How to Play Guitar Songs With Chords

Hello guitar friends. Darrin Goodman here from bringing you another little guitar lesson, today’s lesson is on guitar songs with chords. There are several different ways that you will encounter a transcription for a song including; cheat book, chord charts and tabs. I will show you these three different styles, as they seem to be the most popular without having to be able to read sheet music. Cheat book The cheat book style is great for if you are trying to sing and play the song. It is basically a lyric sheet with the guitar chords above the lyrics. The chords should be placed above the words in reference to where they change with a particular word, although I have seen many where they are not lined up very well. D         E7          G               D Ooh I need your love babe, guess you know it’s true, D             E7       G             D Hope you need my love babe, just like I need you, Bm     G     Bm     E7 Hold me, love me, hold me, love me D                E7     G           D Ain’t got nothin’ but love babe, eight days a week As you can see it starts off on “D” and then changes to “E7” right when the word “your” is sung. This style is one of the easiest to play along with, but it does not inform on how to strum it. You need to be familiar with the song to get the feel for the strum or you can use a basic down, down, down, down strum (1-2-3-4). Chord Charts Chord charts are another easy way to play along with a song, although this style does not provide the lyrics, it is still a very popular and easy way to play a song. guitar-songs-with-chords-chord_chart.png The parts of the song are easily identified with text and the measures are separated by the vertical lines making this a great style for beginners and experienced guitarists alike. has a great course called “4 Chord Guitar” that uses these. You can check it out here Guitar Tabs When learning guitar chord songs using guitar tabs there are a couple of different styles you will encounter. The style we will look at uses the manuscript notation to demonstrate the rhythm for the song. guitar-songs-with-chords-tab_chords.png So the chord name is at the top of the staff and the corresponding guitar tab is on the bottom. The notation in the staff indicates the timing and duration of the chord being played. Another variation that you may encounter has the written chord name and then “rhythm slashes” to indicate timing. This is usually done when there are two separate guitar parts in a song. I hope this helps you in your quest to learn some new guitar songs. Until next time, Darrin

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