View Full Version : Carlton

The Bash
08-28-2002, 05:47 AM
Anyone wanna do an in depth analysis on Carltonís first ďCharlemagneĒ solo.
Being a rock player the second soloís pretty obvious, its pretty much C pen Major and whatís not is pretty easy to easy. The first solo I donít completely see. I know enough theory wise to get how heís blowing over the changes and not just playing a certain scale and can see where some the notes are coming from but not all of them. I have and actual transcription of the changes heís playing over, someplace. I had many moons ago learnt the solo but outside the basic chord types and stray extension couldnít complexly catch chord wise exactly what the keys were playing. After comparing what I knew note wise with what I saw chord wise I still missed a few things.
So Iíve been listening to Steely Dan pretty heavy the past week and have regain the interest in knowing what heís doing over that tune more than just heís playing this note. I know heís playing this note. I can play that note. Itís the why? part I wanna steal.
Also Diasís ďBodhisattvaĒ would it be safe to say outside of the first solo where be plays over the EbM7-A7#5-Dm7-F (the can you show me the shine in your Japan part) as actual changes, that most of the soloís in G pen minor or Blues with lots of chromatic notes and itís his Attitude and Rhythmical placement or displacement thatís more important than actual note choice. How he ends the phrases of course are important note wise, but the stuff in between are to me pure attitude. Maybe thereís more to it Iím missing, maybe you can say heís doing Be-bop this or that but Iím not sure any of that really matters as much his attitude. I think he plays a lot them notes simply cause there convenient guitar wise.

The Bash
08-28-2002, 07:00 AM
I thought the song its self would make a good example of real world theory application. Even though the key sign says C major the first vamps a C7 as often happens in blues. Thereís also a bVII chord. To me the progression doesnít have a strong sense of resolution until the F7 G7 part lands on C7. It feels like it just keeps moving. Thatís simply how it Feels to me far from any enlightening analysis. So maybe someone who knows the song can analysis from a theoretical standpoint. As for the first solo I put what to me where the strong chords (thereís some passing brief passing chords) but I figure Itís the strong chords Carltonís exploiting.
Iím gonna start working on this as look and throw up some of my observations (right or wrong) hoping someone can show me what I missed or went wrong. So if I screw up thatís cool Iíll gain something in the process.

Intro: C7| C7| C7| C7|

Verse: Am| G6| F6/9| Bb9/13| x2 (8bars)

PreChorus: F G| Am7 G6| Dm7 G6 F6| Em7 Am FM9 Em7add4 D| (4bars)

Intro recapitulation: C7| C7| (2bars)

Verse and Pre Chorus

Chorus: Dm7 Em7| Dm7 Em7| Dm7 Em7| F7 G7| (4bars)

Intro recapitulation: C7| C7| (2bars)

Verse and Pre Chorus and Chorus

Solo 1: 4/4| Em7b5 A7 | Dm7 | E7 | Am G6 | FM7 Em7#5 |2/4 Dm7 B7b9 |4/4 Em7 | D7 | CM7 | Em7 D/E | Am | G6 | F6/9 | Bb9/13 | Fadd9 G | Am G6 | Dm7 F6 | Em7 Am FM9 Em7 add4 D | C7 | C7 |

The Bash
08-28-2002, 08:12 AM
Actually the soloís a lot more obvious to me than how I remember it 15 years ago as far as note choice but there still several neat things.
One thing I noticed is the way he anticipates the next change. Through most of this he starts the next arpeggio a 8th note early before the chord actually lands.
I found something cool right off the bat right over the first Am G6| change he runs a Am arp lands on D (5 of G) a 8th note early and bends to E so heís actually releasing E back to D Just as the G6 chord comes actually falls. To me that kinna blurs to together. You could view D as part of Am (11) bend to E (5) or to my ears it sounds as if heís already on the chord and Dís anticipating the G chord the bend to E (6) the release back to (5). After a few quick notes the next strong note he hits is A on the and of 4 which to me anticipates the FM7 chord a 8th note early.
Maybe anticipates isnít the correct word. Anyway I noticed heís doing that a lot. To me it gives the solo a slippy slidey kinns feel. Technical Term: Slippy Slidey.

I was just blown away over the bent d to e thing knowing he pretty much just walks in looks at the chart and just blows and itís over and done in a few takes. I donít know how many takes this solo was but usually Steely Dan had A guy in mind and if after a few tries they didnít feel it was what they wanted they just went, ďNextĒ. So Iím gussing it was 3 swings or less.

The Bash
08-29-2002, 09:24 AM
Over Bb13 Larry runs a real basic CM7 arpeggio down resolving to the Bb root.

If we spell Bb13 with extensions we get: Bb-D-F-Ab-C-Eb-G
So I see a simple extension of Cm7 (C-Eb-G-Bb) but this isnít what he plays, which is more than likely what I would of played if I were practicing this sort of thing.

Instead he plays CM7 (C-E-G-B)
Iím calling C (9) E (#11) G (13) B (Not a Clue)
Iím assuming it superimposes (if thatís the correct word) a Bb13#11 or at least creates that chord as its overall sound?
Now about the B since its only a 16 th note and passes between C and the Root Bb (which is held for a dotted quarter) Iím calling a him passing note (Chromatic Note).

I guess you could also he plays a G-C-E-G (C) between the G6 chord and F6/9
Even though the chords still G6 I hear this line as part of the F6/9 chord yet to come.
For no other reason than his phrasing is sentence like throughout the whole solo and to me his sentence over G6 has reached the period and the new sentence F6/9 sentence is starting even though the actual chord change hasnít.
That idea of starting before the chord is something I noticed not only all over this solo but all over a lot of his stuff. Another interesting point is his non-typical choice of bent notes, non-typical at least in a rock-n-roll sense. He uses half step bends to a nice effect (Something Steve Morse does a lot as well). In say an A pen minor scale he may play the C the drop back a half step to B and bend back up a half step to the C note. Or just play the C by ghost bending the B a half step. The sound and feel of the note comes first not simply the ease and the act of playing it.

08-29-2002, 10:56 AM
Hi Bash,

You give me some stuff to think about :D

During my time at Berklee I really took this song apart - drove my room mates crazy with this solo. I also wrote an arrangement for it with horns .... etc...

Lemme get out my old notes and have a look. I'll need some time with reviewing the solo.

Are you transcribing the solo? In my notes I do have a different run over the Bb7. I got bb c ab c g e db c bb. But I will double check this.

As far as I know they worked a lot on this solo and it took many takes to play that in. Can't remember where I read this but in one of the interviews Larry said that he first learned the entire solo when they went on tour.


08-29-2002, 11:47 AM
Hi Bash,

yep, your version is correct - it's c b bb at the end.

Bb7 in this situation takes Mixolydian #11. Now a comon way to create a Lydian sound is by playing a major triad up a step, eg C major triad over Bb. And b is just a passing tone or chromatic approach to Bb.


08-29-2002, 12:26 PM
Thereīs a really good transcription in GFTPM 11/1987.
I think I still have that issue somewhere...

08-29-2002, 11:10 PM
There is a transcription of this and other L.C. solos at www.mr335.com. I'm not sure how accurate they are as I just found that site. Check it out.

The Bash
08-30-2002, 06:09 AM
Thnxs Guni
Yea Iím transcribing it, relearning it really though a lot of it came back pretty quick. I canít stress enough how important (at for me) learning to visualize the parts in your head is. I found stuff I truly could see in my head becomes pretty easy to relearn in you havenít played it in a while (like 15 yrs.) Grant it, it needs lots of dusting off.

The CM7 over Bb7 makes sense now (at least I see it now you explained it.)
So I take it thatís a pretty common jazz lick. Pretty easy trick actually, which to me makes it the more cooler.
I think I have a lesson in one my folders covering that topic. Anytime I see something I shove it in a folder and when I see a personal use for it I dig it out. I got scales and stuff in there Iíll probably never use but who knows one day I might actually have a practical use for Hiroshima scale master.

When I really look at that solo I find the way he weaves something so complex out of some very simple ideas. Basic triads or 7 th arpeggios and Pen scales really with well placed passing notes. But its his clever use of theses things and his phrasing make it brilliant. I find on this one you really have to sound as much like Larry as possible to really make it work.

Yea, Eric I have (unless someone borrowed it) that issue here someplace. Iím pretty certain thatís where I swiped the chord changes from initially. I keep a notebook of cool chord changes with a brief analysis, stuff like Beatle tunes, odd progression (least odd for me) structure wise like Killer Queen or this tune, or cool chords like the Spanish Castle Magic Chord. Itís kinna my way of studying songwriting. Anyway I got the notebook, but not sure where the Mag is. But Iíd like to double check my stuff, so finding would be cool.

Thnxs 6 Diamonds Iíll have ta check that out. Even if there half close that saves me having ta find half the notes :) Actually I think I got all the notes on this one but thereís some cool stuff in the song room 335 Iíd like to swipe so thatíll save me a little work.

NP-L. Carlton & S. Lukather song-ďCause We Ended as LoversĒ

08-30-2002, 07:08 AM
Originally posted by The Bash

Solo 1: 4/4| Em7b5 A7 | Dm7 | E7 | Am G6 | FM7 Em7#5 |2/4 Dm7 B7b9 |4/4 Em7 | D7 | CM7 | Em7 D/E | Am | G6 | F6/9 | Bb9/13 | Fadd9 G | Am G6 | Dm7 F6 | Em7 Am FM9 Em7 add4 D | C7 | C7 |


The Bash
08-30-2002, 07:25 AM
Ok Iíve written out roughly the progression in Am and C
To me it kinna blurs: Iíd say the Verse is more Am than C though it donít sound to Am to me either.
The Pre-Chorus to me leans more to C major
The Chorus more so until F7 G7 to C7 Vamp where it feels somewhat resolved.
Funny itís the Vamp intro thingy that to me solidifies the key.
To me the song gradually becomes more and more C major as it moves through the
Verse Pre-chorus Chorus and as the Chorus doesnít fall till the second trip round it comes later in the song than youíd expect. The first Verse Pre-chorus going to the Vamp doesnít to me serve to solidify the key center only make it more ambiguous as I donít hear that first C7 Vamp after the Pre-chorus as I.
Iím more than likely missing something, so Iím putting it up here someone can guide me up the path if Iím off somewhere.

08-30-2002, 09:31 AM
Hey Bash,

I think you are absolutely right when ya say it kinda doesn't have a real I where you can relax on and say 'Ok, here's our home'. To me the entire tune moves forward, not only because how the drums are played but also because of the chords themselves.

To the C7. It's really a Blues chord. This little piano lick including the minor third and major third makes it sound like this. Now you could call that I7. Then it moves on to the verse which gives us for the first time a feeling of tonality. To me the verse is definitely in Am. This is established after bar 4 of the vers with the Bb7 (we'll get to that in a sec).

The C7 resolves deceptively to the Am down a minor third. We would expect it to go to F but a common technique for a deceptive resolution is to resolve to the IIIm of the one, ie Am.

Now, it would be interesting to know how those guys worked that one out.

It could be 'well let's start on the V7 and resolve to the IIIm and make that the new I to really screw up all those Berklee grads.' or 'Hey I like this bluesy C7 going to Am giving a kind of fluid transition'

Another point is that I listened to that tune so many times and somehow I really expect it to go to Am. It would be interesting to see the reaction of someone who has never listened to the tune before. Wouldn't he go 'oooops, what's that'.

The Bb713 in bar 3 of the verse is a nice tritone substitution for E7#9 (V of Im). Ya could name it subV7/Im

I'm having problems following your chords to the solo. This is what I got:

|4/4 Dm Dm/c | Bm7b5 E7#9 | Am Em | F C/E |
|2/4 Dm Ebdim |4/4 Em | D | C |
| Em Em/D | Am | G | F |
| Bb7 | F G | Am G | Dm Em Dm/F|
| Em Am F C/E Dm |C7 |.....

The Bash
08-30-2002, 10:57 AM
maybe this will make more sense :)

I put what I got beneath the chords
the point it kinna goes from Am to C
I got two lines the seconds for C

Oh, yea sum questions to :)

I just noticed I messed up
the eminor7#5 question should read Em (vm7#5)
or is em7#5 (v) subbing for C (III)
or is em7#5 (iii) subing for C (I) (a sub a 3rd away)
this is the same enharmonically as a Cadd9 maybe hinting in sum way at the I that didn't come or futher bluering it?
So is this a transition aera from Am to C
and could you look at the line that follows as: C major
em7#5 (iii#5) dm7 (ii7) B7b9 (V/iii) em7 (iii7) D (V/V) CM7 (I)
em (iii) of C and (v) of Am (i)

That line listed above just kinna reminds me of a twisted version of the second solo chords FM7-em7-dm7-CM7
I don't know if it's correct even in my twisted little way to almost veiw it as: em7 or Cadd9 dm7 - B7b9 (tri-tone sub for FM7) em7 (subbing for C)
As far as I can remember a Tri-tone sub is suppose to resolve down a 1/2 step to the new chord, which isn't the case listed above. But I'm not clear on this. I'm just kinna making up my own rules :)
Then again maybe I think to much :)

09-17-2002, 05:03 PM
For all 'Kid Charlemagne' freaks :D



The Bash
09-22-2002, 12:52 PM
Thnxs Guni,
This is way Cool
(that solo still floors me sum, hmmm, odd years latter)