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Hotel California Chords Analysis

Hotel California Chords and Analysis is part 6 in a series on How to Write a Song. In Hotel California, we see that the song is in B natural minor but chords are borrowed from the harmonic minor scale and the dorian mode.

The song is brilliantly crafted and thus remains one of the greatest of all time. The progression is very unusual but makes perfect sense to our ears. The chord substitutions keep the verse and chorus progressions from sounding bland. I have also included the Hotel California lyrics.


HOTEL CALIFORNIA


HOTEL CALIFORNIA CHORDS AND ANALYSIS

CHORDS in B AEOLIAN (NATURAL MINOR)
i iidim bIII iv v bVI bVII
Bm C#dim D Em F#m G A

CHORDS in B DORIAN MODE (MINOR)
i ii bIII IV v vidim bVII
Bm C#m D E F#m G#dim A

CHORDS in the B HARMONIC MINOR SCALE
i iidim IIIaug iv V bVI viidim
Bm C#dim Daug Em F# G A#dim


Hotel California Chords Analysis


E is borrowed from B dorian and F# is borrowed from B harmonic minor. You could say both are from Ionian but we always want to stay as close to the key as possible.

i - (V) - bVII - (IV) - bVI - bIII - iv - (V) - verse
Bm - F# - A - E - G - D - Em - F#

bVI - (V) - iv - i - bVI - bIII - iv - (V) - chorus
G - D - F# - Bm - G - D - Em - F#




HOTEL CALIFORNIA CHORDS and LYRICS

(Intro) Bm F# A E G D Em F# 2x *

(verse)
Bm.................................F#
On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
A ............................ E
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
G .................................D
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
Em
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim,
F#
I had to stop for the night

Bm
There she stood in the doorway;
F#
I heard the mission bell
A
And I was thinking to myself,
E
this could be heaven or this could be hell
G ...............................D
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
Em
There were voices down the corridor,
F#
I thought I heard them say...

(chorus)

G .................................D
Welcome to the hotel California;
F#
such a lovely place,
Bm
such a lovely face
G ...................................D
Plenty of room at the hotel California,
Em ................................ F#
any time of year, you can find it here

(verse)

Bm ................................. F#
Her mind is tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends
A .............................................. E
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that she calls friends
G .............................................. D
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
Em .................................F#
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

Bm
So I called up the captain,
F#
please bring me my wine
A ................................................................E
He said, we haven't had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine
G ...................................................D
And still those voices are calling from far away
Em
Wake you up in the middle of the night,
F#
just to hear them say

(chorus)

G .................................D
Welcome to the hotel California;
F#
such a lovely place,
Bm
such a lovely face
G .............................................. D
They're living it up at the hotel California
Em ........................................ F#
What a nice surprise, bring your alibis

(verse)

Bm
Mirrors on the ceiling,
F#
the pink champagne on ice
A ..........................................................E
And she said we are all just prisoners here, of our own device
G
And in the master s chambers,
D
they gathered for the feast
Em
The stab it with their steely knives,
F#
but they just can't kill the beast

Bm
Last thing I remember, I was
F#
running for the door
A
I had to find the passage back,
E
to the place I was before
G
relax, said the night man,
D
we are programmed to receive.
Em
You can checkout any time you like,
F#
but you can never leave!

Bm F# A E G D Em F# 4x

Also visit:  Hotel California Lyrics Analysis


Thanks for visiting Hotel California Chords and Analysis. I hope this helps you to see what makes this classic song tick! Let's now look at Secondary Dominant Chords.



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Continue to Part 7, Secondary Dominant Chords

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