Complete chord independence: The Chord Code
The following progression is based on C as the root, C major chord used as the root chord. The other chords are found from the C major scale (except for A major), and are chords which you will usually find together in many song situations.
Basic chord progression on guitar
Progression 1 : |C|Am|Em|G|
Progression 2 : |C|Am|Em|G|A|D|G|C|
Playing chords for songs
Search (on the internet) for chords of songs which you are familiar with. Chances are, you will find chord progressions for those songs using the chords above.
- See which chords are noted.
- Find the chords on the guitar (search the internet if you have doubt about chord positions)
- Play the chords.
Even if you can't play the chords along with the song, in tempo, play the chords, play the chords like a progression, each chord played one bar or two bar each.
When when you are used to changing the chords, see on which words of the lyrics the chord changes happen.
Keep the rhythm going as much as you can. If you have to break the full bar into more than one chord, practice that particular part and get back to playing the full bar rhythm when chords are again played for one bar.
Why practice chord progressions
Our aims at this stage are
- to be able to play the chords with each note sounding clearly, not muffled by other fingers and pressed strong enough.
- to be able to change between the chords in time – this comes slowly over time with practice
- understand how the related chords sound
- to see how the related chords' progression looks on the guitar and sense the pattern the chords form between each other
Take your instrument and try the chords. Play 1234 1234, playing each chord for 1234 duration, changing at each 1. The 1234 can be played with downstroke striking the whole chord, at each number. 1, downstroke, 2 downstroke… 4 downstroke – change chord, 1 downstroke etc… Continue cycling through the progression.
Spend 20 minutes daily and you will soon see improvements. Remember that once you have the skill to play these basic chord, you can easily learn more chords or just use these chords to play many songs that you are familiar with or would love to play.
Chords for Take it easy by Eagles
Take it easy by Eagles is an example of a song which can be played with the chords mentioned in the above progressions.
Also use Take it easy to learn one pattern of strumming for the chord. (Hint: the strumming for Take it easy can be split into : down down up up down up …. repeat. listen to the recording to find where the strokes happen.) Free resources at musicianself.com/rlo