Classic Chords #7 – The Manics A Design for Life

I have a confession, I’d never knowingly heard the Manic Street Preachers until I picked up a set of headphones in an HMV back in the Spring of 1996 and listened to Everything Must Go, which had just that week been released. It grabbed me from the off, it was like post-Rush prog but with a gritty edge and shorter songs, but definitely lyrical depth. I recognised some of the intriguing chord voicings, the Hemispheres chord is definiely in there somewhere, although it was some years later that I head bassist and lyricist Nicky Wire discussing his love of Rush.

Classic-Chords-Manics
The classic chord, the standout chord, though is the Gadd4, arpeggiated in the intro to the song “A Design for Life”. It’s  basically third position C major but instead of fretting the B string on the fifth fret, we have that string open (C,G,C,B), so that there’s a harmonic clash between the C played on the G string and that open B string, although by breaking the chord open it gives it a melodic feel. It’s definitely a Lifesonesque thing to do, although he more commonly would be fretting the G string on the B and letting that string beat against the open B string.

More Classic Guitar Chords here.