Get Chords to Any Song with Chord Pickout
Dear Guitar Player,
I was never good at finding the right chords. In fact, I had
no pitch at all. I can hardly distinguish a major chord from
a minor, and figuring out the key of a chord used to be an
But there were so many songs I wanted to play! Left with no
choice, I used to hit 'play' on my stereo, and strum chords
on my guitar at random to try and guess a song's opening
chords. Sometimes this method succeeded, but most times I
felt that my chords just did not fit. And even if some of
them did sound right, others usually did not.
Having spent a lot of time doing this, I soon realized that
if just two or three chords were correctly figured, I
guessed the others quickly. I would be able to hear if my
guess fit and each chord would follow the other naturally in
tune. But if there were no chords to be sure of, ultimately
I gave up on figuring out a song.
Over time I came up with several simple rules, which helped
me figure out many songs I wanted to play, even though my
sense of pitch was awful. Here's what I learned:
-Make sure your guitar's in tune with the song. This sounds
obvious, but many people forget to check this. Use online
tuners like http://www.guitarforbeginners.com/onlinetuner.html
-80% of pop songs use Am, Dm or E chords. One good idea is
to strum Am while listening to a song and see if it fits
anywhere. Then do the same with Dm and E (or Em).
-Figure out the easiest chord - it's simpler to hear one
standout chord in a song. It is not necessarily always the
first chord and might be the chord in the middle of a verse,
or at the end. Don't waste time figuring out the harder
ones - find easy chords first.
-The easiest chord is likely the key to the entire song
(like Am in the Dm-E-Am progression). Try other chords five
halftones up and five halftones down (like Dm and E in the
same progression). Once you've found the key, there's a 90%
chance that these chords will appear in the verse.
-To find the key, find a single note that fits the whole
verse. Just pick a single string and hold it at various
frets, and ultimately you'll find a note that's in tune
while the verse plays. The key chord will contain that note.
-Some songs use nonstandard tuning, so you might come up
with weird progressions like C#m-D#-G#m. Drop each string a
halftone, and the chords will become more familiar (such as
Dm-E-Am). A good idea is to google the preferred tuning of
-Watch out if the tonality changes. You might want to build
all the chords around the key, but the key can suddenly go
up or down (even within the verse). Many pop songs are
transposed two halftones up at their end to make the music
The musical innovation of Chord Pickout software helps you
find chords in an easy way, which reveals a complete picture
of the structure of any song. It greatly reduces the amount
of work required to figure out the chords of a song.
However, be warned this is only computer software and not a
human guitar teacher! It can't detect every chord played in
a song. This program is not for beginners - if you have
little guitar chord knowledge of a tune, the program will be
of little help.
But if you already play a lot of songs and understand which
chords generally go together, then the program will save
lots of time. To find out more, go to
Tomorrow I will provide you with a step-by step guide of how
to figure out the chords to 'The House of the Rising Sun'
using Chord Pickout.
Please feel free to ask me any questions about using
Chord Pickout and understanding song structure.
Chord Pickout Team