FORBIDDEN Music Theory: 5 Songs That Use PARALLEL 5ths

Tommaso Zillio

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parallel fifth songs

The other day I got an angry email in my inbox. And it was not even my fault, I swear!

(In the following I censor the insults with ‘##’)

The person who sent me the email was angry with me because I am a music theory teacher, and music theory “does not work” since it “robs people of their creativity by enslaving them with rules”

I think I can give you an idea of the tone with this short passage:

“Why the #### are #### parallel 5th forbidden? My ##### theory teacher at the conservatory completely ######## me up and now I can’t even write a ###### song because I’m to afraid I will break a ##### rule”

Well. This person has all my compassion and understanding.

He’s right in being angry. This is not the way one should be taught music theory.

(Music theory malpractice, that’s what it is…)

Because - for instance - parallel 5ths are perfectly ok. Songwriters use them all the time…

(and no, power chords are not parallel 5ths)

Yes, I know that books on music theory tell you that parallel 5ths are forbidden… because they sound worse than rusty nails on a blackboard…

But… it’s not true.

Have you ever heard a parallel 5th? They actually sound gorgeous.

Let me prove it to you: in this funny video I’ll show you 5 famous songs that use parallel 5ths.

Ok, but where do you learn music theory that you can use on your guitar… without the burden of these unreasonable rules?

When all the books tell you to not play parallel 5ths… where do you go?

Well glad to ask. Yours truly humbly proposes this course made by guitar players for guitar players: Complete Chord Mastery guitar course


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