Published on August 15th, 2012 | by Tom0
Radiohead’s Creep and some questions on chords – Correspondence with Trey part 2
The second part of my correspondence with Trey. THe first part can be found here.
On those notes in the beginning part, is he really arpeggiating those chords you said? Because I wrote down the notes and it’s either that he would be playing the notes out of sequence, with the root note not coming first or something like that. See if you can do that when you write, arpeggiating but doing the notes in random order, I wouldn’t know.
The main thing for me is when writing my songs, it seems like there will be a single way of going about it. and that comes from my limited knowledge. a very simplistic way of looking at writing and arranging songs would be, make up a chord progression for the verses and chorus and intro and whatever.
This would work as the harmony of the song, and you play it as rhythm with rhythm guitar underneath. Then you would play a riff or musical phrase based on the key of the song (using a scale) and play a few notes over the top of the rhythm chords. This would be similar to the melody, in that it would be independent of the harmony of the song.
The actual melody would be from whatever you would be singing.
As of right now, that is how I will be going about writing my songs, and it seems fairly limited honestly. but I don’t know how other people go about it. what about the countless bands who only have one guitar player?
I’ve looked at tabs and tried to figure out how one guitar player can do their riff playing single notes, but also cover the chord progression of the song when there is no other guitar playing it underneath. it just doesn’t make sense to me, it puzzles me. that’s why it seems like there would be “implied chords” which is a term I’ve googled a couple times, but I can’t find anything on it.
P.S. I just thought that the chord shape he arpeggiates might be a G barre chord shape, then gsus4 barre chord (which I guess would have a fourth inthe place of the third note somehow) and b barre chord, etc. guys seemingly do that alot. but I wouldn’t know anything more about that than arpeggiating an open shape chord
Yeah the Radiohead guy is playing barre chords and not always in any particular sequence – you can play an arpeggio in any order you want. A G chord is a G chord no matter what order you put the notes in.
You can think of a chord progression as an ideal – even if you don’t play every single note, you’re still playing those chords.
For example, say you’re playing power chords and you play:
That’s a C power chord, a D power chord and an E power chord – basis of loads of heavy metal songs.
Power chords aren’t major or minor because they miss out the middle note, so there’s no E note there in the C chord (I put it in brackets – you wouldn’t play it in a C power chord).
However – this chord progression is in E minor, the melody might use notes out of that scale, there is an E note in the E power chord, and so the listener is going to think of that C power chord as C major. If you turned it into C minor, it would sound odd (which might make C minor a good choice!).
Hope that’s useful
If you have any questions about songwriting or music theory feel free to email me at indiesongwriter AT gmail.com
- Radiohead’s Creep and some questions on chords – Correspondence with Trey part 1
- Basics – Some questions about chords
- Basics – Guitar Chords Explained
- Basics – Some questions about intervals
- Key Changes – Part Two