How the Guns N’ Roses Song ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ Is a Melody In Search of Real Resolution

Doodling music theorist and musician 12tone wandered into the classic Guns N’ Roses heavy ballad “Sweet Child O’ Mine” is a song that is constantly on the search for a real resolution. This is not to say that the song meanders, but in the traditional sense, nothing resolves. Instead, the melody uses such techniques as tension, countermelody, and backdoor progression to keep the song moving forward.

So what makes Sweet Child O’ Mine tick? How did Guns N’ Roses create a song that was simultaneously sweet, romantic, and heavy as heck? Well, they did it by accident, but setting that aside, there’s a lot of interesting compositional techniques that went into this hard rock masterpiece. For instance, did you know that there are literally zero actual resolutions in it? None whatsoever.