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The biggest gangster among the triads is the G major – chord of the week

There is no bigger G than the G major in the guitar universe. This triad fits in gangster hip-hop as well as in country and pop. That’s why this week we’re presenting the G major as chord of the week. Check out our Instagram for more chords.

When you’re beginning to play guitar one of the first handles you will learn is the G major. This chord, together with the D, C, A and E, makes up the basis of many songs. We’ve put together five tracks for you to jam along to, so you can learn which other fundamental root tones combine best with the G major by playing many songs in this key.

Wish You Were Lord – Pink Floyd

The song Wish You Were Here from Pink Floyd’s 1975 album with the same name is a must in every summer jam. The track is fresh and sounds cheerful at times, yet at the same time it is drenched in melancholy. This is due to the special combination of chords that all fall into the key of G major. Think for example of an E minor seven or an A7sus4. This is a good moment to overcome the fear of these difficult names and to strike the chords themselves. That doesn’t sound too bad now, does it?

Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd

For the beginning guitarist Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd is a great opportunity to practice the basics. With chords like Em, A, D, G and F you get all the G major standard combinations in one song. For the advanced guitarist the challenge is to play along with the licks. Actually, learning to play Sweet Home Alabama is like killing two birds with one stone. Kid Rock was inspired by this song for his own track All Summer Long. So you kind of learn to play both. Try it.

The Rain Song – Led Zeppelin

As an advanced guitarist you sometimes need a little challenge, but you don’t want to sound too mushy. If that’s the case The Rain Song is the track you’re looking for. If you don’t have any plans for the weekend, just grab the chord scheme and take your time. Pay close attention to the way Jimmy Page subtly blends a G minor into a G minor seven, which then seamlessly flows into a C minor. The trick is to listen carefully and to keep practicing.

Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson

If you’re going to chill on the beach this summer with your guitar, then this song by surfer boy Jack Johnson is a good addition to your jam. In this track Johnson uses a lot of seven chords. These have a dreamy sound and provide the atmosphere that is so characteristic of the song. Don’t be deterred by an A7, G7 or D7. As you can see here, in a seven chord less is more.

White Iverson – Post Malone

Did we say that the G major lends itself to every genre? You can see that in this track by Post Malone as well. White Iverson is just like Banana Pancakes and Wish You Were Here dreamy and groovy. You would almost expect that this song also consists of seven chords. The opposite is true. The Post Malone track is made up out of relatively standard chords.

Surprise the audience around the campfire with this less obvious song, even though the vocals are a lot harder to master than the accompaniment. Happy jamming!

From Justin Bieber to Metallica anything goes in E major – chord of the week

This week we’re placing the toughest major chord in the spotlight. The E has a powerful, full sound, so you can use it in every genre. From heavy metal to hip-hop, from hip-hop to pop, nothing’s too crazy for the E. 

As you may have seen on Instagram, this week’s chord is the E major. This is a versatile key that plays an important role in both classical and contemporary pop music. It’s actually not very surprising since your guitar is tuned by default in an open E. The diversity of the chord can be found in the list of tracks we have compiled for you.

Love Yourself – Justin Bieber

Pop idol Justin Bieber has always been a hit machine. The song Love Yourself is no exception. The characteristic guitar carries the track from beginning to end. Although this song sounds very simple, it has some nice challenges. It quickly changes chords and there are a few chords that you won’t find in every song. I am talking about the F-sharp minor and the C-sharp minor. Check it out for yourself.

Berlin – Thomas Azier

Speaking of pop idols, Dutchman Thomas Azier, who lives in Paris, is well on his way to conquer the world. The song Berlin of the album Rouge is an ode to his previous base where he wrote his debut album Hellas. In this track he describes the German capital through the eyes of a young artist. The song is written in E and in the chord scheme we see a number of challenging chords, such as the C-sharp, the C-sharp minor and the B.

Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers

The men of the Red Hot Chili Peppers now look like an older version of Justin Bieber. It’s hard to imagine that they were ever young, tough and anything but poppy. The raw sound of Under the Bridge from the album Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik from 1992 kind of reminds us of the good old days. The song has a Hendrix like vibe and chords like E major7, F-sharp minor and G-sharp minor show how diverse the key of E is. This track is a challenge for the advanced guitarist. Try playing along.

Welcome Home (Sanitarium) – Metallica

As already mentioned, the E chord fits into any musical style. It doesn’t sound too cheerful, but it doesn’t sound too sad either. It is melancholic, serious and powerful. Since this is the lowest sounding chord on the guitar, the E lends itself perfectly to dark genres such as metal. Try something new and play along with Metallica’s Welcome Home (Sanitarium). The song is a fun challenge for its divers rhythms and the usage of chords like the B, the B minor and the F-sharp.

Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones

Yes, we already know, you can’t get enough of the E. The Rolling Stones know that feeling all too well. They even wrote a song about it. Satisfaction is one of the most famous songs of the British rock band. If we look at the chord scheme, we quickly see that it consists of the three basic chords E, D and A. In addition, The Rolling Stones use the B7 jazz chord to add a little more color to the track. Try to play along. Happy jamming!

Shine around the campfire with these tracks in D major – chord of the week

Have you checked out our Instagram account? That’s where, if you follow us, we’ll update you weekly with a ‘chord of the week.’ This week is all about the D major. Read below to find five tracks that are based on this chord. Ideal for a rock circle around the campfire.

Everybody knows the D major, right? Yes, we’re talking about the inverted triangle-shaped chord played on the G, B and high E string. This chord sounds clear, cheerful and fresh. It is often a good addition to songs written in the keys G, C or A minor. This week the D major is not an addition, but at the center of attention.

Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison

When everyone’s cuddling up at the campfire, it’s always good to include some old-school tracks in your repertoire. How about Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison. The song consists of the four basic chords G, C, D and E minor. It’s ideal for novice guitarists and a guaranteed success. Who can stay quiet during the bridge: “Jalalalalalaaaladida, brown eyed girl!” No one, of course. Start practicing.

No Woman – Whitney

For the more advanced beginner it’s important to practice the basic chords as well as the more difficult barre handles. A song like No Woman by the band Whitney is perfect for this kind of training. In this track we find the well-known open chords E, Em, A, D and G. The challenge lies in the B and the B minor. Both chords are a barre grip. The only difference is the third. If you look closely you can see the resemblance between the Am and the A, only now played two frets higher. Try it out.

Let Her Go – Passenger

Did you know that British singer songwriter Michael David Rosenberg played in a band called Passenger? After the band fell apart in 2009, Rosenberg decided to keep the name for his solo project. Under that name he released the track Let Her Go in 2012. The song was in the top three of the Billboard charts for months. It’s a track that fits in every summer jam. Like Whitney’s song, Let Her Go is composed almost entirely out of basic chords, with the exception of B.

Mamma Mia – Abba

The Swedish heroes are back. Celebrate this cheerful news with an Abba jam. How about grooving to the song Mamma Mia from 1975. Although the track initially sounds bombastic, the basis is just  piano and guitar. We can reduce the core to just a few chords: D, G, A and C. As you can see here, there are also a number of lesser known chords in the track. This is a good opportunity to try them out.

Time to Pretend – MGMT

If you want to score a big hit, keep it simple. This motto certainly applies to MGMT. Time to Pretend is the shining example of this. When you look at the chord scheme you’ll immediately notice how the song evolves around the D, G and A, with a little exception in the bridge where the band plays an F-sharp minor. Because of the quick alternation of chords, this song is a good exercise for both beginning and advanced guitarists. Happy jamming!

Five chords that will turn every campfire into a rockshow

The days are getting longer, the temperatures are rising, and the flowers are in bloom–enough reasons to light up a campfire, grab your guitar and burst into song. To turn every campfire into a rock show, we’ve drawn up five chords with which you can play almost any pop song.

The holy grail of the pop industry has always been based on only five basic chords. “No, that can’t be true”, we hear you thinking. Yes, it can! From Lady Gaga’s Poker Face to Van Morrisons’ Brown Eyed Girl. You can play them all with five basic chords.

Intervals

The secret of the five chords is not the specific chord diagram, but the interval between the chords. Let’s take a look at Poker Face by Lady Gaga. If you click here you will see that the original track is in G-sharp Minor. But what happens when you click on the capo tool and place it on the fourth fret as shown on the picture below?

Indeed, you see that the chords suddenly changed to the very basic E/Em, C, D, and G chords. Logically, you can now just play the song at the top of the guitar neck. The only difference is that you no longer sing in the tricky G-sharp Minor, but in E Minor.

 

The secret of the five chords

When we talk about five basic chords, we’re talking about the D/Dm, the A/Am, the G/Gm, E/Em, and C/Cm chords. Now we hear you thinking again: “These are ten chords!” Well, yes and no. When you look at the construction of basic chords, you see that the minor or major is determined by only the third (interval).

The root and fifth remain the same, so you’re really talking about an almost identical chord with a different mood. For the sake of convenience, therefore, we have taken the root note of the basic chords as our starting point. Another secret of the five chords is that they occur more often in a combination of four than all five at the same time.

Campfire hit

Let’s see how that works for different songs. Take, for example, Rockstar ft. 21 Savage by Post Malone. As with the Lady Gaga example, the first thing you see is an impressive display of chords that you probably didn’t know existed. Press the capo tool, place it on the third fret, and voila!

These are simply basic chords again! Yes, there is indeed a strange C major seventh in there, but if you look closely it is actually a simplified C: the chord diagram resembles the “normal” C major chord, only the index finger on the B-string is missing. In other words, you can play the standard C chord and choose whether or not to fret the B-string.

Capo Tool

In short: don’t be fooled by chords that initially seem difficult. It’s not a disaster that you don’t know what an A-sharp major seventh is. Play around a little with the capo tool and you can transpose this chord to a more understandable pitch, such as C.

Caution! In theory, you don’t have to put a capo on your guitar, you can just use the tool to see if you can convert a song to the recognizable five chords that you can then just grab at the top of the guitar neck (also called ‘first position’).

Simplicity is key

If you still end up with more difficult chords, always look at the fundamentals like the root tone and at the third. Returning to the C major seventh from the Post-Malone track, you know that the root is a C and that this chord is in major. In other words, you can simplify the chord by playing a normal C major.

Simplicity is key when jamming at the campfire. Remember this and apply it to every song you want to play. This way you change every campfire you sit at into a real rock show. Try it out and if you need more inspiration check out the YouTube video above. Happy jamming!