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Thom Yorke Technique

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I noticed that Radiohead seem to use this trick a lot where they use a parallel major and minor chord in the verse and chorus. For example Lucky, The tourist, Exit music, Paranoid android. Or when the same chord changes from major to minor during a verse e.g planet telex or nude. I know it isn't unique to them and plenty of bands probably use it.

 

I'm pretty sure, like people have said, Thom probably just does what sounds cool to him but I'm wandering what is happening music theory wise; is the chorus of lucky in a different key to the verse?

 

I loved reading threads like "what Radiohead songs are in A" or hearing Warren analyse paranoid android. I wish there was a website which went through Radiohead songs (or at least the most interesting ones in terms of chords) and analysed them in depth, looked at all the cool music theory stuff going on.

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I noticed that Radiohead seem to use this trick a lot where they use a parallel major and minor chord in the verse and chorus. For example Lucky, The tourist, Exit music, Paranoid android. Or when the same chord changes from major to minor during a verse e.g planet telex or nude. I know it isn't unique to them and plenty of bands probably use it.

 

I'm pretty sure, like people have said, Thom probably just does what sounds cool to him but I'm wandering what is happening music theory wise; is the chorus of lucky in a different key to the verse?

 

I loved reading threads like "what Radiohead songs are in A" or hearing Warren analyse paranoid android. I wish there was a website which went through Radiohead songs (or at least the most interesting ones in terms of chords) and analysed them in depth, looked at all the cool music theory stuff going on.

 

I am sure Thom and Johnny know a lot about music theory at this point. I wish I understood it better! As a guitar player, I do know musicians use minor chords to achieve a more dissonant sound which identifies more with sadness and being reflective, which is what I love about Radiohead songs. It isn't all perfect and they don't use major chords to make it sound tidy. It sounds edgy and unfinished. :icon_cool

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yes, radiohead are revolutionary because they use minor chords

 

Come on, give the topic creator some credit. I think they're referring to changing keys by playing a chord that should be major as a minor chord instead and vice versa (not just using minor chords in general). It has an interesting effect. I'm not sure the entire theory behind it or anything, but for starters, it sharps the first note of the signature key (play A major instead of A minor while in the key of C, and you end up playing a C sharp). I think it's just something to do with the brain hearing notes that mostly go together, then having one out of place that creates an unexpected and appealing sound.

 

Another trick Radiohead and other bands use it to play a Dominant 7th chord for the 3rd note in a key (Motion Picutre Soundtrack), which theoretically puts the song in Harmonic Minor for a moment. Ah, theory. I used to love it so much. Basically, you learn it so you know how you can (properly) abuse it.

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