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Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah

Posted on August 8, 2010 at 1:34 PM

One of my all time favourite tunes is Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah as performed by the late Jeff Buckley. For those of you who don't know who Jeff Buckley is, he was an amazing guitarist and vocalist who died after at the age of 30 by drowning... 


His one studio album, Grace (1994), continues to be one of the most well-loved albums of all time. A second album, Sketches for my Sweetheart the Drunk (1998 ) was released posthumously.


Here is "Hallelujah". In previous posts, we've been talking about Chord Progressions. Can you pick this one? 


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Here's the tab and here are the chords. And here's a tutorial of how to play it:

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But let's not just learn the song - let's understand it.. We've been talking about chord progressions and the four chord song in previous posts... Can we apply the same knowledge to learn this song?


Lets take the basic chords:


Intro: C Am C Am

 


Verse: C Am C Am F G C G

C F G Am G Em Am


Chorus: F Am F C G C

 


1st Step: What key is the song in?

Most of the time, the first chord will be the key of the song. This is almost definite if the song ends on the same chord. If you're trying to work it out off sheet music or tabs or by ear, have a look at these tips from the net: here, and here. The way I work out songs by ear is to play the song on my computer or stereo, and try to work out the bass notes. Once I've got the bass line down, I then try and work out what chords are used, whether minor or major..

 


So what key is this song in? Pretty easy isn't it? It starts with a C, and ends with a C.. so.. it's in the key of C.


2nd Step: Work out the Chords used in the Key

Now, from here, we can work out what Chords are used in the Key of C from the C major scale:


C D E F G A B C

I II III IV V VI VII V


Now, we know from our Beginners Guides that the II, III, and VI chords will be minor, and the VII will be a diminished chord, and because a VII is so rare, it's hardly worth worrying about. So, the chords used in the C major scale are:


C Dm Em F G Am

I II III IV V VI


3rd Step, Work out the Chord Progression

So, now we can see work out the chord progression in Hallelujah by substituting the actual chords, for the numbers used above:

 


Intro: I VI I VI


Verse: I VI I VI      IV V I V

I IV V VI IV V III VI


Chorus: IV VI IV I V I


And now, we can play Hallelujah in any KEY we like! 


For instance, if you don't have a Capo to play it up on the 5th fret as it should be, you could transpose the song into the Key of G, to make it easy. So, if we want to play the song in the key of G, we work out the Gmaj scale:


G A B C D E F# G


And then the Chords used:


I II III IV V VI

G Am Bm C D Em


And then of you go!!

 


Intro: I VI I VI

G Em G Em


 

Verse: I VI I VI IV V I V

G Em G Em C D G D


I IV V VI IV V III VI

G C D Em C D Bm Em

 


Chorus: IV VI IV I V I

C Em C G D G

 



What if we wanted to play it in D? or in F#? or in E?

Categories: Online Lessons, Chords, Tabs

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