The M3 guitar - Merging lanes

Merging lanes

The busiest part of the UK motorway system is allegedly where the M3 merges with the M25 near Heathrow. Joining the M3 from Southampton is a less chaotic experience since the M3 starts there. You just follow the Avenue, and when it ends, you are on the M3.


The way a tune starts is very important. We have probably all tried to skip through the tracks on a CD, listening to only the first few seconds of each, until we get to a track we like. A weak opening can put you off an otherwise very good track. The intro somehow has to trigger your memory so that you react positively to repeated listening.

Here are a couple of selected intros from my recordings. The tunes are all available in full versions elsewhere on this site.

The intro to Take Five (mp3) sets up the unusual 5/4 meter so that the melody does not sound too confusing when it starts.

The intro to Straight No Chaser (mp3) sets up the sound of the 'home' key F. The melody does not outline the chords very clearly, and so it is useful to provide the listener with a harmonic reference up front.

The intro to Just The Way You Are (mp3) is an example of a brilliant opening that works exactly as intended. As soon as you hear it you instantly remember the tune and its mellow and sweet mood. The saxophone on the original is superb.

The intro to Hey Jude (mp3) is my attempt to make a strong opening based on a short theme fished out of the middle of the original. With a tune of this caliber, you could probably make a strong opening out of any five consecutive notes from the original.

The intro to Live To Tell (mp3) by Madonna is the strongest part of the track. It is used as a recurring theme in the song, and without it, the other sections probably wouldn't have made a hit.