Chords and strumming

Preview Video Lesson

Babylon chords ad strumming


‘Babylon’ is a single from David Gray‘s hit album White Ladder.

The album was the result of trying to make it for over a decade as a singer-songwriter using the classic record label route. In the end, David recorded the album in his bedroom with the help of his drummer.

‘Babylon’ is played using a capo on fret 1, so what you hear is in Eb, but you think in D. As the chord riff use open strings it would be impossible to play it in this key without a capo.

In this first video lesson, you’ll see how to play the song from beginning to end using just one acoustic guitar.

Chord progression

These are the chords for the intro/verse/instrumental/chorus tag sections.

| D Dmaj7 | G | x7

| G | Em | Em |

| G |

The chorus is varied every fourth bar.

| D | A | Em | F#m |

| D | A | Em | G |

| D | A | Em | A |

| D | A | Em | A | A |


Babylon vs Fast Car

Both ‘Babylon’ and ‘Fast Car‘ are based around maj7 chord licks. ‘Babylon’ use a D shape, ‘Fast Car’ a C shape.

One of the best ways to learn about ‘song’ and ‘guitar part’ writing is to compare riffs that are similar like these. In the intermediate guitar course we compare these two songs in more detail, these are the topics covered:

  • How to play maj7 shapes all over the neck
  • Fast Car in the open position vs up the neck
  • The meaning of the progressions
  • Two complete charts
  • Strumming patterns for all sections
  • TAB

Related Pages

Babylon – Lyrics

BabylonFriday night I’m going nowhere, all the lights are changing green to red
Turning over TV stations, situations running through my head
Well looking back through time, you know it’s clear that I’ve been blind, I’ve been a fool
To ever open up my heart to all that jealousy, that bitterness, that ridicule
Saturday I’m running wild and all the lights are changing red to green

For complete lyrics, go to Babylon lyrics.

David Gray – Biography

david-gray-thumbDavid Gray is an English singer-songwriter. After many years of struggling with unsuccessful releases on different labels, David ended up recorded the album ‘White Ladder’ in his bedroom.

Since the release of ‘White Ladder’ and the success that followed it, David Gray has toured the world and released several more albums.

To find out more, go to David Gray biography.


Learning how to play guitar is best done through playing and learning from songs.

The intermediate songs require you to learn barre chords and pentatonic scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fretboard.

To see all lessons in the intermediate course, go to Intermediate Guitar Course


All those open position chords you learned in the beginner course now become barre chords and pentatonic scales.

You’ll map out the entire fretboard at this stage. Chord progressions become easier to see once played as barre chords and little licks will start appearing in your playing.

Preview the exercises from the course here: Intermediate Guitar Lessons


Learn how to play famous intermediate songs.

‘1234’, ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’. ‘American Pie’, ‘Angie’, ‘Babylon’, ‘Beautiful’, ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’, ‘Dreadlock Holiday’, ‘Empire State Of Mind’, ‘Fast Car’, ‘Hey There Delilah’, ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’, ‘I’m Yours’, ‘Kiss Me’, ‘Last Request’, ‘Mad World’, ‘Red’, ‘The Scientist’, ‘Starman’, ‘Sunny Afternoon’, and ‘Whistle For The Choir’.

To preview each song, go to Intermediate Acoustic Songs

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Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.

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