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Three Chord Songs

There are thousands of 3 chord songs you can learn on guitar, many are pop tunes, country and blues songs too. Three chord songs are more popular than complicated tunes and easier to play on guitar

Most Blues songs use the three major chords from a major scale.

The first position is tough for barre chords because the string don’t have a lot of give this close to the nut(The nut is the piece that holds the strings at the beginning of the neck).

Another three chord song by the Rolling Stones is “Dead Flowers”. This song is on the “Sticky Fingers” album and also the “Stripped” album, the latter is a live version.

3 Chord Songs have probably produced more hits than any other chord progression combo then even the 4 chord Doo Wop(50’s) era progressions.

“You Can’t always Get What You Want” is a classic Rolling Stones song. This is a good beginner guitar song although you may have to work on the F barre chord if your new to guitar. Just play the 1st 4 strings of the F chord if you can’t get it yet.

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s song Sweet Home Alabama is another one.

A little theory, every major and minor chords are used in three different major scales. Any major chord can be the I, IV or V and any minor chord can be the ii, iii or vi of any major scale.

The upper case Roman numerals are for major chords and the lower case are for the minor chords.

This is important because the pentatonic scales are used to improvise over these basic chords.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

This is one of the Rolling Stones most popular three chord songs. Another one is (I Can’t Get No)Satisfaction.

Here are the Basic Chords

Here are the lyrics with chords for you to learn the song. You should have a copy of the recording so you can hear the chord changes. If you do it from memory it might not be exactly right. Take your time and listen for the chord changes. Try to sing it after you have the chords down good enough.

Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards – The Rolling Stones – 3 Chord Songs

Boys Choir in Beginning C to F 4x French Horn Intro Verse 1 C F
I saw her to-day at the re-cep-tion
C F
a glass of wine in her hand C F
I knew she was gon-na meet her con-nec-tion, C F
at her feet was a foot-loose man Chorus 1 C F
You can't al-ways get what you want C F
You can't al-ways get what you want C F
You can't al-ways get what you want D F but if you try some-times you might find C F
you get what you need
C F
Chords Only Verse 2 C F
I went down to the de-mon-stra-tion C F
to get my fair share of a-buse C F
Singing we're gon-na vent our frus-tra-tion C F
if we don't we're gon-na blow a 50 amp fuse" Chorus 2 C F
You can't al-ways get what you want C F
You can't al-ways get what you want C F
You can't al-ways get what you want D F but if you try some-times you might find C F
you get what you need
C F
Ah Baby Verse 3 C F
I went down to the Chel-sea Drug Store C F
to get your pre-scrip-tion fil-led C F
I was stand-ing in line with Mr Jim-my C F
and man did he look pret-ty ill C F
We de-cid-ed we would have a so-da C F
my fav-rit fla-vor cher-ry red C F
I sung my song to Mr Jim-my C F
and he said one word to me and that was dead
F
I said to him Chorus 3 C F
You can't al-ways get what you want C F
You can't al-ways get what you want C F
You can't al-ways get what you want D F but if you try some-times you might find C F
you get what you need Short Break with guitar/choir with Mick singing “Ah Yeah” Verse 4 C F
I saw her to-day at the re-cep-tion
C F
in her glass was a bleed-ing man C F
She was prac-ticed at the art of de-cep-tion C F
I could tell by her blood-stain'd hands Repeat about 3 times Chorus's 4-5-6

C                              F
You can't al-ways get what you want No
C                              F
You can't al-ways get what you want 
C                              F
You can't al-ways get what you want 
           D                        F 
but if you try some-times you might find 
                 C      F
you get what you need
C                 F

Repeat Chorus and end however you like it’s “your” song now. When you learn a song you will add your own playing style. Try and do something unique to the song.

Dead Flowers

This song is the version from the “Sticky Fingers” album

Dead Flowers Chords
More Three Chord Songs

There are 4 chords but the 1st one lasts 1 beat and it’s one note different than the D chord. It’s the chord in the very beginning. We’ll still consider it one of the 3 chord songs.

The reason for this is the song doesn’t start on beat one. It starts on beat 4, the other 3 beats are at the end of the song. You count it as 4&. You play two eighth note beats with chord one.

These are called pick up notes. You will see these in sheet music as the first bar in the music. These rest of the notes to make a full bar are in the last measure of the song. This is actually where you start counting the first measure.

It actually sounds like you missed some of the song when it starts.

This is a very easy song to play. This progression is popular in Country music.

Dead Flowers – Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards

 Intro Play Chords One Time
Dsus2 D A G D
4& //// //// //// //// Verse 1
D A G D
Well when you're sit-ting there in your silk up-hol-stered chair D A G D
Talk-ing to some rich folk that you know D A G D
Well I hope you won't see me in my rag-ged com-pa-ny D A G D
Cause you know I could nev-er be a-lone Chorus 1 D A D
Take me down lit-tle Sus-ie, take me down
A D
I know you think you're the queen of the un-der ground
D G And you can G D
Send me dead flow-ers ev-ry morn-ing
G D
Send me dead flow-ers by the mail
G D
Send me dead flow-ers to my wed-ding
D       A G D
And I won't for-get to put ros-es on your grave Verse 2
Same Chords as Verse 1 Chorus 2
Same as Chorus 1 Song Lead Guitar Break
Guitar Lead - Play one verse section Final Chorus
Same as Chorus 1 except Drag Out Last Line

D     A                    G              D
No, I won't for-get to put ros-es on your grave 

I couldn’t find a separate sheet music for this 3 chord song but it’s most likely in one of their books.

Dead Flowers – mp3

Rolling Stones – Tab

Sweet Home Alabama

Here are the Chords for this song

There is a 4th chord that gets played once in the Boo Hoo Hoo line so we’ll still consider it one of the 3 chord songs. It’s the F chord, the same one in “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” above.

Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Words and music written by Ed King, Gary Rossington and Ronnie Van Zant

Intro
D C G Play 4x Verse 1
D       C G
Big wheels keep on turn-ing
D C G
Car-ry me home to see my kin.
D       C G
Sing-ing songs a-bout the south-land
D C G
I miss ole bam-y once a-gain and I think it's a sin
D C G play 2x Verse 2
Same Chords as Verse 1 Chorus 1
D C G
Sweet Home Al-bam-a
D C G
Where the skies are so blue
D C G
Sweet Home Alabama
D C G
Lord I'm com-ing home to you
D C G play 2x Verse 3
D C G F C D
In Birm-ing-ham they love the Gov-nor Boo hoo hoo
D C G
Now we all did what we could do
D C G
Now Wat-er-gate does not both-er me
D C G
Does your con-sence bother you tell the truth Chorus 2
Same as Chorus 1 Verse and chorus vocal break
Verse 4
Same Chords as Verse 1 Chorus 3 - Repeat 3 times
Same as Chorus 1
End when you want to

Sweet Home Alabama – mp3

Sweet Home Alabama – Tab

Thank You for Visiting our 3 Chord Songs page. There are many more 3 chord songs you can learn. More Songs

I hope you found this page useful.