1234 chords



You can learn how to play 1234 by Feist!

1234 is a single from Feist which came to fame through an early iPod ad. The video lesson above is a simple arrangement of how this song could be played on just one acoustic guitar.

The arrangement uses a drop D tuning. Being in a drop D tuning means that you de-tune the 6th string from an E to a D.

Because of this, chords played from string six must be fretted differently. You must visualize the normal chord shape, replacing the root only. Simply imagine the entire shape, don’t just focus on the root note.

Let’s take a look at the chords and lyrics.


1234 chords and lyrics


||: D D/C# | Bm G :||

| D D/C# | Bm G |
One, two, three, four, tell me that you love me more.
| D D/C# | Bm G |
Sleepless long nights, that is what my youth was for.

| D A/E | Bm G |
Old teenage hopes are alive at your door.
| D A/E | Bm G |
Left you with nothing but they want some more.

| A | G |
Oh-oh-oh, you’re changing your heart.
| A | G |
Oh-oh-oh, You know who you are.

| D D/C# | Bm G |
Sweetheart, bitter heart now I can’t tell you apart.
| D D/C# | Bm G |
Cozy and cold, put the horse before the cart.
| D A/E | Bm G |
Those teenage hopes who have tears in their eyes.
| D A/E | Bm G |
Too scared to own up to one little lie.

| A | G |
Oh-oh-oh, you’re changing your heart.
| A | G |
Oh-oh-oh, you know who you are.

| D D/C# | Bm G |
One, two, three, four, five, six, nine, or ten.
| D D/C# | Bm G |
Money can’t buy you back the love that you had then.

||: D D/C# | Bm G :||

| D D/C# | Bm G |
One, two, three, four, five, six, nine, or ten.
| D D/C# | Bm G |
Money can’t buy you back the love that you had then.

||: D D/C# | Bm G :||

| A | G | A | G
Oh-oh-oh, you’re changing your heart. Oh-oh-oh, you know who you are.
| A | G | A | G | G |
Oh-oh-oh, you’re changing your heart. Oh-oh-oh, you know who you are.

| D A/E | Bm G | D A/E | Bm G |
Who you are, a-are. Oh-oh

||: D A/E | Bm G :|| x6

| D A/E | Bm G | D A/E | Bm G |
Oh-oh, those teenage boys, they’re breaking your heart.
| D A/E | Bm G | D A/E | Bm G |
Those teenage boys, they’re breaking your heart.

||: D D/C# | Bm G :||


1234 Chord Progressions

These are the chords for the intro/verse/outro sections.

| D D/C# | Bm G |

Translated to roman numerals this is I – I/7 – VI – IV, a simple progression that gives the track a descending feel.

The bridge is almost identical, only changing one chord, and goes like this.

| D A/E | Bm G | or I – V/5 – VI – IV

Using roman numerals we call can see how this is a variation on what I list at #3 on my top 10 chord progressions list. The safe bet for modern hits! Only the 5th in the bass differs.

The chorus is even simpler, moving only between chords V and IV, like this

| A | G |

Together these three progressions create a loop that drives the track forward.

The single-line variation at 1:04 doesn’t sound strange since the chord progression by now is so ingrained in us, only referring to its descending pattern is enough. This is a great trick when in need of creating a breakdown section out of nothing.

When you properly go for it in the last chorus the effect is more dramatic since the difference in dynamics is more extreme.

As you arrange a song for just one acoustic guitar, you may need to apply tricks like this.


Drop D tuning

1234 is played in drop D tuning, this means that you lower the 6th string from an E to a D. Because of this, all chord shapes using this string will have to be modified.

Simply raise whatever you were going to do with two frets:

G chord verse/bridge – The root is on fret five, rather than three. This means you can barre it from the root up to string four, using just one finger.

Do this and you create a thick-sounding chord that works well with both D and D/C# as well as D and A/E.

G chord chorus – During the chorus, the G chord looks more like an open position G. Mute the 5th string, play the root on fret five, string six.


Rhythm guitar is about attention to detail

To get the rhythm part solid, yet groovy, you need to practice to a metronome. As you do, aim to place the 2nd and 4th beat later on the click than 1 and 3, which should be bang on.

This style of playing creates a lazy, groovier feel that goes well with the bluesy vibe of 1234.

The anticipated shuffled strums can also be manipulated in how close they are to the main strums. Experimentation is the key here.

Also, notice the slight difference in dynamics when the verse starts.

Aiming to be as dynamic as possible in your playing, rather than relying on pedals to do this, will make you a better musician.

Keeping the dynamic aspects improvised, and adapting to vocals and other instruments in real-time will make the music come alive.

1234’s chords are great to use as practice for all these elements. Since they are so repetitive, the variation must come from the player.


1234 – Lyrics

One, two, three, four
Tell me that you love me more
Sleepless long nights
That is what my youth was for

Go to 1234 lyrics.


Feist – Biography

As a daughter of an abstract expressionist university lecturer, Feist’s artistic path was clearly laid out with interests in dance, painting, film, and music.

All these elements come together in the music video for 1234.

Go to Feist – Biography.


The professional guitarist Song Book

The greatest asset you as a guitarist can acquire is a repertoire.

If you start with learning all these songs, there’s a good chance you won’t have to learn many more when a gig with a new band appears.

Go to Song Book.


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