Tag Archives: Beginner

Three simple steps is all it takes to learn how to play a G chord

Basic chords are easy once you know how to play them. But the journey can be painful and annoying. This is why we are going to break the information down in three simple steps. This way you’ll learn how to play a G chord in no time!

We already taught you how to play A, Am, E, Em, D, Dm and C. Well there are not many basic chords left except the F and the G. This blog post focuses on the latter. Now before we start, please make sure your guitar is within range. You’re going to need it. If you start having sore fingers during your practice please read these tips about blister prevention to help you out. 

Step 1 – Tune your guitar

Let’s start at the beginning. You can’t play an instrument without tuning it first. A guitar is no exception to this rule of thumb. So grab your axe and make sure it sounds crystal clear. For a standard tuning you can use a tuner, or an application for your phone like KARANG.

Step 2 – Take a look at the diagram of the G chord

Step two is understanding the chord you’re going to play. Let’s take a closer look at the diagram of the G chord that is shown in the picture below. The vertical lines from left to right are the strings E, A, D, G, B, e (strings are counted from bottom to top, so the high e is the first string and the low E the sixth).

You can also see transparent circles at the top. These indicate the strings that you have to play open (without pressing them down). The number 1 indicates the fret on which the chord is located, this way you won’t get lost on the guitar neck. As you can see, the G chord is played at the top of the fret board.

Step 3 – Position your fingers

The numbers in the thick black circles show the position of your fingers. Take a look at the picture: 1 indicates your index finger, 2 your middle finger and 3 your ring finger. So far so good, don’t you think? Shall we try and play the G chord?

No rush, we’ve got all the time in the world. Before actually playing the chord you’ll have to take another good look at the diagram and position your fingers.

Start off with your ring finger on the first string (the e string) third fret. Your middle finger goes to the third fret of the sixth string (the lower E string). After you’ve placed your index finger on the second fret fifth string (the A string) you are able to play the G chord. Stay in position, firmly press all strings, and give the chord a good ring.

Step 4 (bonus) – Why do we play a G chord like this?

That sounds nice, doesn’t it? Oh yes it does! You can congratulate yourself on acquiring a new skill, playing the G chord. So what’s the plan now? Are you going to strum this chord until your fingers start bleeding, or do you want to know a bit more about what you’re actually playing? The choice is yours, we’re not judging.

You’re still here! A true die hard, aren’t you? This next bit of music theory can get a bit bumpy so hold on tight. The information is simple but dense. First off, each basic chord consists of a number of basic elements: the root, the third note (third), the fifth note (fifth) and the eighth note (octave).

The octave and the root have the same name, only they differ in pitch. The fifth is said to provide the power in the triad by supporting it harmonically. The third indicates whether a chord is major or minor. This says something about a chord’s mood — major often sounds cheerful and minor sounds sad or melancholic.

Step 5 (bonus) – The scale of G

Where do the numbers first, third, fifth, and eight come from? Well, that’s because these tones come from the scale of the corresponding key. For example, the scale of the G is made up of G (1), A (2), B (3), C (4), D (5), E (6), F# (7) and G (8). Note the numbers behind the tones. The 1 is the root, the 3 is the third, the 5 is your fifth and the 8 is the root played higher, which we also call — as already explained — the octave.

Now take another look at the G chord diagram. Which tones do you actually use from the scale? You strum G, B, D, G, B, and G   — so  the root, third, and fifth are already played on the first three strings. Makes sense, right? We also wrote a blog about more complex chord constructions. Is your head already exploding from all the information poured into it? Relax, take a brake and play along with some tracks in G. The rest will come in time. Happy jamming!

Twelve minor barre chords explained with only one chord shape

Barre chords are tough cookies. If you want to understand them better, you have to understand the theory behind them. Otherwise, you are always rehearsing the same action as if it were the first time. This blog teaches you to play twelve minor chords with just one basic barre chord fingering.

Here’s a completely logical statement: each chord has its own fingering on the guitar neck. Sounds about right, right? Or maybe not if you take some time to think this through. 

A simple calculation

A simple calculation based on the above statement shows that you have to learn at least 24 unique grips on the guitar neck – twelve tones multiplied by two because we’re taking majors and minors into account. And what if you also incorporate the strings on which the root note of your chord lies? That is 24 chords times six strings… 

Yeah, that’s 144 unique grips on the guitar neck. And we’re only talking about major and minor chords! You can click here for an overview of all the chords, which you can learn by heart. Or you just read this blog and save yourself a lifetime of misery. 

Twelve minor chords with just one fingering

Last time we explained how you can play twelve major chords with the lower E string as a reference for the root note. Now we are going to introduce you to the world of the minor chords. Again you only need one fingering to play twelve minor chords. 

Fun fact: it’s the same shape as explained in the previous blog only played one string higher – on the A string. This makes sense because the Am chord is essentially the same fingering as the E major only applied somewhere else on the fret board. Grab your guitar and play an E chord. Great! Now play and an Am chord. You see what we mean, right?

Unraveling the secret of the Am chord

Do you remember how we approached barre chords in the last blog? Right, you slide up the fingering of the basic chord – in this case the Am – a fret up and you compensate for the nut of the guitar by placing your index finger flat and pushing down all the strings beneath it. The fret under your index finger on the A string determines which chord you play in minor. See the picture below for an overview.

Fingering of minor chord with root note on the A string

In other words, the fingering you use to determine which major chords you play from the low E string is applied to the A string when playing minor chords. Try it out! Which minor chord do you play when you position this fingering on the fifth fret? Yes, that’s a Dm. And on the ninth fret? Cheating on the overview is allowed… Yes! That is indeed a F#m.

24 chords with only one barre chord fingering

Congratulations! You can now play 24 different major and minor chords with just one fingering. Did you expect this to be possible? Whatever your answer is, the fret board is now a lot clearer.

Now try to jam to songs that seemed like hocus-pocus before you read this blog post – because of the strange barre chords that is. You don’t have to be afraid of that anymore. Next time we’ll explain a third fingering with which you can unlock twelve chords on the guitar neck. But until then: happy jamming!

These four chords are all you need for a summer jam

It’s summertime, and everyone knows what that means, right? Yes, summer jam sessions. Whether it’s at home on the couch, in the garden, on the beach or during your grandparents’ diamond jubilee, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you excel in playing your instrument and that is possible with just four chords.

Why do it the hard way, when you can take it easy? Many good songs are good because they use the power of simplicity. Everything revolves around the basics, the foundation. That’s why we’ve put together a four chord channel, especially for you, in which the basic chords G, C, D, and Em are the only thing you need to master. Easy does it.

Pink – F**kin’ Perfect

The perfect song for the perfect night when you want to surprise everyone with a track they don’t see coming. Nobody expects a rocker playing a Pink song. The song has all the ingredients of a solid rock ballad, it is rebellious, sensitive and offers you the opportunity to shine with your vocals. All you have to do is practice “F**kin’ Perfect” by Pink here.

The Cranberries – Zombie

If you can’t think of a new song to jam to, an evergreen is the way to go. This track sounds complicated, but if you look at the basics the song is made up of four chords: Em, G, D, C. It is a bit heavy considering it’s also an indictment against the separation of Northern Ireland from the rest of the island, but that doesn’t make it any less of a classic. Play along with “Zombie” by The Cranberries.

Green Day – Good Riddance

Buckle up, we’re going back to the nineties where even punks knew how to use an acoustic guitar to show their sensitive side from time to time. Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong wrote the song when his girlfriend decided to move to Ecuador. This track is an example of how you can make a painful subject like heartbreak sound cheerful. Grab your guitar and jam to “Good Riddance” by Green Day.

Machines – Biffy Clyro

If you’re going for a more melodic vibe and a steady strum, then this track is a good addition to your campfire repertoire. No matter how noisy, when you start playing this song, people will shut up and think of a moment in their lives where they wanted to sacrifice everything for love. That’s worth something, right. Don’t think twice and include Machines” by Biffy Clyro in your setlist. Happy jamming!

 

Check out the four chord channel here.

How to play a Dm explained in three simple steps

Are you ready for some basic chord action? We know we are. Last week we showed you how to play a D chord. This time we’re introducing its little brother: the D minor. Grab your guitar and read on for further instructions.

Playing the guitar as a beginner means you’re going to enter a world of fun, action and hurt. Pressing down strings isn’t something your fingers are used to. So, check out this blog for some tips. It’s important to keep your eyes on the price. So, with that in mind, pick up your guitar and prepare for yourself for some D-minor action.

Step 1 – Tune your guitar

As always the first step is tuning your guitar. You just can’t do without this. For a standard tuning just use a tuner, or an application for your phone like KARANG.

Step 2 – Take a look at the Dm diagram

To learn a chord you have to know where to position your fingers on the fretboard. Now this isn’t something you have to figure out on your own. Just take a look at the chord diagram of the Dm and you’ll find every bit of information you need. Check it out below. 

On this picture you see a part of the guitar neck. The vertical lines from left to right are the strings E, A, D, G, B, e (strings are counted from bottom to top, so the high e is the first string and the low E the sixth). You can also see transparent circles at the top. These indicate the strings you need to play open. The number 1 indicates on which fret the chord is located.

Step 3 – Position your fingers

The position of your fingers is indicated by the numbers in the thick black circles. Check out the picture below: 1 indicates your index finger, 2 your middle finger, 3 your ring finger, and 4 your little finger. Now it’s time to grab that guitar and turn this theory into action.

As you can see, you have to position your middle finger on the second fret of the third string (the G string). Your index finger goes to the first fret of the first string (the E string). The Dm chord is complete when you’ve positioned your ring finger on the third fret of the second string (the B string). 

Ready, steady? Yeah? Ring that Dm chord, starting from the D string! Congrats, you just added the Dm to your basic chords skills.

Step 4 (bonus) – The theory behind the Dm?

Playing the Dm feels good, doesn’t it? You’re standing on a crossroads now, and the big question is: what’s your next move rockstar? If you can’t wait another minute to start jamming to songs in Dm click here. Or – and this goes for the curious people amongst you – read on to understand why a D chord is played as such according to the music theory. Don’t sweat it, this isn’t a trick question and there’s no right or wrong answer. So what’s it going to be?

Oh yes, you’re still here. Great! Ready or not, here comes the music theory storm. Each basic chord we discuss consists of a number of basic elements: the root, the third note (third), the fifth note (fifth), and the eighth note (octave).

The octave and the root are the same tone, only they differ in pitch. The fifth provides the power in the triad by supporting it harmonically. The third indicates whether a chord is major or minor. This says something about the mood that the chord sets — major often sounds cheerful and minor sounds a little less happy.

Step 5 (bonus) – The scale of Dm

Why do we give the notes within a chord such strange numbers? Well, that’s because these notes come from the scale of the relevant key. For example, the scale of the Dm is made up of D (1), E (2), F (3), G (4), A (5), Bb (6), C (7) and D (8). Note the numbers behind the tones. The 1 is the root, the 3 is the third, the 5 is your fifth and the 8 is the root played at a higher pitch, which we also call — as already explained — the octave.

Now take another look at the Dm chord diagram. Which tones do you actually use from the scale? You strum a D, an A, a D and an F — so root, fifth, octave and third. Makes sense, right? For more complex chord constructions see this blog post. Now forget all that theoretical mumbo jumbo for a moment. Here are some tracks to practice your skills. Happy jamming!

How to play the D chord? We explain it to you in three simple steps

Guess who’s back, back again? Yup, it’s us with another exciting episode of how to play a basic chord in three simple steps! Last time we taught you how to jam an A minor. This week’s focus is on learning you to play the D major. Are you ready for this?

Learning to play the guitar could be painful. Especially when your fingers start to hurt due to pressing down the strings. Here are some tips to help you with that. After all, you know what they say… no pain no gain! Now back on topic. We already discussed the E, the Em, A and Am in previous posts. Pick up your guitar and prepare for the next stop: D major.

Step 1 – Tune your guitar

Can you guess what the first step is? Yes, it is most definitely tuning your guitar. Both pros and beginners can’t do without a well tuned instrument. For a standard tuning you can use a tuner, or an application for your phone like KARANG.

Step 2 – Take a closer look at the D

The second step is to visualize the chord you’re about to learn. Don’t worry, you don’t have to invent the wheel. We have a chord diagram for that. Check it out below. On this picture you see a part of the guitar neck. The vertical lines from left to right are the strings E, A, D, G, B, e (strings are counted from bottom to top, so the high e is the first string and the low E the sixth).

You can also see transparent circles at the top. These indicate which strings you need to play open. The number 1 indicates on which fret the chord is located, after all it’s always good to know where to work on the guitar neck. In this case the D is located at the top of the guitar neck.

Step 3 – Position your fingers

The position of your fingers is shown by the numbers in the thick black circles. To make it easier we made a picture: 1 indicates your index finger, 2 your middle finger, 3 your ring finger, and 4 your little finger. Well, there’s nothing to it now is it? Are you ready for some action time?

Okay, now take another look at the chord diagram of D. As you can see, you have to position your index finger on the second fret of the third string (the G string). Your middle finger goes on the second fret of the first string (the E string). To complete the D chord you’ll have to place our ring finger on the third fret of the second string (the B string). 

Do you have all the fingers in position? Yeah? Great! Now give all the strings a good ring starting from the D string down. Sounds cheerful doesn’t it? Yup, you just added the D Major to your basic skills toolbox.

Step 4 (bonus) – Why do we play a D as we do?

Are you happy? You should be! The D is a wonderful chord to strum, ring and jam on. Now the big question is: what are you going to do next? If you can’t wait another minute to start jamming to songs in D click here. On the other hand, you could also read on to understand why a D chord is played the way you just learned according to the music theory. No matter what you choose, it’s all good.

Aha, a real die hard! You haven’t dropped out yet. Good for you. Buckle up, because here comes the theory hurricane. Each basic chord we discuss consists of a number of basic elements: the root, the third note (third), the fifth note (fifth) and the eighth note (octave).

The octave and the root are the same tone, only they differ in height. The fifth provides the power in the triad by supporting it harmonically. The third indicates whether a chord is major or minor. This says something about the mood in which the chord is — major often sounds cheerful and minor sounds a little less happy.

Step 5 (bonus) – The scale of D

Why do we give the tones within a chord such strange numbers? Well, that’s because these tones come from the scale of the relevant key. For example, the scale of the D is made up of D (1), E (2), F# (3), G (4), A (5), B (6), C# (7) and D (8). Note the numbers behind the tones. The 1 is the root, the 3 is the third, the 5 is your fifth and the 8 is the root played higher, which we also call — as already explained — the octave.

Now take another look at the D chord diagram. Which tones do you actually use from the scale? You strum an D, an A, a D and a F# — so root, fifth, octave and third. Makes sense, right? For more complex chord constructions see this blog post. Do you find this theory section hard to wrap your head around? Don’t worry about that. Here are some tracks to go crazy on. Happy jamming!

How to play an A chord in three simple steps

One of the most important chords at the top of the fretboard is the A major. In this blog post we will explain how you can easily learn to play this triad. Your fingers may become a bit of a sore during the process of pressing the strings, but nothing worth having comes easy. To get some tips on coping with sore fingers, check out this blog.

Before we start, it’s good to realize that despite the fact that learning chords and mastering your instrument is time consuming you need to know what you’re doing this for. The key of A with the A major chord as the beating heart have produced many beautiful tracks. How about “Blitzkrieg Bop” by the Ramones, or “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley. That’s what you do it for.

Step 1 – Tune your guitar in E

First things first. Step one in learning to play any song or chord is tuning your guitar. The default tuning of a guitar is in the key E. For this you can use a tuner, or an application for your phone like KARANG.

Step 2 – The diagram of A major

What does an A chord actually look like? Well that’s what the chord diagram is for. That’s the picture below on which a part of the guitar neck is depicted. From left to right the strings shown are E, A, D, G, B, e (strings are counted from the bottom to top, so the high e is the first string and the low E the sixth).

The transparent circles at the top indicate which strings are played open. The number 1 indicates on which fret the chord is located. This is useful for your orientation on the guitar. In this case you play an A chord at the very top of the neck.

Step 3 – Place your fingers in the right position

The fingers you have to use to play an A are indicated by the numbers in the colored circles. It’s useful to know that 1 stands for your index finger, 2 for your middle finger, 3 for ring finger and 4 for your pinky. So with that in mind the time has come for you to take your guitar and get ready to rumble.

Put your index finger on the second fret of the fourth string (the D string). Is it in the right position? Nice, now put your middle finger on the second fret of the third string (the G string) next to your ring finger which is placed on the second string (B string) on the second fret; press those strings down hard. Are all fingers in the right place? Now hit it! Let those strings roar. Lovely, isn’t it, the sound of A major?

Step 4 (bonus) – Let’s take a closer look at the A chord?

Now that you can play the A chord, you are faced with a choice. Are you going to try jamming along with these tracks in A?  Then close this blog and go for it. Or are you going for option two? In that case you want to know why you play an A chord the way you play it. And we’re happy to explain that to you in a short theory lesson. Sounds good? Then just read on.

Each chord consists of a number of basic elements: the root, the third tone (third), the fifth tone (fifth) and the eighth tone (octave). The octave and the root are the same tone, only they differ in height. The fifth note provides the triad with power by supporting it harmonically. The third note indicates whether a chord is major or minor. This can be seen as the mood of a chord.

Step 5 (bonus) – Scale of A

Why do we give the tones within a chord such strange numbers? Well, that’s because these tones come from the scale of the relevant key. The scale of the A is made up of A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G# and A. Don’t be distracted by the crosses (#). What they stand for is not important at the moment. What’s important is that you see this: A (1), B (2), C# (3), D (4), E (5), F# (6), G# (7), A (8).

The 1 is the root, the 3 is the third, the 5 is your fifth and the 8 is the raised root, also called the octave. Take another look at the A chord diagram and which tones from the scale you actually use. You hit an A, an E, a C# and an E. For more complex chord constructions see this blog post. Is it too much for you? No worries, a lot of pros don’t understand it either. Enjoy your new skills. Happy jamming!

An introduction to chord progression

A guest appearance of our friends at Hobby Help.

Do you play the piano (or the guitar) and know a bunch of chords but have no idea how to use them to actually write a song? I am going to teach you how to put chords together so that you understand a bit more about how the music actually works.

The tonic/step I

When learning about chord progressions, it’s helpful to do it in a way that makes it easy to transpose the chords to any key. To make everything as easy as possible, I’m going to use the key of C major as an example.

The first and most important chord in a key is called the tonic. You find it on the first step of the scale, so in the key of C major, the tonic is the chord C. Easy, right?

Most songs begin and end with the tonic. It’s a chord that makes the music sound resting, like we’ve just come home from a long journey.

The subdominant/step IV

The next chord we need to know more about is the subdominant. It’s found on the fourth step of the scale, so in the key of C major, that is the chord F major. At this point, it can be helpful if you go to your piano (or guitar) and look at the keys (or strings). Now play a C first, then shift to F, and see what it sounds like.

The dominant/step V

The subdominant is called that because it’s just below the dominant, which is the chord found on the fifth step of the scale. This means that the dominant of C major is G. This chord often gets a 7 added as well, G7.

The dominant has a very special relationship with the tonic. It desperately wants to go to it! Especially if you play a G7, you’ll hear how good it sounds to go back to C again. Try it out!

The submediant/step VI

You could easily compose a song using only the three chords we’ve already had a look at, but it’s fun to throw in a submediant as well! The submediant is found on the sixth step of the scale, which is A in the key of C major. The submediant is kind of the tonic’s sad cousin. They have two notes in common, in this case C and E. However, while the tonic sounds happy and is a major chord (in a major key, that is), the submediant is a minor chord, A minor.

Transposing

Try playing C, Am, F, G7. This is a very classic chord progression. But it’s perfectly possible to change the order and still end up with a good-sounding progression. When you’ve done this in the key of C major, try moving everything to another major key! As long as you move all notes at the same intervals, it works!

Now it’s time to complete this short tutorial by watching a video that will show you exactly how useful knowing these four types of chords can be! Enjoy!

This guest article is written by Naomi, a professional music teacher and experienced pianist. You can find more of her helpful articles and advice at Hobby Help.

More on chord theory in the article Basic Chord Build Up.

Rock it hard, rock it slow, Bm always steals the show – Chord of the week

Now that we’ve gone over most of the basic major chords it’s time to delve a little deeper into the minor differences. One of the best chords to play after the Am is the Bm. Do you know why? Because it’s the same shape moved down two frets on the neck. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. 

When you’re looking at chords you can approach the neck from different angles. The most obvious way is to look at each position separately. After all, they are all different chords. The other way is to consider that there are a limited number of shapes that sound different at each position.

That makes it a lot clearer, don’t you think? Just look at the Bm. You have to put your index finger in barre to simulate the nut, but in fact, the figure is the same as the Em, the Fm, the Gm and so on and so forth.

Green Eyes – Coldplay

The Bm scale from which the Bm chord results consists of B, C#, D, E, F#, G, and A. It is therefore not strange that variations on these notes can be found in the form of chords in tracks written in Bm, such as “Green Eyes” from Coldplay.

So we see that the A, the B, the D, the G, and the E form the basis for this song. These are beginner chords that are good for practicing as often as possible. Therefore this track is suitable for both beginners and advanced players. The latter should pay close attention to the touch. This sounds easy but is fundamental for the correct interpretation of the song.

Swan Lake – Madness

Rock ‘n roll occurs in many forms. Upbeat ska mixed with a touch of Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” is a good example of this. Madness’ song has everything a pop song needs to find the edges of the genre.

The chord progression leads you along almost all notes of the Bm scale. Therefore it’s a challenge for the beginning guitarist. Although, with the loop function you can learn the song piece by piece. Pay attention to the ska attack.

911 – Wyclef Jean ft. Mary J. Blige

“Someone please call ‘911′“, because this track is sick! Last week we already had Wyclef Jean together with The Fugees, this week we can’t ignore it again. This track with Mary J. Blige is simple when it comes to the chord progression, so you can do anything with it. As a beginner you can just practice on the E, Bm, A and G chord scheme.

As an advanced guitarist, the guitar lick may be the bigger challenge. Pay attention to how the tune of Wyclef Jean subtly goes through the scale of Bm. If you really want to impress people with your jam, you can try to alternate between the chords and the guitar riff.

Move on Up -Curtis Mayfield

We conclude this week’s chord with a groovy classic. “Move on Up” by Curtis Mayfield is a track that appeared during the seventies in America. Fun fact: the original track is longer than nine minutes. To make it suitable for radio it was shortened to less than three minutes.

Because of the orchestration the song seems more difficult than it is. Although the tempo in which the chords follow each other up and the fingerings themselves are quite difficult in the beginning. Therefore we advise you to take your time for this. Start with the chords first, without practicing the track and only then play along. Cancel all your appointments, because this will make your weekend sweet. Happy jamming!

In case you didn’t know, the G minor is always there for you – chord of the week

From the Beatles to Damien Marley everyone loves the G minor (Gm). This chord of the week is a cherishable barre, and its sound lends itself to every genre. Want to see more Chordify awesomeness? Follow us on Instagram.

First, let’s take a look at the Gm scale. This will give us an insight into which tones go well with our chord of the week. In this case, these are the G, A, Bb, C, D, Eb, and F. These tones are fundamental tones that form the basis for variations on chords that result from them, so we can get a picture of what awaits us.

Welcome to Jamrock – Damien Marley

Welcome to Jamrock” is Damien Marley’s breakthrough. The son of the great reggae star certainly sticks to his roots but gives it his own spin. He developed a style that’s a beautiful crossover between reggae and hip-hop.

What remains characteristic of the Jamaican style is the simplicity of the chord scheme. This song mainly consists of the Gm, the D, and the Bb. Try it out and throw it in a spontaneous jam. Pay attention to the attack of your strum.

Shine On You Crazy Diamond – Pink Floyd

The song “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” is a suite in pop music, which means the structure of the track is reminiscent of a classical piece. The song is about Syd Barrett, a band member who was expelled, because of his drug problems. The song is drenched in melancholy and love.

The intro is made up of a subtle guitar solo accompanied by keyboards. In it, the Gm, Dm, and Cm play the leading role. The second part of the song is dominated by the Bb, F, G, and E. Overall, the track is quite clear and even recommended for the beginning guitarist. If only to get a feeling for barre chords.

Bone Dry – EELS

The track “Bone Dry” by the Los Angeles-based band Eels takes you on a journey through the scale of Gm. The song largely consists of a long riff that descents along the scale through F, Eb, Dm, Bb, Cm, and Gm.

The advantage of this track is that both advanced beginners and newbies can practice switching grips at a manageable pace. Moreover, this song is a nice addition to your setlist. Let your audience sing along with the bitter “shalalaa”.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps – The Beatles

We will end this week with another classic. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is one of the few Beatles songs written by George Harrison. It is a melancholic blues with a topping of pop.

Don’t be surprised when you see chords like C/E or Gm/F. The second note is an extra bass tone. So a C with an E in the bass, or a Gm with an F as the lowest tone. The rest of the chord scheme speaks for itself. The song is full of basic chords like Em, Bm, G, C, D, and F. In other words: the ideal exercise during your weekend. Happy jamming!

Hip-hop, blues rock you name it and the C minor’s got it – chord of the week

This week we tune into the C minor. Wait, there no reason to be sad. Minor is not always a synonym for tearjerkers and sad songs, on the contrary. From hip-hop to blues and pop, our chord of the week fits everywhere – and everywhere in between. It’s an honor, and a real pleasure to present to you: the C minor (Cm).

Our chord of the week is – not surprisingly – build up out of notes from the Cm scale, which consists of C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, and Bb. You might recall, from other blog posts, that the notes from a scale often appear as chords in compositions. But enough theory. Time for action!

Since I’ve Been Loving You – Led Zeppelin

Let’s start with a classic. “Since I’ve Been Loving You” by Led Zeppelin is an example of a song in which blues and rock converge, and it’s written in Cm. The track is a nice crossover between seventies rock and the fertile ground from which this genre originated: the blues.

The song starts with a solo by Jimmy Page. The accompanying melody immediately covers the entire spectrum of the basic tones of the Cm scale – it passes through C, Eb, F, G, Ab – and variations thereupon, that follow each other in quick succession. As such, this song is a good exercise for the advanced beginner.

Skyfall – Adele

We all know the sweet soulful voice of Shirley Bassey that symbolizes the sound of the first Bond movies. ‘No diva can beat that’, you might say, although Adele will certainly come close with “Skyfall”.

The verse of “Skyfall” consists of Cm, F, Fm, Gm, and Ab. The chorus is extended with a D and an Eb. Don’t be put off by the fast succession of chords, rather make it easy for yourself by cutting the song into pieces. First practice only the verse, and then only the chorus. Use the loop function for this. This way you don’t have to rewind each time.

Rich Bitch – Die Antwoord

We promised you pop and hip-hop, and if we promise something, we deliver on it. Die Antwoord is one of the most controversial hip-hop acts of the moment, and this South African duo is anything but boring, as we can hear in the track “Rich Bitch.

This song is suitable for the beginner who is up for an experiment. The chord scheme is not very difficult since it only consists of two triads: Cm and Fm. Diversions to Gm and D are good for some variation. Play this song in a jam and see if your audience recognizes it.

Africa – Weezer

“Rich Bitch” may not fly at your grandmother’s birthday party, but you can lighten the mood with this classic song in a new look. Weezer made a quite literal cover of the Toto song “Africa“. The track is exactly the same as the original, with the only difference that it is set in Cm instead of C#m.

This track is a challenge, even for the advanced guitarist. If you thought “Since I’ve Been Loving You” has a fast chord progression, then the pace at which the triads in this song follow each other may feel like warp speed. Of course, nothing is impossible. Use the loop function and cut the song into pieces, it will become much easier to comprehend. Happy jamming!