Does anybody know of any really notable two chord only riffs from bands in the 80s (or bands from that era still around today), what I mean is a riff with only two chords, no pedal tones and no single notes at all, just two chords, I am just curious?
i didnt know that was even possible
like me passing all my classes..
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About a Girl by Nirvana. That's an Em and a G played over and over again. Chorus is power chords though.

EDIT: Also the main riff for Breathe by Pink Floyd. That's an Em strummed upward, then twice, then A a couple times, but they switch between an A and another variation of A that escapes me at the moment....
Last edited by Axis177 at Dec 1, 2009,
I believe should I stay, or should I go by the clash is only the D and G chords
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Sublime's "What I Got" if I remember correctly the whole song is just two chords D and G.
Isn't that one REM song two chords too? This One Goes Out to the One I Love? That's what this guy said one time, but it sounds like it's more.

EDIT: guy above me, nice avatar. I love Wish You Were Here.
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nice avatar. I love Wish You Were Here.

I think there's a few Violent Femmes songs that are two chords too.

Add It Up is one. B A
Last edited by 20Tigers at Dec 1, 2009,
the intro to symphony of destruction by megadeth, arguably their most memorable riff is simply F5 and E5 with that riff incorporating that lone G note at the end.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Roadrunner, roadrunner!

Also, most of "Paperback Writer" by the Beatles is based around just one chord, with a second one coming in at "he wants to be a paperback writer" so 2 chords.

Oh, and "Molly's Chambers" by Nirvana/the Vaselines, and "No Fun" by Iggy and the Stooges/Sex Pistols.

Sorry I just realised you said the 80s. In that case, I think a lot of Turnin Japanese is 2 chords. May I ask why you make such a strange request?
theres the main riff from Communication Breakdown - doesn't quite fit the description but it's close

mother pink floyd G C

but i think it tuns into more than 2 can't remember
song stuck in my head today

jane says by janes addiction. not really big in the 80s but they were around. its G to A then one of these:


and it just repeats. great song
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Wow TS, this is a seriously great, original idea.

Anyway, I'm off, for some reason I have the strongest urge to listen to The Ramones.
a while ago i was jamming with a drummer and we played a song by the National that he sung and told us how to play. It was just B and E. Anybody have any idea what it might be?

the song "Oh Comely" by Neutral Milk Hotel is nearly all just E-C