Picking Ideas From The Music Farm

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I can be more creative with a piece of music when I have a deeper understanding of its structure and form.

This holds true of just about any jazz standard, including Burt Bacharach’s The Look of Love.

We need not look any further than the introduction of the song for a neat tip that you can pull out and reuse again and again.

This is how I see music: I see music as a farm of ideas ripe for the picking for my own arrangements.

So what musical idea canI pick out of the first 2 measures?

I see the I to Vsus4 chord progression and think “What a great and easy introduction this makes.”

Take a look at the music:

the look of love - Burt Bacharach

Now a couple of questions you might have that I want to answer…

#1 – “Can I use this as an introduction for a song that is not in minor?”

Yes. I would just change the D-7 chord in the first measure to a DMaj7 chord. What makes this such a good introduction is the fact that it is just a I to V chord progression. Well actually, it is a one minor chord, so we would write it as: i to V7sus4 (notice the lower-case I).

This I-to-V is the strongest resolution we have in Western music.

#2 – “Can I also use this as an ending?”

You bet! Since this resolution is so strong, anytime you hit that V chord…it’s going to want to resolve back to the I chord.

Now, here’s what’s really cool about this chord progression. The V7sus4 chord delays the resolution of the V7 chord. This means the actual V7 chord does not sound until beat 3 of the second measure. This delayed resolution creates a bit of ‘mystery’ to the sound.

So, “How do I use this progression?” you ask??

Simple, just play around with it for right now. Don’t over think it. You may have only understood half of what I wrote in this article. That’s O.K.

I love analyzing music to get to the ‘inside’ of a song. However, I also just love to PLAY!

So, don’t over think the progression. Have fun playing it, and, over time you’ll start to bring it into your own arrangements.

Got a question? Ask below…

Don’t for get to check out my newest lesson on Burt Bacharach’s The Look of Love.

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Welcome Paul Buono

Paul Buono has returned to the JazzEdge family as an instructor.  His professional piano/keyboard experience includes national and international touring, university professor, musical director, pit

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