Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Here Comes the Sun, Because


"Here Comes the Sun"
I get my sports, weather, and celebrity death news from my friends' facebook status updates. I know the Giants lost badly last week because of the vitriol on my news feed (one friend compared the game to an interpretive dance reenactment of the Rape of Nanking); I'm vacationing in New Mexico, but I know it snowed in New York today - a friend missed his mom's birthday in Boston because of the storm; I found out about the deaths of Natasha Richardson, Brittany Murphy, Michael Jackson the instant the news hit the internet through that infernally addictive social networking site.

2009 was not a great year for celebrities, was it? There was that swath of celebrity deaths during the summer around the time Michael Jackson died. I can't remember off the top of my head who died, because, well - Michael Jackson died.

Wait, why am I talking about Michael Jackson when I'm learning Beatles songs? My point is, 2009 was rough on celebrities, and on many of my friends, and it had its moments of profound non-smoothness for me. "[John Doe] is excited for a new beginning in 2010!" and "FU 2009!" were popular status updates yesterday. Not surprising.
When you're in a storm, if you're smart, you first find shelter, then wait for the sun to come out (if you're like me, you stand in the middle of a field, shaking your fist at the sky and yelling at the thunder and lightning to go away).

So. A new year. Here Comes the Sun. We hope.


I have a confession to make. I did not really like this song to begin with (bad Kat! Breaking rule #2 already!). For some reason, it annoyed me. I'm not a stoner; in fact, I don't really do any mood-altering substances that are stronger than beer or chocolate, so maybe I just don't get the lyrics. Then I listened to it this morning as I was folding laundry. It's kind of amazing what you notice when you're not really paying attention. Round...turns. Wind...blows. Blue...cry. Oh, you Brits and your double entendre and your bad puns. I like all those things - Brits, double meanings and bad puns. And so I began to like this song.

You may be wondering why I chose to learn a song I didn't like. Well... I'm on vacation in New Mexico, with only one music book (a Beatles fake book), and I was a little pressed for time today - family time and a 5-hour drive from my hometown to Albuquerque. "Because" is pretty short, simple and easy to learn - I could play it a couple times, but memorize it mostly by analyzing it, which I can do in the car. It consists of three 10-bar A sections (an intro & 2 verses), a 4-bar bridge, and 2 more A sections (a 3rd verse and an outtro). All the A sections have the same chord progression. I have no idea if this is how it should be analyzed; it's been too long since forms & analysis class. I don't care. Much. I like the outtro's variation on the melody. I like the chromatic descending line at the end of each verse. I like that the song ends on a diminished chord, just to piss you off.

Yesterday, I had more time to learn "Here Comes the Sun", so I spent a little time listening and analyzing it, but then I played it once in every key (12) and kinda let my ear take over. Here's something weird - when my ear begins to take over, and I begin to just "feel" what I'm playing, my intellect protests: "NO NO NO NO NO!!! IIIIII'm in Charge!" What a dictator.

1 comment:

  1. Hhhmmmm... how to make that little intellectual be quiet and let the heart and soul out again? Well, this might be really basic as I'm not a professional musician, but back in Jazz, we seemed to have a lot of fun when we'd just randomly solo when K pointed at us. Maybe try a variation of that. After playing the song through a few times, just let go and pretend that K has pointed at you and just solo. Play variations of the tune, re-connect with your inner Twinkle Fingers. Just a thought....