How to write a one chord song
A one chord song?
Writing a one chord song is simply using one major chord from beginning to end. Most songs have three to many chords. One chord songs have produced hits like "The Beat Goes On" by Sonny and Cher and The Guess Who's "American Woman" written by Bachman/Cummings. Bob Dylan penned one called "The Ballad Of Hollis Brown." The Beatle's one chord song was "Within You Without You."
Every song is composed in one basic major chord. There are a few that switch but not many. You can sing almost any song by just playing one chord on the guitar. Just keep the rhythm and sing. It feels a little weird at first but you'll be amazed at the vocal range and creativity you can achieve. Just chose the chord you are comfortable with. I usually write a one chord song in E or A.
You can change the rhythm and spice it up with a cool riff. The song "Low Rider" written and performed by War is a good example of riff in a one chord song.
I wrote a song called "James Lee" a few years back. The lyric is about a cowboy who was murdered by towns folk and his spirit possesses another man for revenge on them. I pretty much strummed one chord all the way through and walked the bass in the verses. I simply put an electric guitar chop in the background.
You can hear the song at: www.myspace.com/songarden
Writing a one chord song gives you a lot of creative freedom when it comes to adding background and lead instruments.
It can be challenging and it can be fun.