Wednesday, February 4, 2009

FAQ: What's so sensitive and female about this chord progression? Don't angry men use it too?

Q: What's so sensitive and female about this chord progression? Don't angry men use it too?

A: Sure do. Here's the thing: "Sensitive Female Chord Progression" was the name I came up with when I first noticed this phenomenon. The first songs that I tied to a common set of chord changes were Joan Osborne's "One Of Us," Sara McLachlan's "Building A Mystery," Melissa Etheridge's "Angels Would Fall" and Jewel's "Hands," which are all songs by Lilith Fair artists. Hence the name. Since the next song I identified was Nina Gordon's "Tonight And The Rest Of My Life," which was a super-goopy pop plea from someone who was rather fierce when she led Veruca Salt, the name seemed to fit all the more.

Since then, though, I've discovered that the SFCP is a heck of a lot more versatile than that. I'd say that half the songs I've found are by men (go figure), and it can be used quite aggressively. But for better or worse, it's stuck in my head as the Sensitive Female Chord Progression, which is how I first presented it to the world in the Boston Globe.

In sum: it's a dumb name. I wish I'd named it something else. But this is what I'm stuck with.

1 comment:

  1. I only just found the term SFCP, and after seeing what the progression was, I immediately thought "Oh, the Bad Religion chords progression." Learning how to play guitar by listening to Bad Religion songs as a teenager, I quickly learned that this was the progression to many of their songs (indeed, sometimes multiple songs on the same album). They also often build some tension before a chorus or guitar solo by throwing in the iii chord for a bar or two.

    If you are unfamiliar with their work (and I'm guessing you might be, as you didn't mention Bad Religion despite this page being about how angry men often use it), then I suggest checking out 'Generator' or 'I Want To Conquer the World' as a few of their standouts with this progression.