Zeppelin - Since I've Been Loving You analysis questions

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by slimjw, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. slimjw

    slimjw Member

    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Posted this on another board, but figured it made since to also post here since there are a lot of Zep fiends on this board. Any help appreciated!

    I realize this song is basically a slow blues in C minor, but am having a hard time figuring out what is going on from a theory/chord sequence perspective during the two chord descending lick Page plays at the end of the turnarounds. I pretty much know enough theory to get myself in trouble, hence the request for help interpreting this.

    The part I'm talking about first occurs at 1:06 in the song and chord shape for the first chord could be (going by chord shape, not key context) a few things; a D7 with 5th in the bass, A minor 6, or A diminished. I guess it could also be Ab7 with A in the bass (not sure this would be any different than A dim). The second chord, I don't know...

    I hear it as some sort of walk-down to the 5 chord of G7 (or equivalent diminished dominant sub)

    Can anyone shed any light on this? Also, what about the 6th diads played on the 5th and 3rd strings right before the turnaround? I interpret them as the 5th and Major 3rd of the 6 and 5 chords, but not sure about the last one on the 6th and 4th string that directly precedes the turnaround lick in the original question.

    Hope this is understandable. Besides the solo, this is one of the signature licks in the song.
     
    siore likes this.
  2. gilmourjunkie

    gilmourjunkie Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,314
    Likes Received:
    398
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Here you go buddy. I think this is right. I'm actually working on this song too. One of my favorites.

    Cm, G7/B, Cm, Eb6, D7#9, Dbmaj7
     
  3. jerryo

    jerryo Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,803
    Likes Received:
    787
    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Instructional vids on that one all over U-tube :)
     
  4. slimjw

    slimjw Member

    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    I realize there are instructional vids. Playing the part (for me) isn't the same as understanding the song. I can play the part in question, but don't understand what's going on from a theory point of view. Thanks for the responses so far.
     
  5. HogmanA

    HogmanA Senior Member

    Messages:
    867
    Likes Received:
    491
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    I think it's D7, followed by DbM7. That's how I understood it, and if I remember rightly, but I think I ommitted the root of both (5th in the bass which descends in the guitar riff).

    I'm not 100% positive though! :hmm:

    (edit)
    I'll have a look at tonight when I can listen to it as i'm interested too. (I've not been very helpful so far, sorry)
     
  6. siore

    siore Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,984
    Likes Received:
    124
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Also interesting for me to see why a piece works. Hope we get some jazz players in here to de-construct the whole thing. :D
     
  7. huw

    huw V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    3,479
    Likes Received:
    4,683
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Well I see it like this - I'll put chord tones in bold & fret numbers non-bold:

    Over the first Cm chord he is playing an Eb (A string 6th fret) & a C (G string 5th) outling the chord by playing the 3rd & root.

    He then slides that position down a fret. There are a couple of ways to interpret this chord, but I'll stick with G7. The lower note of his shape now becomes the 5th of the chord, whilst the upper note becomes the 3rd of the chord.

    Returning to the Cm chord he goes back up again to the original notes - a low 3 & a high root. (nb - he slides the pair up 2 frets & back as a little fill utilising the 4th & 9th of the chord)

    For the Eb chord he does one of two things (years of listening to bootlegs here I'm affraid): either he moves the whole shape down a string set on to the E & D strings (6th & 5th frets) to play the low 5th & high 3rd of the chord or sometimes he's lazy & just moves the upper note, leaving the low note on the A string (6th fret) giving in that case a root & 3rd pair.

    For the D7 to Dbmaj7 move he's just playing root & 3rd of each chord on the A & D strings, first at the 5th & 4th frets, then at the 4th & 3rd. Over each of those there's a twiddle from C to D & back by bending the 5th fret of the G string. Over the D7 chord this is 7 to root, over the DbMaj7 this is maj7 to b9(!).

    So although what he's doing seems pretty sophisticated from a blues point of view, he's sticking to strong chord tones at all times. There's some nice voice leading between the first three chords, but after that it's a lot simpler.

    In terms of analysing the actual chord progression I'd say it was a ii - V - I with a flat five substitution:

    In Cm ii V I would be Dm G7 Cm. The chord built on the D is just changed from minor to major. The second chord, instead of using the G7 substitutes a chord whose root is a flattened 5th away from G: Db. Choosing to make the Db a maj7 allows for a smooth movement from the D7 back to the Cm tonic of the key, because the note C sounds throughout all three chords.

    Any use? :)
     
  8. HogmanA

    HogmanA Senior Member

    Messages:
    867
    Likes Received:
    491
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Thanks Huw!

    couple of questions,

    the G7, why not B diminished instead? when playing the full chords, this sounds more like it.

    of note is the fact that the root notes of each chord from the Eb are descending by semitone back to Cm ( Eb - D - Db - Cm). Does this help smooth the chord progression?

    also, that the D7 chord is the 5th of the prominent G chord 2 bars earlier - does this help with the feel of the D7 chord? as a sort of chord substitution (if thats the right term).

    I'm just guessing really, so any input to my thoughts much appreciated! :thumb:
     
  9. huw

    huw V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    3,479
    Likes Received:
    4,683
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Well, I did say there were a couple of ways to interpret that chord... :naughty:

    Basically I aggree with you - if I'm playing keys on this song I'll play it as Bdim (nb - with the note D in the bass: that's the "classically trained" way to voice that chord :rolleyes:). Usually just as a dim triad, but sometimes I'll add the Ab on top to make a full dim7 chord. Listening to the recording, and to numerous bootlegs I'd say that's what John Paul Jones does, choosing to add the Ab or not depending on what he feels like at the precise moment.

    However I chose to let the interpretation as a G7 stand in my initial post for a couple of reasons:

    a) I was in a hurry... :rolleyes::laugh2:

    b) For most people I would guess that the progression is easier to analyse with the G (dominant chord of the key of Cm) than with the B dim. More people are familiar with dominants, what they are, how they work & where they lead to than with dim triads. To an extent, and from a functional point of view (ie the role of the chord in constructing the progression), the two are fairly interchangable - they both pull strongly back to the tonic chord. Even if the Ab is added, you could view the chord as a G7b9 (no root), so I don't think it does much harm which way the chord is interpreted, except for the important point that the G note is definitely ommited. For that reason I usually see it as a Bdim, but it's a free world... :)

    Yes indeed. In fact, look at the whole turnaround: Cm/Eb, Bdim/D, Cm, Eb, D7, Dbmaj7, Cm. That bass line is clustering around the same few notes - you have repetition (slightly altered), & semitone movement. Both good ways to ensure that the chords move smoothly (Not to forget the common tones between chords, but we already said that).

    While I remember, it's worth drawing attention to the fact that the bass on this is organ pedals, & IIRC (& I'm pretty sure that I do) the bass line for the whole song sticks within a single C - C octave, so there aren't any big leaps, or anything too busy, or "bass guitar-istic".

    Well this is where the strength of the ii V I chord progression comes from: the relationship between the first two roots is the same as between the second two. That is to say: G leads us back to C because it's the dominant chord of the key of C/Cm. And D (or Dm depending on context - it's the root note that is important here) leads nicely to G because it's the dominant of the key of G. So using the dominant of the dominant, usually refered to as a secondary dominant gives a clear movement, throughout all three chords, towards the tonic chord.

    Things to add:

    a) This is true despite the flat 5 chord substitution replacing the G with a Db.
    b) Although there is as you say a prominant G a few bars before the turnaround, I would say that the strength, "smoothness" & just "rightness" of the D is more because of the chords imediately before it (Eb) and after it (Db & Cm). They create the context in which the chord works.

    One final thing: when I play this song on keys I have a habit (that I can't remember if it comes from John Paul Jones or from me) of playing the Cm as Cm7 and the Eb as Eb6 - ie the same note set for each (Cm7 - C Eb G Bb; Eb6 - Eb G Bb C). This seems to add to the ease with which the chords flow into each other - again it's a common tone thing.

    Phew - class dismissed, I've got work to do... :)
     
  10. HogmanA

    HogmanA Senior Member

    Messages:
    867
    Likes Received:
    491
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Thankyou Huw!

    Lesson very much appreciated and absorbed!

    thank you for your time and patience, but it comes at a price...

    ...namely more questions in the future!!

    But really, thankyou, it is appreciated. :dude:
     
  11. River

    River Senior Member

    Messages:
    57,250
    Likes Received:
    91,239
    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Yes, 'tis. I'm still working on the "absorbed" part, though. :)
     
  12. slimjw

    slimjw Member

    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    HUW, thanks so much for this thorough explanation. This is exactly what I was after and makes much sense!

    Another question re: the D7 to DbM7 part; I have seen it transcribed (and played) frequently with the chords voiced with 5th in the bass, i.e. D7/A (no root) DbM7/Ab. Is this correct?

    I do seem to hear that when listening to the song and additional evidence to my ear is that Page plays the Eb (on E & D strings at 6th & 5th frets) which means all he has to do is move the shape down a half step which certainly makes for good voice-leading and economy.
     
  13. huw

    huw V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    3,479
    Likes Received:
    4,683
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Well, transcriptions can vary - I had to walk away from an argument with someone on a different forum because they were insisting that the transcription they had was correct, even when confronted by a direct quote from the guitarist about how it was actually played (differently to the transcription ;) )

    All of what I posted above was from memory - I've played this tune for many years - so it's always possible that I've become used to how I play it, & forgotten a nuance of the original. I'll admit that right away. Plus I listen to Zep bootlegs a lot more than the studio albums these days, and with Page how he played it in the studio can always change when he plays it live.

    However, I know that I have two different transcriptions in the attic - wait there...





    ...OK I'm back. So I've got one transcription from Guitarist mag, April 2002. In that one it's written out with the D to Db move being root & 3rd, or just third, each time. I've also got the Warner Chappell box set transcription (the two volume set that goes with the 4 CD remastered box set from the 90's) and in that one it isn't always the same: sometimes it shows root & 3rd, but other times it's low 5th & 3rd. Hmmm - see what I mean, transcribers don't always hear things the same.

    I'm curious now - where's the CD? Wait here (sorry to do this again :) )...

    ...OK, just listened through to the studio recording. To my ear he isn't doing it the same every time - sometimes the low note is the root, sometimes it's the 5th, & sometimes it's barely there at all.

    That's typical Page isn't it? Why do it exactly the same each time? There's a framework, and within that he can be spontaneous, even down to chord voicings. Oh well, the good news it that it doesn't affect the chord functioning in terms of how the progression works.

    As far as the voice leading goes:

    Playing the D Db with root & third makes a smooth movement towards the root of the Cm chord, but to set that up there is a jump midway through the progression...

    Playing the low 5th & 3rd voicing keeps the smooth movement through out the progression, but there is a jump to reach the Cm...

    What we loose on the swings we gain on the roundabouts, as my dad used to say. :)
     
    River likes this.
  14. AndyInNola

    AndyInNola Junior Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    So glad I found this thread, Great tune to work on....the ii v i analysis is spot on. Its what makes the tune different than many of the other blues. The chords and amazing talents of the band, Johnny Bonham of course, are really what make this tune, and its sister tune Babe I'm Gonna Leave You (lots of the same ideas) really different. I love the analysis but the only way I can figure out the tune is to though in some chords and listen to what works, which is how the tune evolved anyway. But is really all around the DGC thing, with slides, just like the solo. Very cool, thanks mate, btw I can't stand all the wanker vids on youtube.
     
  15. AndyInNola

    AndyInNola Junior Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    After working this out on the keyboard, the skeleton of this turnaround is not really that complicated. Whoever said the EFlat 6 is spot on because an EFlat 6 and a C minor 7th are the same chord. Mostly is a bunch of colors that look are variations on the same thing...

    The EFlat chord is the relative major of the C minor scales the tune is built on. The Eflat Major 7th is basically a G Minor with an E Flat in the base, so the turaround is a walkup the 5 one G over D in the bass, to C minor that punctuates the turnaround.

    So really, the simple version is that G minor to A Flat (Major 7th) to the F minor, to the C minor to the G over D and back to the Cminor, then the D in the base(check this its from memory) setting up he diminished, whatever that riff is, that is on the guitar. You can mix and match 7ths and play with the major minor blues thing.

    One thing for the guitar is that Page hints at all of these chords with fragments but the keyboard harmonics, organ, I guess and bass or doing the heavy lifting, until that diminished.
     
  16. AndyInNola

    AndyInNola Junior Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Hey, still working on that, just an correction to my own simple version, and it is that the B diminshed and the G are the same chord voiced differently, what else is new. Its all colors baby, and paint by ear.
     
  17. db3266

    db3266 V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    2,893
    Likes Received:
    1,577
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwTWcd9XRN4]Jamie Humphries plays Since I've been loving you - YouTube[/ame]
     
  18. davies

    davies Banned/Not Banned V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    3,650
    Likes Received:
    2,209
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    What has not particularly clever Chinese criminal organisation got to do with music theory?
     
  19. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,854
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    They invented the whole damn system, as part of their world domination plans. Why else do you thnk it's so confusing?
    :)
     
  20. davies

    davies Banned/Not Banned V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    3,650
    Likes Received:
    2,209
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    The buggers.
     

Share This Page