Talking About A Revolution

Learn how to play Talking About A Revolution on one acoustic guitar!

‘Talking About A Revolution’ is a single from Tracy Chapman‘s hugely successful debut album. In a string of three hits, Tracy became world famous before you even turned the debut album over.

Using a super simple and often looped chord progressions, she wrote honest songs that sounded like they should be played on street corners and inspire real change.

In the video lesson, I’ve added a breakdown picking pattern just to mix things up a bit. This is a common trick when arranging for just one guitar, you have to put some dynamics in if you’re all on your own.


Chord progression

The chord progression for ‘Talking About A Revolution’ is very simple and has been used thousands of times before and after this release.

In the key of G we play the movement of I – IV – VI – V, translated to the key of G we get these chords:

| G Cadd9 | Em D Dsus4 |

This progression is played on a loop for the entire song. An in-depth lesson on how to make something so repetitive work is available in the beginner course.

In this video lesson, you’ll see a close-up of the right hand. In the course, we use this in combination with TAB to learn it exactly as played but we don’t stop there!

Using a capo we also create a 2nd guitar part and by doing so not only learn the song but also from the song.


Chord extensions

Tracy Chapman uses the extensions of add9 and sus4 to spice up the simple progression of GCEmD.

To create an add9 chord we add the interval 9. For a C chord, this is the note D. You find it on string two, fret three.

To create a sus4 chord we replace the 3rd of the chord with a 4th. For a D chord, this is the note G that replaced a F#. You find it on string one, fret three.

There’s an in-depth lesson available on ‘Talking About A Revolution’ in the beginner course. It covers strumming patterns, picking, dynamics and more!

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