Seven Bridges Road features an easy and repetitive chord progression to give the song structure and stability, while also serving to highlight Marvin Gaye’s powerful vocal performance and The Eagles’ incredible backing harmonies.
Apart from using different chord shapes, you can differentiate a bridge section through changing melody or rhythm. In “We Can Work It Out,” for instance, the bridge melody begins on a different beat than its verse melody.
The first bridge
Bridge sections can add much-needed variety and energy to a song, keeping audiences from becoming disinterested with repeated choruses or verses.
One way to set the bridge apart is to modify its melody or phrasing in order to add tension and draw listeners back into the song.
Altering tempo or rhythm is also an effective way of distinguishing bridges; for instance, in Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, for instance, modulation to minor key and slowing the drum beat are used to distinguish this section of music.
The second bridge
The bridge can be an exciting place to experiment with melodies. Perhaps you want to use one that was missing during the chorus, or try something entirely new; adding melodic elements can give your song an emotional lift and help elevate its conclusion climactic chorus.
An effective way to distinguish a bridge from its surrounding music is modulating to another key. This can create a striking contrast with the tonic chord and give your lyrics added emotional punch. Some songs also change rhythm during their bridge section so as to differentiate itself from its surroundings.
The third bridge
As rock ‘n’ roll and its emphasis on choruses grew increasingly popular, bridges decreased in use. Still, many songwriters continued using them to contrast verses and set up for an exciting conclusion of a song.
One way to distinguish a bridge from others is to alter its rhythmic feel. Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” uses this tactic when its drums drop completely during its bridge section, creating an atmospheric effect to go with its daydreamy lyrics and major-seventh chord progression.
Add contrast to your melody by shifting its pitch up or down, for example Simon and Garfunkel’s “America,” wherein the bridge melody (“Laughing on the bus…”) starts on a different beat than verse melody (“Laughing on the bus…”).
The fourth bridge
Bridges often introduce emotions or ideas that run contrary to the themes in a song’s verses, like in Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years,” where its reflective verse gives way to anguish in its bridge (“Four in the morning, crapped out, yawning/ Longing my life away.”).
Musically, one way of creating contrast is through modulation into another key. For instance, “America” begins on an unfamiliar non-diatonic chord (bVIImaj7 chord, from C to D). This creates tension and drama to the melody.
The fifth bridge
Seven Bridges Road is a song about finding love after heartbreak, its lyrics reminding us that life is a journey and that difficult times may take some time for resolution. Though its meaning has been interpreted differently over the years, the main theme remains one of hope and longing. A truly lovely tune perfect for playing on an acoustic guitar!
This song uses E, B, C#m and A as chords; either use standard E chord shape or bar chord shape can be used. A capo on the second fret makes this easier.
The sixth bridge
If you want to play “Seven Bridges Road” on your acoustic guitar, there are a few key aspects you must keep in mind. First of all, tune your instrument for open E tuning – meaning tune the low E string down to a D while also tuning A and G strings down by an F and C respectively – this will create a lush sounding song!
This song’s chords consist of E, B, C#m, A and D chords; E and B chords follow standard E and B chord shapes while C#m and A chords use barre chords.
The seventh bridge
Seven Bridges Road is an acoustic guitar-friendly song about a man searching for love on Alabama’s Seven Bridges Road, an inspiring real road that crosses seven bridges. This lovely tune can also be played as an instrumental piece.
To play Seven Bridges Road on an acoustic guitar, first tune it to an open E tuning and learn its chords – E, B, C#m and A are necessary for playing this song.