Sam Cooke Biography

the King Of Soul

Biography and Guitar Lessons

Watch This Video

Original recording

Sam Cooke

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

His career was short as he died at the age of thirty-three. He was shot at the Hacienda Hotel. The hotel manager, Bertha Franklin, told the police that she shot him in self-defense.

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

a response to Blowin’ In The Wind

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

The song would also be used as an anthem for the civil rights movement in modern America during the mid to late 60s.

Similarly, in 2008, the song was used in President Barrack Obamas’ 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.

A Change Is Gonna Come legacy

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 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 sugar-sweet songs like Ain’t That Good News and Wonderful World.

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

Guitar Lessons

A Change Is Gonna Come – Step 1 (Free Preview)

In this firsts step, we learn two extremely detailed TAB examples which are exact transcriptions of what I play in the video with the singer.

Out of all 8 steps, this is by far the most difficult. It is also the most complex lesson so far in this course.

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come step 1.

A Change Is Gonna Come – Step 2

Luckily, this step is much easier to nail than step 1, which was testing, to say the least.

Now we’re dealing with chord II and VI mainly. The rhythm is super repetitive and you could even make up your own variations.

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come step 2.

A Change Is Gonna Come – Step 3

The easiest step among these 8 is here, playing the intro.

Ironically, it looks the most complicated if you focus on the chord names. In the video lesson, I talk about why these chords have the names they do.

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come step 3.

A Change Is Gonna Come – Step 4

It’s time to play the complete song. As you’ve practiced each section individually, this shouldn’t be too difficult.

Still, the verse strumming is difficult. Try copying me in detail as well as just playing along, not worrying too much about it.

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come step 4.

A Change Is Gonna Come – Step 5

Is it an F# Minor Pentatonic, or is it an A Major Pentatonic? That is the question you must answer today by being able to hear the difference.

This is definitely not easy as they have the same notes!

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come step 5.

A Change Is Gonna Come – Step 6

The secret to hit melody writing is revealed in this step. Let’s learn from Sam Cooke, he’s definitely one of the best!

Having something to say certainly helps, although to get on the radio, you got to hit the correct intervals as well…

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come step 6.

A Change Is Gonna Come – Step 7

In this step, we look at how you could construct a 2nd guitar part that will work with me and the singer.

Start by playing as the TAB show and I explain in the video lesson, then try varying it.

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come step 7.

A Change Is Gonna Come – Step 8

The time has come to play with me and the singer as if we were meant to play together.

Use the 2nd guitar part ideas you learned in the last step as your foundation. Every time you play it again, modify it.

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come step 8.

Related Pages

Chords and Guitar Lessons

The intro to A Change Is Gonna Come is a guitar version of the string arrangement from the original recording.

Think of this song as if in the key of G. By applying a capo on fret 2 you’ll be in the key of A.

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come chords and guitar lessons.


A Change Is Gonna ComeI was born by the river in a little tent
And just like that river I’ve been running ever since
It’s been a long time coming
But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will

Go to A Change Is Gonna Come lyrics.

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