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I'm trying to train my hear to listen and separate out the chords, melody, bass, and drums in music I enjoy listening to, and practice my music by re-creating these styles.

I really like this artist's style, it's simple but catchy. In her other music I can catch onto the chords fine but I can't seem to hear it in this song. I can hear the bass line, the drums, and her voice acts as the melody.

I can hear the xylophone-style instrument but is this a second melody, or is this the chords?

If the former, does this song have no chords?

If the latter, are chords often played with this much rhythm?

  • they didn't ask what the chords are, they asked are there chords. – Michael Curtis Jun 26 at 19:48
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It's only the beginning that hasn't any chords, isn't it? The marimba-like instrument is mostly doubling the bass part two octaves higher, but there are synths in there from the first chorus on. The singer sings in thirds with herself throughout (there's an occasional fourth) so you know what the harmony is. It's

||: Dm / / / |G / / / |C / / / |Am / / / :|| throughout

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  • I guess I need to practice my ears because I can't hear it, but this is the answer I was looking for. Thanks – Riley Jun 25 at 19:07
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In the beginning the chords (mostly Am and G) are sort of implied by the bass line and the melody, towards the end the progression C Am Dm G is played explicitly.

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  • I kind of understand what you mean, but do you have any resources or articles I can read about 'implied chords' and/or 'implied chord progressions'. Or even just quickly explain how the chords are implied? I've never heard of that technique until just now and I'm really new to all of this. – Riley Jun 25 at 16:42
  • @Riley, it's not a technique, it's simply a sense of what chords sound best with a given melody, and by the way, this sense is not absolute, but depends on style -- the same melody may suggest different chords depending on whether your style is pop, rock, or jazz. Microsoft once made a software that automatically added chords to melodic lines, with varied results, sometimes hilarious: the software was called Songsmith, search for a few videos and you'll see what I mean (e.g. ace of spades) – MMazzon Jun 25 at 17:24
  • Sorry I should have clarified, that's not exactly what I meant. I meant that you said the bass line and melody imply the chord progression. Does this mean the progression doesn't exist(until the end) but the bass line and melody are still played within the 'rules' of the chord progression that doesn't exist yet? – Riley Jun 25 at 17:43
  • When she begins to sing, I hear (in mind mind) an A minor chord, even though at that time there is only a bass line and the melody. Try playing an Am on a guitar or a piano at that point, and you'll see what I mean. In other words, if I were to add an actual chord to the arrangement at that moment, I feel that an A minor would fit. Later on, one the other hand, at the end of the song, a C-Am-Dm-G progression of chords is clearly heard. – MMazzon Jun 25 at 17:54
  • @Riley, 'implied harmony' - you may need to look up some terms about chords, but the idea is triads and seventh chords can be implied with only two parts, treble and bass. These chords Dm G C Am can be implied with bass all chord roots D G C A and treble F F E E, relative to the bass the treble plays the third, seventh, third, and fifth of each chord. Actually, between the bass, voices in harmony, and the marimba/synth parts you probably get mostly complete chords, but it's harder to hear those parts combine to chords compared to chords played on guitar or keyboard. – Michael Curtis Jun 26 at 21:08

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