Secret Chords that Please the Lord – Episode 1 Lana Del Rey – Video Games, Chord Inversions

Secret Chords that Please the Lord – Episode 1 Lana Del Rey – Video Games, Chord Inversions

Link to the song ➡️ https://youtu.be/hUwqSCqbUz8

A wee look into the incredible “Video Games” by Lana Del Rey, highlighting some of the harmonic and lyrical things that make it tick so well.

This is the first episode of
“Secret Chords that Please the Lord”.
Hopefully these little studies will provide some learning opportunities for songwriters seeking to progress in harmony, melody and lyrics. Hopefully the series will be entertaining to innocent bystanders also. Please subscribe and share the video if you enjoyed it.

Support Alan here by becoming a Patreon member https://patreon.com/alanmearns

50 Comments

  1. Étienne de Gaulle on November 5, 2022 at 6:34 am

    "Meaninglessly well" – That’s the perfect description for so many things.

  2. Garçon, un café calva ! on November 5, 2022 at 6:34 am

    You are a great teacher.

  3. Sincerelyiris on November 5, 2022 at 6:34 am

    This was great Alan. Keep these things coming. I always loved how Letterman could barely keep it together after this performance. You always knew which musicians he really loved.

  4. Piet K on November 5, 2022 at 6:35 am

    I really enjoyed this analysis and explanation of the song. Well put together, understandable, informative! Thanks for all that!

  5. Kyle Woodman on November 5, 2022 at 6:38 am

    Love your breakdown and commentary Alan.. super interesting.

  6. rico paxton on November 5, 2022 at 6:38 am

    Great way to remind us of a great song to enjoy it even more

  7. Isaac Been on November 5, 2022 at 6:40 am

    the observation about the Bb chord expressing downward leading tones to A minor (Bb-A, F-E) is quite perceptive … I also think it’s worth noting that neither version of the seventh scale degree is used prior to the 6/4 chord, where the natural version is introduced as a passing tone … most of the song is hexatonic, i.e. no tritones … / thank you for the insights … 🙂

  8. Lefty Magoo on November 5, 2022 at 6:40 am

    Just 1 more comment if you please Sir.
    Watching/ listening to Lana’s performance of Video Game on SNL just one month before Letterman. Two very different performances of the same tune (IMHO) Nervous, tense and on edge for SNL, Lana used a backup band ( for ?). Compared to solo piano accompanied by chamber orchestra. What a beautiful adjustment! The sadness/ disappointment of the lyrics comes across so much more with the simple beauty of a vocal melody, soft percussion on the piano , echos on the pizacatto notes and finally the mellow dramatic drone of the cello. I absolutely love this arrangement. Thank you Alan for bringing up this song. Looking forward to Part2.

  9. Charles Gorrie on November 5, 2022 at 6:45 am

    And I don’t see anything wrong with her voice at all

  10. Ronnie Blanchet on November 5, 2022 at 6:46 am

    God bless ya man! Thanks for sharin’ this-n’ really dig the title of this series! Keep up the good work and glorifying God with this musical education. The song is one of my favorites too!

    -Ronnie

  11. Doorways into Music on November 5, 2022 at 6:47 am

    Really great analysis of this beautiful song. It’s very helpful to someone who’s trying to write an interesting/emotionally powerful song. You sing and play the song so beautifully too!

  12. Charles Gorrie on November 5, 2022 at 6:48 am

    I love this song

  13. Gabe Shelton on November 5, 2022 at 6:50 am

    This all good and bubbly but what Im really here for is to ask you kindly if you would give us a breakdown of your great song ‘Cold Dark Age’ now that Im off and running with your fingerstyle lesson. I frickin love that song and Im sure Im not alone. Its like musical medication to me. It lowers my blood pressure. Thanks for all you do Sir!🤠

  14. Gregory Meeder on November 5, 2022 at 6:50 am

    Dude! You’re so grounded. You understand too deeply. Thanks for this and for articulating your thoughts so clearly. You helped me synthesize this song into my musical lexicon.

  15. Jan Kalin on November 5, 2022 at 6:53 am

    This song is one of those that got me very deeply. I remember accidentally running into it after my family had gone to bed and then staying up for a few hours full of emotions. It really is a killer of a song. Thanks for this analysis, excellent stuff from you as always!
    For further artists that conjure up similar vibes (at least for me), check out Mazzy Star (e.g., Fade Into You) and two songs from Buffy the Vampire Slayer soundtrack, Sarah McLachlan: Full of Grace https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVnCgoAKqeg and K’s Choice – Virgin State of Mind https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kNzDk2CPHI&list=FLdVulZBDBndME2a2Xgc7foQ both of which have interesting and powerful chord changes and progressions.

  16. Lester Unwin on November 5, 2022 at 6:56 am

    have you heard her version of "once upon a dream" from the maleficent soundtrack? spine tingling.

  17. Dan Mervak on November 5, 2022 at 6:56 am

    To me, the pizzicato in the strings represented the beeps and boops of the video game. I loved this effect!

  18. Paul Hinton on November 5, 2022 at 6:57 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed this, so much to unpack and reapply in our compositions. Thank you.

  19. Jess Phillips on November 5, 2022 at 6:58 am

    I would love more videos like this! I’m hoping that’s what’s referencing the "episode 1" 😀

  20. Sergio M on November 5, 2022 at 6:59 am

    I’m a fan of Lana Del Rey as well, her voice is very expressive and sultry and she uses alot of atypical chord progressions. I really appreciate this detailed breakdown of the song structure, I hope you do more of these types of videos.

  21. Patrick Miller on November 5, 2022 at 7:00 am

    Thank you for sharing. Glad to be clued into her song and see the harmony at work. Transposing to no sharps and flats was really helpful

  22. AURAL FIXXATION on November 5, 2022 at 7:01 am

    I agree that silence adds something to songs.

  23. Michael Beattie on November 5, 2022 at 7:02 am

    Fascinating stuff, old chum!

  24. Shiv on November 5, 2022 at 7:03 am

    More episodes needed ASAP ✨

  25. Glenn on November 5, 2022 at 7:03 am

    Excellent analysis. I always liked this song, and I never thougt about complexity in terms of language and tone of voice. Cool stuff!
    Hope to hear more of these kinds of breakdowns.

  26. CheckDare on November 5, 2022 at 7:03 am

    I reckon this is what Rick Beato would refer to as “high information” music. One of his recent bits included the observation that one of the sorriest things about much of the current popular music is its disappointing lack of interesting melody, chord changes, and orchestration, as compared to previous popular music from Bach to the Beatles and a bit further – or what he called high-information music.
    Thanks for bringing this song and this performer to my attention, Alan. She really is extraordinary.

  27. rusty_ strings on November 5, 2022 at 7:04 am

    Thanks for turning me on to Lana Del Rey I’d like return the favor. Please give Imarhan…Abooji a listen. All the best !

  28. Lefty Magoo on November 5, 2022 at 7:06 am

    Yeah! Alan
    Great work on a great song! Does anyone else feel Adele’s style here as well. After her performance on Letterman(2012), Dave was obviously melted down. “ …can you come back tomorrow.?… on Monday?”
    I love this arrangement with keyboards and then introduces the chamber orchestra with pizzicato notes. Soooo nice! I really like your discussion of the chord structures. I was unawares of Lana before your video. Thank you Sir!

  29. Paolo Borgese on November 5, 2022 at 7:06 am

    Nice and very true concept that of silence being so important in creating tension in a song or music. Think about Gustavo Santaolalla music…

  30. Audrey Sims on November 5, 2022 at 7:06 am

    This is my first introduction to a Lana Del Rey song. Had meant to listen to some for a few years and just not got round to it, with all the offline chaos. 🙂

  31. tajedi on November 5, 2022 at 7:07 am

    This is a wonderful video. I love the attention and the passion in how you explain your connection with the song. I could listen to you all day long

  32. CallMeBronco on November 5, 2022 at 7:08 am

    R eally in-depth breakdown, thanks a lot! I’ll have to check this song out.

  33. HungryBrain Emporium on November 5, 2022 at 7:08 am

    your acoustic version of this is outstanding. look forward to more of these!

  34. mrbxv on November 5, 2022 at 7:10 am

    This is Lana Del Rey’s best song, to me. I’m glad you’re going deep on explaining it musically. Lyrics are great and musically makes sense why it works so well.

  35. Huttone on November 5, 2022 at 7:12 am

    Thanks Alan for the introduction to this song, reminds me of your writing. Powerful stuff!

  36. Scott Kidwell Music on November 5, 2022 at 7:12 am

    Thank you, Alan 🙏
    Appreciate the insight and the lesson, as well as the reintroduction to Lana Del Rey.

    Be good to you 🤍💛

  37. Phil Dupuis on November 5, 2022 at 7:12 am

    Great insights into a wonderful song. Thank you for this.

  38. Dunderhead on November 5, 2022 at 7:13 am

    Alan thanks for taking the time to explain all these intricacies, it makes music more enjoyable for us. 🥃👍👍Respect to you mate.

  39. Charles Gorrie on November 5, 2022 at 7:16 am

    It always has to be about the song

  40. Bigbad bith on November 5, 2022 at 7:19 am

    Loved this – and you’re working with Rick!
    So glad I found your music.

  41. Jipes Blues on November 5, 2022 at 7:20 am

    Love this new serie Alan, it’s always fascinating to decipher the mytery of a song. I thought that I was the only guy crying hearing Lana singing this song, I bought her album and was captivated by her talent !

  42. Peter Mickus on November 5, 2022 at 7:20 am

    Alan keep up the great work: very honest and insightful explanation of why I like this song. Thanks!

  43. Sat12 on November 5, 2022 at 7:22 am

    Thanks for teaching about the song. Check out this great cover of the song from 2012 on youtube:
    Lana Del Rey – Video Games – Cover by The Freudian Slip, Nelson Can, Echo Me LIVE!!

  44. Martin O'Neill on November 5, 2022 at 7:23 am

    Really interesting- thanks Alan. Looking forward to digging into this song myself now and to future episodes.

  45. Ashley Greenaway on November 5, 2022 at 7:24 am

    Keep these coming mate.

  46. andrew spencer on November 5, 2022 at 7:24 am

    Is very similar that the Adele compositions. The simplicity become in complexity, because you are the whole band. The silence is fundamental part of this song, because you create in your mind imaginary chords, harmony, and why not, more melody. Great song, voice, and your explanation. Thanks Alan.

  47. Gwinn on November 5, 2022 at 7:30 am

    Thanks!

  48. Fred Van Vactor on November 5, 2022 at 7:30 am

    In regards to silence and tension, this tune reminds me (in a way) of Erik Satie. I was listening to a pianist on the classical radio station today. His tempo interpretation was a bit slower than I was used to, and I realized just how much that added to the tension of it. (Especially with that eerie harmony). It was very subtle and very effective. Brilliant actually. Gnossienne #1. Also, I appreciate your channel very much! 👍

  49. matleb on November 5, 2022 at 7:30 am

    Love your video, the song is haunting me for days now cause of you 😅. BTW, what caught me as well is the C/G that "melts" to a Cmaj7/G on the "do" from "everything I DO". Seems to me the pianist plays a G as a passing chord between A- and Fmaj7 during the chorus on "bad girls", G6/9 with open B end E strings on guitar is doing the job for me.

  50. Benjamin G Bigelow on November 5, 2022 at 7:32 am

    I don’t recall the song… but hearing you break it down gave me chills and then went and listened and was moved to tears by the feel of the song. I like the Jools Holland version a lot, too, btw. Thx for your channel brother!

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