Apply Some Pressure

Last evening as I was listening Maxïmo Park (to get in the mood for their concert today), I found the song Apply Some Pressure quite interesting. I learned to play it on my guitar and analysed the harmony a bit. Here is my recording of the song (courtesy of my turbo webcam microphone 9000) with annotated chord progressions:

  • The song starts off in a key of D. The riff is composed of pentatonic notes and the chords D (I) and A (V) (accompanied with the leading tone c# and d in the singer’s melody).
  • h- (VI) G (IV) – we’re still in D.
  • The riff is now all in chords h- D A.
  • Interesting part! Modulation to the key of E (through their common chord f#- (III in D, II in E)). Chords: f#- (II) H (V) E (I) H (V). The vocal melody reinforces this through tones d# (VII) e (VIII).
  • A long f#-… Kind of boring, except for the syncopated rhythm. We’re still in E, but…
  • E
  • Another surprise! An h- ?!? Followed by D and A – are we back in the key of D? No, there’s an E as well! So, we modulated to A major: h- (II) D (IV) A (I) E (V). The third key.
  • And back to the original D major and the familiar riff.

Now that you know the theory, you can enjoy the song in its full splendor 🙂

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Building apps, analysing data at Punk Rock Dev and sharing weird & cool photographs, drawings, music, films, games... More about me here. You can get new blog posts via RSS or follow @metakermit on Twitter where I also announce new stuff.

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