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Paul's ascending riffs
6 November 2023
8.11am
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Sea Belt
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I just discovered that you can clip YouTube segments, so I’ll try to use them to illustrate what I mean:

 

https://youtube.com/clip/Ugkxn…..3Xaw4gqCEG

https://youtube.com/clip/Ugkx-…..uslIaweaoo

https://youtube.com/clip/Ugkxx…..pUl9XFJSa6

https://youtube.com/clip/Ugkx5…..B6FsPHXwLi

 

These are all I can think of at the moment.  Seems unique to Paul’s songwriting.

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Now today I find, you have changed your mind

6 November 2023
4.20pm
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vonbontee
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Nice work spotting that! 

Hello Goodbye ” is another one, with George(?) playing that 8-note ascending major scale during the refrains.

(And hmm, the coda of “Across The Universe ” also features a repeated 8-note octave ascent, but that one’s not a Paul song, of course…)

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GEORGE: In fact, The Detroit Sound. JOHN: In fact, yes. GEORGE: In fact, yeah. Tamla-Motown artists are our favorites. The Miracles. JOHN: We like Marvin Gaye. GEORGE: The Impressions PAUL & GEORGE: Mary Wells. GEORGE: The Exciters. RINGO: Chuck Jackson. JOHN: To name but eighty. 

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https://rateyourmusic.com/~Myo.....Von_Bontee

7 November 2023
12.37am
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Sea Belt
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Yes @vonbontee — Hello Goodbye , I’d forgotten that, and probably was Paul’s input.  When you clicked on my links, did they work in the sense that they led you to little snippets of a few seconds on a loop?  A friend told me another link I created for him the same way did not work for him but only played the entire song.

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Now today I find, you have changed your mind

7 November 2023
2.58am
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Ahhh Girl
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They did work correctly, @Sea Belt. It really helped to hear just the bit you want us to hear. Good job. I’m going to have to learn that trick.

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Sea Belt
8 November 2023
1.05am
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Sea Belt
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Ahhh Girl said
They did work correctly, @Sea Belt. It really helped to hear just the bit you want us to hear. Good job. I’m going to have to learn that trick.

  

That’s great news, thanks!  I’m still puzzled why the same links didn’t work for my friend via email — actually doubly puzzling because they worked for another email friend!  Oh well, at least they worked here!

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22 December 2023
6.55am
forn
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Sea Belt said
 

These are all I can think of at the moment.  Seems unique to Paul’s songwriting.

Ascending riffs are a common technique in all kinds of music.  Here’s one of my favorites, from Led Zeppelin’s Over the Hills and Far Away.  I always thought it sounded very clever:

 

https://youtube.com/clip/Ugkxj…..lBHA7h4JMG

 

By the way, thanks for pointing out that clip function, that’s pretty cool.

For another Beatle Paul example, there’s the beginning riff of Helter Skelter .

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23 December 2023
7.00am
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Sea Belt
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@forn — that Led Zeppelin one is pretty good. 

I’m not sure the Helter Skelter intro counts, since the guitar is actually descending, not ascending, while Paul’s singing is ascending.  That incidentally illustrates another thing Paul has done which he has mentioned in interviews — he likes to have an instrument go one direction while his singing goes the opposite. I think the example he gave was the boogie woogie piano in You Never Give Me Your Money doing this in contrast to his vocal melody.

Now today I find, you have changed your mind

23 December 2023
8.33pm
forn
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@forn — that Led Zeppelin one is pretty good. 

I’m not sure the Helter Skelter intro counts, since the guitar is actually descending, not ascending, while Paul’s singing is ascending.Sea Belt said

Oops, got that backwards.  How embarrassing.  But at least it allowed you to bring up Paul’s use of contrary motion.  The Helter Skelter riff also uses a drone note, for that matter.

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