Macca Studies: ALL MY LOVING

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Harry Lime, Mar 13, 2002.

  1. I'm beginning a new series. This new one is called Macca Studies. . .. I basically invite anyone who wants to contribute to the discussion of a particular song by Macca I am trying to learn. I received the Signature Licks Beatles Bass book in the mail last week. I am gonna try and discipline myself and learn each song as they are in the book: in chronological order.

    The first song is ALL MY LOVING: A smooth walking bass line in a swinging shuffle rocker. I learned the verse today. What I want to know is...what does the book mean when it says, "Paul walks through the chord changes with a well-balanced blend of diatonic, scalar melody (as in measures 1-2)."?

    Here are the first six measures:


    -0----4-----4-|--------4---- |


    I have other questions about the song explanation intro...but I'll leave as this for now. Please check back again for more questions on this song. Thank you.
  2. To me, a diatonic scale is the major (or other mode) scale with some notes separated by a fret (1-2-3 and 5-6-7) and some not. (3-4 and 7-8) as opposed to chromatic, which is 12 half steps.

    "A well balanced blend of diatonic, scalar melody..." Though I haven't picked up my bass and played the tabs you gave, it appears to be a descending (E major?) scale starting on F# ( Gb) and ending an octave lower. (To me that's the diatonic scalar melody... blended with what?):confused:
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    First thing...why are you UP an octave?
    The 1st note(F#) @the 11th fret of the "G"-string?
    It's been awhile, but I always started @the 4th fret/D-string.

    Anyway, as Burnthill sez, the tune is in E major(E-F#-G#-A-B-C#-D#-E)...
    So, the tune begins on the ii(1st bar) & follows with the V7(2nd bar)...
    I do know the guitar is playing lF#m---lB---l & not lF#m7---lB7---l. What can I say? These guys(The Beatles) used their ears as what to play(not sure they knew how to even form a 7th chord at this point in their developement.). ;)

    McCartney plays a scalar/diatonic figure over those opening 2 bars...he's using only the notes of the E major SCALE in doing so.
    Maybe that's why there's an "A" used with the "B" chord.
    Maybe that's why there's no "D" used with the F#m chord...

    Paul stayed with the notes in the "E Major scale".

    Good idea for a thread; we need more of them like this...
  4. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    No kidding -- actual musical content!
  5. burnthill,

    But I'm still a little confused. I sort of understand what you and Jim are saying. I wish there was one plain definition of "diatonic, scalar melody". Why is the song in "E" if it starts out in "F#m" and that F#m prevails throughout?

    This is what the full sentence said: "Paul walks through the chord changes with a well-balanced blend of diatonic, scalar melody (as in meausres 1-2), arpeggio outlines (meausres 3 and 5), and root-fifth movement (measures 4, 6, 7, and 8). These three approaces embody the basic building blodkcs of McCArtney's (and most bassists') style." If anyone wants to disect this further please do. I understand root-fifth.

    Jim K,

    This book musta made a mistake or it purposely made it this way. However nowhere in the book does it mention the song is played one octave higher than the original. I wonder why they would do this... Even in the video that I bought along with it the guy playes it like this...

    I will re-edit my original post and type in the correct add the measures that were described.
  6. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago

    Diatonic is the scale system that we of European descent are used to. The major and minor scales are diatonic.

    The first two bars of Paul's line are in the E major scale. Even though the chords dance around this scale, all of the chord tones IN the chords are from the E major scale. That's why we say the song is in the key of E major. And in fact, that's wht makes a chord useable in a key -- the fact that all of the notes in it are indeed in the key's scale.

    The word "scalar" means that each note is adjacent to the previous one in the scale, all in one direction, as opposed to skipping around. This is sometimes also stated as "scalar movement" or "scalar melody".

    "Arpeggio" means the notes of a chord played singly, one after the other, from lowest to highest or from highest to lowest. In bar 3, I believe Paul played e-g#-b-g#. These are the notes of the E major chord. Play them one at a time, it's an arpeggio. (You may see this word used as a verb or as "arpeggiate" which means the same thing.) An arpeggio is a very effective way for a single-pitch instrument like a horn or (usually) a bass to define a chord without playing all of the notes at once, that's why the book says it's a basic building block of most bassists' styles. You can set up a chord without actally playing the whole chord at once. So you see, the F#m does NOT prevail throughout!

    CAUTION: These elementary "rules" of music theory do NOT always apply to 20th-century forms like blues, jazz, and rock. You will find lots of rock songs in E that have chords like D and G, which aren't in the E Major scale. This doesn't mean the song isn't in E, it means that the harmonic structure isn't a simple major tonality, that's all. (Sorry -- "tonality" means the basic structure of the harmonies and notes available to use.)

    One of the reasons Beatle music sounds like it does is that it relies heavily on the contrast of the traditional major tonalities against rockin' guitars. I don't think Paul and John intentionally did this -- it was just a product of their musical upbringing. In fact. there was at least one album of Beatle soings recorded with string quartets and chamber orchestras called sonething like "The Classical Beatles". These songs worked in this format because of this strong major tonality. Other Beatle songs ("Yer Blues" from the White Album, for example) don't follow that strict major tonality and so weren't included in that "classical" recording.

    This is usefiul information when playing different musical styles. Given a certain chord progression, I might choose different notes if I were playing Dixieland, blues, or folk. Certain tonalities were made "usual" by the pre-eminent practitioners of each of these styles, and using tonalities that aren't in the usual repertoire of the style can be unsettling. You can decide to do that, but only if you're looking to rattle people's cages.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999

    ...Eli has nailed it for you.
    Note his words of "Caution", too. There are rules...& they can be broken/bent; ever see The Matrix? ;)

    I always liked the 2nd bar in the chorus-

    The guitar is still playing some kinda C#min chord while the bass goes down to a "C".
    For a little ol' Pop song, that's some weird bi-tonality goin' on there! ;)
  8. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Another excellent example of how 20th-century music doesn't follow the theory "rules" set down the 17th century. Heck, even Stravinsky caused a riot with "The Rite of Spring" because it didn't "follow the rules".

    A lot of beginning music students get hung up trying to understand rock, jazz, and blues in the context of this 300-year-old set of standards and procedures. Music has evolved since then, and while we still use a lot of what was defined back then, there are lots of newer "gotchas" that sound cool but simply weren't ever envisioned back then, and you can hurt yourself trying to analyze new music with old yardsticks.

    I read a cute little thing a couple of years ago about some Australian guitar player (Frank Gambale? not sure) who occasionally used a certain chord which, while it sounded cool, really refused to fit any definition of major, minor, sus, diminished, or any traditional definition. When asked what the heck THAT chord was, this guitar player said, "Well, in Australia, we call it 'Fred'." The point: As long as you can communicate what you mean, it doesn't have to fit ANY pre-defined standard. There are new things happening all the time, and beginners are well-advised to be aware that some things just don't match the book.
  9. Thanks to Eli and Jim K for clarifiying this all up. I noticed that Paul used a pick on all the songs he played on the Ed Sullivan show. I'm wondering, did he do this on every single early Beatles song? It sure seems that way based on all three taped shows they did on Ed Sullivan in 1964. That's about ten of their early classics including ALL MY LOVING. Also, how do you tell if they are using a pick or not? I find it hard to tell [when listening].
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Yesterday, I was in a store & thumbed thru this book... good stuff, though I'm confused as to why "All My Loving" is notated UP an octave.

    I'm assuming Paul used a pick 100% of the time(?)...
    on the 1st Anthology box set, the band is attempting to run through "One After 909", a pretty-quick Rocker. Problem? Paul has forgotten his plectrum & begins whining that he can't play the tune, it's too quick, it's madness! ;)
    Funny stuff, check it out(I think my details are correct...I'll verify them later).

    Anyway, George Martin is a doubt, his expertise eliminated any CLANK inherent with a pick on a bass string. Martin is an "audio engineer" & a MUSICIAN(too many "sound guys" & "rich guys with equipment" dominate today's scene, IMO).
    Too, Paul's Hofner is a pretty bottom heavy instrument, anyway...
  11. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    IIRC, Paul used a FELT pick most of the time with the Beatles. This gives the same type of attack fingerstyle would, but allows the player to play more guitar-style -- remember, Paul was a guitar player before Stu quit and Paul got "lumbered" (stuck) with bass. So it does make it tough to tell just by listening. Possibly a part of George Martin's engineering genius -- eliminate the problem at the source! It also explains why Paul's not having his "plec" was such a problem -- these things are somewhat rare and not normally found at corner music stores. Certainly he couldn't just borrow one from John or George!
  12. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999

    ...gee, I thought it was 'cause Paul required a left-handed pick.:confused:

  13. I will look for one of these FELT picks next time I'm in the store. Right now I actually just use one of my guitar picks. I just happen to have a fatter pick, but I bought it by accident. Maybe that is what I'm supposed to use for bass? Most of the time I'm using my fingers.

    I do have Anthology 1, I will take a listen to that, Jim.
  14. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    ... and imagine how hard it would be to find a LEFT-HANDED felt pick!
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