Monday, January 19, 2015

Always the same chords...

If you're a musician, you probably already know that many songs often use the same chords.  This will lead to some tune sounding a lot like others.

Mathematically, it is expected.  With only 7 basic chords (C,D,E,F,G,A,B) to create a song, you will eventually reach all the possibilities even if you have variations, a different tempo and different words.

Almost all pop songs have a 4/4 tempo.  This will translate into 4 chords at most for each lyric sentence.  Of course you can have more or less but for a basic pop song, the number of chords for each sentence will vary between 1 and 4 chords.

Look around on the web for guitar chords and you'll be surprise how simple it is.  For each lyric sentence, with 4 chords, you get a possibility of 2401 variations.  But you can't just put random chords together to create a nice melody.  Realistically, you may end up will only a hundred variation if you feel adventurous.


Last weekend, I was learning "All About That Bass" from Meghan Trainor on my guitar.  Not really my kind of song but it's catchy and my daughters are crazy about it.  I usually play classic rock and blues.  Seeing me trying one of their favourite songs was a family event.  :)

As I was learning the tune, I was having a hard time singing as I was always confusing with "What's Up" by 4 Non Blondes.  Both songs do use the same basic chords (A, Bm, D/G).  When you listen to both of them, you can clearly hear that they sound alike, "What's Up" being a bit slower.

We finally decided to create a mashup of both songs, just for fun.


Next time you hear the new hit on the pop chart and have a feeling of "Deja Vu", you now know why!

Patrick