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ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,406
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,406
03/27/2021 4:13 pm
Originally Posted by: faith83

A quick question, then: I'm writing a song in which I want to insert an eight-bar late 60's/early 70s style psychadelic guitar break. The song itself is basically contemporary country.

[p]You can achieve that kind of sound with musical elements or timbral elements. Often the most effective is to combine them.

1. Use chromatic chord motion (G-F#-F-E) along with moving harmony. While the chords descend or ascend have the vocals (or another instrument) stay on parallel major thirds decsending following the chords. Examples: Pink Floyd 'Astronomy Domine'.

2. Use "exotic sounding" chord progressions or scales: harmonic minor, phyrgian dominant. Use distantly related chord changes (G-C#) & again melodic motion that follows. Don't resolve the melody or progression in any standard way.

Both of those can create a sort of floating, non-grounded musical approach.

3. Use timbres assoicated with that era. Drone tones (like a sitar), lots of swirling chorus, phasing, echoing reverb or delay. Drone tones & weird timbres are often helpful when there is static harmony or melody (none or a minimum of chord changes). Beatles 'Tomorrow Never Knows', Hendrix 'Are you Experienced'.

I think the timbre aspect is most important in evoking a specific sound era.

Consider a song that combines some of these elements: 'Strawberry Fields Forever'. Notice that even when the chords & melody are fairly standard the sound of the instruments & production used make it sound very unusual.

Notice that in 'Tomorrow Never Knows' if you played just the melody & one C chord throughout it's a pretty basic, simple tune. But it's the timbral effects that make it sound so unusual.

Since you are inserting this into an otherwise standard song format you could probably just write the song as you would any country song, then add a sitar or drone string sound, or some sound effects to the existing music. If you do that & add just one non-standard chord change in the bridge you'll probably get the result you want.

Hope that helps!


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