround

TRICK 6         The Slick Cycle Of Fifths - Go With The Flow....

TRICK 7         The Magical Mediant - The Melodic iii Chord

TRICK 8         The Middle Feeling - The ‘Hanging’ Dominant and II7

TRICK 9         Gary Moore’s Minor Key Cycle Of Fifths     Special tribute!

TRICK 10        Further ‘Supercharging’ Secondary Dominants (III7, VI7 and VII7)

TRICK 11        Non-Functioning ‘Sec Doms’ - ‘Rogue’ Dominant 7ths

-----------------------  COMING SOON ----------------------------------

TRICK 12         The Minor Tonality

TRICK 14        Harmonised Scale Ascents and Descents

TRICK 15        Cole Porter’s Major-To-Minor Miracle Move

With more to follow.......

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