Four Chords

… that will get you a hit! With a bullet! Behold:

For those interested, my ears tell me they are, in order:

  1. E major
  2. B major
  3. C# minor
  4. A major

Go ye and make ye hits!

9 Responses to “Four Chords”

  1. strudels are pluto says:

    great super all country hits included thank you for the history lesson
    about pop music in country music with in 6:49 :)

  2. Sterbus says:

    GREAT !!!! But they forgot “With or Without you” by U2 !!! If you’re reading this, add it as a climax in the coda !!!

  3. Mike Pierry says:

    Actually, although a few of the songs they play in that clip do consist entirely of those four chords over and over, many of them are a bit trickier than that, I’m afraid. Hey, it’s comedy, not a music lesson. But it does illustrate how often chord progressions like that are reused, which is why I laughed at that whole controversy over that Coldplay song. A ton of songs have the same or similar progressions, and it’s almost always just coincidence. If you want original chord progressions, try Steely Dan or Opeth, or (heaven forbid) Frank Zappa!

  4. Chuck says:

    I’ve started playing with a guy who was a “busker” type musician for 30 years.. he can seemingly pick up every song in moments and he basically said the same chord thing to me the other day… his key of choice however is G. I guess we like the familiar and it helps with making a hit.

    Oh and Sterbus you must have missed it “With Or Without You”.. though nearer to the beginning… I agree would have been good near the end.

  5. urbangraffito says:

    I believe it was Zappa who suggested that there was a musical chord for TRUTH and another for BEAUTY.

    Though funny, this clip does reveal the sort of dreck our ears have been exposed to for decades now, and why Zappa and Beefheart and the Mothers have such a lasting freshness to their sound.

  6. Sterbus says:

    A quote from Chuck:

    Oh and Sterbus you must have missed it “With Or Without You”.. though nearer to the beginning… I agree would have been good near the end.

    You’re right, I missed that !!!

  7. Roland says:

    Steely Dan are famous for their use of chord sequences and harmonies that explore the area of musical tension between traditional pop music sounds and jazz. To conventional rock listeners, this sometimes seemed to be avant-garde music. In particular, they are known for their use of the mu major chord, often simply known to rock musicians as the “Steely Dan chord”. Other staples of the Steely Dan “Chord Dictionary” include so-called slash chords, for example B♭/C or E/A. A slash chord shows a triad with or without extensions (shown to the left of the slash) with a different note in the bass (shown to the right of the slash).

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steely_Dan

  8. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    A quote from Chuck:

    he can seemingly pick up every song in moments and he basically said the same chord thing to me the other day… his key of choice however is G.

    Ah, well then that would be: G major / D major / E minor / C major :)

  9. metafunj says:

    “Joe’s Garage” is an even simpler song. Its just E, A, and B major but the orchestration changes every verse.

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