Ryan Welton

Sports + Digital + Music + Life

Tag Archives: pop music

Cover + Chords: Learn how to play Gino Vannelli’s “I Just Wanna Stop”

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Listening to my favorite Yacht Rock radio station yesterday, SiriusXM’s 311, on the SiriusXM app, I heard Gino Vannelli’s “I Just Wanna Stop,” a No. 4 hit here in the United States back in 1978.

His other big hit here, “Living Inside Myself,” peaked at No. 6 in 1981. Great song.

However, as I keep thinking about how to develop content around my music, I find it wise to listen to people who visit my site and my channels and my Instagram and Facebook, all of it. I’ve had several other musicians ask for chord structures on these songs — a little somethin’ to provide them with value beyond a listen.

So, here goes. Hoping that if you like it, you’ll “like” it and come find me on YouTube. Let’s grow the community together!

Basically, the song starts with an Emaj9 and a Dmaj7 / E back and forth, or as I call it “a B chord on top of an E and then a D chord on top of an E.”

The verse is Emaj9 to C#m9 to Amaj9 (or 11th or 13th, depending on how fancy you wanna get), and then than Amaj9-11-13, A/B (which is an A chord on top of a B in the bass line) and Emaj9 with the turnaround being a sweet Cmaj9, B11.

Repeat the verse and then the bridge is Amaj7, G#m7, F#m7, Amaj7 with the money chord being the Bbm7-5 before the start of the chorus. That chord is basically a Bb-Db-E in the right hand on top of a Bb in the bass line.

The chorus is easy. It’s Amaj7, G#m7, Dmaj7/E and then repeat before closing out the chorus with Amaj7, G#m7 and F#m7 and that Cmaj9,B11 turnaround.

Does that help at all? Hope you enjoy. Here’s the finished product:

http://www.youtube.com/soonerryan2000

 

One dude’s opinion: Al Jarreau’s 5 Best Songs

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With the death of Al Jarreau today, another great has left the planet. There were very few male vocalists ever who could match his talent, and there is nobody in today’s music who can. Nobody. Don’t try.

Jarreau knew it, too. I recall watching a YouTube video of a concert he played with Joe Sample where Al called out auto-tuned vocals and three-chord songwriters. He wasn’t mean about it; he just knew that what he was creating was art and that the music business played to the least common denominator.

Al shared his art, too, and was a champion of arts education until the day he died. Heck, his hope was that each individual would find a way to incorporate art into their lives. This section of a much longer statement on jarreau.com summed up that sentiment:

From you, Al asks a favor. Please find any artistic thing that you can do with passion, and do it. With art in your life, you will be a better family member, neighbor, friend, and citizen.

So, in honor of the great Al Jarreau, here are my Top 5 songs from the vocal master:

5. Tell Me What I Gotta Do

4. We’re In This Love Together

3. After All

2. Trouble In Paradise

1. Mornin’

The Weeknd: A smooth jazz interpretation

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Since I re-started posting videos to YouTube late last year on the knowledge that I could once again post cover songs, I’ve been looking for songs to cover. Given that I’m a electronic piano-loving creature of the late 70s and early 80s, finding music from today that could fit my style is tough.

Enter a fellow they call The Weeknd. His real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, and he hails from Canada. But he channels Michael Jackson in all the good ways. Smooth. Easy on the ears. “Off the Wall”-era MJ.

His latest single, “I Feel It Coming,” has been racing up the charts the past few weeks. I’ve been enjoying it on my run for months now, however, and I’ve been struck by how atypical it is for pop music in 2017.

Again: in all the good ways.

So, after I got home from work a few nights ago, I sat down to the keys and figured out the chords and melody. Its foundation is Eb-Ab-Bb with a lot of Gm7-Cm7 in between. Super easy to learn from a technical perspective, but it’s a wee bit trickier to maintain the smooth groove from the record itself.

If you enjoyed my rendition, I hope you’ll stop by my YouTube channel and check out more of my covers and original songs!

PHOTO: Courtesy of “The Come Up Show,” via Flickr’s Creative Commons.

A quick tutorial on playing George Michael’s “Careless Whisper”

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One of the many tactics I have for driving traffic to my YouTube channel is creating useful content. In the case of a blog about music from a musician, I might as well create some easy, free how-to content.

I might not be able to teach the world to sing, but I could at least teach it how to play a little something.

In this case, I put together a video how-to for the piano basics of George Michael’s classic 1984 tune, “Careless Whisper,” with what is arguably the most famous sax lick ever to be written. I should note that any how-to from me is going to presume some basic piano knowledge and theory. Nothing too crazy.

The idea for this specific blog post came, of course, from Michael’s death on Christmas 2016. One of the most soulful voices ever heard is gone.

Michael’s most famous song is built upon these four chords: Dm9, Gm11, Am7 and a B-flat Major 7. Take a couple minutes and watch the rest of my quick tutorial on YouTube. Not selling anything. Promise.

It helps if you have a buddy who can play the saxophone to make it all sound awesome because the piano itself can’t quite carry it like a sax and Michael’s terrific voice could some 32 years ago. Of course, that didn’t keep me from giving it a try:

Thank you for stopping by my new blog. I appreciate any and all comments and would love it if you’d visit my YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/soonerryan2000!

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