Arthur’s Theme Chords

Arthurs Theme chords lesson

Learn how to play Arthur’s Theme (The Best That You Can Do) on just one acoustic guitar!

‘Arthur’s Theme’ was written by Christopher Cross whos music once was labeled under the slightly awkward named genre of ‘Yacht Rock’.

Beneath the huge and very expensive sounding production of the original recording hides the simple chord progression idea of moving up a 4th from every chord.

The video lesson contain an electric solo, this was originally played on saxophone. Learning solos played on other instruments than guitar is a great idea as you’ll learn different ways to phrase.

You get all the TAB, including the solo when you take the Master Guitar Course.

Arthur’s Theme chord progression

The genius chord progression of ‘Arthur’s Theme’ takes you from C major to A major using the cycle of 4th.

By starting on the II chord of C major we move: II – V – I – IV.

Translated to the chords from C major this reads: Dm – G – C – F.

At this point in the progression we move outside the key as the cycle of 4th continue to a Bb (chord bVIIx), followed by an E (chord IIIx).

Even this last move from Bb to E is a fourth, be it a #4.

This final E chord is now a transitional chord that takes us to A major.

Since we have had such a long cycle of 4th it doesn’t feel like we are at home here, on the contrary, the A feels as if it wants to move on up yet another 4th.

When we go back to Dm the cycle is complete and the Verse progression can start again.

That’s one seriously long series of “up a fourth” movements!

Arthur’s Theme use Lydian

The Chorus starts on the IV chord of A major, a Dmaj7. This gives us yet another push a 4th up which allows the chorus to really take off.

During the Chorus we also see a III chord which has been modified into a 7sus4, this means the chord is neither major nor minor and the tension remains of where we are in the key.

As the chorus ends on an A we are perfectly set up to move back to the II chord of C major again.

To pen a chord progression like the one in ‘Arthur’s Theme’ requires that you have some serious knowledge about key signatures and modes.

During the Master Guitar Course¬†you’ll learn all about these type of chord movements, the modes and how to use them when you arrange or improvise, be it on one acoustic guitar or on electric in a band.