Jeff Buckley – ‘Grace’ Analysis Full analysis Intro- A Section Bar Description Intro – A 1-3 0:00 – 0:11 • The song is in 12/8 time. • Tempo = 64 dotted crotchet bpm (beats per minute). • The key is not clear at the beginning- it is just a series of chords. The combined notes of the first two chords make an ascending F melodic minor scale. • Ripple of notes played on a clean electric guitar sound. • Background guitar ‘whisper’ made by picking the note with the volume turned down then turning the volume up quickly- reverb and delay. • Ends with loud unison chord of Em with scoops on the tremelo arm of the guitar and a roll on crash cymbal. Full analysis Intro - B Section Bar Description Intro – B 4–7 0:11 – 0:26 • Full band play, but no vocals yet. • D major • Drum-kit, bass, two electric guitars and acoustic guitar. 3rd electric guitar punctuates the texture with a low C# note (with wide vibrato) clashing against the pedal D (just added for effect, not for harmonic reasons). • Acoustic guitar and hi-hat work closely together to drive the rhythm. • Bass guitar plays the pedal D, occasionally wandering off for a little ascending riff. • Main feature is the rhythmic, semi-strummed chord pattern played high up on the clean (or very slightly distorted) electric guitar. Full analysis Verse 1 Section Bar Description Verse 1 8 – 13 0:26 – 0:48 • Vocals enter. • High electric guitar riff drops out. • Guitar ‘whispers’ return, plus occasional additional noises to add interest. • Drum pattern focuses on the toms. • Acoustic guitar seems more prominent, with the sound of the plectrum hitting the strings heard clearly, making it as much a percussion instrument as if it was part of the drum-kit. •Electric guitar plays broken chords. • Bass mainly follows the root note of the power chord. • The harmonies depend on the chord pattern, but overall it is modal, with E as the tonic note. Full analysis Pre-Chorus 1 Section Bar Description PreChorus 1 14 – 19 0:49 – 1:11 • Guitar ‘whispers’ drop out. • Electric guitar plays similar rhythm to acoustic guitar with chord shapes moving up the neck. • Other instruments remain as they were for the verse. • The vocal range starts to get higher. • This section is mostly in E minor (with hints of the Edorian mode). Full analysis Chorus Section Bar Description Chorus 20 -24 1:11 – 1:29 • Backing vocals enter- very subtle, sometimes just doubling the main vocal (double tracking). A whispered voice part can be heard behind the main vocals. • Strings can be heard subtly in the background, more for sound effects than for harmonic reasons. • The harmony is based on the chord pattern, but it is again modal, centred on E. • Drum part stops using the toms so extensively- more of a straight rhythm, if a little sparse. Full analysis Link A and Link B Section Bar Description Link - A 25 – 27 1:30 – 1:41 • As for section A of the intro, but with a mandolin effect 28 – 31 1:41 – 1:55 • As for part B of intro. Link – B added on the acoustic guitar. • Vocal ‘oh’ to lead to part B. Full analysis Verse 2 Section Bar Description Verse 2 32-37 1:56 – 2:19 • As for verse 1. • Additional sound effects eg. Descending slide at 2:05 (using slide on guitar with lots of delay), followed by a slide and trill on the strings imitating the guitar. Full analysis Pre-Chorus 2 Section Bar Description PreChorus 2 38-43 2:19 – 2:41 • As for Pre-chorus 1, but strings more prominent adding considerably to the texture. • Pizzicato strings added. Full analysis Chorus Section Bar Description Chorus 44-48 • As for previous chorus. 2:41 – 2:59 • Drum roll leading into middle 8. Full analysis Mid 8- A Section Bar Description Mid 8 A 49-52 • Rather intense section with the strings playing long, 3:00 – 3:14 sustained notes to fill out the chords. • Multi-tracked vocal harmonies in counterpoint with each other (polyphonic texture). • Drum-kit plays a similar rhythm on the snare as to what was played on the toms previously, lending it more intensity- much more cymbal throughout. Full analysis Mid 8 - B Section Bar Description Mid 8 B 53-59 • This section is based on the chord sequence for the 3:15 – 3:41 pre-chorus, but has been produced very differently. • The instrumental backing is similar to pre-chorus 2. • The main vocal line improvises a wordless melody above the backing, then a ‘telephone’ EQ effect is applied to the vocal when the lyrics come back in, giving it a harsh, distant effect. • Beautiful, hummed harmonies follow the chord pattern with the sound opening out to vocal ‘aahs’ toward the end of the section- an almost angelic quality. This contrasts sharply with the harshness of the vocal part. Full analysis Link A and Link B Section Bar Description Link A 60-62 • As for the previous link, part A, but with a rhythmic, 3:41 – 3:52 percussive sound of hitting the deadened acoustic guitar strings added. • A percussive hit of the acoustic guitar body at the end of the section leads into part B. Link B • As for previous link part B. 63-66 3:52 – 4:07 Full analysis Verse 3 Section Bar Description Verse 3 67-71 4:07 – 4:26 • The backing is similar as for previous verses, but there is much more use of cymbal in the drum-kit. • The vocal part has a much more intense, forceful quality to it, using the higher part of the vocal range. • More and more special effects are added as the section progresses. Full analysis Outro Section Bar Description Outro 72 – end 4:26 – 5:19 • The strings come to the fore. • Vocal improvisations very high in the vocal range (as high as the top G of a soprano’s range!) showing off Buckley’s vocal virtuosity. • An electric guitar is added with flanger effect (bringing out the open droning, discordant notes), adding even more to the intensity. • The song ends with a short, unaccompanied, modal phrase in the vocal clearly highlighting the influence of qawwali music.