A Change Is Gonna Come chords by Sam Cooke


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A Change Is Gonna Come | Chords and lyrics (capo 2)

Intro

| G6 D6/F# | Em D6/A Bm7 |
| C Gsus4/B Am7 C/G | A7sus4 D7 D7sus4 | D7 |

Verse 1

| G | G | Am | Em |
I was born by the river, in a little tent, oh and just like that river I’ve been running ever since.
| G | Am C B7 | Em | G |
It’s been a long, a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will.

Verse 2

| G | G | Am | Em |
It’s been too hard living, but I’m afraid to die, I don’t know what’s out there, beyond the sky.
| G | Am C B7 | Em | G |
It’s been a long, a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will.

Verse 3

| G | G | Am | Em |
I go to the movie, and I go downtown, somebody keep telling me don’t hang around.
| G | Am C B7 | Em | G |
It’s been a long, a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will.

Middle 8

| Am | Em | Am | Em |
Then I go to my brother, and I say brother help me, please.
| Am | Em G | A7 | D7 |
But he winds up knockin’ me, back down on my knees.

Verse 4

| G | G | Am | Em |
Oh, there’ve been times when I thought I couldn’t last for long, but now I think I’m able to carry on.
| G | Am C B7 | Em | G |
It’s been a long, a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will.


A Change Is Gonna Come | Chords and lyrics (no capo)

Intro

| Bb6 F6/A | Gm F6/C Dm7 |
| Eb Bbsus4/D Cm7 Eb/Bb | C7sus4 F7 F7sus4 | F7 |

Verse 1

| Bb | Bb | Cm | Gm |
I was born by the river, in a little tent, oh and just like that river I’ve been running ever since.
| Bb | Cm Eb D7 | Gm | Bb |
It’s been a long, a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will.

Verse 2

| Bb | Bb | Cm | Gm |
It’s been too hard living, but I’m afraid to die, I don’t know what’s out there, beyond the sky.
| Bb | Cm Eb D7 | Gm | Bb |
It’s been a long, a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will.

Verse 3

| Bb | Bb | Cm | Gm |
I go to the movie, and I go downtown, somebody keep telling me don’t hang around.
| Bb | Cm Eb D7 | Gm | Bb |
It’s been a long, a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will.

Middle 8

| Cm | Gm | Cm | Gm |
Then I go to my brother, and I say brother help me, please.
| Cm | Gm Bb | C7 | F7 |
But he winds up knockin’ me, back down on my knees.

Verse 4

| Bb | Bb | Cm | Gm |
Oh, there’ve been times when I thought I couldn’t last for long, but now I think I’m able to carry on.
| Bb | Cm Eb D7 | Gm | Bb |
It’s been a long, a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will.


You can learn how to play A Change Is Gonna Come!

As the chord names for the intro are so unique and complex, it would make more sense to first learn this using TAB, rather than reading the chord names.

It would also make sense to avoid calling the intro progression by their roman numerals, it’s just a bit too complex.

For the verse/chorus and the m8, however, using roman numerals is essential! Study these and you’ll be able to easily play A Change Is Gonna Come in any key!

Here’s the verse progression again. Let’s stay in the original key of Bb.

| Bb (I) | Bb (I) | Cm (II) | Gm (VI) |
| Bb (I) | Cm (II) Eb (IV) D7 (IIIx) | Gm (VI) | Bb (I) |

Here are the m8 chords.

| Cm (II) | Gm (VI) | Cm (II) | Gm (VI) |
| Cm (II) | Gm (VI) Bb (I) | C7 (IIx) | F7 (V) |

Only the IIx and IIIx chords are outside the key. They should have been minor chords. Making it major changes the feel of the progression and leads more strongly to chords V (IIx) and VI (IIIx).

Below, you find the first guitar lesson from the course, it deals with how to play the verse, enjoy!


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A Change Is Gonna Come verse chords and strumming

In this lesson, we think of A Change Is Gonna Come as if in the key of G. We use a capo to get to the key of A, worth mentioning is that the original key is Bb. To get to that key, move the capo up one fret.

There are two TAB loop videos to practice along with, you find these in the playlist above.

You’ll find lots and lots of details in both examples. Look for guidance in the first video lesson and then aim to get it exactly like the TAB loops.

Perhaps the most difficult part is to read this in 12/8!


When you can play what the TAB says to a reasonable standard, try example 2 as well.

In some ways, example 2 is even more complicated. However, because you played example 1, it may feel easier.


Overall, these two examples are by far the most difficult in the 8 steps of learning how to play A Change Is Gonna Come.

In the course, the next step is to play the middle 8, it is indeed much easier to conquer. Following this, we play the intro, before we put it all together and play the complete song.

However, we don’t stop there! Next, we work on our minor and major pentatonic scales, play the vocal melody and then finally, invent a 2nd guitar part.

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A response to Blowin’ In The Wind

A Change Is Gonna Come was a single by Sam Cooke. The song has a very complicated history. Initially written as a response to Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ In The Wind, Sam wanted to write a song as powerful as Dylan’s.

The song would come to be used as an anthem for the civil rights movement during the mid to late 60s. Similarly, in 2008, the song was used in President Barrack Obama’s election campaign.

Led by keywords such as Change and Yes We Can, the song came to back one of the most important historical events in modern history, the election of a black American president.

Unfortunately, Sam Cooke never got to enjoy the success of the song as he died under mysterious circumstances in December 1964.

A Change Is Gonna Come didn’t peak in the charts until February of the following year.

Since then, most famous artists have sung the song, including, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, The Supremes, and Tina Turner.

A Change Is Gonna Come is easily Sam Cooke’s most serious work. Previously, he delivered mainly sugar-sweet songs like Ain’t That Good News and Wonderful World.

All of these songs put together make Sam Cooke one of the founding fathers of American soul music.


A Change Is Gonna Come | Related pages


A Change Is Gonna Come – 8 Guitar Lessons

To learn A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke may not be that difficult, if you disregard the intro.

Let’s learn all sections step by step, before we go further and learn more about scales, play the vocal melody and finally, construct a 2nd guitar part.

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come – 8 Guitar Lessons.


Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke has been called The King Of Soul. His legacy is extensive and his impact on soul music is undeniable.

Between 1957 and 1963, Sam Cooke managed twenty-nine top 40 hits including You Send Me, Chain Gang, A Change Is Gonna Come, and Wonderful World.

Go to Sam Cooke.


Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul. Considered by most critics and peers the greatest singer of all time.

Born in Detroit and looking for a record deal in 1960, Aretha seemed like the perfect match for Berry Gordy’s label Motown. However, Aretha’s father had other ideas.

Go to Aretha Franklin.


Al Green

Al Green is an American gospel and soul singer who has enjoyed great popularity since the early 70s.

Among his hits, you’ll find Let’s Stay Together and Take Me To The River as well as covers of A Change Is Gonna Come, Unchained Melody, Light My Fire, and My Girl.

Go to Al Green.


The Supremes

The Supremes are the most successful American vocal group of all time, at their peak, they were as big as The Beatles.

Led by Diana Ross, they had #1’s with Where Did Our Love Go, Baby Love, Stop! In the Name of Love, You Can’t Hurry Love, and You Keep Me Hangin’ On.

Go to The Supremes.


Intermediate Acoustic Songs

Intermediate Acoustic Guitar Songs

The intermediate songs can not be played using just basic open-position chords. We have to move up the fretboard and play CAGED barre chords as well.

We incorporate bass lines, licks, extend chords, and play vocal melodies. Most importantly, we invent 2nd guitar parts and play these songs together.

Go to Intermediate Acoustic Songs.


Song Book

As a guitarist, a repertoire is the greatest asset you can acquire. It is your ticket to playing with other musicians.

To help you on this journey, I’ve gathered tunes I play with acoustic duos, Jazz trios, Indie/Rock/Party bands as well as large Soul/Motown ensembles.

Go to Song Book.


Copyright + Comments

Studying great songs is the best way for a musician to develop, we believe displaying chords and lyrics falls under “fair use in education”.

If you are the copyright holder and do not wish to be represented in this way, or want to comment on anything in these lessons, do reach out.

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