Tuck Andress I Wish Guitar Transcription

Tuck Andress is another one of those cats who is able to orchestrate a whole piece of music with one guitar. Together with his wife on vocals, they have produced some nice music over the years. First check out this video of the couple collaborating with Lee Ritenour on this very nice tune, which is also my favourite song from them.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdViO5_cRL8]

The song I’m discussing in this post here, however, is Tuck Andress’ solo guitar version of a Stevie Wonder composition, “I wish”. Here is a short clip of the song.

I Wish(Tuck Andress)

One of the key feature of this song is the memorable bassline, which is probably why Tuck decided to start of the song by playing just the bassline alone. And here it is. (Double click on the image to enlarge)

tuck-andress-i-wish-guitar-transcription-1

It is interesting to see how they construted this bassline. Any keen observer would notice that the whole repeating four bars are based on an E dorian scale. The D# note, in the bassline, function as a chromatic passing note, which is also why its on the weakest beat of the whole bar, the fourth beat. However, the C# is an important note and its not a passing note at all, it is THE note that brigthens up the sound of the dorian scale. It is common practise to go back and fourth between the Em7 and A7 chord when your song is based on the E dorian. If your song is based on G dorian instead, the chords would be Gm7 and C7. You can find this example in tonnes of songs out there.

When a bassist is playing something like the bassline just now, the pianist job in the band would be to comp over it. Here is how Tuck Andress did it.

tuck-andress-i-wish-guitar-transcription-2

This shows a typical comping style, with the chord hits alternating between the downbeat and the upbeat. When doing it on your piano or keyboard, you may add more notes to the chord hits, instead of just two, in the example above. Based on the theory of shell voicing, the important notes for the Em7 chord would be G and D, and for the A7 chord would be C# and G. You may also add and F# to the Em chord, turning it into an Em9. Experiment by adding more extensions to the original chords, and hear how they sound, it would be a good practise.

The pic below shows how Tuck Andress played the melody line together with the bassline.

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Notice how Tuck harmonised each melody note with a third below it?? It is important to consider which scale you are in when harmonising your melody notes. In this case, Tuck is using the E dorian scale, that’s why although the harmonising notes may be a major third or a minor third apart, they are all from the E dorian scale.

There’s some nice chords in the bridge part of the song. Here’s how Tuck played it on his guitar.

tuck-andress-i-wish-guitar-transcription-4

Almost all the melody notes are harmonised either a third or a sixth below.

There are many variations throughout the whole song, but I guess you get the idea. So have fun and enjoy…. 😀

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