5th lesson

In this lesson you are going to learn to play full chords and accompaniment for guitar from song “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” from Bob Dylan.

Let’s resume final chords progression from this song in simplify chord forms that we have learned in previous lesson:

Simplify chord forms:

                                                                          G – major


D – major


A – minor


   C- major


Chord progression with simplify rhythm of accompaniment:


These are regular notes with chord diagrams above and with tab-fingerings below:


Note “*”:

Standard chord symbol for minor chords are with letter “m” after chord name, so for A – minor it will be Am. At the opposite of minor chords there are major chords which for chords symbols do not contain any letter after chord name. For example chord “G – major” will be marked only with chord name “G” without any letter after that.

Note “**”:

These arrows show us down and up-strokes. On first look this signs looks little contradictor because down-stroke arrows go up and up-stroke arrows go down. The reason for this contradiction is in main rules for making notes in standard note and tab system. That rule is about schedule of tone pitches and if the tone is lower by pitch it will be noted lower in note or tab system and opposite if the tone is higher by pitch it will be noted higher in note or tab system. So, when we have down-stroke we start strumming from lower tones in chord which will be noted lower in note and tab system and opposite when we have up-stroke we start strumming higher tones in chord which will be noted higher in note and tab system. In this case these arrows are just informative and these kinds of signs are not necessary if we have regular sings for down and up-stroke in standard note system above.

C, D, G-major and A-minor chords in full form:

So far we have played simplified form chords. Here are the same harmonies in full chord form, with standard and alternate fingerings in the left hand:


Let’s try to play our first song using the full form chords. Just select between standard and alternate fingerings in the left hand. Here are standard notes and tab fingerings for full chord progression of song “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” from Bob Dylan:


Note “*”:

Another very important rule of editing in note system is if we put key signature at the beginning of row this sign will take part in whole further bars in that row or until we put special sings for realteration of this sign. In this case we will play f# instead of note f every time it occurs because sharp sign “#” is on 5th line, where we note f2, at the beginning of every row in note system.

Note “**”:

Fingering numbers on right side of note determinates alternate fingerings for G and D-major.

When left hand learned full chord progression we will add more complicated rhythm in right hand which is more likely to original song. In this rhythm we will have empty strokes in right hand which will be marked in brackets.


Note “*

Empty stroke is here very important. Just move your right hand dawn when this empty or muted down-stroke comes and after that appears full or unmuted up-stroke in continuation.

Am7 instead of Am

You can try to use Am7 chord instead of Am, it is even easier for playing. Am7 chord diagram look like this:


So, here is the final rhythm with Am7 instead of Am in full chord progression:


And here are note and tab system of with every necessary sign in our song.


The most important thing in all of these chord progressions is that right (picking) hand moves in continuation without stop because of eventual mistakes in left hand which must to take care about chords changing. After you learn everything above you can try to free your right hand and to improvise full and empty strokes in continuously picking of down and up-strokes.

At the end of this lesson we can try to sing lyrics and to play chords progression in the same time. You can use playback with lyrics from Youtube video of song “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” from Bob Dylan here. You can try so slow speed of playback in setting option on Youtube for first time of practicing. It is good to combine types of practicing with and without playback. Here are the chords above lyrics for practicing without playback:


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