From a theoretical standpoint, how would one describe Jonny's music? I know the man knows his theory, but how does he use his knowledge of music to make such unique and beautiful melodies/harmonies (referring mostly to the music made around the Kid A era)? I look up to him a lot, and I would really like to understand his music more so I can learn from it, and apply some of his ideas to some of my own songwriting. If any of you out there have studied him, or really any of Radiohead's music, I'd like to hear your input.

Also: I know Jonny likes to use a lot of unique chord formations - if any of you know a few that you'd like to mention, that'd be great. Thanks!
If I remember, for some songs to give it that intersting feel thom yorke will sing 9's, 11's, 13's, etc. of the chords that hes playing, with synth or piano doing lower notes sort of creating one large jazz chord
Quote by jtfletch11
I know Jonny likes to use a lot of unique chord formations!

from what ive seen, they're all pretty standard extension voicings.
The only bit of his playing I've really picked apart as opposed to just learnt is that ascending riff in "Just" - what he's doing there is starting off on a chord tone (C, the root of the chord - C - playing underneath it), then ascending by a minor third (with a passing note a major second above the original chord tone) to hit another chord tone. I'm told this is called a half-diminished scale (that is, diminished because it ascends in minor thirds, but 'half' diminished because there's that major second passing note in between each minor third jump).

I'm not sure whether they composed the chord progression (C-Eb-D-F) first, then Jonny realised he could land on chord tones using that ascending pattern, or whether he came up with that first and then they wrote a progression under it so that he'd be landing on chord tones, but either way it sounds pretty good to me.

In notes, the riff looks like this:


The notes in the larger font are the notes landing on chord tones (on the first and third - strong - beats of each bar) and the notes in the smaller font are the passing notes. The chords:

Cmaj - C, E, G (Jonny plays a C over this chord - the root)
Ebmaj - Eb, Bb, G (Jonny plays an Eb over this chord - the root again)
Dmaj - D, F#, A (Jonny plays an F# over this chord - the third)
Fmaj - F, A, C (Jonny plays an A over this chord - the third again)

Because the riff ends on an A, the next passing note is a B, bringing us back to the C note just as the chord progression comes back to the C, so you could play this riff over that progression as long as you can keep going up the fretboard - Jonny does this later on in the song using an octave/whammey pedal, iirc, to get notes higher than his guitar could normally produce.
Quote by Ed O'Brien
“It’s not genius. It’s just that if you want something good to come out of something, you have to put in a lot of effort. That involves a lot of hard work, and a lot of blood, sweat and tears sometimes.”

Last edited by Damascus at Sep 11, 2009,
^ I love that song, that line is really great.

Anyways, this has inspired me to analyze some of their stuff, perhaps Subterranian Homesick Alien, as its a somewhat weird tune.
Umm, I have nothing to add, but I demand that this thread be active! So yeah, whoever gives a damn about the best band in the world, please dissect some of their songs for us =)
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