Song of the Day: A Song to Help You Sleep – Josh Rouse

Man, chose a doosey today! Musically it’s easy. Just a lot of lyrics to memorize. That’s the irony: The hard ones musically tend to have easy lyrics and vice versa.

Oh well. What was the spark that made me choose this one? I was sitting around last night watching TV, strumming some chords, and out of the blue, what I thought was an original, cool sounding riff came to my head, and I thought, “Oh, finally, this could be an original song!”

But the more I strummed it, I realized it was this Josh Rouse song. Hate that when that happens. You think you’ve come up with not only something original, but also something that is actually good, and then you realize it’s someone else’s.

At least it got me interested in this song, which really I’d only heard a few times before. If it weren’t for Spotify, I don’t think I would have ever heard it. I didn’t realize there was so much material both on “The Best of the Rykodisc Years” and “The Smooth Sounds of Josh Rouse” that wasn’t on any of his previous official “albums” or EPs.

Anyway, like I said, musically it’s easy. Just four chords: Dmaj7 – Amaj7 – Gmaj – E7. It begins on a Dmaj7, and the dominant riff of the song, both verse and chorus, is a back and forth between the Dmaj7 and Amaj7. The G-E change comes in every so often as a sort of “turn around” as they call it in the business.

These are the kinds of songs I really encourage for beginning guitarists who need encouragement. They are easy enough to learn, but they’re also good and fun. They keeps you motivated to play. I remember when I was a teenager, I was going to quit guitar altogether.

And then I found Bob Dylan. Those songs were easy enough to learn, but I knew they were good, and I loved playing them. It was that spark of fun that kept me at it.

Oh, well, I’m going to get at memorizing these lyrics. I’m sure it’ll take a couple or even few days for them to “sink in.” I’ll have to come back to this post, to official mark that I’ve got them down.

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