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HOW TO PLAY “FAST CAR”

how to play tracy chapman songs

Fast Car Tracy Chapman - Guitar TabsOn this post we will learn how to play one of Tracy Chapman’s great song and also her first hit I think. The song is called “Fast Car”.

This song was released in her self-titled album in April of 1988.  Her appearance on the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute was the catalyst for the song’s becoming a top 10 hit in the US, peaking at number 6 on the Hot 100, and a top 10 hit the UK, peaking at number 4 on the charts there.

This won the Grammy Award in 1989 for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

How to play “Fast Car”




There is only a few songs in history that came  back from the charts and “Fast Car” is one of those songs. It re-entered the charts in the United Kingdom after being performed by a participant, Michael Collings, on Britain’s Got Talent. That only shows that this is such a great songs.

Tracy Chapman (born March 30, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter, known for her singles “Fast Car“, “Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution“, “Baby Can I Hold You“, “Crossroads“, “Give Me One Reason” and “Telling Stories“. She is a multi-platinum and four-time Grammy Award-winning artist.[1]

Alright, enough wikipedia :)
Let’s learn how to play this song…

How to Play Fast Car

There’s a guitar riff or guitar motiff that is going on throughout the song and that is the part that we are going to learn how to play.

Since you can hear that part in most part of the song, learning that part will basically be able you to play the entire song. You just need to learn the chorus and other small parts.

Fast Car – Lyrics and Guitar Chords

Here are the chords used in the song. Take notice that there is a capo on the 2nd fret. So this is basically in the key of Eb but the shape will be in the open C form

Fast Car chords
Tracy Chapman

Capo II

Cmaj7 G  Em D x4

Cmaj7          G
You got a fast car.
Em                 D
I want a ticket to anywhere.
Cmaj7           G
Maybe we make a deal,
Em                    D
Maybe together we can get somewhere.
Cmaj7        G
Any place is better.
Em                      D
Starting from zero, got nothing to lose.
Cmaj7            G
Maybe we'll make something,
Em               D     
Me myself, I got nothing to prove.

Cmaj7 G  Em D X2

Cmaj7          G
You got a fast car.
Em              D
I got a plan to get us out of here:
Cmaj7                 G
I been working at the convenience store,
Em                     D
Managed to save just a little bit of money.
Cmaj7                   G
Won't have to drive too far
Em                         D
Just 'cross the border and into the city, 
Cmaj7         G
You and I can both get jobs
    Em                  D
And finally see what it means to be living.

Cmaj7 G  Em D X2

         Cmaj7              G
You see, my old man's got a problem:
   Em                               D
He live with the bottle, that’s the way it is.
   Cmaj7                       G
He says his body's too old for working,
    Em                  D
His body's too young to look like his.
   Cmaj7             G             Em                         D
My mama went off and left him, she wanted more from life than he could give,
         Cmaj7                  G
I said, "Somebody's got to take care of him."
   Em                       D
So I quit school and that's what I did.

Cmaj7 G  Em D X2

Cmaj7          G
You got a fast car.
          Em                    D
But is it fast enough so we can fly away?
Cmaj7             G
We gotta make a decision:
Em                        D
Leave tonight or live and die this way.

Cmaj7 G  Em D X2

Cmaj7                       C                G
So I remember when: we were driving, driving in your car,
    C                         G
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk,
Em              C     
City lights lay out before us
         Em                     D
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder. 
    C Em      D  
And I   had a feeling that I belonged
    C Em      D                  Em          C           Em
And I   had a feeling I could -- be someone, be someone, be someone.

Cmaj7 G  Em D X2

Cmaj7          G
You got a fast car.
    Em                     D
And we go cruising to entertain ourselves;
Cmaj7                 G
you still ain't got a job
      Em                    D
And I work in a market as a checkout girl.
Cmaj7                  G
I know things will get better:
Em                   D
You'll find work and I'll get promoted, 
Cmaj7                 G
We'll move out of the shelter
Em                     D
Buy a bigger house and live in the suburbs.

Cmaj7 G  Em D X2

Cmaj7                       C                G
So I remember when: we were driving, driving in your car,
    C                         G
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk,
Em              C     
City lights lay out before us
         Em                     D
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder. 
    C Em      D  
And I   had a feeling that I belonged
    C Em      D                  Em          C           Em
And I   had a feeling I could -- be someone, be someone, be someone.

Cmaj7 G  Em D X2

Cmaj7          G
You got a fast car.
    Em               D
And I got a job that pays all our bills.
Cmaj7                 G
You stay out drinking late at the bar,
        Em                         D
You see more your friends than you do your kids.
Cmaj7                G
I'd always hoped for better,
Em                     D
Thought maybe together you and me would find it,
Cmaj7                  G
I got no plans I ain't going nowhere,
   Em                     D
so take your fast car and keep on driving.

Cmaj7 G  Em D X2

Cmaj7                       C                G
So I remember when: we were driving, driving in your car,
    C                         G
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk,
Em              C     
City lights lay out before us
         Em                     D
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder. 
    C Em      D  
And I   had a feeling that I belonged
    C Em      D                  Em          C           Em
And I   had a feeling I could -- be someone, be someone, be someone.

Cmaj7 G  Em D X2

Cmaj7          G
You got a fast car.
          Em                    D
But is it fast enough so we can fly away?
Cmaj7             G
We gotta make a decision:
Em                        D
Leave tonight or live and die this way.

Cmaj7 G  Em D x3

Cmaj7 G
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Riff Richard is an IT person, a husband, a dad, a couch potato and a passionate guitar player

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