Garth Brooks Explains the “10”

23 Minutes Down in the Basement

Who else was in Garth Brooks’ basement with me?

On Monday night (July 18), Brooks went live on Facebook from the studio in the basement of his Nashville home to talk about the process of making his new music and answer questions from fans.

He kicked off his new weekly Inside Studio G series with a lesson in chords and why they matter so much in songwriting.

“What I love about music is that it can kind of put you in a place or in a mood. For a writer, it’s majors versus minors. Major: full happy chord. You talk about the good things,” he said as he started singing “The River.”

“You take that D and make it a minor, and all the sudden, things get uncomfortable,” he said as he sang the intro to “The Thunder Rolls.”

Then he covered topics like why he calls his wife Miss Yearwood (“a habit I don’t think is ever gonna be broken”), his recent show at Yankee Stadium (“New York City becomes a small town”), his loyalty to Takamine guitars (“They gave me a guitar when I couldn’t afford one”) and then started taking fan questions live via video.

“I am nowhere good enough to play on my own records,” he told a fan who asked about playing guitar when he records. “I use mine to hide my gut.”

“There are no shortcuts,” he advises a fan who wants to move to Nashville to be a country singer. “Working and saving your money so you can move here is exactly what you need to be doing. If you love music, move here.”

Then he explains the concept of “the 10.”

A woman asked Brooks how he decides which song should be the last song on his albums. He called it “the 10″ because when he was just getting started in 1989, the 10th track was the last track.

“You just feel the album out,” he said. “There are some songs that cannot be followed. “When you put it at the end, it makes you absorb that song. ‘The Dance,’ ‘Wolves,’ ‘The River,’ ‘The Cowboy Song’ — they’re the last song for a reason.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.