Not E Major…

For the last few days, I’ve had yet another old Band song running through my head. This one’s titled ” Sleeping “, from the Stage Fright album. It’s quite catchy, and, as I do, I find myself not only enjoying the pleasant companionship but also slowly taking the piece apart as it runs and looking at it from the inside.

” Sleeping” is in 3/4 time; that’s fairly unusual right there. Richard Manuel had such an expressive voice, and the chorus is not only catchy, but actually swings, the way an old big band song would. Very cool.

But what really caught me was not being able to quite determine what key it’s in. I can typically get that pretty easily, just from hearing a few guitar chords in use. This one seemed to have E Major written all over it… a favorite of bluesy/rockabilly/ country guys. It plays very easily on guitar, and Robbie Robertson is a classic Fender Tele/ TwinReverb guy all the way.

But still…not quite. I finally gave up, and looked it up on a few websites.

It’s in F major. Now that’s only one half-step higher, but means that guitar and bass both have to work bit harder, and that’s why E major usually wins out in the end. But it does offer a very different dynamic.

As I poked around a bit more, I noticed that a lot of Band stuff was in F major; curious and interesting.

And, as I was leafing through some old photos, I came across this;

This is the handout from Rick‘s memorial service.

Now that’s even cooler than playing in F, when you might just as easily have chosen E.

I wonder what will start playing next…

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Don’t think this is in E Major either……

  2. (this was supposed to be up there)

  3. Well thanks Girlie. Awfully nice of you to remember. How do you do it? I write stuff down on little scraps of paper and then lose them. And when I find them again, I see that they’re in an alien shorthand and have no idea what I meant. Alien mind control, or am I just 60?


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