“I’m not sure how to end the song.”
“Stop playing. If you keep playing, for some reason, people think the song is still going.”
You reach the end of a song and what do you do? You could just stop. The outro is a great opportunity for a bit of musical invention, as a way to build to a climax or have a little joke to leave them smiling and offset any chin-scratching muso posturing that may have gone on before.
Here are a few familiar codas that you build on or use as they are. All these are in the key of A so transpose as required.
1. The ‘Woke Up This Morning’
This is a very common blues ending. You play this inside-out, upside-down and bass-akward. You can play the strings in any order, you can play them all at the same time, you can let the A string ring open.
2. The ‘Goodnight Cleveland’
Give it the bit rock and fire, explosions and fireworks ending. The notes you play aren’t as important as how fast you play them and how orgasmic you make your face look.
3. The ‘Where Nobody Sucks (Except for Flanders)
As used by Homer Simpson in the I’m Talking Springfield episode (you can download the mp3 on Simpson Crazy). Previously know as The ‘And Many More’ (at the end of the Happy Birthday song). I used this one to end my tab of Baby Elephant Walk.
4. The ‘Whoops, Have a Banana’
A very old-school, fun and instantly recognisable ending. As featured in the tab for I Wanna Banana. The little lick contains the same notes each time but is played it a different position the second time to give it a slight ‘call and response’ feel.
5. The ‘Turned Out Nice Again’
A common chord progression to end a song or to use as a turnaround during a song.
You can even mix and match endings. Play the first bar of the ‘Woke Up This Morning’ then dive into the ‘And Many More’. All of them can be played around with and given your own twist.