California Girls

Given the swing from -15C to 15C and back that we are having, I'm pretty excited to have a show coming up where we play instrumental arrangements of Beach Boys tunes.  Brian Wilson was heavily influenced by Gershwin, and lush jazzy progressions sneak into the later material, but even on an earlier pop tune like California Girls there is an interesting exploring pattern at work.

Check out the chord progression for the chorus:

The song is in B major with the verses mainly using traditional I, IV and V chords, but the chorus kind of sneaks around by 2nds and 3rds, in a somewhat non-traditional sequence.  The thing that I find makes it the most accessible is how each pair of chords on their own make a solid progression.  The big picture is very clear as well- up 2, down 3 until a final upward step returns to the starting key of B.  This feels good because the memory of being in B isn't that far away, as well as the upward step sounding more comfortable than the downward third to end the sequence.
 

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