The chord of the week is the B major. A diverse triad that does not get enough credits by a long shot. It’s not always easy being the fifth above E. That is why we are focusing our spotlight on the somewhat difficult bar chord. Keep an eye on our Instagram for more chords of the week. Whether you like it or not, you can’t ignore bar chords. One of the most commonly used finger placements in this category is the B major. You often encounter this chord because it is an essential part of the key E. But let’s not forget that there are plenty of beautiful songs written in B major as well.
Cocaine – J.J. Cale
Cocaine by J.J. Cale is a good example of a track in which the B major flourishes. It’s a song that not only caused a lot of controversy when Eric Clapton made a cover of it in 1977, it is also a classic example of how an artist can cleverly criticise a drug that gained popularity among youngsters in the 1970’s. https://youtu.be/KWmD_HcOcfU The track consists of some tricky chords like C#, G# minor, and A#. One way to bypass these grips is to place the capo tool on the second fret. As you can then see, the chord scheme transforms into more familiar chords, with the only exception of F#. Of course this triad does no longer have any secrets for us, since it has already been the chord of the week previously.
Crossroad – Robert Johnson
And now that we’re on the subject of blues. Robert Johnson’s song Crossroad is one of the first blues tracks to appear on vinyl. The song is about the guitarist standing at a crossroads. Will he sell his soul to the devil for sublime guitar skills or will he chose the long road of hard work? Spoiler alert: he sells his soul for rock ‘n roll. https://youtu.be/Yd60nI4sa9A The song consists of a standard blues progression that repeats itself over and over. Take a good look at the chords, as you can see there are some chords in which the seventh note plays an important role; don’t be shocked, just try it out. These are finger placements that you don’t often encounter, so it’s nice to be able to use them in context for once.
Thunderstruck – AC/DC
AC/DC is known as a hardrock band, but when we take a closer look at the chord progression of their song Thunderstruck, we clearly see the resemblance with blues. For example, a chord diagram built around three chords and variations on them, in this case B, A, and E. https://youtu.be/v2AC41dglnM This hardrock classic is a nice track to jam on at the campfire. Make everyone sing along with “Thunder!” The track is also a good opportunity to practice some basic chords.
Do you want to start playing these songs? Start out by learning the B chord.
Enjoy, and happy jamming!