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I cannot find an answer to some of the chord relations that are present in this song, so any assistance would be great! Particularly in reference to the harmony and theory behind the progression.

The song is "I'll take everything" by James Blunt. I think it's in the key of G, but perhaps modulates in the bridge? I've bolded the parts I'm unsure of.

Verse:

G -> Bm -> D [I - iii - V]

Prechorus:

Em -> Bm -> D [vi - iii - V]

F# -> Bm -> D [is this the V chord of the Bm scale? then to a iii - V]

Bridge:

F# -> Bm -> D [as above] G -> F# -> Em7 -> A -> F#m -> D [Unsure about the progression here]

F#m -> C#7sus4 -> C#7 -> F#7sus4 -> F#7 -> Bm -> D [Unsure about the progression here]

Chorus

Em -> F#sus4 -> F# -> F#7 -> Bm/D [Unsure about the progression here]

Thank you :D

  • the intro is: I III VI V – Albrecht Hügli May 5 at 5:43
  • G isn’t the tonaltiy, The intro is i III VI V. So start with Bm = i and yes F# is the dominant. – Albrecht Hügli May 5 at 5:48
  • Funny, the version I heard starts on Cm. – Tim May 5 at 7:12
  • How did you try to verify your guessed tonality? For example G being the tonic in the beginning - what tests did you perform to verify that assumption? – piiperi Reinstate Monica May 5 at 7:52
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    I was trying to say that you need to perform tests. People around here seem to make tonality assumptions by looking at note names, without interacting with the music and actually doing anything. Press pause and play a cadence, chords G - C - D - G. Does that feel natural at that point? If G is not the tonic you actually feel, then the G - C - D - G chords should feel foreign or ridiculous. With such indicative tests you strengthen and clarify your feelings about the harmony. You didn't "overlook" anything, it's not about passively looking, it's about actively doing, performing, interacting. – piiperi Reinstate Monica May 5 at 8:04
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The recording of this song is actually a half step higher as @Tim pointed out. It starts with a Cm pickup on beat 3. However I will make all my comments in your key since you asked the question and wrote out the chords in that key. This song is very interesting because the main chord is G but the melody is largely based on the notes B C# D E F# G which makes it sound like Lydian mode. It’s a bit nebulous, almost as if the G is a IV chord in the key of D or a bVI chord in the key of Bm that doesn’t resolve. Because it revolves around the G chord so much I would say the song is in G but I wouldn’t debate someone who has a different opinion.

The Bm and D chords are quarter note pickups into a G (Gmaj7 on the choruses) downbeat which lasts a full 6 beats like so:

Bm D ||:G ///|//Bm D:||

After 4 repeats of this with the the vocal it uses the same 2 chords to go to Em like you showed in the pre-chorus, then the same pickups to F#7, which is the V of Bm. You can also think of the F#7 as a VII7 of G since the Bm goes by so quickly. The choruses are similar to the verses except you can clearly hear the maj7 in the guitar part.

Your bridge chords basically look good except the first chord of the second line should have a C# in the bass: F#m/C#. Analysis of the bridge sounds like a brief modulation to D And a few secondary dominants to get back to the home key.

You labeled the last section as “chorus” but I think you meant “coda” this also looks good. The last chord, Bm/D adds to the ambiguity (intentional I’m sure) of this very interesting tune.

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  • Thanks for the very helpful analysis John. It confirms that I wasnt going too crazy thinking that the tonality is G, but as others have pointed out, Bm is also valid; however, it almost sounds more like an unresolved 'G' to me! :) – BOER777 May 6 at 7:14
  • @BOER777 my pleasure, I’m a bass player so if I’m playing a G for 70% of the time the tune is in G! But seriously, I’m glad you hear it that way too. The #4 and major 7th melody notes give it a very floating quality. Funny, in my answer I mentioned the G as a IV chord in the key of D that never resolves but it sort of does, in the bridge and also the last Bm/D chord. – John Belzaguy May 6 at 8:05
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The song is very simple If you start with Bm as key tonality:

It is not always clear whether a song is in major or in its relative minor key and which is the tonic.

I haven’t listened to this song yet but havin a look at the chords and lyrics it becomes obvious:

https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/james-blunt/ill-take-everything-chords-583215

(Notice this sheet is in a - minor!)

Intro:

i III VI V

It seems as if you understand enough of basic chord theory to finish now the adjustment in your analysis.

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    I only hear three chords at the beginning. Cm Eb Ab. Sheet is in Am, but capo on fret 3 puts the chords into concert Cm Eb Ab. – Tim May 5 at 7:13

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