19 August 2009

Two-Chord Songs: Feelin' Alright

Dave Mason is one of the unsung heroes of rock music. He has played with some of the biggest names in the history of rock, Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Fleetwood Mac, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones..., but his name is unfamiliar to most of us.

He wrote today's two-chord song "Feelin' Alright" with Traffic in the sixties and it has since been covered by more than 48 artists, including a well-known version recorded by Joe Cocker.

In the words of Mason, "I was trying to write the simplest thing I could - it was just two chords. The song is about unrequited love. Hate songs are love songs. I write mostly about that because it never changes."

The two chords are simply a C7 and an F7 played alternately for one bar each over the verses and chorus. But even though the song has only two chords, that doesn't mean there's nothing interesting to learn. A well designed Feelin' Alright lesson over at Guitar Noise shows you how to turn this seemingly simple two-chord song into a thorough rhythm guitar workout. As the lesson shows, sometimes less can be more.

Note that in the lesson the song is transposed to the key of E. You can find the lyrics and chords in the original key at the Ultimate Guitar site, Feelin' Alright.

To learn more about Dave Mason and what he's up to these days read this interesting article on recent concerts published by Laughlin Entertainer.

Guitar article writing: Gary Fletcher writes quality, original guitar content for your web sites. Discover guitar writing services for guitar web sites, blogs and newsletters. Visit http://www.writescribe.com/guitar to learn more.

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freddy1955 said...

I love using two-chord progressions when I practice soloing. It opens up the possibilities when improvising. I use an Akai Headrush E-1 for my looper and it only does 24 seconds max anyway.

Gary Fletcher said...

Good point Freddy. Keeping the chords simple is a great way to work on other things.

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