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Messages - Nelson 54

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Old thread, I realize, but I was looking for some info/insight on the intro to Minute by Minute, which has always baffled me -- and after looking at some tutorials online and studying the patterns, I figured out what eludes most players ... and with a very interesting twist!

First, the song itself has a 12/8 or 6/8 feel, depending on whether your counting 6 beats or four triplets to a measure.  Either way, very conventional. Since the intro has the same tempo, it's tempting to try to count it in the same feel as well.  But when you do, and you look for a typical 4-bar phrase, you end up starting each new phrase on a different chord, and then it just feels like an untethered progression - no real pattern. 

The mistake is trying to count in 12/8 or 6/8 with expected 2 or 4 bar phrases.

Listen to or watch the bass line alone - or right hand alone.   They're playing 10 note phrases in 5/4 time. The left hand is playing octaves--low note on the down beat and higher octave on the upbeat.  It starts on D and over two bars -- 10 down beats and 10 up beats - it climbs to C#, then the pattern starts again.  Counting each bass note played in the octave pair as an 1/8 note (in 5/4 or 10/8) there are 20 eighth notes in the 2-bar phrase.  (Note: the first D is low, the second and third time, the "D" start of the phrase is the high D, which then drops back down to the lower E to start the climb--other than where the "D" is, the phrases are identical).

So the intro repeats a 2-bar 5/4 phrase three times.   And here's the twist ....

Consider why he put such an odd, seeming out of phrasing intro before a very straightforward song rhythm?   One that creates a lot of tension, until it resolves into the familiar 6/8 feel that drives the song?

Think of the title and the lyrical theme:  "Minute by Minute."  McDonald sings about someone he foolishly loses and for whom he waits patiently and likely in vain, living his life minute by minute, "holding on" for her return.   He wants you to feel that tension, he wants you to wait, too.

And you wait while the left hand counts time.  Three 2-bar phrases in 5/4 time.  Exactly 60 bass notes ... like 60 seconds on a clock ... before you exhale and enter the familiar zone.   Not 60 literal seconds (that would have taken TOO long for a pop song) -- but 60 figurative seconds -- 1 symbolic minute -- and enough time to feel the tension, the discomfort of what it's like to live and wait minute by minute.

Far fetched?  Maybe.  Coincidence?  Always possible.  Subconscious or intentional?  No real difference there.   

In any event, food for thought -- what do you think? 

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: New Rhodes?
« on: July 26, 2021, 09:40:41 AM »
Here is some more recent coverage of the Rhodes reboot including statement from the new firm’s chairman, Matt Pelling.

Hi - New to the EP-Forum. First time Rhodes owner (I had a Wurly years ago) and I gig with a digital piano and vintage Korg clonewheels (1981 BX-3 and CX-3). I found a Rhodes 54 on Guitar Center's vintage online site. Posted for under one hour, and I was one of 5 buyers in line (I was #2 and the first buyer fell through!). $1699 and $40 to freight it 1,100 miles!   Just got it this week and it's amazing.  Appears to have been restored some years back by "ursomyrhodes" (who has posted on this Forum).  Probably retolexed with new repro hardware, but in beautiful shape-no rips.  Inside it's minty fresh - all shiny, with red coil pickups now wired in parallel groups (probably restoration) and no rust or corrosion whatsoever on the tines, tone bars or other internal hardware, and a switchcraft 1/4" jack replacing the RCA connecction.   Plays like a dream - nice accelerated action - feels and sounds great, pretty much arrived in tune, and with good balanced output.  A couple of small issues - one latch is broken (new pair on the way) and the tone slider may not be working (need to check out further -- easy fix). I know these are hard to find in any shape and the GC staff vouched for the nice condition, but this is better than I expected.  Super happy to have it ... and to join the Rhodes club!

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