Classic Chords #25 – Another Chord in the Wall

I’ve featured Dave Gilmour’s guitar chords before in the Classic Chords series, specifically, the arpeggiated G-min-13 (Gm13) that opens Shine on You Crazy Diamond, the homage to erstwhile and founding member Syd Barrett who was the one who roped in Gilmour all those years ago. Another iconic song from the band, the one that held The Police off the Xmas Number One slot in the UK as the last dying embers of the punk era that was to eradicate the rock dinosaurs faded: “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)”.

It’s classic rock but, it’s funky, it has an awesome bassline, beautiful bluesy guitar solo (that Rich in my band plays sublimely, and because it’s a track about school produced by Bob Ezrin it has a kids’ choir singing, just as he’d done with Alice Cooper’s School’s Out seven years earlier.

Now, ostensibly it’s a D-minor chord at the fifth fret that opens the funk in that song. But, listen carefully and you can hear it’s not quite a simple D-minor, with its D-A-F, I-III-V triad of the D minor scale. Aside from the out-of-phase phasing of Gilmour’s Black Strat in the “between” pickups position, there’s an extra harmony. Obviously really, it’s a C note on the third, the G-string. This makes it a D-minor 7th chord: a seventh chord with a minor third, perfect fifth, and minor seventh. Minor seventh chords are everywhere, they add a little extra to any funky riff that would otherwise be the plain or vanilla minor chord, they also lend themselves to substitution and progression so that, for example, the Dm7 easily goes to an F major and you might use either depending on exactly what you want out of your chords.

Incidentally, Gilmour is auctioning off most of his guitar collection to raise money for his Foundation. The auction will include the 12-string on which he wrote Wish You Were Here at EMI Abbey Road Studios, the 1955 Gold-top Les Paul that was used for the solo on Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2), and of course, his famous black Fender Strat, which he bought at Manny’s in New York on his first trip to the States when TWA lost his Fender Telecaster (a 21st birthday present from his parents apparently). There’ll also be the chance to be the first Fender Stratocaster, serial number 0001, which is in Gilmour’s collection.

More Classic Chords here.