Song: Loyal

Artist: Dave Dobbyn

Album: Loyal

Songwriters: Dave Dobbyn

Release date: 1988

Genre: Pop

Key: G Major

Chords in Key:
















Loyal is written for vocals, electric piano, guitar, bass and drums.


The intro starts simply on the tonic, and only two other chords are used throughout the song. It begins with the guitar plucking harmonics, followed by arpeggios and some subtle electronic drums. The vocals begin in the first verse, and the guitar harmonics are replaced by palm muted strums on the tonic chord for two barsEach time this happens, he picks slightly harder and lets the mute off, creating a crescendo before the arpeggios are played again. A pianissimo egg shaker adds a subtle percussion rhythm, playing quavers in place of where a drum kit would normally place the hi-hats in a four four beat.


The chorus is the first time we hear a harmonic change, with the addition of the subdominant chord. The title of the song is repeated, giving the listener no doubt this is the chorus. Extra instrumentation is added: a 12-string guitar is used for the arpeggios (the notes picked over the tonic also suggest it passes through the IΔ7 chord), as well as a floor tom playing on the backbeat. After the chorus, the song returns to the intro, but with the addition of the bass guitar playing the root notes. The second verse creates variation by adding a drum kit. The kick drum and bass guitar play the same rhythm, however, the dynamics of the drums are kept in check by using the side stick on the snare drum and closed hi-hats. This is done so that the second chorus can be louder and have more impact: the side-stick is replaced with a snare, and an electric piano plays a counter melody to the vocal.


The bridge removes the tonic from the chorus chord progression. This is an effective way of destabilising the song to build tension, as the song no longer feels like it has a tonal centre. The bridge uses a crescendo to build into the final choruses, which are repeated until the outro. 



For a glossary of terms visit

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence. To view a copy of this licence, visit: