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Connect The Chords: Listen To The Music

Posted on: April 25th, 2012 by dville

In this installment of Connect The Chords, we dissect one of the best rock radio hits of all time, The Doobie Brothers Listen To The Music.

So what makes this song a timeless classic? The vital roles played by two of my favorite chords the IV and the vi. The verses consist of a nice I-IV-I which then leads to a vi-V-IV -I walk-down. Notice the absence of the V7 chord. We don’t need any tension here!

Intro:
I-IV-I (4x)

Verses 1 & 2
I-IV-I-vi-V-IV-I (IV-I turnaround)

Don’t you feel it growin’, day by day
People, getting’ ready for the news
Some are happy, some are sad
Whoa, we got to let the music play

What the people need is a way to make ’em smile
It ain’t so hard to do if you know how
Gotta get a message, get it on through
Oh now mama’s goin’ to after awhile

The chorus is a lovely interplay between the vi and the IV which leads us to the next two verses via a II-IV.

Chorus
vi-IV 3x
II-IV

Whoa, oh, oh, listen to the music 3x
All the time

Verses 3 & 4
Well I know, you know better everything I say
Meet me in the country for a day
We’ll be happy and we’ll dance
Whoa, we’re gonna dance the blues away

And if I’m feelin’ good to you
And you’re feelin’ good to me
There ain’t nothin’ we can’t do or say
Feelin’ good, feeling fine
Whoa, baby, let the music play
Chorus

Finally, songwriter Tom Johnston added a dreamy bridge which descends I-bVII-IV.

Bridge
I-bVII-IV 2x to Chorus
Like a lazy flowing river
Surrounding castles in the sky
And the crowd is growing bigger
Listenin’ for the happy sounds
And I got to let ‘em fly
Chorus

The song example is in the key of F.

This song is posted for educational purposes only.

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