~ supplemental songs ~

~ finding Americana music's colors, time and components in composition ~

12 bar blues
16 bars
jazzy 32 bar form

'creating a historical journey through listening to our Americana heros ... '

'... if every picture tells a story then ... surely every song has a tale to tell ...'




In a nutshell. When back at music college, a professor often said there was something unique about a 'standard song that made it a standard song.' This could be anything really. A lovely melody, cool chord changes, jumping rhythm, great lyrics. So any one part of the whole song, or even the whole tune itself. Songs we each thought were well crafted and puzzled perfectly together we'd call a 'gem.' One step above 'standard.' We each have our own, for whatever reason.

So 'gems and standards', well crafted songs that each have a 'something', that made them popular for many listeners, a hit for performers and hold components we as artists we might want to identify and understand.

So the following listing songs is reversed engineered. I listened to songs and found a magical component in its writing that may have helped to make them a popular standard. A total hoot to write. For it got me to spin through a ton of tunes, from every possible source, and find 'easy to hear examples' of common music theory components that we also find in many other songs.

Included here for both those readers exploring more as listeners than players, but for players too, each listing has a 'something' that is identified by its theory component, and then linked back into those discussions within the text. The focus is just a couple of composers, whose combined body of work just includes a ton of coolness to enjoy, understand and emulate as we each evolve as artists, composers and lovers of music.

wiki ~ copyright

Count it off. Just an essential skill for all of us. In rockin' out it'll often sound like this :)

The Beatles. "I Saw Her Standing There."

wiki ~ "I Saw Her Standing There" song

"Happy" Two chords and the truth/ yep, starts on Four goes to One, back to Four and back to One. Said to be written and recorded in an afternoon by Keith Richards and friends, it charted and was an opening song for big shows in the early 70's for the Stones. Author's note; the one time I heard the Stones live was in Madison Square Garden in NYC, and they opened with it. This same show closed with the 'Brown Sugar", both of these songs feature an open 'G' tuned guitar as the main rhythm motor.

the charts
wiki ~ "Happy" Rolling Stones
open 'G' tuning

"Getting away gave me the possibility of having thoughts of my own, of developing my own personality, a chance to find myself, even the chance to play badly! ... he told The Times in 1960, on a rare visit to New York"

wiki ~ Abbey Simon