Question about billy talent song structure


I'm new to the songwriting world and I am trying to learn as much as I can about musical structure to use in the writing of my own music. I've always loved the intro riff to billy talent's "pins and needles". I just want to know about how it is structured and why the notes that are being played are being played. Like if it is a certain scale or other musical structure. I know how to play it guitar and my best guess is that the key is in G minor (could be very wrong). The riff is obviously centered around the chord progression but I just want to know the theory behind if there is any at all. I've posted a link below to the song:

Thank you very much.

1 Answer


Hi There,

After quickly listening to the song and playing along with it a little on the guitar I believe you are correct to say this song is in G minor. That intro does indeed follow the progression which seems to be G5 - D5 - Eb5 - D5

Even though that tonic chord (G5) contains no third, it's definitely implied by the melody of the guitar intro and the subsequent vocals. As far as learning the guitar part, now that you know the chords my approach would first be to outline the chords with arpeggios and go from there. I do here some notes which don't fall within those chords during the guitar intro, but they are passing tones or embellishments. I'm sure with some listening you could figure it out.


Jan 29, 2017

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