Whereas clocking up a vastly numerous catalogue of albums, Radiohead have retained a stage of musicianship and melodic knowhow that’s ensured they’ve remained peerless all through their prolonged profession.
The band’s crafty use of passing notes, inversions and slash chords have constructed up a formidable library of voicings that can have you ever reassessing your method to chordal taking part in, and are certain to encourage a brand new track or two.
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Each one is catalogued within the exhaustive Radiohead Full songbook, which options each track the band has ever formally launched – proper as much as A Moon Formed Pool, Spectre and OK Laptop’s twentieth Anniversary tracks.
Earlier than we dive in, we’ll level out that the voicings used are generally condensed variations of chords utilized by Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood and Ed O’Brien, and are designed to sound good on one guitar – and, after all, a number of of those are piano transcribed to guitar, too.
So, with out additional ado, listed here are 20 of our favorite chords from the band’s intensive discography – learn on and be impressed…
Radiohead Full is revealed by Faber Music, and that can be purchased on-line.
Tune: Planet Telex This chord, taken from The Bends’ opening observe, seems on the finish of every verse cycle, alternated with a daily A. It creates a way of suspense within the build-up to the refrain.
Tune: Pretend Plastic Timber An early instance of Thom Yorke’s knack for freezing notes up prime whereas altering the bass beneath, this one seems within the track’s verse, preceded by A.
Tune: (Good Dream) Discordant and uneasy, that is certainly one of (Good Dream)’s closing chords – you’ll hear it on Thom’s fourth ‘good dream’ within the closing refrain. It showcases a crafty use of open strings to offer ambiguity.
Tune: Discuss Present Host On the observe, this chord is arpeggiated on keyboard, however transcribed onto guitar (with the added Ab on the low E string), it makes for an attractive voicing.
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Tune: Airbag This composite chord seems beneath Jonny Greenwood’s opening riff – shift it down a fret and it turns into a tasty A(add9).
Tune: Paranoid Android This sinister quantity is the center chord of this OK Laptop anthem’s refrain, sandwiched between a Gm6 and E7.
Tune: Let Down The primary chord from Let Down is a little bit of a finger-twister. Change the highest word from the fifth right down to 0 then the 4th fret to copy the delicate opening chorus.
Tune: Karma Police Within the track’s verses, each second Am is that this fruity prolonged model.
Tune: No Surprises Pair this with a D main chord and also you’ve bought the idea of the rhythm half for the track’s eerie fundamental hook – that is additionally the chord you’ll want for the refrain of Paranoid Android.
Tune: All the things In Its Proper Place Thom Yorke opens Child A with a C earlier than hitting this unique quantity, then touchdown on a Cm/Eb.
Tune: Pyramid Tune Midway by means of the verse, Thom pulls out this dreamy add9 – it’s a magnificence on guitar, too.
Tune: 2 + 2 = 5 You’ll have to tune to drop D and get your arpeggiation on for this one, which follows a common-or-garden Fm within the observe’s intro.
Pairing a ‘common’ chord with one thing barely extra unnerving is a Radiohead trademark.
Tune: All I Want You’ll discover this chord in All I Want’s tumultuous outro, the place the notes up prime keep the identical, and the decrease C cycles to an E, then a G.
Tune: Reckoner After Thom sings ‘As a result of we separate like ripples on a clean shore’ (beautiful line, that), you’ll hear this bona fide stunner. Good use of the open E string there.
Tune: Bloom This chord is a great amalgamation of Ed’s guitar taking part in on the observe, in addition to its background loops.
Tune: Codex You possibly can nearly make this out following the observe’s third verse. Once more, it’s a Thom-tinkling-ivories particular transcribed to guitar, and it’s simply beautiful.
Tune: The Every day Mail Extra proof of the brilliance of piano chords transcribed to guitar comes courtesy of The Every day Mail, of all issues.
Slide that 3-2-0 as much as 4-3-1 (protecting the Eb on the B string the identical) for a Dbadd9, earlier than resolving to an ordinary Eb barre, and also you’ve bought your self half the refrain.
Tune: Burn The Witch There’s not a lot guitar on A Moon Formed Pool’s opener, however you’ll be able to console your self with this outrageously ambiguous chord, composed of the string part’s opening stabs.
Tune: Daydreaming The opening piano chorus of this one is correct jaw-dropping, as is that this chord, which primarily takes an A(sus4) and sticks an F beneath. The truth is, change that decrease F out for an A, and also you’ve bought the crux of Thom’s piano line.
Tune: True Love Waits Radiohead songs don’t get way more lovely than this. The second and third verses function this melancholy heartstring-tugger, preceded by Cmaj7 and Am7.
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