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Three-chord song

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Three-chord song

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A three-chord song is a song whose music is built around three chords that are played in a certain sequence. Perhaps the most prevalent type of three-chord song is the simple twelve bar blues used in blues and rock and roll.

Typically, the three chords used are the chords on the tonic, subdominant, and dominant (scale degrees I, IV and V): in the key of C, these would be the C, F and G chords. Sometimes the V7 chord is used instead of V, for greater tension.

Three-chord songs are easy for the listener to remember, which can make them effective in pop music. Some of the most famous songs to use three-chord patterns are "Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen, "Wild Thing" by The Troggs and "Blitzkrieg Bop" by The Ramones. Three-chord songs like these are also easier to learn than other, more complicated songs. Among others, country singer Hank Williams and folk singer Bob Dylan have written large numbers of such songs. Punk music very often features three-chord songs - sometimes called a 'three chord thrash' (cf. The Ramones).

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.