Axis Of Awesome – 4 Chord Song


I thought I’d share this great little video by the musical comedy band Axis OF Awesome. In a very funny way they explain how most pop tunes really share the same chord sequence.

Generally people always assume that rock/pop composers sit hunched over their manuscript paper trying to find great and original chord sequences – this could not be further from the truth. There basically are only a limited number of chord sequences out there, which is why you cannot copyright them – so you are perfectly entitled to take the chord sequence from Let It Be, and write your own melody over it. The net result is that many, many, many songs share the exact same chord sequence.

In the video below they are singing in the key of E major, and the chord sequence is E, B, C sharp minor, A.

So if you look at the sequence neutral of the key, the sequence is I V VI IV – so the chords on the 1st [I], 5th [V], 6th [VI] and 4th [IV] degree/not of any major scale)

Therefore in the key of C major this would be the chords of C, G, A minor, F.
In the key of F major it would be the chords: F, C, D minor, Bb

The songs they sing are:

Don’t stop Believin’ – Journey
You’re Beautiful – James Blunt
Forever Young – Alphaville
I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
Happy Ending – Mika
Amazing – Alex Lloyd
Wherever You Will Go – The Calling
Can You Feel The Love Tonight – Elton John
She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5
Pictures Of You – The Last Goodnight
With Or Without You – U2
Fall At Your Feet – Crowded House
Not Pretty Enough – Kasey Chambers
Let It Be – The Beatles
Under The Bridge – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
The Horses – Daryl Braithtwaite
No Woman No Cry – Bob Marley
Sex And Candy – Marcy Playground
Down Under – Men At Work
Waltzing Matilda – Banjo Patterson
Take On Me – A Ha
When I Come Around – Green Day
Save Tonight – Eagle Eye Cherry
Africa – Toto
If I Were A Boy – Beyonce
Self Esteem – The Offspring
You’re Gonna Go Far Kid – The Offspring
U & Ur Hand – Pink
Poker Face – Lady Gaga
Barbie Girl – Aqua
You Found Me – The Fray
Don’t Trust Me – 30h!3
Kids – MGMT
Canvas Bags – Tim Minchin
Torn – Natalie Imbruglia
Superman – Five For Fighting
Birdplane – Axis OF Awesome
Scar – Missy Higgins

Easy – so all you have to do now is write a catchy melody, some lyrics and you’ll be rich ;-)!

Thanks to my Godson, Jean-Pierre, for introducing me to this video.

Lincoln Jaeger