The 30-Day Guitar Challenge Week 4

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Day 22: The C Major Chord

Main Task: Learn the C Major chord.

We need two more chords to get us all the way through ‘Boulevard.  One of those is good ‘ol C Major.

Once you’ve got your fingers on the chord, trying switching it back and forth with G Major.  You’ll find this combination of chords in thousands of songs, including ‘Boulevard’.

Also, notice the slight change in rhythm here.  Two eights and a quarter, then repeat.
Count it as 1&2 3&4.


Day 23: The B5 Chord

Main Task: Learn the B5 chord.

The last chord we need for ‘Boulevard’ is a B5 that shows up at the end of the chorus.

B5 is what’s known as a “power chord”.  It’s neither major nor minor because it doesn’t include the note that would give us those qualities.  You’ll learn more about that stuff later.

Notice the x’s above all the unused strings.  There are no open strings in this chord.  Your strum should only hit the strings you have fingers on.

Once you’ve got your fingers on the chord, try the little two chord sequence below.  This is close to how you’ll find it in the song.

Notice also that the B5 is all straight eighth notes.


Day 24: ‘Boulevard’ Whole Song

Main Task: Put together all the parts of ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’

Today we’ll put all the parts together for ‘Boulevard’.  You’ve got a combination of your new chords with the others you learned on ‘Dead Flowers’.

The first line is the intro and verse progression.  The second line is used for the chorus and the solo section.  Notice the repeat bar in the chorus.  You’ll play the first two measures three times (marked with ‘3x’) and then play the last two bars just once.

Here’s the arrangement:

Intro – Verse 2x
Verse 7x
Chorus 1x
Verse 9x
Chorus 1x
Verse 2x
Solo – Chorus 1x – No bar of B5
Verse 2x
Chorus 1x
Ending – Verse 2x, end on Em

1. Go back and watch the video again:
This time pay attention to the different sections and how they match up with the chunks you learned.

  1. Play the song through by yourself a few times.
  2. If you’d like to play along with the recording, you’ll need a capo on the first fret and you’ll play all the chords one fret higher than normal. (Our version is in the key of E minor. The original is in F minor.)  A capo holds the strings down at a different fret so you can play these chords in a different key.  I recommend the Dunlop 83CB.

If you’ve got the song down at this point, great!  If you’re still shaky on a few parts, don’t sweat it.  Everyone learns at a different pace and it’s not a race.  You can go back and review the chunks that you’re having trouble with and getting a running start at playing the whole song again.


Day 25: Watch The Video

Main Task: Watch the videos for “Heroes”.

There are two versions of this song most people know.
David Bowie’s original version:
The Wallflowers cover version:

We’ve be doing a version that’s closer to The Wallflowers, but you’ll be able to strum along with either version.

Do these two simple things while watching the videos:

  1. Have your guitar in your lap even though you’re not playing anything yet.
  2. Tap your foot and/or tap your fingers on your guitar in time with the music.

Day 26: ‘Heroes’ Strum Pattern

Main Task: Learn the “Heroes” strum pattern.

This is an easy one.  You’ll play straight 8th notes like you learned back on Day 9.  Start with two measures each of D major and G major.  This is a good large chunk of the song.


Day 27: The A Minor Chord

Main Task: Learn the A Minor chord.

You know how this works by now.  Memorize the fingering, press down hard, and make sure all five strings are coming out clean.

Major vs. Minor
Back on Day 6 you learned the A Major chord.  Today is A Minor.  We’ll go deeper into the differences between those chords later.  But for now, here’s the easy way to think about it: Major chords sound “happy” and Minor chords sound “sad”.


Day 28: Moving Between A Minor and E Minor

Main Task: Practice switching between A Minor and E Minor.

Practice switching between Am and Em.  This chord progression comes up once during each verse of ‘Heroes’.


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