Song – Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (BCS)

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Now that we have learned some basic chords, we’re going to practice changing between the chords, as well as some basic strumming using the pick. To start off with we’re going to learn a song by Bob Dylan, which uses the chords G, D, Am and C.

Without going into too much music theory (we’ll cover this in a later lesson) the song follows a simple structure comprising of two repeating sections: a verse and a chorus. When looking at song structure, a verse typically features before the chorus and tells a story throughout the song. Each verse will usually include different lyrics and builds towards the chorus. The chorus, on the other hand, is usually the part of a song you will remember, as it tends to be catchy, have greater intensity and will have the same, or very similar lyrics as all of the other chorus sections.

The first line of the first verse (“Mama, take this badge from me”) starts with a G Major chord, moves to a D Major chord, and then an A Minor chord. When we change between chords like this, we call it a chord progression, so in this case, the chord progression would be G | D | Am.

G:1[G Major]
D:1[D Major]
Am:1[A Minor]

The second line of the first verse (“I can’t use it anymore”), uses a similar chord progression, ending on a  C Major chord instead of the A Minor, so the chord progression for the second line becomes G | D | C. These two chord progressions repeat throughout the entire song, for all of the verses and choruses, so we have the following structure:

G:1[G Major]
D:1[D Major]
C:1[C Major]

Verse

GDAm
…Mama, take this badge off of me
GDC
…I can’t use it anymore
GDAm
…It’s gettin’ dark, too dark to see
GDC
…I feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door

Chorus

GDAm
…Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
GDC
…Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
GDAm
…Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
GDC
…Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door

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