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#681148 - 11/05/21 12:27 PM [Songwriting] Songs that only use one chord
Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 13832
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
VideoTrack Online   content
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Registered: 06/05/12
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Loc: Melbourne, Australia
An excellent and well researched presentation from David Bennett:
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#681158 - 11/05/21 01:33 PM [Songwriting] Re: Songs that only use one chord [Re: VideoTrack]
Registered: 12/27/03
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That was very interesting.

Thanx for sharing.
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#681199 - 11/05/21 04:56 PM [Songwriting] Re: Songs that only use one chord [Re: VideoTrack]
Registered: 08/20/11
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Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
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Well done video. It was fun to watch and listen to.
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#681210 - 11/05/21 05:13 PM [Songwriting] Re: Songs that only use one chord [Re: VideoTrack]
Registered: 10/31/08
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Noel96 Offline
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This is an excellent video! Thanks for posting it, Trev. I'm going to try a one-chord song right now!!!!
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#681234 - 11/06/21 01:33 AM [Songwriting] Re: Songs that only use one chord [Re: VideoTrack]
Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 1730
Loc: Miami, Florida
Planobilly Online   content
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Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 1730
Loc: Miami, Florida
It is always interesting to have someone point out that which is self-evident but we don't generally take notice of. Most of the "one chord" songs presented are well known to most of us. I don't think we normally think in those terms.

I defiantly knew this "one chord" idea was associated with certain blues artists but I never made the connection with purely vocal music and the lack of any obvious harmonic structure.

This defiantly is a songwriting idea worth exploring. This idea could continue through the whole song or only in a certain section.

I have been trying to teach myself the single bass note drone on guitar. It requires a high degree of attention to timing and is not so easy to learn. It appears to be easy at first glance. It is anything but easy when done correctly.

Timing is the definite hallmark of a good blues player.

Billy
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#681439 - 11/07/21 09:10 AM [Songwriting] Re: Songs that only use one chord [Re: VideoTrack]
Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 7864
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Online   happy
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One more that I thought of is "Land Of A Thousand Dances" by Wilson Pickett.
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#681663 - 11/09/21 04:37 AM [Songwriting] Re: Songs that only use one chord [Re: VideoTrack]
Registered: 06/27/20
Posts: 60
Loc: United States
Dewey_MI Offline
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Registered: 06/27/20
Posts: 60
Loc: United States
Thanks for sharing this was very informative!

Na zdrowie!

Dewey

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#681669 - 11/09/21 06:03 AM [Songwriting] Re: Songs that only use one chord [Re: VideoTrack]
Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1983
Loc: WEST MIDLANDS, UK
sixchannel Offline
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Thank you for the link. Fascinating.
My favourite DRONE song You Won't See Me by The Beatles. OK, Macca played a running riff Bass but back in the day WE played the main theme as a constant A note Bass. Just to be different. If you listen to the backing vocals - its the A note as a vocal drone.
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#681670 - 11/09/21 06:04 AM [Songwriting] Re: Songs that only use one chord [Re: Jim Fogle]
Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1983
Loc: WEST MIDLANDS, UK
sixchannel Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
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Spot on! Our 3 man horn section had a field day with this. It was all about the Energy of the song.
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#681672 - 11/09/21 06:13 AM [Songwriting] Re: Songs that only use one chord [Re: VideoTrack]
Registered: 08/10/12
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floyd jane Offline
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The new song by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss is a one chord song (B)


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#681680 - 11/09/21 07:20 AM [Songwriting] Re: Songs that only use one chord [Re: VideoTrack]
Registered: 06/21/21
Posts: 466
Mark Hayes Offline
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Registered: 06/21/21
Posts: 466
OK, I'm just going to say, this idea bothers me a little, in that it seems to be missing the point.

"Within You Without You" is not a "one chord" song. Indian music is not "one chord music". This is music that doesn't use chords, at least not in the sense of chord-change-based progressions (to be fair, the video guy does say something like this.)

Really, imagine someone looking to play "Within You Without You" and buying a chart that told them to just strum an E major. That would make for a very disappointing performance, if they didn't know better.

I guess what bothers me is that "non-chord-change-based music" is SO broad a category, it sounds, I don't know, kind of reductive to me to describe it all as "one chord music".

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#681730 - 11/09/21 03:56 PM [Songwriting] Re: Songs that only use one chord [Re: Mark Hayes]
Registered: 08/29/14
Posts: 5694
Loc: North Carolina
David Snyder Offline
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Ah yes, exactly.

Well, I have solved this problem with my latest masterwork.

Feel free to use it and sing along.


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#681805 - 11/10/21 06:44 AM [Songwriting] Re: Songs that only use one chord [Re: VideoTrack]
Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 1730
Loc: Miami, Florida
Planobilly Online   content
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Registered: 07/10/15
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LOL, sight reading for guitar is problematic enough there Mr. David.

All these double flats are sure to make most of us have seizures...lol

Anyway, hello. Good to see you posting interesting stuff.

Cheers,

Billy
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#682352 - 11/13/21 11:32 AM [Songwriting] Re: Songs that only use one chord [Re: VideoTrack]
Registered: 05/19/16
Posts: 201
Loc: Denmark
Peters Garage Offline
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Registered: 05/19/16
Posts: 201
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I actually like the idea of droning to a single chord/harmony...I never tried to compose with less than 2 chords, but that must a soon to come challenge. I'm not sure BIAB is an ideal tool for that. :-)
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#683403 - 11/17/21 06:14 AM [Songwriting] Re: Songs that only use one chord [Re: VideoTrack]
Registered: 11/17/21
Posts: 1
Tuskgg1 Offline
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Registered: 11/17/21
Posts: 1
Hi, most one-chord songs are very familiar to a large number of people. I knew that this "one chord" idea was associated with certain performers, but I'd never think to associate it with purely vocal music or a lack of any clear harmonic structure. I once tried to learn to play single chord tunes on the guitar using music distribution platforms music distribution platforms, as I thought it would be a breeze of a job. Well… turns out it kind of was smile. No wonder some of them cracked the Billboard 200.


Edited by Tuskgg1 (11/19/21 04:35 AM)

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#684892 - 11/23/21 11:31 AM [Songwriting] Re: Songs that only use one chord [Re: VideoTrack]
Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7843
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
rockstar_not Offline
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Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7843
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
This guy has great videos and I love how he shows examples across many epochs of music and cultures as well.

I do think some of the examples stretch the definition of what a chord is. Anything with a pedal note and drone could be considered multi chordal where the two notes; the pedal note and the other simultaneous note in the melody hint at different chords.

Regardless, it’s clearly a songwriting tool we can learn from.

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#685115 - 11/24/21 07:54 AM [Songwriting] Re: Songs that only use one chord [Re: VideoTrack]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7841
Guitarhacker Offline
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This is the first song I can recall being a one chord song. I guess the main reason is I was learning to play the guitar at this time and CCR was high on my play list. I recall some of the others of that era mentioned in the video. Interesting and cool stuff. I tunes out on the hip hop/rap part.

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