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Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’ Clavinet Parts Revealed!

Published: Fri April 03, 2009  News Feed

Anyone that’s ever been in a cover band has surely attempted to play “Superstition,” Stevie Wonder’s smash hit from 1972. But how many people do you know that ever figured it out correctly? Probably not many. Do you want to know why?

Stevie Wonder

NoiseAddicts.com posted an article last week that basically dissected Wonder’s infamous Clavinet part in the song. Actually, they posted a YouTube video from someone who hails as “Funkscribe,” who used Protools to dissect Wonder’s multi-track master recording of the song by isolating all of the tracks.

Stevie Wonder’s Superstition is definitely one of the funkiest songs on the planet - It was released way back in 1972 on the Talking Book album and climbed up the UK charts quickly. Stevie came up with the song by playing the original funky drum beat that starts the track and humming a melody over the top of it.

Superstition was originally intended for Jeff Beck as a thank you for the guitarist’s help on the awesome Talking Book album (buy CD here, download here), but when Motown heard it they released Wonder’s version as a single.

The song finally got popular in the US when Stevie toured with the Rolling Stones, thereby introducing the Stevie Wonder to a largely white audience, and grabbing Stevie’s first number one hit since 1963.

It’s of course the signature Clavinet part that just oozes the funk - In fact it was Superstition that really put the Hohner Clavinet on the map in funk/soul music. A lot of keyboard players instantly tried to cop the part, but it seemed impossible to play. Even Stevie himself never really played it properly when he played live.

So why is the song so hard to figure out? Probably because Wonder used as many as eight different tracks to record the original version. That’s right … eight different tracks of clavinet parts, ranging from totally clean to totally spaced out with various delays and echoes.

Funkscribe dissects “Superstition”

Stevie Wonder in the studio recording “Superstition”

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