Tao literally translates as "The Way" and my life was so influenced by The Beatles, that The Way of The Beatles seemed appropriate.
The Tao te Ching opens with, "The Name that can be named is not the true Name." And so it is with music.
How can I arrange and play a song that has words, without using words, and convey the same meaning? Perhaps even on a deeper level. That's what I've endeavored to do with this recording.
I'd work on just one tune for 3 or 4 months and play it in 5 or 6 different keys to get a sense of where the bass and melody are in relation to each other on the guitar neck. Maybe try a couple of those keys in altered tunings too.
There is always one beautiful, elegant solution. A key which allows for the melody and bass to fall on the fingerboard in a way that both can be played together, usually with important notes falling on the natural harmonics of the guitar. Then I'll develop the bass line and fill in the chords that go along with it. As I practiced each day, I'd find new things blossoming from the beauty of the original song. New harmonies would almost create themselves into amazing, colorful chords.
And there are quite a few chords here. More than a few people have asked me "how many chords are in that song?" There are 104 unique chords in If I Fell.
That arrangement progresses through a few keys and is a bit physically demanding. I was practicing it many times a day when I went to record it, and brought ice packs for my left hand between takes.
If you'd like to find out more about each arrangement, there's "liner notes" that describe each tune, on my website. You can also order the accompanying book of music and tablature (if you're a guitar player), or get one of the super cool t-shirts that go with this recording.
Please visit my website johnstclaire.com.