The Chainsmokers have really skyrocketed in popularity in the recent years with hits such as “Closer” and the recent “Something Like This” featuring Coldplay. Who knew that it was really easy to try and make a song of their style?
YouTube user John Fassold originally made short snippets of his tutorial on how every Chainsmokers song is written on Snapchat. Now, the whole video is uploaded on his YouTube page and has more than 2.6 million views as of this writing.
Chainsmokers Song Basics
So how do you write a Chainsmokers song? For Fassold, it is really simple. You just need three chords.
You don’t even have to think of the usual I-V-vi-IV chord progression. Hell, you don’t even need to know what a chord progression is in detail.
Fassold says that you can just choose any chord on the keyboard and just work your way up two more chords above or below. That’s for the whole song.
The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” feat. Halsey has three chords that go around for the whole song. Even the “Something Just Like This” has also three chords. Go ahead, Google them.
If you have a basic understanding of music theory, you’ll probably understand the steps in the video without difficulty. For the uninitiated, that’s equivalent to learning the whole alphabet and knowing which are the consonants and which are the vowels. Kidding!
Chainsmokers Lyrics Writing 101
Besides the plainness of the songs in terms of music, Fassold also made light of the fact that almost all of their songs are about how hard it is “being white and in love.” He also attempted to make songs just by pointing at random stuff in his home.
Our personal favorite lyrics from his tutorial:
Your hair reminded me of tide detergent when we were young
You always kept your calculator in your purse, for doing impromptu finances
You smell like Tide
Funny enough, one YouTube commenter even pointed out that you can still see all of the chords even if Fassold recorded the videos vertically. Still, there are some who defend that music does not really have to be complicated at all.
Generally, pop songs are pretty basic. The aim of the songwriters or artists is to get the song to be stuck on your head. Remember “Gangnam Style” and Rihanna’s “Work”?
Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber also started with pop songs to get the attention of the masses. Now, their releases keep evolving over time.
What the Chainsmokers lack in musical depth they make up for it with their mixing and mastering. They may have songs that sound similar but at least they are moving on to making kind of better titles. The Chainsmokers’ career is relatively young. They have more time to improve their craft in the following years.
In terms of success, I’d say their current hits are successful because they are easy to listen to. I can still “Closer” playing at the back of my mind.