Talking About A Revolution

learn How To Play Talking About A Revolution

Chords and Guitar Lessons

Watch This Video

Complete song – Acoustic guitar and vocals


Talking About A Revolution is a single from Tracy Chapman‘s hugely successful debut album.

In a string of three hits, Tracy became world-famous before you even turned the album over.

Using a super simple and often looped chord progressions, she wrote honest songs that sounded like they should be played on street corners and inspire real change.

When I play the song, I’ve added a breakdown picking pattern just to mix things up a bit. This is a common trick when arranging for just one guitar, you have to put some dynamics in if you’re all on your own.

The simplest way to create a 2nd guitar part would be to simply pick when I strum and strum when I pick. In the course, we start there as we create 2nd guitar parts.

In the final step, we change key and by using a capo get back in the original key. Doing this means that when you play along with me, we’ll sound great together.

Chord progression

The chord progression for Talking About A Revolution is very easy to remember as it only has four chords.

In the key of G we play the movement of IIVVIV.

With some extensions added, we get these chords.

||: G Cadd9 | Em D Dsus4 :||

This progression is played on a loop for the entire song.

First Song In The Course

If you’re a complete beginner or someone who just wants to start from scratch, this is it.

We start with Tracy’s super simple Talking about a Revolution and learn one of the great secrets to playing the guitar. The road block that almost all beginners fall by. The reason you tried it, but gave up once.

The secret is that you can’t switch perfectly between playing open position chords, or any chords for that matter. You can practice as much as you want, it is not just seemingly impossibly, it is impossible.

Like a magician, playing guitar is all about sleight of hand. It may look like I’m switching between chords perfectly, and therefore you should practice switching, you shouldn’t.

Instead, you should learn how to get around the problem by using open strings, adding extensions and other tricks of the trade, just like Tracy does in Talking About A Revolution.

Guitar Lessons

Strumming a G chord (Free Preview)

Strumming a G chord (Free Preview) first guitar lesson in the course in freeThe first thing we need to learn is how to fret an open position G chord.

In the video lesson, I’ll reveal how there are more than one way to fret this simple chord.

Go to Strumming a G chord.

The Chromatic Exercise

The classic chromatic exercise is the second step in the beginner courseLet’s learn the first chromatic exercise.

By moving up and down the neck like this, you will gain control over your picking technique as well as develop fine motor skills in your fretting hand.

Go to The chromatic exercise.

Talking About A Revolution – Step 1

Start learning how to play Talking About A Revolution by Tracy ChapmanIn this lesson, we are going to strum new chords in the same way as you did when you played a G.

We simply apply the same pattern to Em, D, and Cadd9.

Go to Talking About A Revolution step 1.

Talking About A Revolution – Step 2

In this step we learn exactly how to play the song Talking About A RevolutionWhen you learn a song there is one thing you must always do and that is to break it down into smaller chunks.

In this lesson, we do just that.

Go to Talking About A Revolution step 2.

The Chromatic Exercise Revisited

Let's practice the chromatic exercise again and better understand its benefits.This is a great exercise for warming up. You will improve your left hand’s finger dexterity as well as your right hand’s picking technique.

Put together, what we really work on is the coordination of the left and right hand.

Go to The chromatic exercise revisited.

Talking About A Revolution – Step 3

Alternative guitar part is discussed in this guitar lesson.The last time you played this song, you strummed the chords, today it’s time to pick them instead.

Practice all examples along with the loop and you’ll be able to play this song on your own soon.

Go to Talking About A Revolution step 3.

Talking About A Revolution – Step 4

In this step you play the complete song with me and a singer.In the last few lessons, we’ve slowly built up to playing Talking About A Revolution.

In this step, we play the entire song from beginning to end.

Go to Talking About A Revolution step 4.

Talking About A Revolution – Step 5

In this final step, we develop a 2nd guitar part so you can play with me and the singer again and sound better.Today we’re going to learn how to change key, apply a capo, and create a 2nd guitar part.

To change key from G to C means we’ll also learn new chords.

Go to Talking About A Revolution step 5.

Related Pages


Talking About A Revolution complete lyricsDon’t you know
They’re talkin’ bout a revolution
It sounds, like a whisper
Don’t you know

Go to Talking About A Revolution lyrics.

Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman biography and guitar lessons for Fast Car and Talking About A Revolution.Tracy Chapman is an American singer-songwriter, best known for her singles Fast Car, Talking About A Revolution, and Baby Can I Hold You from her self-entitled titled debut album Tracy Chapman.

Amazingly, these were the three first songs on the debut.

Go to Tracy Chapman biography.


Learn how to play the guitar by learning from real songs. Step by step acoustic beginner guitar lessons.Learning how to play guitar is best done through playing and learning from songs.

Not only will learning songs help you with switching between chords and improve your rhythm playing. Songs also hold the key to how music works theoretically.

Go to Beginner guitar course.

Beginner Acoustic Songs

You can learn how to play these beginner songs on the acoustic guitar.

Ain’t No Sunshine, The Drugs Don’t Work, One More Cup Of Coffee, Redemption Song, Rewind, Robin Hood, Talking About A Revolution, Time Of Your Life, and Wonderwall.

Go to Beginner acoustic songs.


Beginner guitar exercises and basic chords, chord progression and rhythms.What do you need to know in order to play real songs?

What exercises should you practice to warm-up and improve your technique? How do you understand and change the key of a song?

Go to Beginner guitar exercises.

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A monthly subscription with access to all acoustic and electric step by step guitar lessons.A monthly subscription with access to all acoustic and electric step by step lessons, each one designed to bring your guitar playing skills to the next level.

Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.

Go to Monthly subscription.