Autodidact or else-taught? Rules or whatiffing things?

Autodidact or else-taught? Rules or whatiffing things?

Big laugh hearing Paul McCartney he can’t read music nor name the complex chords he uses in music.

Explaining that he and John Lennon learned a bunch of new chords (and some complex ones!) watching other groups in Hambourg, or the guitar salesman’s hands in a Liverpool music instruments store, or playing other groups music.

They made a “chords stock” – and more : learned how to combine them into songs!

Lennon is said to be a composer who were used to “stack bits of songs”, even dangerously.

How does this evolve? What’s the structure of A Day in The Life? How many songs here, into one? :

Macca helped creating an Art School called LIPA in Liverpool, where he “teaches” music sometimes to some luck students.

He said in this conversation that he can’t teach music, because he knows no “rules” in making a good song – that makes people smile! He just helps the students to quit the normal, ordinary, boring, predictable ways.

Here’s a cool example, an ordinary Macca song, not a hit, it’s the first song from “Chaos and Creation in the Backyard” (which is a title I love). Fine Line :

Boring ordinay until 1’06”, where the piano wrings the song in risky harmonies like in a bridge (that soon?). When the second verse begins at 1’19” the rhythm is slowed down already. Strings come, and at 2’09” there’s another cool part, before coming back to the strange piano pulsation, ending in an oblique obsessive modal repetition…

It’s not even a great song! But I find it elegant, casual, there’s a freedom here, in the way the song unfolds into unexpected little ideas. I can almost find the “what if I do that?” pleasure into this music…

All this not in avant-garde craziness, but in a small song!

The tool is structural : Follow rules or try things? Stay on the road or try little paths? Go on a line, or draw yours? Where to do that : life, love, poetry, writing, marketing, photography?

Sorry for my frenchy English, sorry for the Beatles obsession, it’ll go soon, probably. Have a nice day!

Thanks for reading!

My best unknown Beatles songs

Here are a few Beatles songs I love.

For No One, a strange discarnate and quiet 4/4 waltz-like song written by McCartney for Revolver, to describe the end of a love story. Everything seems perfect in this song : the piano, the drums, the chorus modulations, the French horn, very little reverb (giving an intimacy), the non-ending end…

It’s a jewel, and one of the favorite songs of Lennon, who adored it.

Your day breaks, your mind aches
You find that all the words of kindness linger on
When she no longer needs you

She wakes up, she makes up
She takes her time and doesn’t feel she has to hurry
She no longer needs you

And in her eyes you see nothing
No sign of love behind the tears
Cried for no one
A love that should have lasted years!

If I Fell is a Lennon song I adore because of its brutal modulations : it’s clearly a “chords game” – they change all the time!

If I fell in love with you
Would you promise to be true
And help me understand
‘Cause I’ve been in love before
And I found that love was more
Than just holding hands

Because, By John Lennon, on Abbey Road, has harpsichord and Moog (!), and splendid “three-parts backing vocals”.

Because the world is round it turns me on
Because the world is round, ah

Because the wind is high it blows my mind
Because the wind is high, ah

Love is old, love is new
Love is all, love is youBecause the sky is blue, it makes me cry
Because the sky is blue, ah

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!