Last night, after sitting with it for a couple of hours and scouring You-Tube for some examples, I was able to find my tone and successfully get a version of The Police’s “Message in a Bottle” down. I’ve always loved that song, probably since I first heard it way back in high school. The key for me, no pun intended, was finding my own key. At first I had to learn the chords of course, and then the chore was to substitute them for the key that I’m most comfortable in. That key has repeatedly revealed itself to be the key of C/C#. Message in a Bottle is done in C#m, A, B and F#m. That my friends is the key of D, minus making that C#m a diminished chord. And what else is in the key of D? Well, none other than my beloved Tarantos, a Flamenco Palo that I’ve always admired and adored, but never really explored the way that I should have. I say that in jest, because during my none Music Theory days, I admit trying to learn a Solo or to for it, and did learn some traditional falsettas that could be played for the dancers. For dance it’s got that Tangos 4/4 rhythm and it can even be done in a Bulerias.
Here’s that first attempt at Message in a Bottle without the chorus:
Anyway, after learning what the chords to Message in a Bottle were and substituting them out (Bm7 add 9 (or not), G7, A add 9 and E add 9 all I had to do was play with a rhythm that I felt comfortable with. Increasingly throughout this journey that rhythm has been Bossa Nova. For some strange reason Bossa allows me the freedom to sing, even more so than the Rumba rhythms that I’m most familiar with because of Flamenco. Why, I have no idea, I only know that there is a certain calmness I get that doesn’t make me feel rushed, and thus, I’m exploring it more and more. For my own musical taste, I find that strange, but delightful as well, primarily because I’m so new to Bossa. Last week for example, I was able to do a rendition of David Bowie’s “Rebel, Rebel”, but only because I saw Seu Jorge performing it on a FaceBook live stream a day before his Life Aquatic concert here in San Diego. When I realized what the chords were, and saw what he was doing with them, I felt that I could take it and run with it.
I plan to take some more Bowie tunes and do them, because if you know me, you know that Bowie was my man, but for right now I’m a little than more interested in The Police , and playing with some of their tunes. Maybe I’ll alternate between Bowie and The Police. The end goal is to be able to perform them at my gigs on Tuesday nights, at the Turquoise, located here in Sunny San Diego.