Tag Archives: Led Zeppelin

A minor equals classic rock – Chord of the week

One of the most dramatic chords you can grab at the top of your neck is the Am. The scale of this chord of the week consists of the basic notes A, B, C, D, E, F and G. That’s why there are countless rock classics written with the Am at the core.

Our chord of the week is made up of the same tones as the A major, with the main difference that the third tone – the third – is not a C# but a C. The above tones that appear in the Am scale, therefore, fit as stand-alone chords in combination with the Am. Just look at the tracks below.

Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin

Stairway to Heaven” is a rock classic and a welcome addition to any setlist. Jimi Page’s powerhouse display of technical skills might overshadow the core of the song: the chords. But, when you look past the spicy fingerpicking and listen to the soul of the track, you’ll soon notice that it consists of basic triads played at the top of the neck.

Which is why “Stairway to Heaven” is actually a good song for a beginning guitarist. It comprises several standard chords, like Am, C, D, E, F, and G. Give it a try. If it’s easy, you can go and see how the plucking fits in there.

Le Freak – Chic

While true for “Stairway to Heaven”, not everything written in the Am sounds serious and gloomy. Take “Le Freak“, the song from the legendary funk band Chic, led by hitmaker Nile Rodgers. It doesn’t get more buoyant than this. The track has everything, from frisky vocals to groovy bass lines and well-timed guitar punches.

As you might expect this song is not very difficult as far as the chord scheme is concerned. The most important funk riff revolves around the Am, D, C progression. The only thing you have to pay close attention to is your strumming hand. It doesn’t take long to play the chords, but to ‘feel the funk’: that’s a steep learning curve.

Child in Time – Deep Purple

If you include Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” in your jam, another classic that shouldn’t be omitted is the epic “Child in Time” by rock band Deep Purple. It’s a mesmerizing gem from the seventies. Let’s take a closer look at the song. We’ll see straight away that one thing stands out.

It’s not Richie Blackmore’s versatile guitar part that makes this epic ballad feel so elusive. This can be attributed to frontman Ian Gillan’s towering range and Sir Jon Lord’s illuster organ part, which envelope the basic chords of the song: Am, G, and F.

Bad Romance – Lady Gaga

Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga is not old enough to be a golden oldie, but it’s sure to be a classic in the long run. And of course, we don’t want to bore you with only seventies classics. “Bad Romance” will restore the balance.

Obviously, this track is electronic, but you can tame the electric bleeps and turn this song into a sultry campfire hit, by applying a standard strum to the basic chords Am, F, G, E and C. Well, that’s pop music for you of course. Everything is possible with a limited number of chords. That doesn’t make it any less fun to play though. Happy jamming!

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!