Learn how to play Fast Car on one acoustic guitar!
Tracy Chapman‘s ‘Fast Car’ was one of three massive hits from her self titled debut album.
The other two songs, ‘Baby Can I Hold You’ and ‘Talkin’ About A Revolution‘ firmly cemented Tracy as the worlds favourite busker.
The recording of these songs still kept a lot of Tracy’s integrity.
Our version vary slightly from how Tracy play the riff, instead of moving up the neck, we found a way to play it using open position chords.
Fast Car chord progression
The chords are simple using only chord IV – I – VI – V on a loop over the seemingly never ending Verse, like this if you think of this song as in the key of G:
| Cmaj7 G | Em7 D |
During the Chorus we change form picking pattern to strumming, the chords first remain the same:
| C | G | Em | D |
| C Em | D | x2
| C D |
Apply a capo to fret 2 and play this and you’re actually in the key of A, you want to think of it as if you’re in the key of G still.
Spy Tunes Vs Tracy’s version
You might have noticed that our version look different from Tracy’s version.
Tracy Chapman play this song further up the neck. I found it easier to play the same part using open position chords.
The part can also be adapted to using an open G tuning, or alternatively a dropped G tuning.
Find out more in the Intermediate Guitar Course where we study ‘Fast Car’ in depth, including how Tracy plays the part.