• Harmonic analysis

    The idea behind this blog is to break down interesting songs to their core parts as an alternative to memorizing fret numbers on tabs. Here are the basics.

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Jack Straw – Grateful Dead

tldr: Jack Straw is in E major, mixolydian mode. Almost all of the chords are straight from E mixolydian.  In the main verses, the only non-mixolydian chords are: a chromatic Imaj7 chord (Emaj7) transitioning from the I to bVII chord (on “mine…” and, later, “sky…”), and in the same spot of the second half of […]

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Sugaree – Grateful Dead

tldr: Sugaree is in B major, using the Mixolydian mode. The main verse and lines 1 and 3 of chorus are simply B and E (I to IV), with the E chord alternating in an A note to make an Esus4. The prechorus is F#m C#m A E (replacing the F#m with B the second […]

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