Tag Archives: Mattiel

Unleash the power of the Ebm – chord of the week

This week’s chord of the week is Ebm. As we’ll see, it’s a triad that lends itself perfectly for raw and powerful songs. Not so long ago we treated this chord’s big brother; the Eb. We learned that the Eb is a just an E played on a guitar that’s tuned down a semitone. This also applies to the Ebm.

Let’s start at the beginning. The scale of the key Ebm consists of the notes Eb, Fb, Gb, AbBb, Cb, Db. We can’t emphasize enough that one chords can be viewed two ways. A Ebm is a lowered Em, but at the same time it’s a higher Dm, so a D#m. Whatever we call it, the tone is the same.

Count Your Blessings – Mattiel

Okay, all theory aside, now it’s time for the fun part. “Count Your Blessings“, because now you can play along. And it’s not just any song, but one that we get very enthusiastic about. We spoke with diva Mattiel during the Dutch music festival TakeRoot, and she told us that her favorite chords are the E, G, and Dm. Is that also the case on this track?

Looking at the chord progression we can conclude that it’s not made up of her favorite chords. The three most important grips are Ebm, Dd, and B. Keep in mind thought that her guitarist is playing on a down-tuned guitar. Suddenly we see that the finger placements are the same as the Em, D, and C. Ha! There are those favorite chords.

Beat It – Michael Jackson 

The classic song “Beat It” from the King of Pop isn’t considered an obvious song for beginning guitarists. Eddie van Halen’s solo is not only phenomenal, but also imbues the listener with a feeling of unachievable genius. Well, that’s not totally true.

The most important songs of this composition are Db, Ebm, and B. Yup, only three chords. So, there’s a simplicity in this genius. What are you waiting for? Jam along!

This is America – Childish Gambino 

This controversial track by Childish Gambino is a mishmash of classic riffs and phat hip-hop beats. It is not a song that you start playing while visiting your grandma, but at an outing with your hipster friends, it’s a bull’s-eye throw.

The chord progression of this track very straightforward. It’s all about the Ebm, Gm, and the F. Now and then a C or Dm is thrown in the mix, but it’s mainly about the aforementioned triplet. Try it out yourself! Is singing along proving difficult? Ask you friend, sister or brother to jam along with you!

God is a Woman – Ariana Grande

What if you find out “God is a Woman”? Ever thought about that? Ariana did. And she’s not horsing around. This track isn’t just a nice addition to your autumn jam, but it’s also great for developing your skills. It teaches you how to convert a three-chord song into a four-chord song by incorporating an extra low note.

This song is for the advanced guitarist. If you look closely at the chord progression then you’ll see that it has notations such as Db/B and Dbm/Eb. This just means that there’s an extra base note inserted. For instance, if you play a Db chord and you place an extra finger on the B (which you’ll find at the second position on the A string). It’s not that hard, just give it a go! Happy jamming.

Backstage with upcoming star Mattiel

After an intense performance at TakeRoot festival at the Dutch venue De Oosterpoort, we had the pleasure of talking to upcoming diva Mattiel. With her raw voice and killer sound, she really knows how to mesmerize the crowd.

Right after the show, we walk up to the merchandise stand to see if we can talk to the woman behind the hits “Bye Bye,”  “Whites of Their Eyes,” and “Count Your Blessings.” Mattiel is in a hurry. Fans are piling up in front of the merch stand to catch a glimpse of the star, complimenting her from all angles and asking for a signature. Yet, in this chaos, Mattiel politely finds time to talk to us. 

Mattiel, when did your musical journey start?

It started out in middle school. I joined the school orchestra and played the French horn for a while. After that, I picked up a guitar and played that for a couple of years.

The French horn? That’s not your average instrument.

No, it’s not, but I had to play. I wasn’t really good at it, but the school orchestra was mandatory, so I didn’t really have a choice back then.

Why did you quit playing guitar?

My parents couldn’t afford my lessons anymore at one point. It was a pity, but that’s the way it was. So that’s why I don’t really play any instruments, even though I have some knowledge about them of course.

Even though you don’t play guitar anymore, you must have had some chords that you preferred to play, right?

Yes, I did and I still have by the way. It’s the E, the C, and the Dm. These chords have a nice and colorful sound. I like to use them a lot.

You really rocked the crowd tonight. Do you get nervous before going on stage? 

Not as much as I used to. Tonight was okay, but sometimes I can get pretty nervous. Especially when I have to open for someone I really admire and who influenced me. For example, when I did the Jack White tour I was throwing up little puddles backstage on multiple occasions before going on. But in time it gets better.

What’s your craziest backstage moment?

Well, I think that was also on the Jack White tour. Jack invited me spontaneously to do a duet with him in St. Louis, Missouri. We sang “Pretty Good Looking (for a Girl)” together. This all happened so spontaneously that, when he asked me backstage, my heart started pounding.

We looked at each other and rehearsed the melody really quickly. Then we went straight on the stage, did the song and it went perfectly. That was a crazy moment on and off stage.

What’s your golden advice for beginning musicians?

Don’t listen too much to what other people are saying. Play a lot and spend a lot of time alone. Alone time is good for the creative mind.

Foto by Knelis made at TakeRoot in De Oosterpoort. Did you miss Mattiel at Take Root? No worries, check her tour dates here.