Learn How To Play Take Me To The River
Chords and Guitar Lessons
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Complete song – Acoustic guitar and vocals
This is a blues/soul/gospel song by the legend that is Al Green.
The way Take Me To The River blends chords with a bluesy feel in E, adding even more tension in the bridge to finally release harmonically in the m8 really is exceptional.
Budding song writers really should take note here how Take Me To The River’s chords create and release tension.
The verse chord progression is
| E7 | E7 D A | on repeat.
Later on, horn stabs are included which could be seen as fitting a G chord in as well.
Other songs that use these chords are Back In Black, Parklife, and Get Back. Once you experienced the sound of the I (E) – bVIIx (D) – IV (A) progression, you’ll instantly recognize it.
The bridge section uses b and x chords to wander outside the key. Using roman numerals, they spell bVIx – bIIIx, before we play the now established bVIIx – IV again, like this:
| C | G | D | A |
This is a movement of 5th’s, like a cycle of 4th movement but backwards.
The chorus is similar to the verse, although we don’t include the D and A.
Instead we vary the E7 with an E6.
| E7 E6 E7 E | E7 E6 E |
The m8 section first finds E major’s VI chord as it moves:
| C#m | A | C#m | A | G | B7 |
This is the harmonic release the tension of previous sections craved.
Take Me To The River – Step 1 (Free Preview)
We also look at the initial transcriptions of bass line, horns, and strings to get this arrangement going.
Go to Take Me To The River step 1.
Take Me To The River – Step 2
The question is, how do we combine horns, keyboards, and bass line into a one acoustic arrangement?
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Take Me To The River – Step 3
Since the verse is varied leading into this section this is also included in all examples.
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Take Me To The River – Step 4
The horns have an important part to play here, so does the bass. Put these together and you have a part.
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Take Me To The River – Step 5
If you know the previous parts well, this is not too difficult to achieve.
Go to Take Me To The River step 5.
Take Me To The River – Step 6
Simply play along with the TAB loops and you will complete the first half of this one acoustic guitar arrangement.
Go to Take Me To The River step 6.
Take Me To The River – Step 7
The verse and chorus now have all embellishments such as hammer-on, slide, mutes etc. Nail it note for note using TAB loops.
Go to Take Me To The River step 7.
Take Me To The River – Step 8
Play it along with me and a singer.
Go to Take Me To The River step 8.
Go to Take Me To The River lyrics.
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 biography.
The advanced songs require you to learn 7th note chords and modal scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fret board.
Go to Advanced guitar course.
Angels, Baby Won’t You Please Come Home, Blackbird, Cannonball, Don’t Wait Too Long, I Shot The Sheriff, Over The Rainbow, Roxanne, Scarborough Fair, Sunshine Of Your Love, Take Me To The River, Tears In Heaven, and Wish You Were Here.
Go to Advanced acoustic songs.
Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.
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