Author Topic: Minute By Minute Intro Chords  (Read 20421 times)

Offline coachdobbs

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Minute By Minute Intro Chords
« on: November 09, 2008, 01:32:47 AM »
I have looked EVERYWHERE for the chords in the introduction of "Minute By Minute" written by Michael McDonald w/ The Doobie Brothers. They seem impossible to find for some reason or another. I really want to learn how to play that intro so that I can play the rest of the song... because its filthy smooth. If anyone has the chords to the intro of this song if you could post them of PM me I would greatly appreciate it!
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Offline Dan Belcher

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Minute By Minute Intro Chords
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2008, 11:05:15 AM »
I'd love to see just how many complex chords he shoved in there.  The start of that song is just nasty.  Love it!!
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Offline watermelonman

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Minute By Minute Intro Chords
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2008, 08:21:51 AM »
Dm7 C/E F F#dim7 C/G G#dim7 Am G/B Am/C C#dim7 Dm C/E F13sus F#dim7 C/G G#dim7 Am G/B Am/C C#dim7 Dm C/E F13sus F#dim7 C/G G#dim7 Am G/B Am/C C#dim7 Dm7 . . .

and whole lot of phase shifter!
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Offline Ben Bove

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Minute By Minute Intro Chords
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2008, 02:24:36 PM »
The best part of this intro is the continuously rising bass line, of course kicked down the octave when needed.

Thanks for the chords!
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Offline Rob A

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Minute By Minute Intro Chords
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2008, 02:31:51 PM »
That's how you do a first post--welcome to the boards.

Offline coachdobbs

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Minute By Minute Intro Chords
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2008, 02:17:43 AM »
If you ever watch Michael McDonald play it live he goes back and forth between octaves on the bass line going up, along with the chords on top. It could possibly be the smoothest Rhodes song that there is period. I would LOVE to know how he recorded that and got that smooth of a sound. Just a great song. Thanks a lot for the chords.
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Offline watermelonman

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Minute By Minute Intro Chords
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2008, 07:35:11 AM »
It's always been one of my favorites on the Rhodes, along with Babylon Sisters.
Come to think of it, I can imagine Minute By Minute fitting in well sonically on the Gaucho album (but perhaps not as much lyrically).
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Offline coachdobbs

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Minute By Minute Intro Chords
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2008, 12:12:23 PM »
I love babylon sisters. Such a good song and the rhodes is really chewy. Very good sound. I just hate the chords to it  :shock: . I have the Steely Dan Anthology which has every song in it that the Dan did from 72-80 (except for FM, and I love that song) and I have come to the realization that I may not ever be able to play some of the things from Aja/Gaucho. I mean... I can hack it up pretty good, but actually playing it like its supposed to be played... well I just cant do it  :cry:  haha. Those guys were geniuses as far as writing music.
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Offline Dan Belcher

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Minute By Minute Intro Chords
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2008, 02:49:53 PM »
Quote from: "coachdobbs"
I love babylon sisters. Such a good song and the rhodes is really chewy. Very good sound. I just hate the chords to it  :shock: . I have the Steely Dan Anthology which has every song in it that the Dan did from 72-80 (except for FM, and I love that song) and I have come to the realization that I may not ever be able to play some of the things from Aja/Gaucho. I mean... I can hack it up pretty good, but actually playing it like its supposed to be played... well I just cant do it  :cry:  haha. Those guys were geniuses as far as writing music.
I know what you mean.  I have the Complete Steely Dan songbook, and I looked at the sheet music for Babylon Sisters and nearly s**t my pants.  I also looked at the sheet music for Donald Fagen's "On The Dunes" (taken from the Donald Fagen Concepts For Jazz/Rock Piano DVD) and it's likewise downright evil despite being based entirely around a standard blues structure.  However, the thing is, the actual parts aren't hard to play per se.  There isn't much difficult, quick, confusing hand movement or anything.  It's just tons and tons of hard to remember polychords!

Edit -- here is an example of the thick polychord action in On The Dunes.  Page 1, and Page 2.
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Offline RhodesMkII81

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Re: Minute By Minute Intro Chords
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2011, 01:29:04 PM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gC_1sRIgOM

For the poster who wants to hear the song from start to end, wanting to know how hard it is to play by ear...

~Ben

Offline pcmancini

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Re: Minute By Minute Intro Chords
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2011, 08:30:57 PM »
Paul
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Offline coachdobbs

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Re: Minute By Minute Intro Chords
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2011, 12:28:57 AM »
I finally figured that one out! I play it often as a warmup. Thanks for that link though. I guess I wasnt the only person who really wanted to figure that one out!
1978 Fender Rhodes Stage 73 (3978) 
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BBE Sonic Maximizer 
Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble/1982 Boss CE-2/1982 Ibanez CS-9
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Offline Cormac Long

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Re: Minute By Minute Intro Chords
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2011, 05:27:04 AM »
A whole new meaning to the use of subtitles!
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Offline pcmancini

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Re: Minute By Minute Intro Chords
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2011, 05:30:31 PM »
A whole new meaning to the use of subtitles!

I know, pretty cool right?
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Offline Nelson 54

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Re: Minute By Minute Intro Chords
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2021, 05:29:26 PM »
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? 

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