What it is about

Being Steven: its a zen thing.

Written for son Steven on his sixteenth birthday.

How it was written

Steve wanted a song with loads of 60s and 70s stuff in it so this is what started it off. There is a bit of Cream, a famous Deep Purple riff, and even some Stones buried away somewhere.

This would be a great song to play live as you can use the verse and chorus as wrappers for as many old rockers as you want.

It could even be used for a 20-minute guitar solo extravaganza. Bliss!

Throw the key away

Stevenzen chorus (0:16)
Stevenzen chorus chords
Stevenzen chorus chords

There are three key changes in the piece (two is never enough). The chorus starts innocuously enough with just two chords, Dm7 and G9, but there is some ambiguity about the key

The key cannot be D minor. Dm-G is not possible because a i-IV chord change cannot occur in a minor key. Nor can the key be G major, because v-I is not possible in a major key. One possible candidate is the key of C in which Dm-G, ii-V, is OK. Or even the key of A minor, in which iv-VII is OK. However, neither C nor A sound much like tonic notes. D is a much stronger candidate for the tonic even though the key is neither major or minor. The solution is to use a mode instead. D dorian fits the bill nicely, and the key change, Dm-G, i-IV, now makes perfect sense.

The chorus in D dorian modulates to the key of E major in the verse, and, to round it all off, the 60s and 70s stuff modulates to the key of C# major.

Name that chord

Stevenzen unknown chord (0:04)
Stevenzen unknown chord
Stevenzen unknown chord

The main verse is in E using two chords: an E7 and this unknown chord.

It looks like a hybrid D or A chord at first sight. One online chord analyser programme actually clocks it as an Amaj7add11. That is good enough for me.

Tech spec

Title: Stevenzen

Key: E

Tempo: 144bpm

Length: 4' 22"

Track 1: calliope melody

Track 2: tuba harmony

Track 3: grand piano

Track 4: nylon guitar

Track 5: overdrive guitar

Track 6: distortion guitar

Track 7: acoustic bass

Track 8: fretless bass

Track 9: drumset

Genre: pop, rock