You can learn how to play Fast Car by Tracy Chapman!

Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car was one of three massive hits from her self-titled debut album.

The other two, Baby Can I Hold You and Talkin’ ‘Bout A Revolution firmly cemented Tracy as the world’s favorite busker.

My one guitar version of Fast Car varies slightly from how Tracy plays the riff. Instead of moving up the neck, I found a way to play it using open position chords.

In the course, we learn what I play, what Tracy does on the original, as well as develop these parts all over the neck.


The chords in Fast Car are simple, using only chord IV – I – VI – V on a loop over the seemingly never-ending verse. In the key of G, that becomes:

| Cmaj7 G | Em7 D |

During the chorus, we change from playing a finger style picking pattern to a strumming technique instead. The chords first remain the same, although now take up a bar each.

| C | G | Em | D |

| C Em | D | x2

| C D |

Apply a capo to fret 2 and you’re actually in the key of A. However, you want to think of Fast Car as if you’re in the key of G.

Fast Car – Guitar Lessons

You can learn how to play Fast Car by Tracy Chapman!

Step 1 (The two original parts)Step 2 (Develop original parts into a one acoustic guitar part)Step 3 (Strumming patterns)Step 4 (Complete song)Step 5 (CAGED exercises)Step 6 (2nd guitar part)Step 7 (Improvise)Step 8 (2nd guitar part, play along).

Fast Car – Lyrics

You got a fast car, I want a ticket to anywhere.
Maybe we make a deal, maybe together we can get somewhere.
Any place is better, starting from zero got nothing to lose.
Maybe we’ll make something but me myself I got nothing to prove.

Go to Fast Car – Lyrics.

Tracy Chapman – Biography

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.

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