AMERICAN PIE ON ONE ACOUSTIC GUITAR
Watch this video lesson
Focusing on the left hand and all chords used in this song
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I think the material is excellent. I’ve benefited so much. I’ve now begun to improvise with some confidence and have written songs that feel authentic. I can now develop musically in a broad and rich way. Your work has illuminated an exciting path forward.– Roger
‘American Pie’ was the first single and most successful song by American singer-songwriter Don McLean.
Telling the story of the day the music died, ‘American Pie’ has become legendary, earning the #5 spot on RIAA’s list of songs of the century.
The chord progression can be tricky to remember since the same chords seem to be repeated in lots of different ways.
Thinking of them as numbers really will help as every number has a sound. If you can tap into this, you can hear where the progression wants to move next.
You’ll learn more about hearing chord progressions like this in the intermediate course.
Intro and chorus chord progressions
Here are the intro and chorus chords:
| G D/F# Em | Am C | Em D Dsus4 | 2/4 Dsus2 D |
| G D/F# Em | Am C | Em C | D Dsus4 D Dsus2 |
| Em Am | Em Am | C Em7b5/B Am | C D |
| G D/F# Em | C D | G D/F# Em | C D | G |
| G C | G D | x3
| Em | A7 | Em | D Dsus2 D | Dsus4 D Dsus2 D |
Verse and outro chord progressions
These are the chords for the verse and the outro:
| G | Am | C | Am | C | D Dsus2 D | Dsus4 D Dsus2 D Dsus4 |
| G D/F# | Em | Am | C | Em | Am | D Dsus2 D | Dsus4 D Dsus2 D Dsus4 |
| Em | D | Em | D | C Gsus4/B | Am | C | D Dsus4 |
| G D/F# | Em | Am | C | G D/F# | Em | C | D |
| G C | G D Dsus4 |
| G D/F# Em | Am C | Em D | 2/4 Dsus2 D |
| G D/F# Em | Am Em | Em C | Dsus4 D Dsus2 D |
| Em Am | Em Am | C Em7b6/B Am | C D | 2/4 Dsus2 D |
| G D/F# Em | C D | I D/F# Em | C D | G |
You get the full lesson for ‘American Pie’, including what the chords mean and complete TAB when you take the intermediate guitar course.