What it is about

A field full of long grass in summer.

That's the image it conjures up for me. What it does for you, I don't know, probably makes you despair of musicians.

How it was written

The song grew from messing around on a guitar with a single chord

In suspense

Dsus2 chord (0:02)
Dsus2 chord
Dsus2 chord

Dsus2 is the chord that started it all off.

A suspended chord is a chord with three notes made by replacing the interval of a third in a triad with a second or a fourth.

Suspended chords may be simple but they have some interesting qualities. The sus2 and sus4 chords are related. Dsus2 contains the notes DEA, rearranging them as ADE produces Asus4. Rearranging them again as EAD produces a quartal chord made from two consecutive fourths. Whatever you do with a sus chord, you will never create an interval of a third, which is why, in traditional classical theory, a suspension always resolves to a triad.

Things become even more interesting when you detune the second string on a guitar from B to A to form an interval of a second, GA, with the third string. Messing around in this tuning with various sus chord shapes is exactly how the piece got written.

The Holy Book of Daily Exercises

Bass playing major and minor seventh scales over sus chords (0:06)
Dsus2 melody
Dsus2 melody

The bass line plays major and minor seventh scales. The idea came from one of the late Ivor Mairants many books on guitar method, the Holy Book of Daily Exercises (and no, it does not have the status of a Holy Book, but it should have). The bass plays a major seventh scale on the tonic, then moves to the supertonic and plays a minor dorian scale.

It is also an interesting example of whether there is a natural tempo for a song. One that is not too fast or too slow. The piece was originally recorded at a breakneck 164bpm. Eventually it reduced to 148bpm in the final version, still fast, but sounding somewhat less frenetic while being much more comfortable to play.

Yup. It still sounds like a field full of long grass in summer.

Tech spec

Title: Dsus2

Key: D

Tempo: 148bpm

Length: 2' 45"

Track 1: piccolo melody

Track 2: French horn harmony

Track 3: overdrive guitar

Track 4: nylon guitar

Track 5: steel guitar

Track 6: acoustic bass

Track 7: drumset

Genre: pop, rock