Maroc 7 questions

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Re: Maroc 7 questions

Postby Phrygian » Fri Jul 30, 2021 6:45 pm

Isn't it amazing that a couple seconds of a recording from 50+ years ago have generated this discussion? I still maintain that Bruce is playing a C major triad over the Bb in the bass, but let's look at the chords suggested so far.

C7: C-E-G-Bb
Bbm6: Bb-Db-F-G
Bbdim7: Bb-Db-Fb-Abb

The three chords are close since they share notes (Abb and G are enharmonic equivalents, as are Fb and E). I do not hear a Db in the measure until Hank plays his lick in the second half of the measure. I also do not hear an F in the measure. If I am correct, that rules out the Bb chords. This measure is a natural and logical place for a V chord - C in the key of F major.

I think the ambiguity comes from a few things. You expect the bass to play the root note of the chord, but in this case it is playing the 7th. This isn't common in rock and roll, but not unknown either. The other thing is Hank's line in the second half of the measure is comprised of notes from the F natural minor scale; C-Eb-Db. Those notes touch on the #9 and b9 of the C chord.

I hope I am not coming across as argumentative. I have been studying chords for most of my life and find it endlessly fascinating.
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Re: Maroc 7 questions

Postby RogerCook » Fri Jul 30, 2021 6:51 pm

If the tune is in the key of F major, isn't that chord Edim7?
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Re: Maroc 7 questions

Postby Phrygian » Fri Jul 30, 2021 8:56 pm

Edim7 is enharmonically equivalent to Bbdim7.
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Re: Maroc 7 questions

Postby RogerCook » Fri Jul 30, 2021 9:43 pm

Yes, but if you harmonise the Fmaj scale (as it appears the tune is in F) then Edim is the vii chord, whereas B the IV chord (generally a Dom 7).
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Re: Maroc 7 questions

Postby Phrygian » Fri Jul 30, 2021 10:16 pm

RogerCook wrote:Yes, but if you harmonise the Fmaj scale (as it appears the tune is in F) then Edim is the vii chord, whereas B the IV chord (generally a Dom 7).


True, Edim7 would be a more logical name than Bbdim7 for the key of F. I still don't hear a Db in the chord played by Bruce though.
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Re: Maroc 7 questions

Postby jno » Sat Jul 31, 2021 4:42 am

@Phrygian: agree entirely that chord structures are a fascinating form of discussion. It helps understanding what you're playing too. However, for non musicians, they don't care (and rightly so as a song is meant to be heard rather than analysed).

:D

RogerCook wrote:If the tune is in the key of F major, isn't that chord Edim7?


Yes, officially the song is in F. The sheet music also suggests this. I agree with that, but it's certainly a tricky question to answer.

As an electric guitar player most would immediately think (well I do anyway) - "oh, it's in F!" so that means "F minor pentatonic" or "F major pentatonic" which is a mistake in this one, as 'the Arabian style' tune means your jumping outside of the (what I would consider) standard diatonic chords for that key, which are:

I. F – A – C (F major chord)
ii. G – Bb – D (G minor chord)
iii. A – C – E (A minor chord)
IV. Bb – D – F (B Flat major chord)
V. C – E – G (C major chord)
vi. D – F – A (D minor chord)
vii. E – G – Bb (E diminished chord)

When I play Maroc 7, the only chord I see from that list that appears in the tune itself is the IV chord, plus (from memory) there's one C in it, preceded by the F# (as the main melody repeats/'turns around" the first time).

My point is - thus for me anyway, the safety of finding the notes to the melody in one of those 2 F pentatonic scales has gone and I have to start thinking about 'notes of the next chord' instead (jazz style, which immediately throws me out of my comfort zone). However, 'home base', or 'tonal centre', or 'where does it resolve?', is indeed F, the note F at least.

In Maroc 7, with its Arabian style tune, the melody is based more around the parts of the (next) chord which jumps in and out of the key of F throughout. The chords also switch between major and minor a lot too, which is credit to the way this tune is written. As a guitarist, this sort of in and out of key can throw you and you have to think of the notes in the chord rather than sticking to safe pentatonic scales (this is the case for me anyway).

The only time I feel 'safe' (sticking to one scale) in Maroc 7 is the F# to F chords part. When that is going on, I'm in the Bb flat harmonic minor scale. Those two chords being 1 semitone apart is all over the heavy metal world (Metallica, Megadeth, Yngwie Malmsteen, everywhere) but you would never think Hank is playing an evil sounding metal solo, would you? Perish the thought. The scale is the same though, and the melody again is well written.

This is why (for me at least) this is a unique sounding Shadows track, particularly for the early days. I have to give Paul Ferris a lot of credit for writing this tune and for me, I can't imagine he wrote this on a guitar. I love playing it and again I really am so disappointed that there is no live version of this from The Shadows themselves.

Of all the Shadows 20 Golden Greats tracks I've learnt to play over the years, this has to be the most intricate and definitely the most thought-provoking in terms of attempting to understand what I'm playing.
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Re: Maroc 7 questions

Postby RogerCook » Sat Jul 31, 2021 5:04 am

Fascinating and thought provoking. Great discussion!
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Re: Maroc 7 questions

Postby jno » Sat Jul 31, 2021 7:57 am

Here's a little demo I recorded this morning of the first part of 'Maroc 7' using:

- a Boss Loop Station RC-3 (with basic hi-hat beat, sincerest apologies to the drummers here)
- 90s Hank Marvin MIJ Squier Stratocaster (with Ernie Ball 10s) played through a clean patch on my 90s Zoom 3030 pedal
- Marshall DSL 401 amp on clean

It is slower than the original but I think the chords and notes are correct - appreciate any feedback, even if it is negative.

link: https://bit.ly/3C401ue
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Re: Maroc 7 questions

Postby Iain Purdon » Sat Jul 31, 2021 10:41 am

jno wrote:I have to give Paul Ferris a lot of credit for writing this tune and for me, I can't imagine he wrote this on a guitar. I love playing it and again I really am so disappointed that there is no live version of this from The Shadows themselves.

Good to see Paul Ferris getting some credit. Normally he’s dismissed as the stand-in bass player who didn’t play Nivram (I’m with him on that!)
Yes, a fascinating composition.

Chord analysis is a bit like asking a centipede how it walks, only for it promptly to seize up in a heap of confusion! When you have Hank playing the melody notes, Bruce playing shapes he likes the sound of but can’t name, John innovating with unexpected bass lines that work, Brian’s percussion adding further notes and an orchestral section chucking in all sorts of other stuff, I think it’s a masterpiece. It’s also a riddle, wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

I’m not surprised there’s no live version by the Shads. Get it right in the recording, publish it and forget it! They only did live performances of a fraction of their overall canon.

There is, however, a recording of it by Ian McCutcheon on Shadows Workout #5 which gets very close.

Both the full performance and the backing track are well worth a study.
https://shadowsworkout.ucoz.com/index/0-10

And Tony Clout’s tab will also shed some light
https://tabman.co.uk/product/maroc-7-guitar-tab

This is also good work, simplified without the ambience contributed by other players on the Shads record:
jno wrote:Here's a little demo I recorded this morning of the first part of 'Maroc 7' ... it is slower than the original but I think the chords and notes are correct - appreciate any feedback, even if it is negative.
https://bit.ly/3C401ue
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Re: Maroc 7 questions

Postby alewis41 » Sat Jul 31, 2021 12:56 pm

Iain Purdon wrote:
jno wrote:I have to give Paul Ferris a lot of credit for writing this tune and for me, I can't imagine he wrote this on a guitar. I love playing it and again I really am so disappointed that there is no live version of this from The Shadows themselves.

Good to see Paul Ferris getting some credit. Normally he’s dismissed as the stand-in bass player who didn’t play Nivram (I’m with him on that!)


I too was going to mention Paul Ferris, who died tragically young but wrote for Cliff & the Shads as well as composing film scores. He was also an actor. I think Stuart Duffy has mentioned that he knew Paul.

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