Learn How To Play Fast Car
Chords and Guitar Lessons
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In the course & Complete song
Tracy Chapman‘s Fast Car was one of three massive hits from her self-titled debut album.
The other two, Baby Can I Hold You and Talkin’ About A Revolution firmly cemented Tracy as the world’s favorite busker.
My one guitar version of Fast Car varies slightly from how Tracy plays the riff. Instead of moving up the neck, I found a way to play it using open position chords.
In the course, we learn what I play, what Tracy does on the original, as well as develop these parts all over the neck.
The chords in Fast Car are simple, using only chord IV – I – VI – V on a loop over the seemingly never-ending verse.
| Cmaj7 G | Em7 D |
During the chorus, we change from playing a fingerstyle picking pattern to a strumming technique instead. The chords first remain the same, although now take up a bar each.
| C | G | Em | D |
| C Em | D | x2
| C D |
Apply a capo to fret 2 and you’re actually in the key of A. However, you want to think of Fast Car as if you’re in the key of G.
Fast Car – Step 1
In this first step, we learn how to play the two guitar parts that make up the original verse of Fast Car.
Complete this step and you’ll realize that just working out the original part is not enough if you want to learn how to actually write something like this.
Go to Fast Car Step 1.
Fast Car – Step 2
You get ten examples, learn these before you start developing your own variations.
Go to Fast Car Step 2.
Fast Car – Step 3
All are played with a pick as this sounds better. Of course, I show you how you could play it fingerstyle as well.
Go to Fast Car Step 3.
Fast Car – Step 4
For the chorus, there’s a new idea available in TAB that will work along with my frenetic fingerstyle strumming.
Go to Fast Car Step 4.
Fast Car – Step 5
Using a real song to learn about the fretboard is always a better idea than playing a random exercise.
Go to Fast Car Step 5.
Fast Car – Step 6
This time, it is played using only string 1-3. Can you do this without reading the TAB?
Go to Fast Car Step 6.
Fast Car – Step 7
Aim to connect the fretboard by playing all over it.
Go to Fast Car Step 7.
Fast Car – Step 8
Your part need to sound as if it belongs to the performance. Simply put the video on repeat and come up with stuff. If it works, repeat it.
Go to Fast Car Step 8.
You got a fast car, I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal, maybe together we can get somewhere
Any place is better, starting from zero got nothing to lose
Maybe we’ll make something but me myself I got nothing to prove
Go to Fast Car Lyrics.
Amazingly, these were the three first songs on the debut.
Go to Tracy Chapman Biography.
The intermediate songs require you to learn barre chords and pentatonic scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fretboard.
Go to Intermediate Guitar Course.
Intermediate Acoustic Songs
A Change Is Gonna Come, American Pie, Angie, Babylon, Blowin’ In The Wind, Dreadlock Holiday, Fast Car, Hey There Delilah, I Can’t Stand The Rain, I’m Yours, Kiss Me, Mad World, Red, Starman, Sunny Afternoon, and Whistle For The Choir.
Go to Intermediate Acoustic Songs.
We’ll use this to map out the entire fretboard. Everything becomes easier to visualize once this foundation is laid.
Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.
Go to Monthly Subscription.