One song that personifies the raucous, feel good party vibe of the fifties would be Chuck Berry’s “School Days” which was released In 1957. He truly made a hit with rebellious teenagers with a song about the occurrences of a school day and all of the trials and tribulations that go along with it. Chuck was also known as one of the most influential blues guitarists of his time. In this particular Chuck Berry song there are 4 different instruments present; guitar, bass, drums, and piano. The drums and bass come together to form a solid withy section with an apparent shuffle rhythm.
The drummer may be adding some syncopation to the rhythm because it sounds as if the he may be playing triplets on the high hat. The piano Is also adding to the rhythm section but at times throws in some licks. The guitar Is doing several things throughout to the song. Berry uses a call and response technique. While he sings, there Is no guitar present, but then answers with riffs and licks full of pitch bending staying Inside the pentatonic scale, adding some “blue” notes here and there. During the guitar solo the Plano becomes little busier and Is throwing in some licks to accompany Berry’s playing.
As far as timekeeping, this song stays within its 4/4 time and is 12 bar blues. This is a twelve-measure idea that starts on the chord based around the first scale degree, or the tonic. It then switches to the IV chord in the fifth measure for two bars then goes back to l. It then switches to the dominant chord (V) then back to ‘V, and then finally resolves to the I chord for the final two measures. One obvious change is the stop time that happens every 12 bars, well technically 11. Berry uses up one bar with he beginning of his verse and the music comes in on the 2nd bar.
There are also some short stop time patterns present in the last 20 seconds of the song to accentuate Berry’s vocals. The melody Is carried by the vocals and in the answering parts the guitar plays, sometimes almost Identical to each other. “Worker’ your fingers right down to the bone. ” This line expresses the attitude this song is trying to get across. No one wants to be working hard in schoolteacher want to be partying, and dancing “Soon as three o’clock rolls around Ahoy finally lay your burden down. School is a burden and everyone wants to get out and start having fun.
Similar to many ass’s party songs, “the man” is working against us and we need to Just drop our books, drop a coin in the Jukebox, dance and make out all night long. The song is strictly in 12 bar blues with a repeating verse. It does not change throughout the song. Other than some slight varying riffs here and there, there is really nothing that would change the verses to anything but “a. ” Intro Verse Verse 12 Solo Verse Verse Verse Outré 1 Interlude a what style it is and also several of the techniques it employs to achieve this style.
One of the things that Chuck Berry uses is pitch bending, specifically when it comes to the guitar. This is something that several other performers were using at the time, but Chuck Berry was extremely revolutionary when it came to the electric guitar. He used his unique guitar techniques to achieve the riffs that resembled a call and response with the vocals. Another thing that was influenced much by African music is the use of riffs, which is a melodic idea that is repeated over and over. The piano part, which although is not always melodic, is playing a repeated idea from chord to chord, as is he bass.
The vocals were more rough than clean. Even though rougher lyrics, as these, were becoming more commonplace in this time period, it was still a new style that took time for people to get used to hearing. This is a great example of early rock and roll, which was obviously was influenced by many other styles. There is some hocus blues present with the lyrical ideas and is also influenced by gospel music with the call and response and pitch bending techniques. There are also similarities to other R styles from the ass’s and ass’s.