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Real Chords #2: The Moody Blues, "Dawn Is a Feeling"

We continue our Real Chords series with this gem, the opening number from The Moodies' classic Days of Future Passed. Before we get into it, I offer the caveat that I've arranged the song for guitar; on the recording…
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Real Chords #1: The Kinks, "Do You Remember Walter"

After cursing and shaking my head one too many times at online chord charts, I bring you an occasional series called Real Chords. If I may say so, those of you who'd like to learn some classic songs on…
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Summer Potpourri

This month's post is a bit of a mish-mash, as none of what's on my mind merits a full-blown screed. So, in no particular order:

New Covers. "God's Children" (The Kinks), "Late Night" (Syd Barrett), "Lightning Rose" (Jefferson Starship—ongoing Paul…
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Writing Song Lyrics

In a previous post on songwriting, I walked you through my typical process, from chord sequence to melody to finished song. This time we'll take a closer look at the final stage, writing the lyrics, using the example of my…
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Back to the Garden

And I'm not talking springtime planting, folks. The Fonz don't do gardening. As you might guess, I'm speaking of the legendary 1969 Woodstock Festival. Even if you're not into all that hippie music or the attendant counterculture, most observers…
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Songwriting from the Ground Up

I'm working on three new songs at the moment. I've just finished one called "Shadow Play Clan," and I thought I'd give you a tour of the process. What I'm about to describe is fairly typical for me, with the…
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There's a Starman Waiting in the Sky

Like many of you, I heard news of the passing of David Bowie this morning. Now, you surely don't need me to convince you of the Thin White Duke's genius. In an industry where so many mark time with rehashed…
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Taking Forever, Just Like Brian Wilson Did

So, I got a Christmas card from my best friend telling me, "Santa knows what you did, and he's pissed." To which he added, "Actually, he's pissed because of what you didn't do: release the album! C'mon, Brian Wilson
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Weir-d Chord Sequences

A small confession here: I was a teenage Deadhead. I'm now a middle-aged Deadhead. Yes, I possess a modest collection of live shows—first on cassette, these days as mp3s on my laptop. I've seen the Grateful Dead live, but only…

Photographs by Carol Witwicky. Instrument illustrations and GZ logo © 2017 Grinning Zone Studios.
Album and lyrics page artwork © 2017 Gabriel Altrows. Web design by Vern Nicholson.
Sour Landslide and Benvereens archival footage courtesy Neil Whitlock.
All pages and contents © 2017-2018 Vern Nicholson.