In this free guitar lesson, I have another installment of How Does This Song Work featuring “Your Love” by The Outfield. You get to know this song’s key, chords, and chord progression, as well as its use of pedal tones.
To get my sound for this song, I’m playing a Stratocaster-type guitar. I’m in pickup position 2 that uses the bridge and middle pickups. I’m using a vintage Marshall amp sound set at the edge of break up. For effects I’m using chorus and reverb. I’ll be adding delay a little bit later.
Your Love Chords
The song opens with palm-muted power chords played along the 5th string. The chords are straight out of the E major scale. The first set of chord changes includes E5, C#5, and B5, or 1, 6, and 5. You play those changes twice then follow them with A5, C#5, and B5 or 4, 6, and 5.
I strum straight eighth notes using all downstrokes. To give the rhythm a syncopated groove, you add accents.
You push into the E5 when the music returns to the top of the whole progression. The entire band accents the beats “and 4”. You might expect to play these accents on B5 and wait for beat 1 of the next measure to return to E5, but the music returns to E5 early, then you continue to play E5 at the start of the next measure.
After a repeat of the verse, you play the chorus again using the same chords, but with a twist. Instead of simply playing power chords, you play the open first and second strings along with each chord. This is also when I add my delay effect.
Sustaining the root and 5th from the tonic chord is a popular pedal tone technique that adds color and depth to the music. In this case, the tonic chord is E. Its root is E and its 5th is B.
When you add these notes to each power chord shape, the chords become Asus2, Cm7, and Bsus4.
While this pedal tone idea could be applied in any key, it works really well in the key of E on guitar because you can take advantage of the open strings. Players often sustain these open strings over barre chord shapes rooted on the 6th string too.
In this case, the chords become even more complex because of the presence of the major and minor 3rds that we were not able to include with the chords played along the 5th string. You’ll need to rearrange your fingers to play the C#m chord with the open first and second strings. You can simplify this chord shape by omitting the 6th string and removing your finger from it. In fact, players often do the same thing to the A and B chords.
Notice that variety is added to the part by arpeggiating the B chord. Also, don’t forget that the chord changes in this section are A-C#-B followed C#-A-B. You might think to play A-C#-B twice, but you don’t. C# comes first halfway through.
Next in the music is an interlude that starts out as an instrumental section. It’s based on the chords G and Asus2. This is a key change. You can think of it a few different ways. My first thought is, these are chords 4 and 5 out of the D major scale, so I’ve transposed down a whole step from the key of E. I also hear this as G Lydian mode. Lydian mode is described as having a floaty, directionless feeling. It makes for a perfect departure from the rest of the music.
Your Love Lead
There is a harmonized lead line in the interlude. The notes are straight out of the D major or G Lydian scale, however you want to think of it. The part in the lower voice begins on the 3rd of G, B. the part in the lower voice begins on the 5th of G, D. This is 3rd harmony because the notes are three steps away from each other at all times in the scale. I would also point out that these lead lines are an example of chord tone soloing because they begin on notes from a G chord while the G chord is played, and they move up to notes from an A chord when the A chord is played.
You come out of the interlude and return to the key of E for another verse and chorus. Nothing new is added at this point. At the 2:00 minute mark, you begin the outro chorus that repeats for the remainder of the song. Unlike previous choruses, the outro chorus does not begin with A. Instead, the chord changes are C#-A-B over and over.
Also at this point, the guitar fills more space by arpeggiating all the chords. It sounds like a C#m7 fingered with the 7th, B, on top, along with this version of A that uses a small portion of the barre chord along with the open 5th, 2nd, and 1st strings. For B, I hear the shape rooted on the 6th string..
Finally, at around 2:28, another guitar layer is added to the mix to increase the intensity of music. The notes in use here are E, F#, and B. The E and B notes should be no surprise, they have been in use all along played on the open first and second strings. The F# is straight out of the scale and adds more color to the chords. Over the C#m7 chord, F# is a 4th. Over A, it’s a 6th, and over B it’s a 5th.
This pedal tone motif is repeated with variation throughout the remainder of the song.
If you hear more going on in the song, it’s because there are more layers. Most of the guitars were double tracked to make the music sound full.
If you want advice on how to hit the high notes like vocalist Tony Lewis, I can’t help you because you either have a voice that high or you don’t.
Well, this concludes my free lesson on “Your Love” by The Outfield. Now you know how this song works and how you can add ideas like open strings, harmonized lead lines, and pedal tones to your own playing.