Songwriting Basics: The Chord That Should Be Simple But Isn't, And How To Learn To Use It

Tommaso Zillio

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first chord key

Trick question: what is the most common chord in every song you listen to?

Easy: it's the first chord of that key. This is the C major chord in the key of C major, the Em chord in the key of E minor etc. So yeah, ok it's not ONE specific chord like Am, but hey, I told you it was a trick question :)

Here's the interesting thing, though: if it is so common, how it is that most songwriters do not know how to use it?

It takes a lot of time for a songwriter to understand how to use the first chord of the key... and when they finally learn, they mostly say that "they learned to write songs in a more tasteful way" or that "their taste got better" - but what if I told you that what they learned is simply when to use and when NOT to use the first chord?

It's easy to underestimate something because it's common and supposed to be simple. And yet, using the first chord in the right way will make or break a song.

Featuring examples from the Beatles and Madonna, here's how to use the simplest chord to write a hit:

If you enjoyed this video and want to know more about chord progressions - and especially HOW to write great sounding chord progressions that you can use in your songs, then check out the course Complete Chord Mastery. This course:

  • Is made specifically for guitar players (even if you are just starting for guitar)
  • Does not require any previous knowledge (i.e. you can take it even if you are a beginner and know nothing about theory)
  • Is a complete course and takes you really far in your path to mastering chords and chord progressions

So be sure to check it out!


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