Hooking an Audience With the Magic of Implied Chords

May 17, 2014

The Essential Secrets of Songwriting Blog

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The Black KeysAn implied chord is one in which only part of a chord (usually the root, and possibly one other note) is played. Even with just one note, an audience can hear what chord was intended, or implied, and hence the name.

If you want to hear a good example of this, give “When the Lights Go Out” by The Black Keys a listen. The entire song is comprised of guitar playing what are often single pitches — mainly E to A, with an occasional G — against a violin playing an E (the technical name for which…

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