Axis of Awesome’s 4-Chord Songs
If you’re a student of my online course, you know that it teaches you, step by step, to accompany your own singing. We began with songs that use only three chords, and in my most recent tutorial, Accompaniment Styles for 50 Great Songs, we added a fourth.
That’s why I was happy to come across this Axis of Awesome video. On it, the talented and very funny Australian group plays dozens of hit songs (see the complete list below) that use the four chords we’ve studied so far, and most of the songs are pretty recent (unlike the ones I often choose).
And here’s the interesting part: not only do the songs all use the same chords, they use them in exactly the same sequence.
To bring this home, go to 08:57 on Accompaniment Styles for 50 Great Songs. At that point, I play the chords for Let it Be: I, V, vi, IV. In the key of C, that’s C, G, A minor, and F.
Now re-play that part of the video, and notice how you can not only sing the verse of Let it Be over that accompaniment, but also the chorus of Can You Feel the Love Tonight, the chorus of Someone Like You, and . . . . well, the entire list of songs you see below.
And that’s exactly what Axis of Awesome does.
So I thought I’d share with you this video and list of songs. If you’ve worked your way through Accompaniment Styles for 50 Great Songs (at least the beginning), and are looking for more music to play using the same chords, this will be of interest to you.
Clearly, If you’re a songwriter, you need to know this progression.
Update: I just found another video called “4 Chords, 65 Songs”, based on exactly the same premise.
On the Axis of Awesome video:
0:52 Journey – Don’t Stop Believing
1:00 James Blunt – You’re Beautiful
1:09 Alphaville – Forever Young
1:17 Jason Mraz – I’m Yours
1:25 Mika – Happy Ending
1:34 Alex Lloyd – Amazing
1:41 The Calling – Wherever You Will Go
1:49 Elton John – Can You Feel The Love Tonight
1:56 Maroon 5 – She Will Be Loved
2:04 The Last Goodnight – Pictures Of You
2:12 U2- With Or Without You
2:19 Crowled House – Fall At Your Feet
2:29 Kasey Chambers – Not Pretty Enough
2:38 The Beatles – Let It Be
2:42 Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Under the Bridge
2:48 Daryl Braithwaite – The Horses
2:54 Bob Marley – No Woman No Cry
2:56 Marcy Playgroung – Sex and Candy
2:59 Men At Work – Land Down Under
3:03 Banjo Patterson’s Waltzing Matilda
3:05 A Ha – Take On Me
3:06 Green Day – When I Come Around
3:22 Eagle Eye Cherry – Save Tonight
3:23 Toto – Africa
3:30 Beyonce – If I were a Boy
3:32 The Offspring – Self Esteem
3:38 The Offspring – You’re Gonna Go Far Kid
3:47 Pink – You and Your Hand
3:53 Lady Gaga – Poker Face
4:00 Aqua – Barbie Girl
4:04 The Fray – You Found Me
4:09 3Oh!3 – Don’t Trust Me
4:16 MGMT – Kids
4:23 Tim Minchin – Canvas Bags
4:33 Natalie Imbruglia – Torn
4:49 Five For Fighting – Superman
4:53 Axis Of Awesome – Birdplane
5:05 Missy Higgins – Scar