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Beatle Nowhere Man - Anyone Hear a 9th

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Discussions about composing, arranging, orchestration, songwriting, theory and the art of creating music in all forms from orchestral film scores to pop/rock.

Re: Beatle Nowhere Man - Anyone Hear a 9th

Postby Movies » Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:23 am

To take the utter-geekery a step further, one thing that I really enjoy about the pan-diatonicism of The Beatles is that they were, for the most part, composing super intuitively (give or take a harmonic mastermind turning knobs for them).

Seeing it all notated by a third party -- while extra-interesting in an analytical sense -- takes away a lot of the magic for me due to the fact that whoever is transcribing it absolutely MUST, out of necessity, make subjective enharmonic decisions with regard to naming certain pivot/borrowed/non-harmonic chords/tones which, heretofore, have remained magically floating, unnamed, in the ether [for me].

Like, if John Lennon told me that the first two chords to "I'm So Tired" are A | G#7, I'd think, "Cool." When another person does it, I can't help thinking, "Maybe John Lennon was thinking that he's playing Bbb | Ab7."

This is not a feeling I have with regard to, say, notated music throughout the ages because there are [somewhat] harmonic standards that we can suppose established, trained musicians/composers would've been implying -- The Beatles threw the harmonic standards out the window, though, so who really knew what they were thinking of. Granted, these things get VERY semantic and I imagine most people just don't care them, but this thought-space is where I spend most of my time, so, I thought I'd share!

Does anyone else feel me on this?
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Re: Beatle Nowhere Man - Anyone Hear a 9th

Postby Frodo » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:57 pm

Movies wrote:
Does anyone else feel me on this?


Well, sure. Considering that the Beatles didn't use notation or chord symbols as a standard has to be taken into consideration-- or thrown out of consideration on some level. Granted, John may have told Paul on occasion that "this chord" is an A7 or that chord was a G# something or other. But it's a safe bet that most Beatles tunes were written on notebook paper or napkins if they were written at all in their initial forms.

There is an eastern philosophy that says once you've defined that which you don't understand (or marvel at) with a name, you change it forever just by giving it that name. Define it-- make it explicable-- and it ceases to be such a mystery. It is therefore "changed" as far as impressions go.

The opening chord of "A Hard Day's NIght" was exciting and wonderful to hear. Once someone figured out that it was some form of a D-minor 11 with a hint of piano tucked into the mix, the mystery was moot.

So, yes. A G#7 vs an A-flat 7 has less to do with musical idealism than it might have to do with a visceral inspiration of the moment.

Still, we go back to listen to these tracks and the film/vids of the corresponding live performances and we're still astonished by the timelessness of the music itself.
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Re: Beatle Nowhere Man - Anyone Hear a 9th

Postby Movies » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:41 am

Frodo:

I think you're maybe in the wrong business.

You should hire yourself out as an eloquence consultant.

Your clients can use the coarse, inelegant language they have available to them to explain to you how they're feeling and you, in turn, can artfully and articulately relay their thoughts and intentions to the proper person/people.
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Re: Beatle Nowhere Man - Anyone Hear a 9th

Postby Frodo » Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:07 am

An eloquent consultant-- LOL.

Of what? :lol: :lol: :lol:

Hobbits are SO overrated.
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Re: Beatle Nowhere Man - Anyone Hear a 9th

Postby scooter » Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:22 pm

You are right on all counts to my ear. I hear an F# and a D, making it an E9 chord. And yes, it's a bar later than where it appears elsewhere.


OK we're talking about the Beatles here, basically a religion to me when I was growing up.
I had to go grab the git.
I'm hearing that chord as F# on top then D then B then E then a B on the 5th string as the bass note of the chord.

Image

Like this B minor chord but move the F# on the 4th string down to an E.

Yeah, yeah, yeah , yeah

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Re: Beatle Nowhere Man - Anyone Hear a 9th

Postby mikehalloran » Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:59 pm

>Also the beatles used rickenbacker 12 strings a lot on this album, I am not sure about this track. I think lennon was using his casino by this stage and george was on the rickenbacker<

Well, I happen to know that George played it on his new, blue Stratocaster into a VOX. a) I believed his Guitar Player interview where he said that's what it was and b) I liked that tone so much that I went and built a Strat to sound like that guitar playing that song.

I'm not talking some wimpy '90s job that sounds aenemic on the 'tween settings with extra lite plain 'G' strings. Oh no, I made a balls out copy of a '63 complete with Custom Shop '63 pickups and staggered magnetic with stainless flatwound strings to match. When I plugged it into a top boost AC15, I knew I had nailed it. Backed off into my Buddy's Magnatone, it had the Buddy Holly sound, too.

>Yes, the melody note (B) in that line is much louder than the chord. Almost certainly two guitars<

No reason to think that. A '60s Strat with the typical strings is weak on the G and high E. The B pops out no matter how recessed the magnet is.

I don't recall what John played. He also had a new Strat (they were purchased as a pair) but he is playing the background rhythm guitar.

Paul:

We were always forcing them into things they didn't want to do. `Nowhere Man' was one. I remember we wanted very treble-y guitars, which they are, they're among the most treble-y guitars I've ever heard on record. The engineer said "All right, I'll put full treble on it" and we said "That's not enough" and he said "But that's all I've got, I've only got one pot and that's it!" and we replied "Well, put that through another lot of faders and put full treble up on that. And if that's not enough we'll go through another lot of faders and..." so we were always doing that, forcing them. They said "We don't do that" and we would say "Try' it. Just try it for us. If it sounds crappy, OK, we'll lose it. But it just might sound good." We were always pushing ahead: "louder, further, longer, more, different". I always wanted things to he different because we knew that people, generally, always want to move on, and if we hadn't pushed them the guys would have stuck by the rule books and still been wearing ties. Anyway you'd then find "Oh, it worked!" and they were secretly glad because they had been the engineer who'd put three times the allowed value of treble on a song. I think they were quietly proud of all those things.

The only other note from Studio Sessions was that John played the rhythm guitar on electric - this is pretty easy to hear.
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Beatle Nowhere Man - Anyone Hear a 9th

Postby crduval » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:12 am

Dr.Hash wrote:
Also the beatles used rickenbacker 12 strings a lot on this album, I am not sure about this track. I think lennon was using his casino by this stage and george was on the rickenbacker.


I don't hear a 12 string in this track. I remember reading that they fed the guitars through 3 input channels in series to really boost the high end, which gives the guitars that chime-y quality.

Such a great track. I love how the vox flow around the beat; that phrasing is amazing.


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