The 6415/1564 chord proression

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by Bloody_Inferno, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. Bloody_Inferno

    Bloody_Inferno Silence is Violence

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    Jan 14, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    I've been curious on everyone's opinions of the usage of this ubiquitous chord progression(s). No real motives, just to develop some insight I guess.

    For those who don't know it, it's got it's own Wikipedia page.

    We all have heard it many times. It's been on countless songs of every genre for eons. Hell, Axis Of Awesome recorded a track dedicated to making fun of it:

    ...which is really the same gag as the old Pachelbel Rant

    Personally I've actively avoided writing any kind of music with this progression and still consciously do so. Not that I hate it (I love a lot of songs with these progressions), but largely trying to push myself compositionally without resorting to it as a crutch. I did come close to straight up hate when I saw a hard rock band in Melbourne who's entire setlist was made of songs with 6415 verses, chorus or both. Being a first time listener of them, it made me feel that what they tried to write as something epic ("epic" soundtracks also often use the 6415), but made me think they just wrote different variations of the same song... basically imagine Evanescance's Going Under rewritten 12 times in a 45 minute set.

    Of course, a majority of metal players will write based on riffs that largely forgo general chord progressions so this won't matter all that much if you fall on this way of writing.

    I do think it's a useful tool, especially being melody reliant, a great melody can carry it to somewhere unique. Or mix it up with other progressions and variations etc. Hell, my country sessions has a whole heap of songs full of this progression so I can't really avoid it. :lol:

    Do you like it and use it? Or do you loathe it and avoid at all costs? Or ambivalent to exist in between? I'm just curious what everyone's opinions, and would like to hear them.
  2. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    Apr 4, 2009
    Gothenburg, SWE
    Ouff, I'm so familiar with this feeling :lol: Actually I've had that attitude since maybe 2005-ish? Hearing it can make me feel like I'm being sold a bunch of hype and window dressing, especially if it's used with slick production and a singer trying to sound all pretty. It's the music business' equivalent of a piece of candy placed under a box propped up with a stick with a string attached to it.

    It does kind of bug me cause I think it's irrational to avoid something that is good based on some sort of moral/elitist/pride thing. At the same time, using this chord progression makes me feel a little dirty, and when I hear other artists use it, it can feel very insincere and off-putting to me. I do try to "think like a listener" and ignore any eco chamber naysayers in the musician community, but this is one subject where I can't fully let go of my craftsmanship pride :lol:

    I think the essence of it, for me, is that if the melody is unique and strong enough to warrant this chord progression then it's best to use it, but if the chord progression is used to make an otherwise weak and generic song more "hit song like" then I hate it with a passion :) And I guess 90% of the time I hear it, it's in songs that lack personality or are trying too hard to be emotional.
  3. tedtan

    tedtan Regular

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    Dec 2, 2009
    Never Neverland
    If craftsmanship is the motivator then you have no issue: the I-vi-IV-V progression and its variations is a tried and true tool in the craft of songwriting and composing.

    If, on the other hand, being an artiste is the motivator... :lol:

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