Thursday, February 02, 2006

Composing On Guitar

In the February 2006 Commentary, Terry Teachout writes in a piece about the Beatles,

Like most self-taught musicians who start out playing guitar rather than piano, both Lennon and McCartney were conditioned by the feel of the guitar fingerboard, whose stepwise layout facilitates the harmonization of the flattened-seventh, Mixolydian-mode melodies first heard in such early Beatles songs as "Can't Buy Me Love" and "A Hard Day's Night."

As a self-taught musician who started out playing guitar, it never occured to me that the instrument itself might influence the melody and harmony of songs written on it. I can see what Teachout is saying about the flattened-sevenths. I'll take his word for it about the Mixolydian-mode.

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