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"I Saw The Light" Chord Structure...OMG!


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When I first started playing guitar and piano, I could hear patterns that were "standards" ...I always thought that the chorus on this one was simply "pianoman" all over again...

A few days ago, I started to sing this song as I was doing some renovations, and when I was done, I sat at the piano and tried to play it...2 hours later I came up with the progression to the singing parts (haven't worked out the middle 8 solo part)

Eric, absolutely awesome chord structure, the way you created a wonderful walk through the park of chords!!!

Using bass notes other than the root ...even a "G" bass over an A7 ....not something you think would work...but it sure does! At least to my ears (as I do everything by ear) it seems quite unorthodox...

Here is what I "think" the structure may be...there may be one or two not right, but the ones I am really not sure of are the two final chords of the chorus over "Nothing to Fear". It almost sounds like your melody notes are not in the chords...???


A - A/B - E/G# - A7/G - D/F# - Dm6/F - A/E (repeat, though last chord 2nd time round is - E)


A- D/G# - F#m - A/E - D - A/C# - Bm7 - E7

Bridge (There's a knock...is that a bridge?) This part is SPECTACULAR!...I was actually freaking hen I figured out the run here...Brian Wilson great!

D - B/Eb - E - Fdim - F#m - F#m7 - B7/C# - Dm6/D - C#m - F#m - B7/Eb? - E7

Just brilliant, brilliant, brilliant...


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Raspathens, that's all you need to do is enjoy it. That's the purpose of music. My husband has perfect pitch and can sing perfectly on pitch the most difficult passages I play, three weeks later, in the correct key! So I tried to get him to play an instrument, pressing him to take cello, or at least piano. He said "I once played FOOTBALL. I don't WANT to play an instrument. I just love music, love to listen to it and enjoy it." I was at first really upset: "With your TALENT, you should play....etc etc. etc." But in the end, he's right. He just wants to be left alone to ENJOY it. He doesn't need to know intricately what's going on. It's an emotional high for him and an intellectual one. he loves musical styles, classical AND rock, jazz, etc. knows the difference and can evaluate them perceptively and intellectually. But he just doesn't want to play, and now I understand it. I finally accept that.

For me, since I was 4, I've wanted to get INTO the music, find out why it's like it is, and play it, on the violin, which, happily, I grew up to do. That's okay too.

For those of us who DO play, and especially who read music, Eric's melodies and chordal structure are magic. He is a master magician at transporting the music to unexpected places and his progressions are true gems! The reason that "it sounds like melody notes are not in the chords" is that Eric's chords are sometimes "clusters" rather than chords. He makes use of the most unexpected pairings of tones that convey real emotional punch and almost NEVER takes the expected route. His melodies are world class and what he does underneath them is nothing short of miraculous. Put it together, and his songs are marvels.

I used to turn down dates to sit in my apartment at the piano on weekends playing along with Raspberries records (and later his solo records) to try and duplicate his piano parts! I used to be able to play most, if not all of them, pretty closely and found that I couldn't even DESCRIBE some of the harmonic things he does.

Complex and always surprisingly unexpected, his songs take the "road less travelled by" and sometimes not travelled at all by others. Andy, if you love Eric's chordal structure, you'll go nuts over his mods! His modulations are unbelievable--they work so beautifully, but are so unexpected and so cool!


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raspathens said:

In some ways, I enjoy being musically challenged. Rather than have a real idea of how a song was structured or created, I can soar to the tune in wonderful ignorance. Kinda like a monkey who has been given a ball. I'll take the pure joy any day.

I can dig this indeed....often all I do is get immersed into the song without "listening for structure"...

Darlene, using the term "magic" is quite accurate...there are some of us who want to know "how the magic did the trick" and others who "don't want to know" because the magic is lost....I tend to want to know how it's done because "doing" the trick is even better than watching it...so I have the need to figure them out.

When I figure out "how Eric did it", I marvel at how something so musically complex can sound so intensely beautiful...great music is the perfect combination of the heart meeting the mind and communicating without distortion.... of any kind...


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I love your last statement, Bahoo. I love all of what you said, but the last sentence is really cool. Even as a musician, raspathens, the "pure joy" always hits me first. I love the hell out of it, and then I try to figure out what's going on, just because I AM a musician.

The pure joy is enough though. That's what music is all about. To me, it's unique to the fine arts because sound can so infuse and envelop one that it seems to affect an individual to the highest degree. So, to me, music is the most emotional and affective of the arts. And Eric's music uses that power to its ultimate advantage. His music AND his lyrics speak universally to the human soul, in my opinion, and that just knocks me out.

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Andy, it's not in the least unorthodox to Eric. If that intrigues you, listen for when he puts an A in the bass under a G chord in the key of D. It creates this amazing cluster that is between a IV and a V chord, when going from IV to V or using either is what anyone else would do (but just wouldn't stir up the pathos or poignancy Eric wants). He "combines" chords that become clusters and knows exactly how to make them work. Techniques like that are what create the emotional charge in the harmonies of songs like "She Remembered" and the slow version of "I Wanna Be With You" and "Starting Over." Not to mention so many more. Ah, one of my favorite subjects: Eric's magic.


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Bass notes other than the root...even a "G" bass over an A7.

Verse, chorus, bridge.

A- D/G# - F#m - A/E - D - A/C# - Bm7 - E7.

Parts that are SPECTACULAR.

Chord the 2nd time round is - E.


I'm with Raspathens. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

I can't make heads or tails of this thread, but at least others can. I'll just move along and paint my nails, or whip up a 5 course meal or bake something. These things I can understand as a "Clueless Blonde." ;)

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Study Bach indeed. Whether it's his piano works or his Sonatas and Partitas for the violin (especially his famous Chaconne), the voice leading is even more amazing than the chords. You have to be a master of your instrument to bring out the tones of the melody, wherever they happen to be, and they go all over the place. He makes melodies of the bass notes, Bahoo, and it can be pretty difficult to bring them out the way they need to be.

He also employs pieces of chords and clusters effectively, but, Eric, you do some pretty amazing things that even Bach didn't do.


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Wendy-Ann, my darling, there is NO way ANYONE can call you a "clueless Blonde." A BEAUTIFUL blonde, yes, but not clueless by any stretch of the imagination. I know you're "funning" on yourself and you know how savvy you really are. You ought to, anyway!

You are one of the wisest, most savvy women I know. You don't need to know what an E chord is. I daresay you can "whip up a five course meal" more creatively than most of us can. And your "from the heart" advice is warm, loving and no-nonsense common sense.

You'd be a fine musician, I'm sure, because you love music, if you decided to play or sing. But you're perfect just the way you are.

:)--Love, Dar

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Gosh. What did I do to deserve such a sweet post? Thanks. You made me GRIN!

Yes, yes, I was joking---about the thread, not about baking and such. ;)

Actually, all kidding aside, I do sing and I am musically inclined. But with 6 kids to feed, Mom and Dad didn't think that learning the piano (which I was drawn to) was a necessity for me. Singing was free. :)

And on that "note" you can play the violin for me anytime! I do love that instrument...just never could play it.

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Wendy-Ann, I believe you could do ANYTHING you set your mind to doing! I studied dance when I was 5 years old, but Daddy got sick and we could no longer afford dancing lessons, and it was a regret in my young life. However, I had fallen in love with the violin when I was 4, and, unlike dancing, lessons were offered in school, so when I was 11, I was "found" by my first violin teacher. When I showed promise, my parents rented me a violin and gave me private lessons. Had I continued with dancing, that probably wouldn't have happened, so it all turned out for the best. I think life usually does.

So, you were most probably meant to sing. And I'll bet you have a beautiful voice, just like you have a beautiful heart.


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