The One-Chord Song – Can It Work?


Tried to play Get Up Stand Up last night and only one chord made sense, then I found out, it IS a one chord song. didn’t now such a thing even existed, even chants have two chords. Now onto practicing that Reggae beat.

The Essential Secrets of Songwriting Blog

Can a song be written using just one chord? And why would you want to do such a thing? We like to think of chord progressions as something like a journey that a song takes. You start out with the tonic (key note) chord, wander on to some other chords, before wandering back again. So why would anyone want to write a song using just one chord. Isn’t that a little like saying you’re going for a walk, and then just hopping up and down on the spot?

Well, don’t tell Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings that the one-chord song can’t work. “American Woman” is basically a one-chord song. There are others, too: “The Ballad of Hollis Brown,” by Bob Dylan, and “Within You Without You” by the Beatles.

Some songs use two chords, like “Bullet the Blue Sky” by U2, but essentially comes across as a one-chord song.

So what’s…

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