10 Classic Rock Songs That Use 3 Chords Or Less
There’s the old adage that you only need 3 chords and the truth to get your point across. You’re not in a prog band after all, so you’re going to want to get your point across in every way possible in as short a time as possible. Looks like it shouldn’t take any effort, but it takes real artists to make it work properly.
Keep in mind though, these won’t necessarily be the flashiest songs you’ve ever heard. For most of these tracks, you have very little to do in terms of building, with most instrumentalists just hitting those few chords with absolutely everything they have. What sets them apart is what they can do with these chords, adding little embellishments and extra textures until a wall of sound hits you in the face.
Hell, some of these artists just got rid of the 3 chord thing altogether, with some of them even down to just two for the duration of the song. As we go, all you need is a single buzzing chord to get things going and blow people away. As fun as it can be to stand up, rock and roll can get a little too complicated sometimes, so it takes songs like these to get over ourselves.
Look, this author isn’t about to sit here and tell you that Led Zeppelin is exactly easy to play. Who are we laughing at ? If you were to throw a dart at just about any drum performance by Jimmy Page or John Bonham, you wouldn’t get much beginner-level stuff or anything. For big hits though, some of the best rockers in the world know how to do more with less.
From the first guitar hit of Whole Lotta Love, every rock music fan knows what they want, with an incredible groove that makes the song feel like it’s about to fall apart any moment and never does. never. Other than that riff, there isn’t much to the rest of this song musically speaking, Jimmy just adding the chords behind the riff and a few slides here and there before launching into the guitar solo.
Even when they get into the wild atmospheric section around the middle of the song, your role on the guitar is more about setting the mood than playing notes, which is why Jimmy was known to be behind the theremin whenever they were playing that section of the song. at live concerts. On the contrary, it provides a good starting point for anyone looking to break into the more advanced side of their instrument. You don’t need to play too much in terms of raw chords, but you only have to worry about the rest of the stuff around it.