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Classic Chords #16 – Writing is on Oasis Wonderwall

Perhaps one of the most reviled of busker songs is the 1995 Oasis hit “Wonderwall” from the album  (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? The song is namechecked by Scottish band Travis in their first single “Writing to reach you” when singer...Show More Summary

Classic Chords #15 – Shining Floyd

I grew up on Pink Floyd…well I say that, not sure anyone who spends their time obsessing over music and guitar chords has ever really grown up. Either way, I used to obsessively listen to “Dark Side of the Moon” and worry about that line “then one day you find, ten years have got behind … Continue reading "Classic Chords #15 – Shining Floyd"

Classic Chords #14 Who is Townshend?

The Who’s Pete Townshend was by turns a maestro on the acoustic guitar and a wall-of-sound man on the electric. Stacks of amps and speakers, his windmilling right arm, the leaps and kicks and, of course, the smashing up the guitars and hotel rooms in equal measure, allegedly. On the acoustic there was the high-speed … Continue reading "Classic Chords #14 Who is Townshend?"

Classic Chords #12 – Message in a Bottle

The Police were a post-punk, new wave band, but the power pop trio all had jazz backgrounds. It’s not surprise then, that they used motifs from that world in their pop songs. ‘Message in a Bottle’ from the band’s second album, 1979’s...Show More Summary

Classic Chords #12 – Brass in Pocket

UPDATE: I’ve had some Twitter debate with Richard Perkins of Bath Guitar School who half tongue-in-cheek points out that this chord might more formally be called an Aadd9. The note B is second and ninth in the scale of A major and personally, if I’d been playing a C major chord with an added D not on … Continue reading "Classic Chords #12 – Brass in Pocket"

Classic Chords #11 – Mad Punk

My band C5 rehearsing Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” last night and trying to get that Nile Style guitar part as close as possible to the original song. Basically, the chords are Bm, D, F#m, E, with the usual Chic cleverness of not playing whole chords and doing something neat with the transitions, so there’s a […]

Classic Chords #8 – The Nile Style

Ever since I first figured out how to do those funky flicks of the wrist to get the disco guitar sound I’ve attempted to get close to what Nile Rodgers does in terms of those chops. Everything from the late 70s Chic and Sister Sledge stuff to Bowie’s Let’s Dance and the Daft Punk reboot of 2012. He, […]

Classic Chords #7 – The Manics A Design for Life

I have a confession, I’d never knowingly heard the Manic Street Preachers until I picked up a set of headphones in an HMV back in the Spring of 1996 and listened to Everything Must Go, which had just that week been released. It grabbed me from the off, it was like post-Rush prog but with a gritty […]

Classic Chords #5 – Rush Limelight

As I mentioned, in Classic Chord #1 in my early teens I was chasing the dream of being the next Alex Lifeson, picking out the pseudo-classical intros to songs like “Panacea”, “A Farewell to Kings” and “The Trees”, later “Broon’s Bane” from Exit…stage left and rocking out (on a nylon string guitar!) to “Working Man”, […]

Classic Chords #4 – The Caged Chord

Composer John Cage (1912-1992) is perhaps most famous not for the music he wrote but the silence. In the piece known as “Four minutes, thirty-three seconds”, 4’33”, which is ostensibly in three movements Cage instructed musicians, with any instrument or any combination of instruments and presumably voice to not play their instrument(s) for the during […]

Classic Chords #3 – The Hendrix Chord

There’s one chord every wannabe rock guitar hero has to figure out at some point…we all listen to Jimi Hendrix, we all marvel at what he’s doing with that Strat, whether plucking it with his teeth or setting it on fire. But, what is it he’s doing exactly to get that E-major power chord that […]

Classic Chords #1 – The Hemispheres Chord

One thing I noticed as teen teaching myself to pick out the wondrous chords played by Rush’s Alex Lifeson by ear was that he used a lot of chords where the top two strings, the B and the E string were left ring while a moveable chord shape, often a B major shape or more commonly […]

Karaoke Reversal: A technical approach

Daisuke Inoue of Hyogo, Japan, was awarded the 2004 Ig Nobel peace prize for inventing karaoke, thereby providing an entirely new way for people to learn to tolerate each other. For the very few of our readers who might not know what karaoke is – we offer this description : ‘It’s a form of interactive […]

Listen: The Music of a Human Brain

Researchers have turned human mental activity into music, and it sounds uncannily like free-form jazz piano. The new brain-to-sound method translates a brain's electrical fluctuations to pitch and blood flows to intensity. With more sophisticated scores and trained ears, a...

Audio Time Machine: Aldo Leopold’s Birds, Circa 1940

Close your eyes, open your ears and hear the sounds that greeted famed naturalist Aldo Leopold on a June morning in 1940. Using his fastidious notes and contemporary birdsong recordings, researchers have recreated a dawn soundscape heard by Leopold outside the rural Wisconsin shack where he wrote A Sand County Almanc, a bible of modern environmentalism.

Storyboard: The Strange Science and Shocking Horror of Rabies

You’ve heard the tales: A bite from a vicious monster transforms you into something less than human, leaving you just enough consciousness to contemplate your terrible fate as you slowly and agonizingly die. This scene is at the root of many of our most popular horror tropes — think vampires, werewolves and zombies — but [...]

Kill Whitey. It’s the Right Thing to Do (Repost)

A couple years ago, David Pizarro, a young research psychologist at Cornell, brewed up a devious variation on the classic trolley problem. The trolley problem is that staple of moral psychology studies at dinner parties in which you ask someone to decide under what conditions it’s morally permissible to kill one person to save others. [...]

Small Furry Hyrax Sings in Regional Dialects

The foundations of complex language have been found in colonies of unusual furry animals called hyraxes.

Dawn Chorus, Primeval Forest and Jaguars at Night: Listen to Nature’s Orchestra

For three decades, Bernie Krause has collected the sounds of nature, from Amazon jungles to Antarctic glaciers and even ant colonies. For Krause, the sounds aren't ambience, but biological orchestras of extraordinary beauty and complexity. In this gallery, you can hear some of his favorite recordings.

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