The History of Pop Music in 4 Chords

Submitted by: brutalnz 10 years ago in Entertainment
/media/60707_historyofpopmusic.flv
So many songs, so few chords.
Credits: Vigildave
There are 124 comments:
Male 2
Actually I don`t think we knew the words to "Don`t Stop Believing" by Journey, I remember the song now. The chorus is probably wrong for this particular group of songs, though you could get away with just the intro as it sounds basically the same.
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Male 2
I`m not sure when Journey was written but I may not of even heard of that song back in the 90`s here in Western Australia. We only owned albums by The Beatles and perhaps Crowded House I think, the rest of the songs were just popular tunes from the radio that we weren`t necessarily fans of, apart from their musical merit of course. One of the songs sampled was called Amazing and performed by Alex Lloyd, an Australian pop artist who perhaps got a little too much airplay with that song at the time.

The general idea of the song was to demonstrate just how many popular songs can share a similar chord progression, hint at the subtle way the subconscious mind can absorb and reproduce information sometimes without our awareness, and perhaps even inspire someone else to create something.

I was tired from jamming most of that day. That is why I appear as though I am not paying much attention to the song as I play Super Nintendo (FIFA or International Soccer), but in fact I was enjoying it.:

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Male 1
hey its benny!! axis rocks and btw the axis did this on their album and they said dont stop believing at the start. look it up.
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Female 43
I heard "Don`t Stop Believin`" by Journey. But he didn`t put it in... I wonder why? That was my first thought when he started playing.
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Female 44
lol....that is Don`t Stop Believin! Looks like he forgot one.
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Male 1
In my opinion the basic idea that I believe he is trying to prove is how that there are so many pop songs today only use a variation of four chords in there songs
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Male 38
Pretty cool, only right when he started playing, I recognized it instantly to be "Dont Stop Believing" by Journey, and he never once sang any lyrics from it.
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Male 1,385
cool, I made it into the top 25
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Female 4
I think the songs are the right ones....I dont think they sounded forced...maybe he just couldnt reach the highs of the melodies (going from Natalie Imbruglia to U2 is not really that easy)
I think he was good, is he a musician from a band?
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Female 63
Aw, that was cute.
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Male 57
The first song was not pop...it was alternative. He was just playing it on the piano.
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Female 419
Lol I thought it was funny when he said `and doesnt it sound familiar` half way through singing hehe and the little kid on the floor watching telly lol.
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Female 496
lol & that`s how original pop is. lol that was amazing.
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Male 48
Music elitists fail.
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Female 4
don`t stop believin, doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo...
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Female 1,463
i liked it i thought it was rather clever
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Male 70
lots of talent there!!:O
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Female 1
Hahah. Nice work. Talented and Good Lookin`. ;)
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Female 3
I totally <3 that guy`s voice - he`s got talent. I think he did a good job with this.
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Female 395
I thought it was good...Reminded me of some good songs that I plan on pirating in a second...
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Female 600
I like it. He has a nice voice even though his high notes aren`t the best. Worth watching.
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Male 32
Man, this makes me want to watch Monster so I can see Christina Ricci and a nasty Charlize making out to this song on the skating rink floor.....
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Female 137
wow, he`s good
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Male 29
lol you can tell the guy in the background has heard him do that many a times
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Male 68
I rather liked that. He can sing very well. He sorta spazzed out on "Torn" though. Other than that I really enjoyed it.
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Male 7
Legend deaf woman. Thanx
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Male 2,720
^Eb, Bb, Cm, Ab

if i was that dude`s keyboard, i`d explode myself into his neck & eyes.

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Male 7
I`m probably gonna get slated for this, but does anyone know how you`d play that on the guitar? what are the chord names? It would be sweet if I could play and sing that. I`ve seen the chord progression posts, but I can`t make head nor tail of them.
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Male 182
that sounded exactly like "dont stop believing" by Journey, i actually thought he was going to sing it but he didnt. i think? did he?
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Female 21
Doesn`t that sound sound familiar?
Doesn`t that hit too close to home?
Doesn`t that make you shiver ; the way things could have gone?
And doesn`t that seem peculiar when everyone wants a little more?
It`s something I do remember, to never go that far.
That`s all it takes to be a star.
When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me!
Sometimes I feel like I don`t have a partner.
I`m starting with the man in the mirror.
Can you feel the love tonight?


That`s it. Somebody tell me the missing parts?

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Female 21
Here are the lyrics I could understand. The ` . . . `s mark the parts I need to fill in. Can anybody help?

I never thought I`d die alone.
I laughed the loudest who`d have known?
Am I not pretty enough,
or is my heart too broken?
. . .
. . .
If I could, then I would, I`ll go wherever you will go
Don`t let the days go by.
Glycerine . . .
And it feels now just like heavens coming down
That`s why I can`t stand to fly
I`m not that naive
`Cause we are gonna be
forever you and me
Say your gonna stay, now I need to know where
Where I go, I just don`t know
I`ve got to get her, got to take it slow.
And she will be loved.
And she will be loved.
No I can`t live with or without you.
Whenever I fall . . .
Nothings fine, I`m torn.
I`m all out of faith, this is how I feel.
I`m cold and I`m ashamed,
lying naked on the floor.
Illusion never changed into something real,
I`m wide awake and I can see--

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Male 69
Quote:
It`s not that as much as it is even after the mistake was pointed out you still said it was a John Denver song. "It`s not the Beatle`s song you douche".

---

I say again...f-cking mistake.

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Male 71
pretty coll though nonetheless
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Female 296
That`s kind of depressing...

Thankfully, I liked none of those songs. :D Not that it saves me or anything...

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Female 294
Umm...
DON`T. STOP. BELIEVVVVING.
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Male 2,958
so`s your face always works.

This is "The Story of the Stork" guy, isn`t it?

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Female 211
I dunno, this guy`s hot, he has a nice accent, and it was a neat thing to listen to. And I laughed at the guy sitting in the back playing video games. So, I liked it.
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Male 943
that guy is such a fag, this blows monkey balls
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so`s your face
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Male 943
that was pretty cool
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Male 95
This just makes me wanna listen to journey.
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Male 957
that guy is such a fag, this blows monkey balls
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Female 73
Can someone remake the video and replace the 3rd song with Journey, because first of all you can`t even understand what song/what lyrics he is singing, and if you are making a list of classic songs with repeating chords, you have to put it.

I bet 2/3 of the people listening were like "hey, it`s Don`t Stop Beliving!" and were heartbroken when it wasn`t.

What a shame.

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Male 117
I don`t really care about the musical aspects, it was just kind of cool to watch/listen to.
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Male 53
97% of what he sang is in my computer`s library, tis sorta funny!
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Female 205
I love it how the other guys is just sitting there like, he does every day
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Female 58
I was thinking about "Don`t Stop Believing" too.
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Male 1
i thought that was pretty cool even though i only knew about half the songs on there. i heard maroon 5, U2, red hot chili peppers, i think i heard coldplay, elton john, some others
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Male 407
"I MADE A LIST AND #16 IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE BEATLES NOT JOHN DENVER. NOT LIKE YOU COULD FIGURE THAT OUT ON YOUR OWN OR ANYTHING YOU F-CKING IDIOTS."

It`s not that as much as it is even after the mistake was pointed out you still said it was a John Denver song. "It`s not the Beatle`s song you douche".

If you had just said "Oh yeah, that`s right" or something along those lines you wouldn`t get nearly as much kickback.

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Male 65
As a musician with lots of professional training, yeah, there are thousands of pop songs using the same chord progression (in this case, it was: I, V7, vi, IV). Of course, there`s also the 12-bar-blues progression, which is used in every blues (with some modifications like substitutions or turnarounds). It`s just the nature of pop music.
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Male 701
sounded forced...yeah he didnt sing dont stop believing....but he sang adams song(first couple sentences) wtf!?
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Female 49
he`s just showing that all those songs are in the same key...
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Male 2,510
dont stop believing hold on to that feeelllinngg!!

i love that song.

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Male 141
i got really bored about a quarter of the way thru. this dosent mean that its bad. it just means i have a very short attention span
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Male 1,289
wow...thats amazing
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Female 1,426
He looked exactly like my violin teacher at a convention! And he was always playing the piano. But he was swedish.
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Female 160
lmao the other guy was just completely ignoring him playing videogames
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Male 110
Got blond?

"But it`s kind of true though, sometimes if I`m just singing away to myself during the day, I find that I end up singing a different song to the one I started because there`s a bit which is so similar."

I found that a lot more interesting/funny than the actual link, so it was worth it to me...

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Female 112
"just a small town giiiirl, livin in a LONELY wooorld. she took a midnight train going aaaaannnyyywwwhheeerreee"
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Female 1,007
That was annoying. :-P
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Male 69
If I made any mistakes on the last post, please feel free to flame me constantly even though I can`t edit it or anything.
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Male 87
That sounded exactly like Don`t Stop Believing!
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Male 69
OKAY EVERYONE PAY ATTENTION!!!!!!!

DON`T WANT ANYONE TO MISS THIS!!!!!!

I MADE A LIST AND #16 IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE BEATLES NOT JOHN DENVER. NOT LIKE YOU COULD FIGURE THAT OUT ON YOUR OWN OR ANYTHING YOU F-CKING IDIOTS.

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Male 528
All sounded like one song to me.......
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Female 36
Rofl @ The kid on the playstation
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Female 187
^^well to be honest blink 182 are punk but kinda pop in the way they do it...for a start they are clean.damn them and getting washed everyday.thats not punk

i dont care that pep r complaining that he only used 4 chords and not the original ones for each song.he was just doing something that sounded very cool and working well

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Female 45
16) John Denver - "Let It Be"

"Dude, listen to the lyrics where I said the Denver song is. It`s not the Beatle`s song you douche."

The song is by John LENNON.

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Male 21
hey that first song is blink 182 thats punk
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Female 1,065
haha, he did cover a bunch of songs, surprised me :3
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Male 74
Don`t Stop Believing :)
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Male 1
2) Kasey Chambers - "Am I Not Pretty Enough"
3) Alex Lloyd - "Amazing"
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Male 2,513
POP MUSIC SUCKS ON ENORMOUS TRANSVESTITE HOOKER SCROTUM.
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Male 37
heres teh link to that journey song i was talking about that journey song
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Female 345
I saw something about this on telly yesterday.
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Male 3,631
Thanks Sparkly, and did you get the joke too?
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Male 318
pop sucks anyway
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Female 32
The very beginning sounded like the beginning of a song from "Wicked" but I don`t remember which one.
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Female 552
uhm if thats how he feels
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Female 240
I agree with Suicism - good show!
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Male 731
heh :P
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Male 197
Let it Be was definitely NOT a Denver song. That was the Beatles. Did he cover it, maybe? I dunno...but it`s definitely sad when a masterpiece is credited to the person who covered it.
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Female 1,158
i love this, haha.
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Female 670
^^^^ryan14 i did to!!
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Female 550
I thought it was pretty cool!
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Female 128
Its just somethin cool-i think some ppl need to calm themselves!
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Male 3,631
I, V(7), vi, then IV. Classic. I`ve checked them all out, they`re all legit; even Under the Bridge, which I wouldn`t have suspected, and Soul to Squeeze (one of my favorite RHCP songs). The only TECHNICAL difference is in the third chord of this template progression (vi-chord), his right hand is rooted (in ottava) on the minor 7th degree of that scale, so it technically makes it a vi7 chord, and that combined with the fact that many of these songs were not originally WRITTEN for the key of E-major, might be where many of you are getting the idea that some of these segments sound forced. The irony here is, in the ACTUAL chord progression of "don`t stop believing," it is different the second time around; second time around, its 3rd chord is actually a g#-minor (iii), not a c#-minor! Also, the fact that this gentleman never SINGS the lyrics of the template song, adds to the subtle humor of this production. Good show! I`m gonna go play all of these songs right now!
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Female 48
This chord progression is also played in The Wedding Singer when Robbie is left at the alter... but I don`t know what song they were playing.
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Female 1,890
um......wtf....he was singin the tune of dont stop beliveing...and um....thats all i have to say...ill give it aaaa....2...definatly
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Female 48
8) Lighthouse Family "High"
9) Bic Runga "Sway" (the song from American Pie)
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Male 650
Jadyn Maria - with or without you? Try U2 man..

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Female 351
"that`s all i got" he says at the end.... he damn well knows he`s talented.
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Female 375
This put a smile on my face.
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Male 1,265
I thought With Or Without You was by U2.

Correct me if I`m wrong.

And besides from the list above, I don`t have a clue what anyone`s talking about.

Well done to you folks, you can talk about something that leaves me completely in the dark!

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Male 69
18) Michael Jackson - "Man In The Mirror"
19) Elton John - "Can You Feel The Love Tonight"

...damn, I`m bored.

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Male 69
I think he`s singing two lines in the beginning, then he kinda switches every now and then, but these are the songs I heard (in order, with help from LetsSingIt.com lyrics search):
1) Blink 182 - "Adam`s Song"
2) Beccy Cole - "Am I Not Pretty Enough"
3) Something about "amazing"?
4) The Calling - "Wherever You Will Go"
5) Bush - "Glycerine"
6) Tea Party - "Heaven Coming Down"
7) Five For Fighting - "Superman (It`s Not Easy)"
8) ?
9) ?
10) Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Soul to Squeeze" (Great song)
11) Maroon 5 - "She Will Be Loved"
12) Jadyn Maria - "With Or Without You" (maybe not? I dunno)
13) Crowded Horse - "Fall At Your Feet"
14) Natalie Imbruglia - "Torn"
15) Missy Higgins - "Scar"

*Dramatic pause*

16) John Denver - "Let It Be"
17) Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Under the Bridge"

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Female 578
Well, I can understand how some people might find fault, but I just thought it was great. To even come up with the idea and merge all the lyrics together like that was ingenius. I couldn`t have done it.
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Male 108
I agree. That would be better. At first I couldnt tell when one song started and ended.
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Female 285
i agree, now its bothering me.
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Male 1
Why didnt he list the songs while he was playing them? That would be 1000 times better.
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Female 340
why do you play a tune and put all kinds of songs together but NEVER play the one song that actually goes with that tune...Don`t Stop Believin?
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Male 69
"On guitar learn C, D, G and that can work for many songs. The main chords used are really C, D, G, Am, Em, E, and F."

Until you get out of the 1960`s...then it`s few and far between.

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Male 37
i noticed this instantly to be that "journey" song ya know "he`s just a city boy, born and raised in south detroit" < that one. and i dont think he put that in.
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Female 285
can someone list the songs? i got a few of them, but i can`t figure out the rest.
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Male 2,057
lol well done to the guy sat playing a game totally ignoring the camera and the songs!

BTW i thought he was just going to play 4 chords, and that was it. LOL!

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Male 274
thought it was cool, talented guy :) good stuff
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Male 305
Woooo progression of 5ths!!!
The thing is a circle of 5ths chord sequence has millions of songs using it...its because it sounds harmonically strong. Theres only a handful of chord lines you can use before you have to start again, but he was good to make a collection of them. Ish.
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Female 73
IndysNotEmo, that is exactly what I was thinking the entire time.

From the moment he started playing that was the song I thought he would sing but never did... dissapointing.

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Male 1,929
All I heard was a dude singing a load of different songs that had absolutely nothing to do with the tune. Its just completely random.
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Male 94
With as much music having already been wrote, it is virtually impossible to write a song without sounding like something else. There is no way to get around this, the trick is, do it better than everyone eles.
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Male 51
I agree with everyone above who mentioned how certain progressions will always be used in music. The trick is to actually have something new and innovative to the basic pattern, whether it be musical or lyrical style.

And that pattern this guy used the entire time was definitely "Don`t Stop Believing" to a "T".

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Male 2,567
wow
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Male 268
That was pretty funny. Doesn`t matter if he wasn`t playing each song on it`s original root key though, if you get it, you get it.
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Female 44
didn`t realize they all sounded so similar...yeah, some of them do sound a little forced. And man can he sing!
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Male 4
It is true that you can play many songs on just 4 chords. On guitar learn C, D, G and that can work for many songs. The main chords used are really C, D, G, Am, Em, E, and F. It would have been better if he had used the rythm patterns for the songs he was mashing.
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Male 1,385
The mash up of Wonderwall and Boulevard of broken dreams sums it up well too, but the difference with these 2 songs for you musician`s like toastopia is their progression is Root, flat 3rd, flat 7th, 5th, guess that`s the rock version
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Female 399
lol me too tricia!

But it`s kind of true though, sometimes if I`m just singing away to myself during the day, I find that I end up singing a different song to the one I started because there`s a bit which is so similar.

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Female 123
I liked his little brother sitting on the floor zoned out on video games and ignoring him.
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Male 1,407
It`s not really a criticism, it`s just something cool. Calm down.
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Male 18
no it is not that a couple a song didn`t fit, I do have to point out that certain chord progressions are more common then others, however it shouldn`t matter as there are more progressions then the simple I-IV-ii-V I believe he was playing, The problem is finding something that works is harder then using what is already done. However this is just the opinion of a musician. Nothing will change and most pop music will continue to use this progression
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Female 198
<3 the guy on the beanbag playing playstation or whatever while his mate films himself singing pop songs :D
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Male 34
I dont know much about music so if you rip me for this fine..But if you try can you not sing any song to anything you play as long as the music sounds kind of close so it still sounds right...so what is the big deal of him covering these songs bands do it all the time.
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Female 312
I get his point, most of them were the same. And he can sing pretty good, but the really high notes. For example, "She will be loved" I cringed. However a few seemed forced to sound like they belonged.
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Male 1,354
Most of those songs sounded forced and not like the originals. Yes music chord progressions are fairly similar. It`s the melody that matters. Dork.
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Male 61
he didnt sing dont stop believing did he?
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Male 1,385
Link: The History of Pop Music in 4 Chords [Rate Link] - So many songs, so few chords.
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