The Greatest TWO Chord Song of All Time

  • Опубліковано 28 січ 2022
  • What is the Greatest TWO Chord Song of All Time? In this video I answer that question.
    Mary Spender -
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КОМЕНТАРІ • 16 762

  • Eric Rakestraw
    Eric Rakestraw 8 місяців тому +1783

    Lou Reed said it best: "One chord is fine. Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you're into jazz."

    • Fred Grady
      Fred Grady 10 днів тому

      What about “Feelin’ Alright” Dave Mason with Traffic or Joe Cocker’s version?

    • daroob
      daroob 15 днів тому

      @Howard Petterson say you don’t understand jazz without saying it

    • daroob
      daroob 15 днів тому

      @Daniel Koskinen so more of a poet than a musician

    • InmanRoshi
      InmanRoshi 15 днів тому +1

      The great alchemy of music when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

    • Joe Blow
      Joe Blow 18 днів тому

      Sabotage by the Beastie Boys-best 1 chord song ever!

  • Joey Ordakowski
    Joey Ordakowski 22 дні тому +25

    Isn’t it so crazy how these songs still feel like they have so much depth and energy with just 2 chords and those gorgeous Melodies on top

  • Ken Steckelberg
    Ken Steckelberg Місяць тому +33

    Love Mary’s voice. Her cover with Leo of Sultans of Swing is brilliant!

  • zedxxx9
    zedxxx9 3 місяці тому +63

    Wow... that Nirvana song really demonstrates how an effectively a contrasting chorus or change section can sound powerfully different even when using the same chords. That's quite incredible and useful to have witnessed.

  • 68aries
    68aries Місяць тому +30

    I suggest you make more videos like this one for two reasons. A) Just like you teach theory, why not some easier two and three chord tunes ? More will watch because more would feel like they can learn play the song today. Not so complex.
    And B) this shows the best part of playing an instrument IMO. Playing with friends ! The three of you look so happy playing those tunes. That's what people have lost in these last years, playing and jamming together. Its a lot of fun actually.

    • David M Kaufman, CCIM
      David M Kaufman, CCIM 11 днів тому

      One of my favorite 3 chord songs is What's Up by Four Non Blondes

  • HighCastle of Tone
    HighCastle of Tone 8 місяців тому +271

    It never occurred to me that Dreams was only two chords, but now it's so obvious. The melodies, amazing performances and production make it so much bigger than just the two chords.

    • christopher beltrami
      christopher beltrami 5 днів тому

      Totally agree. So much money made from just 2 chords. It’s genius actually.🤣

    • Jeff Miller
      Jeff Miller 18 днів тому +1

      @John DeMarco You're absolutely right when you look at the entire song.

    • John DeMarco
      John DeMarco 19 днів тому

      @Jeff Miller It's 3 chords. The middle break instrumental part uses an A minor.

    • John DeMarco
      John DeMarco 19 днів тому +1

      @Matt Granz You are correct

    • Tom Johnson
      Tom Johnson 2 місяці тому

      @kodowdus Your comment made me think of "Love My Way" by the Psychedelic Furs. I've always interpreted it as being in the key of G major, even though the G major chord never appears in the song and neither does its relative E minor.

  • Marni Zavaleta
    Marni Zavaleta 4 місяці тому +2

    My top 2 chord song is Shivers by Boys Next Door, later covered by Australian band The Screaming Jets.

  • Hab Den Kanal Voll
    Hab Den Kanal Voll Місяць тому +24

    The two other biggest two-chord songs of all time that I loved and celebrated very much when they came out were Oye Como Va - Santana and Feeling alright - Joe Cocker. Another huge hit was Lady In Black - Uriah Heep, although I have to admit the latter are more my thing.

    • Hab Den Kanal Voll
      Hab Den Kanal Voll 2 дні тому

      @Bill Selznick The famous V - I chord progression, although D7 is kind of a cliffhanger because of the Dominant 7

    • Bill Selznick
      Bill Selznick 2 дні тому +1

      Season of the Witch (A7 | D7)

    • JamisonLeroyMusic
      JamisonLeroyMusic 29 днів тому

      "feelin' alright" is a cover of a dave mason song (was in the band traffic), but someone can correct me if that's wrong. i wasn't aware it was only two chords

  • Iam Noone
    Iam Noone 9 днів тому +1

    Wow! Mary Spender🤔 I’ve never heard her sing before…WOW, what a voice! New fan!🥰🦘

  • FrankBall
    FrankBall 19 днів тому +1

    The first two-chords song that comes to my mind is "You're Gorgeous" by Babybird; it was a hit in Europe in 1996.

  • H of The Stage
    H of The Stage 8 місяців тому +2207

    Love seeing Mary here in person, I know she's in US but didn't know she was gonna be visiting you. Awesome seeing my favourite music UA-camrs doing collabs like this, hope there will be more!

    • Marcin Ligocki
      Marcin Ligocki 23 дні тому

      Interesting how everyone jumped on @ASTROCHRONIC for expressing his opinion. Moreover, I think he's right. The way I receive her performance is the same - Her voice is very average, there's nothing in it that gets my attention and her way of singing together with facial expression is kinda hard to watch and looks quite pretentious and not natural. That's the way I see it, that's the way I receive it and I strongly feel I have a full right to have and express this opinion in the same way as @Astrochronic did express his/her's. I'm surprised with comments like "show us how you sign and then comment". She's a UA-camr, and whoever is a UA-camr decides consciously to expose their content to the public and take feedback from the public - with all its flavors. There's nothing wrong with expressing an opinion and there's nothing wrong with saying I don't like it and here's why.

    • Bill A.
      Bill A. 5 місяців тому

      @murray von stone Now I have to go listen to You put lime in coconut and mix it all around.

    • Jty Büchner
      Jty Büchner 5 місяців тому

      @ASTROCHRONIC even Rick like her voice and found it good enough to collaborate. What is your musical achievement, that make you an expert to criticize her in public? Are you a famous music producer, that I should be aware of? Why do you think, your opinion matter? I just don't understand people like you. Create nothing but complain everything....

  • Peter Gašperan
    Peter Gašperan 28 днів тому +11

    Nirvana also did a cover of "Molly's Lips" which also has just G and C chords

  • Tal Luim
    Tal Luim Місяць тому +11

    Solitude by Black Sabbath is a good two chord song i - bVII (Gm - F). I was surprised Rick didn’t mention I-V among progressions that would work since it’s a very common one. Many two chords tunes in a major key only have I and V.

  • Steve Cowder
    Steve Cowder 4 місяці тому +29

    Definitely an interesting look into those songs. But I gotta say, Mary sure has a great voice, especially on her beautiful rendition of ‘ Dreams. ‘

  • Ken Steckelberg
    Ken Steckelberg Місяць тому +8

    Love Mary’s voice. Her cover with Leo of Sultans of Swing is brilliant!

  • jaynbob42
    jaynbob42 8 місяців тому +213

    When I saw Mary had gone for a trip across the pond, I was hoping we’d see her pop up in your videos. Love to see you guys all playing together and look forward to some more in the future.

    • Dana Fortier
      Dana Fortier 3 місяці тому

      I love Mary’s voice! It’s so full and nuanced at the same time. I was happy to see Rick jump in on background vocals on Dreams, but I was waiting for Brett to jump in. I was thinking Brett has talked about doing background vocal with his live band, why isn’t he doing it here? I was rewarded when Brett and Rick did the vocals on “A Horse With No Name.” Well done Mary, Rick and Brett!

    • Henry Immler
      Henry Immler 8 місяців тому +3

      Me too! This was a HUGE surprise!

  • HerrP
    HerrP Місяць тому +14

    The bass on the Nirvana song is very haunting and advanced the dark tone of the song. Brilliantly played.

  • david annderson
    david annderson 3 місяці тому +24

    I find it interesting that all three of these songs, although they have only two chords, have great sophistocation elsewhere. All three have sophistocated lyrics, and 'dreams' sounds like it has a fairly sophistocated melody as well. But particularly, all three have very sophistocated lyrics. 'Horse with no name' is one of my favorite songs for the story it tells. All that wonderful imagery. So if you want to write an enduring classic with just two chords, make sure the lyrics are good, and interesting, and fairy sophistocated, especially if they tell a story! (or better yet get a poet to write your lyrics!)

    • david annderson
      david annderson 2 місяці тому +1

      @Mark0Brazil Yeah, absolutely, like Ravel's Bolero adds interest with orchestration... looks like I started a good discussion! I must be getting pretty good at this!

    • Mark0Brazil
      Mark0Brazil 2 місяці тому +1

      Add to lyrics, I guess for bands - different Tones, instruments, a good arrangement can make all difference in a limited chord context.

    • Mark0Brazil
      Mark0Brazil 2 місяці тому

      Rick asked for another old 2 chords songs to the thread.
      Well, in Brazil we have a local champion with also 2 names "Pra Não Dizer Que Não Falei das Flores" ("Not to say I didn't talk about Flowers") & "Caminhando" ("Going"); a 1968 Protest song, wich became a kind of hymn against not only the then 3rd Brazilian dictatorship, but against all dictatorships.

    • Stan Phillips
      Stan Phillips 2 місяці тому +1

      Yeah, it makes sense right? 2 chords and not particularly interesting lyric just wouldn't leave you with anything.
      I have a friend. Huge Stones fan, rocker. Mainly classic rock but, into the Seattle bands.
      I've tried to get him excited about the lyrics but he'll say "I'm not a lyric guy" . I pointed out that he doesn't listen to many instrumentals and, he was kinda" thoughtful for a second and, he then acknowledged I had a point.
      I suppose you could get excited about the vocal melody line. We all have songs that we've played a hundred times and given up on understanding the lyrics but, I'm into lyrics so I'll sing along even if I'm wrong 😂
      Now there's "lyric videos " but, I remember when if it wasn't written inside the album somewhere you had to figure it out. Debate it with friends and, eventually just give up and embellish something.
      Pearl Jam - Yellow Ledbetter comes to mind. By the time I read the lyrics I'd been singing probably 80% of the lyrics wrong.
      I was slightly disappointed. 😂 I kinda liked mind.
      Nice comment man, see ya around ✌️🎸🎶🎵

  • Elman Authement
    Elman Authement 3 місяці тому +28

    Feeling Alright by Joe Cocker is a two chord song that's sung by every cover band. So many versions too. Grand Funk Railroad has a nice version of it too.

    • Chris Valente
      Chris Valente 25 днів тому

      Personally, I love doing Feeling Alright into What I Got by Sublime. If my bandmates mess up jamming those two songs I - IV with visual cues, they’re fired. Lol

    • quicksite
      quicksite Місяць тому

      @FmMaj9 NoName Interesting to me the less well-known version by Three Dog Night. A different feel, different harmonies, very striking.

    • FmMaj9 NoName
      FmMaj9 NoName 2 місяці тому +2

      Dave Mason wrote it, but he likes Joe's version better. Dave says when he plays the tune, he plays it more like Joe's cover than he does his own.

    • hwy61sf
      hwy61sf 3 місяці тому +5

      Dave Mason

    • John Cheek
      John Cheek 3 місяці тому +8

      Actually Feeling Alright was a Traffic song COVERED by Joe Cocker

  • Jon Hazlett
    Jon Hazlett 18 днів тому +2

    Debra, by Beck is a great two chord song. I love the renditions of the songs here. Never realized one could get a cello sound like that from a guitar.

  • Miles Peckover
    Miles Peckover 8 місяців тому +73

    Heroin by the Velvet Underground is an underrated two-chord song. The way that the song increases tempo to evoke the narrators change of consciousness is perfect. And the two chords themselves create a dualism that feels representative of the polarising experience of addiction. Although it's not as melodically complex as thee ones you've chosen I think it's composition genius, but it just emphasises different techniques.

    • Blanc57
      Blanc57 2 місяці тому +1

      @Boogie Cats Me too ! And what a great song ! The tempo increase, the lyrics, the climax like a rush of a shoot of heroin.

    • Henry Blake
      Henry Blake 5 місяців тому +2

      Underrate: underestimate the extent, value, or importance of (someone or something).

    • Gordan
      Gordan 7 місяців тому +3

      Best 2 chords song ever. Point.

    • Lenin McCarthy
      Lenin McCarthy 8 місяців тому +3

      I came here to mention this song!

    • Boogie Cats
      Boogie Cats 8 місяців тому +4

      Heroin was the first song I thought of before starting the video.

  • Sharky
    Sharky 3 місяці тому +13

    oh my god,,,,got tears in my eyes,,,DREAMS and HORSE WITH NO favorite songs since 47 years!!!! Mary had a fantastic voice!!! Thank you!

    • Gregg Claycamp
      Gregg Claycamp Місяць тому

      gotta love Dreams; but, "Horse with no Name?!! The melody works with 2 chords, but they really didn't have much to say...

    • mnc
      mnc 3 місяці тому

      NOT my favorite songs and still I wanted to cry too.
      Excellent stuff here!

  • Mr. Twister
    Mr. Twister День тому

    My favorite one chord song is "Lowrider" by War. The beat, the percussion and the harmonica make it happen. I went to a War concert quite a few years back and was blown away! I forgot how many hit songs they've had over the years.

  • sltaylor3
    sltaylor3 3 місяці тому +7

    Great video and exceptional performances! I used to play in an Eric Clapton tribute band and was surprised to discover that “Tulsa Time” only has two chords - G and D. Eric recorded this Don Williams song (written Danny Flowers) for his 1978 ‘Backless’ album and 1980 ‘Just One Night’ live album.

    • Todd
      Todd Місяць тому +1

      This is the first one I thought of. The song hit number 1 on the charts in 1979.

  • Niek Van wensen
    Niek Van wensen Місяць тому +6

    My absolute favorite 2-chord song would be “covered in rain” by John Mayer, the solo is just incredible

  • NeoGodHand
    NeoGodHand 8 місяців тому +73

    Man, she’s got a great voice. Her “Something in the Way” was sung very Mark Lanegan in the verse. Such range!

  • ThaJavaGuy
    ThaJavaGuy Місяць тому +2

    My favorite thing about this is that we're not limited by how many chords there are, to create music. I always feel trapped when I try to come up with music. I resort to the same chord progressions, and I feel like 12 notes per octave just isn't enough. But, just a voice can make one song sound like a completely differently song. The way that the chords are played, and how the notes in the chord are played, the phrasing of certain chords or notes, the instruments used, the voice, the tempo, the beat, etc. it all comes together to create one unique song. There's also different tunings and microtonal instruments that can change it up.
    I think certain melodies can be reused to an extent, if it's just part of it. Like Uma Thurman by Fall out boy, which does the munsters theme song. But it's so good and it sounds like its its own song

  • David Amrein
    David Amrein 2 місяці тому +10

    "I'd Rather Go Blind" by Etta James is a fantastic two chord song. The whole thing is I to ii, which like a I to IV progression would seem to need the V as a turn around resolution. In this case, I and ii work perfectly fine on their own and it never feels like it needs to go somewhere else.

    • Ivo Yaglichev
      Ivo Yaglichev 29 днів тому

      Forget Etta James. Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa just make the best version of this song.

    • Gregg Claycamp
      Gregg Claycamp Місяць тому +1

      @Casey Gleason Tenn Whiskey slips in a transition (D) between the A and Bmin. It follows his voice, but he could have statyed with only 2 !!

    • Casey Gleason
      Casey Gleason Місяць тому +1

      And Tennessee Whisky which ripped it

    • FenderAmpFreak
      FenderAmpFreak Місяць тому

      that's what first came to mind when I saw the title ... please use this example if you do a part 2 Rick

  • Foti Pitrakkos
    Foti Pitrakkos Місяць тому +10

    Great song picks, great video!
    I think it is important to note that the bass in "Horse with no Name" and "Something in the Way" create a little more complexity to their respective two-guitar chord songs (a lot in the case of "Horse with no Name").
    Bass can do some wondrous things to otherwise simple chord progressions.
    As can harmonies of course, which all these songs exemplify in different ways.

    • Chris G
      Chris G Місяць тому +1

      As well, America plays two and three guitars so there is complexity as well.

    • Foti Pitrakkos
      Foti Pitrakkos Місяць тому +1

      @Don good luck on your bass journey. It is an incredibly rewarding instrument to learn

    • Don
      Don Місяць тому +2

      In many songs the bass is the glue. That's the reason i starte dplaying it recently lol. But it can have so much more complexity to it when need be.

  • Ekoil
    Ekoil 15 днів тому +2

    The progression IV-III works very well too. I have a song that uses it and it's got sort of a "suspended" feel to it

  • TLMuse
    TLMuse 8 місяців тому +262

    Wow, that "Dreams" cover has some of Mary's best singing ever. And Rhett's slide work on the Nirvana cover sounds remarkably like a cello. Nicely done, all three of you! -Tom

    • phil2003ashleigh
      phil2003ashleigh 7 місяців тому

      @Nicholas Dupont that’ll be the cello effect

    • Chris Harrelson
      Chris Harrelson 7 місяців тому +3

      @Nicholas Dupont I'm pretty sure he's using an EBOW.

    • Smilus
      Smilus 7 місяців тому +1

      Yeah!!! I Was looking for the Cello. Well done boys and girl!

    • Conan The Employer
      Conan The Employer 7 місяців тому +3

      @Nicholas Dupont Sounds like they used the actual cello part from the original, and Rhett is just doubling it. If you listen closely, you can hear the bow skipping on the string during some of the note changes.

    • corryjookit
      corryjookit 7 місяців тому +1

      @Nicholas Dupont I prefer to watch and listen to 2Cellos, especially in Verona, on here UA-cam, as they can make them sound like guitars. Enjoy ! They do an amazing Iron Maiden cover which is mind boggling. My favourite..

  • Javier Valverde
    Javier Valverde 3 місяці тому +1

    I'd add another one to the list, but it doesn't 100% qualify as being purely 2 chords, there's some added flair in between to spice things up, but I think it's an honourable mention considering its fame:
    I've Got a Feeling by The Beatles

  • bo_music
    bo_music 3 місяці тому +1

    If a simple riff is allowed, The Cross by Prince is a great two chord song. It also hits that I - IV interval without the V, just E and Asus9.

  • James Felizardo
    James Felizardo 3 місяці тому +5

    Awesoe voice Mary and 1-hand bass play ♥ you're so lucky to have those 2 great musicians with you. Awesome video as usual Rick ♥

  • jmhaces
    jmhaces 28 днів тому +1

    Nirvana also did a cover of The Vaseline's "Molly's Lips" in "Incesticide" and that song, if I remember correctly, is just G to C over and over again in a punk rock strumming pattern. It's fun, easy, and sounds great.

  • Kieron Rowe
    Kieron Rowe 8 місяців тому +239

    Mary Spender's voice is absolutely perfect for Dreams by Fleetwood Mac. More of the same please, Rick!

    • Kieron Rowe
      Kieron Rowe 7 місяців тому

      @K. Mike26 imma check that out Cheers mate

    • K. Mike26
      K. Mike26 7 місяців тому +2

      Completely agree. @Katie Lowe has an excellent voice for this song too.

    • Ken Gould
      Ken Gould 7 місяців тому

      Dreams was Epic with Mary singing it!

    • gato ryak
      gato ryak 7 місяців тому +4

      @Christine Mitchell A Horse With No Name is a weak song. I'm surprised that Rick chose such a clunker.

    • Christine Mitchell
      Christine Mitchell 7 місяців тому +2

      She nailed it on dreams, but seemed weak on horse with no name, still very impressed with her sound!

  • Andrew Deane
    Andrew Deane 3 місяці тому +6

    The Mavericks - Dance The Night Away is a good two chord song too. The chords E and B7 alternate throughout the whole song.

  • Doug Johnson
    Doug Johnson Місяць тому +2

    Not sure how I missed this the first time. Love Mary and her videos and pick up a lot of great tips from Rhett. Great job with the songs.. Knew Horse With No Name had to be on there.

  • Matchrocket
    Matchrocket Місяць тому +8

    I did something very similar on a song I wrote with my daughter but it was more than two chords. It had a beautiful melody and I didn't want to mess with it on the chorus. So for the chorus I switched all the verse chords to their relative thirds and kept the melody the same but it sounded completely different. It worked like a charm.

  • James Morton
    James Morton 2 місяці тому +3

    Great video Rick! Loved it, the covers sounded great and I'd love to see you get your friends on more often.

  • Elise M
    Elise M 8 місяців тому +74

    “Feelin' Alright” popularized by Joe Cocker is a two-chord gem. And Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools” is a great one-chord song.

    • Arthur Wild
      Arthur Wild 3 місяці тому +3

      Absolutely!! I was forgetting Chain of Fools being one chord!! Joe Cocker did great covers of both of these.

    • Nightowl427272
      Nightowl427272 4 місяці тому +1

      Two great songs!

    • Andrew H
      Andrew H 5 місяців тому +1

      Dang, those both might be better

    • Don G
      Don G 7 місяців тому +1

      That was a huge song.

    • John C
      John C 8 місяців тому +4

      Yes, and let's also credit the writer Dave Mason.

  • Fred Hendricks
    Fred Hendricks 3 місяці тому +5

    I know this is off-topic but I just wanna hear more music from you three people.🤘

  • mandrake75
    mandrake75 24 дні тому +1

    Excellent topic ! A while back, I wanted to cover a nicely upbeat old-time rocker, with the band I was then leading, because I felt we needed a lighthearted number that would make everybody want to dance. Also, since it had featured in a very popular movie, I felt it was going to be well received. And it did ! Only when we started rehearsing it did we realize it only had two chords, and somehow it didn't need another one. The song was Chuck Berry's "You never can tell". Great pick !

  • Steen Boel
    Steen Boel 3 місяці тому

    I think you should also consider “You, Bluebird” by Jane Child. Those melody lines throughout the song give you a perception of a really complex song. I love it.

  • Benny Friis
    Benny Friis 6 днів тому

    Rick... you should record a version of "Something in the way" in that line-up. Sounds incredible.... well in Europe at least. Maybe it sounds better here than in the US :)

  • Brook Tu
    Brook Tu 8 місяців тому +22

    Good stuff. A mention to Chuck Berry's 'You never can tell' as my favourite 2-chord song.

  • 0010Kev
    0010Kev Місяць тому +1

    Wow...'Dreams' is a two chord song., it's such a great song start to end I never would have guessed! I think I used to play 'Horse with no name' back in the day when I was learning the guitar but it feels more like a song that doesn't have too many chords. It's a great song as well but dreams is such a sophisticated song it just shines....with only two chords!!

  • Prometheus Rising
    Prometheus Rising Місяць тому +4

    like a shamanic ritual were the shaman hits the drum at the same rhythm continuously without stopping, leading the participants of the ritual to some kind of transcendence experience
    the repetition of two chords puts you in a trance giving you this dreamy feeling . Love those songs!

  • Ryan W
    Ryan W Місяць тому +10

    Jane Says is an incredible two chord song. Jane's Addiction was firing on all cylinders when writing it.

    • Robert Fullum
      Robert Fullum День тому

      Yah. I was gonna say Jane Says too. I'd swap out the Nirvana cut for Jane Says. No shade on Nirvana. It's just Something in the Way is a deep cut from Nevermind. Jane Says was a huge hit. But, i don't make videos and i'm probably not gonna start, so, c'est la vie lol

    • J F
      J F 2 дні тому

      And still do.

    • J F
      J F 2 дні тому

      Great point and true dat. I used to tear it up on Jane Says.

  • Kieran J Phillips
    Kieran J Phillips 3 місяці тому

    Awesome video as always Rick. Hard to think of other titles off the top of my Head. Great choices here though. So glad I’ve got to hear them played in concert too🙏🙏

  • João Pedro R. A. Silva
    João Pedro R. A. Silva 8 місяців тому +103

    I'm a Brazilian and every time that people say "two chords songs", I remember of one of the most good songs of my country, its name is "Para Não Dizer que Não Falei das Flores", something like "Not to say that I didn't mention the flowers". This is a beautiful song of the singer/composer Geraldo Vandré.

    • Lucas
      Lucas 8 місяців тому

      @Jeffrey Isbell Check out Clube da Esquina if you haven't heard it yet. One of the best brazilian albums ever.

    • Eduardo Camenietzki
      Eduardo Camenietzki 8 місяців тому +1

      John Lennon pick the spirit for his "Work Class Hero", the same Am - G and the 6/8 groove.

    • Jeffrey Isbell
      Jeffrey Isbell 8 місяців тому +2

      Thank you. I love every opportunity to learn about more Brazilian music. Especially from someone who KNOWS like you!

    • Vinicius Vieira
      Vinicius Vieira 8 місяців тому

      That is a great song indeed.

    • Matheus Salmaso
      Matheus Salmaso 8 місяців тому

      Jack Tequilla only has two chord as well. And it follows the I - IV Rick mentioned

  • Andrew Clenaghan
    Andrew Clenaghan 8 днів тому

    A couple of months ago I watched the Hothouse Flowers play live - got all nostalgic at their debut single ' 'Don't Go' (1987) which went to #11 in the UK and #6 & 7 in the Billboard Mainstream Rock and Alternative charts respectively (better chart performance than Nirvana's 'Something in the Way) - worth an honourable mention at least?

  • Isla Gorrion
    Isla Gorrion Місяць тому +2

    An incredible song and absolute classic with a I - IV two chord harmony is Heroin by The Velvet Underground

  • The Drunken Scoundrel
    The Drunken Scoundrel 4 дні тому

    Not entirely two chords but mostly: "A life of Sundays" and "This is the Sea" by The Waterboys. "Made to break Your Heart" by Los Lobos. All three song CLINICS in simplicity and great songwriting/producing/recording

  • Gee Kaye
    Gee Kaye Місяць тому +1

    hey rick!
    really great! love all three songs.
    another GREAT 2-chord-song is When Love Comes To Town by U2.

  • M Press
    M Press 8 місяців тому +127

    Rhett Shull's "cello" slide is killer!!!

    • E. Q. Manson
      E. Q. Manson 8 місяців тому +1

      @Rhett Shull I thought it was an e-bow.

    • Rhett Shull
      Rhett Shull 8 місяців тому +7

      Thank you!

    • Rhett Shull
      Rhett Shull 8 місяців тому +17

      @Eric I was just plugged straight into Ricks Vox Valvetronix solid state amp

    • Eric
      Eric 8 місяців тому +5

      Rhet, can you make a video about how to get that tone?

    • Carolina
      Carolina 8 місяців тому +1


  • Rafael Alberto Deras Funes
    Rafael Alberto Deras Funes 9 днів тому

    Gosh, hearing that first chord from the nirvana song, it gave me chills... Great song!

  • manasta
    manasta Місяць тому +1

    Great topic … never realized there were so many (famous) two-cord songs.
    Born in the USA (Springsteen) would be in my top 3. I’d also give an honorable mention to I Melt With You (Modern English), which is essentially two chords except for a couple brief interludes.

  • Fred Wills
    Fred Wills 2 місяці тому

    I really dug what Rhett was laying down on the Nirvana song with the electric slide. It had some depth to it.
    I wanted to propose the idea that many folk songs have fewer notes/chords of accompaniment, and rely on the singer to provide melody. One notable example was North Country Blues by Bob Dylan. 2 chords, lot’s of emotional lyric.

  • Chris G
    Chris G Місяць тому

    Horse With No Name is definitely one of my favorite 2-chord songs...prefer playing it on a 12-string (which I believe was used in the original recording, strings tuned to D E D G B D low to high), love how those 2 chords ring out on it.

  • DemonGeminiX
    DemonGeminiX 8 місяців тому +39

    I love listening to Mary sing. Her voice is incredible.

  • Duff Daddy
    Duff Daddy 2 місяці тому +16

    My favorite 2 chord song, by far, is Tomorrow Never Knows. Can't believe you skipped that one Rick!

    • Michael McLaughlin
      Michael McLaughlin Місяць тому +3

      @0010Kev Yeah, so we'll have to wait for the one chord song videos.

    • 0010Kev
      0010Kev Місяць тому +4

      If I'm not mistaken 'Tomorrow Never Knows' is a one chord song ... all in C

  • Rob Wehrli
    Rob Wehrli 3 місяці тому

    Absolutely fantastic set. I bet you guys had a bunch of fun. She really nailed Stevie Nicks. Thank you for a fun message.

  • Magnetron33
    Magnetron33 4 дні тому

    I saw Dave Mason in Iowa City about 6 or 8 years ago and he called Feelin Alright the song that keeps on giving. They then scrolled the well known artists that covered it and I think there were over 30 including Sinatra, and Michael Jackson. My favorite version to this day is Joe Cocker with Leon Russell on Piano.

  • Alfred Himmelweiss
    Alfred Himmelweiss Місяць тому

    It is so beautiful seeing you playing together. Thank you!

  • Robby King
    Robby King 8 місяців тому +72

    Man, Rhett’s slide playing sounded fantastic! It really sounded like the cello on that song

  • Foghorn90 Leghorn
    Foghorn90 Leghorn 26 днів тому +2

    She's an amazing singer!

  • Chris G
    Chris G Місяць тому +2

    Lest we forget the massively strong and sweet rhythm masters in Fleetwood Mac - Mick Fleetwood and John McVie make that a great song too.

  • Dixie Highway Music
    Dixie Highway Music Місяць тому

    Great video! Yes I'm newer to your channel and I'm laughing now because the first songs that came to my mind were boys round here and achy breaky heart. Maybe even save a horse ride a cowboy but I see they throw a third chord in there but I learned it as a two chord song. Great stuff. Just different backgrounds.
    Nonetheless, great video and great to see ms and rs on your channel too! 🎻🪕

  • greyone40
    greyone40 2 місяці тому

    Interesting topic. I had no idea that those songs were only two chords. Such beautiful songs from so little. Thank you all for the live performances.

  • Alex Basson
    Alex Basson 8 місяців тому +101

    "Everyday People" by Sly and the Family Stone is a great I-IV song. Moreover, the bass line is just one single note, repeated over and over, with absolutely perfect groove.

    • hapbarb
      hapbarb 6 місяців тому

      @Jim Standley I-V.

    • J.D. King
      J.D. King 7 місяців тому

      @Jim Standley Ah! But a third chord is added at the end, second to last chord, a fifth.

    • rayK
      rayK 7 місяців тому

      and that short overdriven bass lick here and there

    • Andy Newman
      Andy Newman 7 місяців тому

      Roadrunner by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers is IV-I

    • Bill Steinly
      Bill Steinly 7 місяців тому

      @Jim Standley you can also sing Billy Ray Cyrus Achey Brakey Heart in the key of G using the same melody.

  • David Duffy
    David Duffy 3 місяці тому +1

    What about "Tomorrow Never Knows" from the Beatles' Revolver album? I love that song!

  • Atvena
    Atvena 2 місяці тому +1

    The two chords for "dreams" reminds me of playing "under the milky way" by the church
    The America song sounds like it doesn't actually have a chorus just verse pre chorus and then post chorus back into the next verse
    The last was even weaker so "dreams" wins this easy but what a great idea when writing a chorus maybe you don't have to use any other chords for it still feels like it would take a stroke of genius with the vocals though

  • Jim Buerosse
    Jim Buerosse 3 місяці тому +2

    The Beatles "Paperback Writer" has two chords (G, C) and a great riff besides!

  • robert ober
    robert ober 2 місяці тому +1


  • The-Art-of-Guitar
    The-Art-of-Guitar 8 місяців тому +350

    Takes a ton of discipline to play that bass line. Every part of you wants to embellish but you can't. :)

    • Alan vincent
      Alan vincent 27 днів тому

      To me the best ever bass line that you can’t embellish ( but I actually wouldn’t want to because it’s virtually a mantra), is
      “Calamity Jane” by
      Supreme Beings of Leisure”
      One my favourite ever Trip Hop bands - I was playing that I would say just “unplug me when it’s finished”!
      I was shocked to see on an online chords and Lyrics
      Site there were actually seven chords listed!😱

    • Don H
      Don H 5 місяців тому +1

      You can, but better not to embellish. I agree with one of the comments that less is more.

    • colliemac7
      colliemac7 8 місяців тому +1

      No I don’t agree .. John was capable of playing very complex bass lines.. but it suited the song, it would sound messy if he complicated it.. sometimes less is more.. actually I love the bass in this song, tight & punchy great for Micks drumming style.

    • Henry Mathis
      Henry Mathis 8 місяців тому

      There was more than one song... 🥴

    • Jordy
      Jordy 8 місяців тому +1

      @fretlessman71 lol i know. He was in the zone dude

  • Joe Troncale
    Joe Troncale 3 місяці тому +3

    Mary has such a great voice…

  • Gskala01
    Gskala01 3 місяці тому +1

    I would never expect someone like Rick Beato to rank two-chord masterpieces by The Beatles such as "Paperback Writer" or "Eleanor Rigby" over "Dreams" by Stevie Nicks. He's in it for the clicks.

    • Michael Mantese
      Michael Mantese 15 днів тому

      I wouldn't call Eleanor Rigby a two chord song. Despite the base chords being the same, it has a lot of movement from Em > Em7 > C > Em6

  • Spencer Elliott
    Spencer Elliott Місяць тому

    Great songs and awesome video! My favorite newish two chord song is Chris Stapleton’s version of Tennessee Whiskey. I-ii-ii-I. Killer, smartly done arrangement. Add it to the list of progressions you can get away with!

  • lucy snowe
    lucy snowe Місяць тому

    Wow. I love love LOVE her voice! Thank you.

  • Josh97GreenDay
    Josh97GreenDay 8 місяців тому +131

    Heroin by the Velvet Underground is I - IV. Also Molly's Lips by the Vaselines (Nirvana Cover). Ceremony by Joy Division (New Order) is the perfect I - V song. Transmission only uses two chords as well.

    • Martin Dennehy
      Martin Dennehy 5 місяців тому

      Age of Consent by New Order is I-IV too I think

    • Chris Raine
      Chris Raine 7 місяців тому

      Heroin is 3 chords - D5,D,G5/D.

    • Chris Raine
      Chris Raine 7 місяців тому

      @bargainbassist Correction to what exactly? “Molly’s Lips by The Vaselines (Nirvana Cover).” It’s all mentioned correctly,or am I missing something? Amazing song by the way! It was a rendition via collaboration more than a straightforward cover though!

    • bargainbassist
      bargainbassist 7 місяців тому

      Correction: “Molly’s Lips” was originally written and performed by The Vaselines. The band Nirvana simply covered it.

    • Brian Konwerski
      Brian Konwerski 8 місяців тому +1

      Now that's a playlist...

  • Rick Finley
    Rick Finley Місяць тому

    40 by U2 is my favorite 2 chord song. I used to give impromptu guitar lessons in college and that was always the song I'd use.

  • Jonas Weinfurtner
    Jonas Weinfurtner Місяць тому

    You can also listen into "The Outfield" by The Night Game, which is a kind of 2ish chord song if you don't count the syncopated 4th note every 2nd bar 😇

  • Geotropa 10
    Geotropa 10 2 місяці тому +17

    There are many songs that only use the first (tonic) and the fifth (dominant), and they all look perfectly complete to me! - The greatest two-chord -song of those that I am aware of, in my opinion is "Eleanor Rigby" . The more so, taking into account that the chords chosen differ by just one note, having two notes in common.

    • EJB
      EJB 20 днів тому

      The 1st and 6th minor have 2 notes in common as do the 1st and 3rd minor but the 1st and 5th only share 1 note.

  • Ignatius Jackson
    Ignatius Jackson Місяць тому

    "Heroin" by Velvet Underground is all I-IV, I believe. It's a masterclass in timbre and dynamics.

  • Jordan Spory
    Jordan Spory 8 місяців тому +241

    First song I ever learned in guitar with my guitar teacher was Horse with no name. It was a MASSIVE confidence booster for me as I previously had only learned chords out of a book. Being 7 years old and playing along with a massively well known song I felt like I was on top of the world. After playing that I was off to the races, I remember the next week coming to my guitar teacher begging him to teach me Comfortably Numb and 12 years later I’ve never put a guitar down!

    • Michael Stanzup
      Michael Stanzup 7 місяців тому

      @Zack Fisher 🙃

    • Zack Fisher
      Zack Fisher 8 місяців тому +4

      Oh my god, I can’t believe no one has said it yet…okay awesome I’ll do it then…
      So, I guess you could say, you were off to the races…on a horse with no name?

    • Roy Williams
      Roy Williams 8 місяців тому


    • Rob
      Rob 8 місяців тому

      Came here to say horse with no name. Think my dad taught me that one

    • treblemaker69
      treblemaker69 8 місяців тому +5

      When I taught guitar lessons, Horse With No Name was one of my go-to songs for that very reason!

  • Jorge Guimarães
    Jorge Guimarães 3 місяці тому

    Found myself replaying several times your cover o "A horse with no name". Thank you for this amazing video!

  • Nelson Correia
    Nelson Correia 3 місяці тому +1

    When I began learning to play guitar in 1970 after 1 month I made a song with ONLY 2 chords A m and C major with two different tempos. The ONLY problem was the lyrics that were not só good.😆 really quite naïve.

  • Rainer Klawki
    Rainer Klawki 3 місяці тому +4

    There is also a one chord song (with a tiny exception for 1 second): The subterrainian homesick blues from Bob Dylan.

  • electro257
    electro257 2 дні тому

    'Silence is easy' by Starsailor (British band) Great song and the vocal makes the song which only uses A and E but to great affect.

  • James O'Gara
    James O'Gara 8 місяців тому +75

    I love this song, love all three of you, but i’m going to go with “Brickhouse” by the Commodores as the best two chord song. I mean, the groove, the horn lines, it’s staying power and influence!
    And the best One Chord Song is “Love Bizarre” by Sheila E, written by Prince.
    Edited to add: I was corrected. I was misremembering which cover song Michael Hedges talked about being a one chord song. Love Bizarre is two chords.

    • TissuePaper
      TissuePaper 8 місяців тому +3

      @Jenny & Craig Adventures Sounds like a personal problem. If it gets grandma grooving, that's a good track, no doubt.

    • Toddb3
      Toddb3 8 місяців тому +3

      @Jenny & Craig Adventures We don't want to open up that door now, do we? Have you heard some of the classic rock songs that are being played as weddings these days? lol AC/DC, Led Zep and who knows what else.. :p

    • Jenny & Craig Adventures
      Jenny & Craig Adventures 8 місяців тому +5

      Sorry to break it to you, but songs like “Brick House”, “Ladies Night” and ‘Play That Funky Music (White Boy)” have been relegated to the category of “Cheesy wedding reception songs” and are not eligible for recognition on lists like this. 😁

    • Matt Woodling
      Matt Woodling 8 місяців тому

      Brick House. Yep - great one! Love the easy-but-tight groove of the horns in the chorus.

    • James O'Gara
      James O'Gara 8 місяців тому

      @Chris Garmon thank you, i stand corrected. I was misremembering which cover song Michael Hedges talked about being a one chord song.

  • Wayne Orendorff
    Wayne Orendorff Місяць тому

    "Tulsa Time" is a great two chord (I and V) song for every country artist that thought moving to
    Los Angeles was the answer to their career taking off.

  • David Wurm
    David Wurm Місяць тому

    Waylon Jennings has a couple of two chord songs that I can think of off the top of my head that crush these. 1) Are you sure hank done it this way?. 2) Waymore Blues. But, Waylon could do stuff that others just can’t. He even does it with just 1-4.
    I will see if I can think of some more.
    Great videos, though. Love this channel.

  • Frans Leerdam
    Frans Leerdam 3 місяці тому

    I feel everything by Cara Delevingne is a magic two chord song! Thank you for all your inspiring videos.

  • RJC 72
    RJC 72 3 місяці тому

    "All I Want Is You" by U2 is mostly a I - IV song. One of my favorite 2-chord songs is "I Am (I'm Me)" by Twisted Sister -- just E and B power chords.

  • William Bierce
    William Bierce 11 днів тому

    As soon as I saw the title I thought of Dreams. That song is proof to me that a good enough vocal melody can make a completely stock two chord progression sound exiting.

  • Mark Winieski
    Mark Winieski Місяць тому

    Hey, Rick. Love your UA-cam videos. I thought of another two-chord song. "Feelin' Alright" by Joe Cocker. I think this is an I - IV you might be looking for...

  • Paul Petery
    Paul Petery 3 місяці тому +30

    Planet Caravan by Black Sabbath deserves an honorable mention. Not a well known track by them but a great two chord song

    • hellradiolives
      hellradiolives День тому

      I always though it was one of their best.

      CRAIG FREEMAN 2 місяці тому


    • Atvena
      Atvena 2 місяці тому +4

      A great cover by Pantera

    • Kyle Griffin
      Kyle Griffin 2 місяці тому

      A horse with no name and planet caravan are the same chords, it's fun to intermingle the two live

    • lordasaki
      lordasaki 2 місяці тому +2

      Solitude is also just two chords.

  • Snartzz B
    Snartzz B 4 дні тому

    Very cool. Glad you got to spend some time with Mary. I've just watched her interview with Molly Tuttle. They got on like old friends, really enjoyed it.🚀🚀

  • Matthew Phillips
    Matthew Phillips 8 місяців тому +407

    Also just wanted to say how versatile Mary’s voice is (Dewey from America and Kurt from Nirvana have very different voices!) and that I actually said “Oh wow!” when she appeared.

    • DefenestrateYourself
      DefenestrateYourself 2 місяці тому

      @Mike Your mother is very disappointed in you

    • Tomas Pita
      Tomas Pita 8 місяців тому +3

      @Mike Dude, grapes are supposed to be sour but if you don't like the sour, don't chew the skin. It's okay, you'll learn to sing too someday, promise. Just keep in the woodshed brother

    • alnath01
      alnath01 8 місяців тому +2

      @Mike come on ! First, there is no "Mary's voice", actually, there are "Mary's voices" , and they are great !

    • Louis M
      Louis M 8 місяців тому +1

      Oh, she's incredible!

    • Ivan Candolo Nogueira
      Ivan Candolo Nogueira 8 місяців тому +2

      Anyways, there's rumors (pun intended) that Dreams has a Am in the solo part...