Tutorial Two

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How to read jerryssongbook Tutorial Two –  A Whiter Shade Of Pale


The song in this second of 3 tutorials is one of my 60’s favourite of all time. Its wonderful organ intro is as iconic as the sax intro of Baker Street or Careless Whisper.  It also reminded me of Mrs. Brooker, a charming lady who used to sit opposite me at work. She was Gary Brooker’s auntie. Hey, it was a big thrill for me then.





Let’s examine the…



1st bar (after Intro).             | / ~ ^We skipped^the^light^fan | 


There are 3 symbols (and their equivalent values) to look at :-


(1).     (forward slash)  =  a beat (or 1 bon)

(2).   ~   (tilde)                 =  ½ beat (or ½ bon) 

(3).     (caret)                =  ½ note (or ½ bon) when placed in front of a syllable  OR

                                          =  1 note (or 1 bon) when placed between 2 syllables


What nonsense. It is of course the syllable which has the value and not the caret. I got carried away after giving values to the slash and the tilde.

Add them up and yes, we end up with 4 bons yet again.


(Note: If you don’t know what a bon is, then rap your knuckles cause you skipped a class!)


Let’s fast forward and examine the…



5th bar.                          | / I^was^feel   ing   kind=of    |


The value of a syllable with “=“ in front is ¼ note (or ¼ bon).  The value of 2 syllables joined by the equal sign is ½ note (or ½ bon).


Please remember that when you sing this bar, “kind=of” (½ bon) must be sung in half the time of “ing” (1 bon).

And yes, they all add up to 4 bons.



8th bar                         | mo oo re ee |


The word here is “more” but the composer has split it into not just 2 syllables but 2 different notes. And stretching each syllable into 2 notes. I couldn’t transcribe it to    | more ee ee ee | because it would infer that the same note is stretched to 4 bons. Like I said, if you can “hear” the melody, than you’d know what I mean.

It’s not always possible to show syllables of different notes because of lack of alphabets. This eaxample can be found in the bar directly below this 8th bar  –   | be ee ee ee | .

It would have to look like this..   | bb bb ee ee | , which would not make much sense.



16th bar                   | ^tra yy ~  (And so it) |


Notice that “tray” has 2 syllables of different notes totalling 1 ½ bons. If it had been the same note stretched by another ½ note, it would have looked this..“tray y“ .


Brackets – deduct the value of one entity from the 3 entities in a bracket. In this case, 3 bons becomes 2 bons.  If it was written (And^so^it), then its total value would be 1½ – ½ = 1 bon.

Likewise, (And=so=it) will have a value of ½ bon.