Posted on 99 Comments

Finding the Chords



It goes like this –

The fourth, the fifth

The minor fall, the major lift

The baffled king composing Hallelujah



{ 7 August 2020]:  If you are here reading this post, it is probably because you wish to become a musician or (more likely) to grow as a musician.  And if that’s the case, you should know that my previous article (now called “Become a Musician”) is the natural prequal to this post.  That (pre-sequent) posting was titled “Play Piano by Ear”; but I just now changed its title.       I suggest you make use of that one first. }


There are LOTS of songs accessible from YouTube.  And (of course) there are no rules. But I’m going to assume that most of the time (when you’re trying to find the chords to a certain song) that you’ll be ‘working alone’.  That you’ll just have the song in your head (having already internalized it) and won’t be using a professional recording of it.


You see – if you’re just starting out, there’s some (big) advantages to working with the key of C  (which means – C and/or A-minor). Now sometimes you MAY want to make use of a recording to help you figure out the chords to a song; but – what if the recording is NOT in the key of C?  (And of course – MOST of them are NOT) Then you must either learn the new set of chords … or transpose the song (many times, probably) into C (where it’s easier to play).


In either case, you should make use of the (double) ‘1, 4, 5, hand’ (which I explained in the previous blog) … and thoroughly reacquaint yourself with your six chords (1, 4, 5 … and the Dark One, the Dark 4, and the Dark 5  … which (in C) are :   C, F, G … and Am, Dm, & E [or maybe Em]). [If you’re working in another key, the pattern will be exactly the same.]


When Leonard Cohen (who of course WROTE the song ‘Hallelujah’) says, (as in the epigram) “… like this – the fourth, the fifth” –  his word choice suggests “notes”, but he does not mean that.  He means – “the four, the five” … he’s talking (in real time) about the chords.  (He had to to do the wording the way he did – for the ‘rhyme’ he was after.)


Anyway, at those points … he’s telling you what the song’s doing.  And (even though it won’t be as elegant as what he manages to build in)  I propose to use this song as a ‘practice song’ … in hopes that it will help you get used to using your chords (1, dark One; 4, dark 4; & 5, dark 5).


Besides, we’re in luck:  I just now checked Leonard Cohen’s YouTube “Hallelujah” video (Live in London, 152 million views) and … it’s pitched in C !      [and the video is below, at the end]


As I said (last time) – a song will almost always ‘come home’ at its end (or end of a musical line) … but – how do you start?

Well, unless you have a different guess, the ONE will be the chord to try.  (Songs do NOT always open on the 1; but many of them do.  And if a song starts with a ‘pick-up’, you should try the 5then the 1.)  Just pay attention.  You’ll get used to it. 


 [The tune to ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY” is musically rather simple: it partakes of the Four chord only once in the whole song: and that’s where you sing the Name of the person you’re singing the song TO.  And, other than that one spot, the song is either on the One, or the Five. Not much guessing for that one.  

And by the way – in ‘Happy Birthday’, the second time you sing the word ‘birthday’ – that is a good time to use the G-seventh … which you do by adding the ‘seventh note’ (F) to the chord.  So instead of just playing Do, Mi, Sol … you play Do, Mi, Sol, & Ti-flat.  That’s how you create (any) seventh chord.]


Anyway, “Hallelujah” DOES open on the One … and then goes to the dark One (back & forth a couple times) … then 4,  5, then home …  

Try accompanying yourself now, and see how far you get.


Did you do it?




            C                                Am                                  C                                       Am       

I’ve heard there was a secret chord     that David played and it pleased the Lord


           F                               G                         C                   G

But you don’t really care for music, do ya?


       C                                   F                    G                  Am                            G

It goes like this –  the fourth, the fifth    the minor fall, the major lift


                                             E                    Am

The baffled king composing Hallelujah.


  C       F                       Am                   F                     C             G    C             G

Hallelujah,    Hallelujah   Hallelujah, Hallelu – u-u-u   jah





In most versions I’ve heard of this song,there’s a (back & forth) One / Dark One vamp at the beginning and between verses … but not this Live in London version.  It’s (maybe) an “Easy Gospel” treatment    and stays in the sunlight more.


In any case (and in any version) – the most important Musical Transaction in the whole song … is in the chorus: when (with the second ‘Hallelujah’) the song comes home … to the One (of course).  But it does NOT come home to the Regular One, it comes home to the Dark One.  This is terribly important to this song.  

(Try playing a C at this point instead of an Am.          … Mmm?)


The other place in this song (that’s also Very Important) – is [in the verse(s)] – the chord which shows up just before the word ‘Hallelujah’ (the last word in the verse).

It’s the Dark Five (the E).


This is perhaps the ‘Secret Chord’ that the lyrics refer to … because (till it actually shows up) you wouldn’t necessarily think there WAS such a chord (which is able to DO what the Dark 5 DOES    right in that spot ! I find it surprising. Shocking maybe even.


Red & Green & Yellow (etc.) do NOT imply purple.  

Maybe someday we will see a color which we never had imagined even existed.


Every time we play (& sing) a song … (whether we’re practicing or performing) … we need to Reach for the Song.  [I learned this from Gabriel, my music teacher]


Something deep inside tells you (when you come closer)


I mean, I think we should respect and appreciate the creative genius behind much of our Art.  However, I can tell you that – when I find a way to improve any song (according to my own sense of it) – I do not hesitate to adopt the change


Songs change (and grow) over time … don’t they?


For example, I rather prefer: “… saw her bathing on the roof in the moonlight, and her beauty overthrew ya” … so that’s the way I sing it now.


And (musically), I rather prefer the Four chord (rather than the dark one) – for the last chord before the chorus.


(Just another arrangement choice)


Reach for the song.




99 thoughts on “Finding the Chords

  1. I was very happy to find this web site. I need to to thank you for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every bit of it and i also have you book-marked to check out new things on your blog.

  2. hi!,I like your writing very much! share we communicate more about your post on AOL? I require a specialist on this area to solve my problem. Maybe that’s you! Looking forward to see you.

  3. My spouse and I stumbled over here different page and thought I should check things
    out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to checking out your web page yet again.

  4. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.

    I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly.
    I’m quite certain I will learn lots of new stuff right
    here! Best of luck for the next!

  5. First off I want to say excellent blog! I had a quick
    question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your mind before writing.
    I have had trouble clearing my mind in getting my thoughts
    out. I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted just trying
    to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Thank you!

  6. Hello, I check your new stuff daily. Your story-telling style is
    witty, keep up the good work!

  7. Awesome issues here. I’m very happy to see your post.
    Thanks so much and I am taking a look forward to touch you.
    Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  8. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it
    but, I’d like to shoot you an email. I’ve got some suggestions for
    your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing
    it improve over time.

  9. Thanks for some other wonderful article. The place else could anyone get that kind of information in such an ideal
    approach of writing? I have a presentation next week,
    and I am at the search for such information.

  10. It’s really very difficult in this full of activity life to listen news on TV,
    so I only use internet for that reason, and get the newest information.

  11. Thankfulness to my father who shared with me regarding
    this website, this web site is in fact awesome.

  12. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or blog posts in this kind
    of area . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this site.
    Studying this info So i am glad to convey that I have an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I
    discovered just what I needed. I so much indisputably will make sure to do not
    put out of your mind this website and give it a look on a relentless basis.

  13. It’s actually a great and helpful piece of information. I’m satisfied that you shared
    this useful information with us. Please keep
    us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  14. I like what you guys are up too. This type of clever
    work and exposure! Keep up the wonderful works guys I’ve included you guys to
    my blogroll.

  15. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after
    I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.

    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow,
    just wanted to say superb blog!

  16. Great blog here! Also your site loads up very fast!
    What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?

    I wish my site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  17. I really like reading through a post that can make people think.
    Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!

  18. Hi, just wanted to say, I loved this blog post.
    It was funny. Keep on posting!

  19. It’s hard to come by knowledgeable people in this particular subject,
    but you sound like you know what you’re talking about!

  20. Spot on with this write-up, I truly feel this web site needs a lot more attention. I’ll
    probably be returning to read more, thanks for the

  21. Hi there, I enjoy reading all of your post. I wanted to write
    a little comment to support you.

  22. Can you tell us more about this? I’d love to find out more details.

  23. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis.
    It’s always helpful to read articles from other writers and use a little something from
    other web sites.

  24. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest
    but your sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back
    later on. Cheers

  25. My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different web address and thought I should check
    things out. I like what I see so i am just following you.
    Look forward to looking at your web page again.

  26. Hi i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anyplace, when i read this piece of writing i thought i could also create comment due to
    this brilliant article.

  27. You should take part in a contest for one of the best sites on the web.
    I most certainly will recommend this web

  28. Just desire to say your article is as surprising.

    The clearness in your post is simply excellent and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject.
    Fine with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please continue the enjoyable work.

  29. This design is steller! You most certainly know how to
    keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost
    moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job.
    I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how
    you presented it. Too cool!

  30. WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for Yang terpercaya

  31. I’d like to find out more? I’d like to find out some additional information.

  32. Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo
    News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Many thanks

  33. Neat blog! Is your theme custom made or did you
    download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few
    simple tweeks would really make my blog stand out.
    Please let me know where you got your theme. Thanks a lot

  34. Wow, that’s what I was searching for, what a material! present here
    at this blog, thanks admin of this web site.

  35. My family members every time say that I am killing
    my time here at web, except I know I am getting familiarity daily by reading such fastidious content.

  36. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it,
    you will be a great author.I will remember to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back in the foreseeable future.

    I want to encourage you continue your great posts, have a nice morning!

  37. Every weekend i used to go to see this web site, because i want enjoyment, as this this website conations
    in fact fastidious funny data too.

  38. Just want to say your article is as astounding.

    The clarity on your publish is simply spectacular and that i can assume you are an expert on this subject.
    Fine together with your permission allow me to seize your RSS feed
    to keep updated with approaching post. Thank you 1,000,000 and please carry
    on the rewarding work.

  39. Good site you have got here.. It’s difficult to find
    high quality writing like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate people like you!

    Take care!!

  40. Wow! After all I got a weblog from where I be able to
    actually take useful facts regarding my
    study and knowledge.

  41. Wonderful article! This is the type of info that are supposed to be shared across the web.
    Disgrace on the search engines for now not positioning this put up higher!

    Come on over and talk over with my site . Thanks =)

  42. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this
    post was great. I don’t know who you are but
    certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  43. Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to
    create a top notch article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot
    and never manage to get anything done.

  44. Keep this going please, great job!

  45. Hi, the whole thing is going fine here and ofcourse every one is
    sharing data, that’s actually excellent, keep up writing.

  46. Very nice article, just what I was looking for.

  47. Wonderful, what a webpage it is! This website gives valuable facts to us, keep it up.

  48. This post is priceless. How can I find out more?

  49. Very descriptive article, I liked that a lot. Will there
    be a part 2?

  50. I read this paragraph fully about the difference
    of newest and preceding technologies, it’s remarkable article.

  51. May I simply say what a comfort to uncover somebody
    who truly knows what they are discussing on the net.
    You definitely realize how to bring a problem to
    light and make it important. More and more people must read this
    and understand this side of your story. I was surprised
    you aren’t more popular given that you surely possess the

  52. I’m extremely impressed along with your writing skills as smartly as with the structure
    in your blog. Is that this a paid subject or did you modify it your self?
    Anyway stay up the nice high quality writing, it’s rare to
    see a nice blog like this one these days..

  53. Appreciating the dedication you put into your blog and in depth information you offer.
    It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed information. Fantastic read!

    I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to
    my Google account.

  54. Amazing! Its in fact remarkable paragraph, I have got much clear idea on the topic of from this post.

  55. This is my first time go to see at here and i am actually impressed to read everthing at one place.

  56. Hi colleagues, its great post about cultureand entirely
    explained, keep it up all the time.

  57. This blog was… how do you say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I have found something which helped me. Thanks!

  58. I’ve been surfing on-line greater than three hours nowadays, but I by no means discovered
    any attention-grabbing article like yours. It’s lovely worth enough for me.
    In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made good
    content material as you probably did, the web can be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  59. This excellent website certainly has all of the
    info I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  60. Very energetic article, I liked that bit. Will there be a part 2?

  61. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
    Very useful information particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot.
    I was seeking this certain info for a long time.
    Thank you and best of luck.

  62. Hi there, You have done an incredible job.
    I will definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends.
    I am sure they will be benefited from this website.

  63. Wonderful website. A lot of useful information here. I’m
    sending it to a few friends ans also sharing in delicious.
    And of course, thank you for your sweat!

  64. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and engaging, and without
    a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something too few people are speaking intelligently about.
    Now i’m very happy that I came across this in my hunt for something regarding this.

  65. Hi, yeah this post is really fastidious and I have
    learned lot of things from it concerning blogging.

  66. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to mention that I’ve really enjoyed browsing
    your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing for your feed and I hope you write
    again very soon!

  67. My family all the time say that I am killing my time here at net,
    except I know I am getting know-how everyday by reading thes
    good posts.

  68. I constantly spent my half an hour to read this blog’s articles everyday along with a mug of coffee.

  69. Good day I am so grateful I found your web site, I really found you by mistake, while I was browsing on Google
    for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a fantastic post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the
    theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at
    the moment but I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot
    more, Please do keep up the great work.

  70. Somebody necessarily help to make significantly posts I might
    state. This is the very first time I frequented your web page and to this point?

    I surprised with the analysis you made to make this actual submit incredible.
    Wonderful job!

  71. Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
    Extremely helpful info specially the last part :
    ) I care for such information a lot. I was seeking
    this particular info for a long time. Thank you and best
    of luck.

  72. I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your information. This great article
    has really peaked my interest. I will take a note of
    your blog and keep checking for new information about once a week.

    I subscribed to your Feed as well.

  73. Fabulous, what a webpage it is! This website presents useful data to us, keep it up.

  74. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
    I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking
    more of your great post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  75. This design is spectacular! You obviously know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

  76. Hi, yeah this post is genuinely good and I
    have learned lot of things from it on the topic of blogging.


  77. Great goods from you, man. I’ve consider your stuff prior to and you’re just extremely great.
    I actually like what you have received right here, certainly like what
    you’re saying and the way in which in which you assert it.
    You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep
    it smart. I can not wait to learn much more
    from you. That is really a terrific web site.

  78. A person necessarily help to make seriously posts I’d state.
    This is the first time I frequented your website page and
    so far? I amazed with the research you made
    to make this actual submit extraordinary. Excellent activity!

  79. This text is worth everyone’s attention. Where can I find out more?

  80. If some one wishes expert view concerning blogging and site-building afterward i advise him/her to pay a quick visit this website, Keep up the nice

  81. Pretty part of content. I simply stumbled upon your web site
    and in accession capital to claim that I acquire
    in fact loved account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing on your feeds or even I achievement you
    access constantly quickly.

  82. I have learn several just right stuff here. Definitely price
    bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much attempt you set to create one of these fantastic informative website.

  83. An intriguing discussion is worth comment. There’s no doubt that that you should write more about this issue, it may not be
    a taboo matter but generally people do not discuss such topics.
    To the next! Many thanks!!

  84. I’m gone to tell my little brother, that he should also go to see this website on regular basis to obtain updated from hottest news update.

  85. Thanks for finally writing about > (English) Finding the Chords – WORLD FAMILY TRADING < Liked it!

  86. Thank you for every other wonderful post. Where else could anyone get that
    kind of information in such an ideal manner of writing?

    I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the search for such information.

  87. I am sure this article has touched all the internet viewers, its really really good
    paragraph on building up new web site.

  88. Very nice blog post. I absolutely appreciate this website.

  89. My brother recommended I would possibly like this
    website. He was entirely right. This submit actually made my day.

    You can not consider simply how so much time I had spent for
    this information! Thanks!

  90. Hello There. I discovered your blog using msn. That
    is an extremely smartly written article. I will make
    sure to bookmark it and return to learn more of your helpful information. Thanks for the post.

    I will certainly return.

  91. I’m not sure exactly why but this blog is loading incredibly slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

    Look at my web blog … KailaVMormon

  92. Вы сделали там порядком достойных замечаний. Я искал в Интернете
    дополнительную информацию сообразно этому вопросу и обнаружил, что большинство людей
    согласятся с вашим мнением на этом [url=]сайте[/url].

  93. I’ve been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or weblog posts
    on this kind of house . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this site.
    Studying this information So i am glad to show that I have a very good uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed.
    I such a lot undoubtedly will make certain to do not fail to remember this website
    and give it a glance regularly. 0mniartist asmr

  94. I have been browsing online more than 4 hours today, yet I
    never found any interesting article like yours. It is
    pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all
    webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be a lot more
    useful than ever before. asmr 0mniartist

  95. Hi, I do believe this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may return once again since i have book-marked it.
    Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be
    rich and continue to guide other people. asmr 0mniartist

  96. What i do not realize is in reality how you’re no longer really much more neatly-liked than you
    may be now. You’re so intelligent. You realize therefore significantly in relation to this subject, produced me personally consider it from so many
    varied angles. Its like women and men are not
    interested except it’s something to accomplish with Woman gaga!
    Your individual stuffs great. At all times maintain it up!
    asmr 0mniartist

  97. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author.I will always bookmark your blog and may come back later in life.
    I want to encourage you to continue your great job, have a nice

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *