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Issue No.15

Last updated on 8 October, 2016

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SONG SEEDS THREE CHORD PROGRESSIONS - BOB MARLEY'S CLASSIC SONG I SHOT THE SHERIFF

The general approach taken by songwriters - successful or otherwise - who approach song writing primarily from the harmony point of view is to play around with some chords until something jumps out at them i.e. buy a ticket for the songwriting lottery and hope you guessed the winning chord combination (read lottery numbers).

However the application of the statistical mathematics behind the lottery can generate ALL of the chord combinations within a particular key without the need for all the guesswork - this includes all those hit songs that have already been written with the randomised approach.

For this BLOGoZON the verse to the classic song I SHOT THE SHERRIFF by Bob Marley will be analysed using the
SONG SEEDS statistical mathematics approach.

The verse to the song is based around the harmonized G natural minor scale - a table showing the SCALE CHORDS for the key of G minor follows :-

G minor scale chords

The chord chart for the verse of the song is shown below with the appropriate ROMAN NUMERALS that indicate the generalised intervalic chord relationships to the right:-

I Shot the Sherriff chords

The chords used for the song have been highlighted on the scale chord table below - the Eb6 has been simplified to a standard major chord as the addition of the sixth can be considered to be an embelishment.

I Shot the Sheriff - scale chord chart


The verse chord sequence is a THREE CHORD PROGRESSION.

The total number of three chord progressions that any minor key can generate is calculated as follows:-

Calculation This calculation means that there are a total of 35 chords progressions using 3 chords, where each progression can be rearranged 6 times giving a grand total of 210 variations.

The 35 chord progressions for the key of G natural minor are shown in the table that follows with the verse chord sequence to I SHOT THE SHERRIFF by Bob Marley highlighted in green:-

G natural minor 3 chord progressions


Chord progression 13 represents the chords used for the song in NUMERICAL ORDER - these can be rearranged a total of six times with one of the combinations being the order used for the song itself.

The tables below show all the combinations of chord progression number 13 in all 15 minor keys.
This time the actual chord sequnce used for the verse of I SHOT THE SHERRIFF by Bob Marley is highlighted in green.

Progression 13

The information detailed above is just a small part of Zon Brookes' Conchordance

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8 October, 2016


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