Fast Car chords by Tracy Chapman


Video blocked due to privacy settings

Change privacy settings


Fast Car | Chords + Lyrics (capo 2)


Intro

| Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 | Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 |
| Cmaj7 G5 | Em Esus4 Em D D sus4 D | Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 |

Verse 1

||: Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 :||
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.

Instrumental 1

||: Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 :||

Verse 2

||: Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 :||
You got a fast car, I got a plan to get us out of here.
Been working at the convenience store, managed to save just a little bit of money.
Won’t have to drive too far, just across the border and into the city.
You and I can both get jobs, and finally see what it means to be living.

Instrumental 2

||: Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 :||

Verse 3

||: Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 :||
See my old man’s got a problem, he lives with the bottle that’s the way it is.
He says his body’s too old for working, his body’s too young to look like his.
My mama went off and left him, she wanted more from life than he could give.
I said somebody’s got to take care of him, so I quit school and that’s what I did.

Instrumental 3

||: Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 :||

Verse 4

||: Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 :||
You got a fast car, is it fast enough so we can fly away?
We gotta make a decision, we leave tonight or live and die this way.

Instrumental 4

||: Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 :||
So I remember when we were,

Chorus 1

| C | G |
driving, driving in your car, speed so fast it felt like I was drunk.
| Em | D5 D5/A |
City lights lay out before us and your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder,
| C Em | D5 D5/A |
and I, I had a feeling that I belonged.
| C Em | D5 D5/A | C D5 |
And I, I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone.

Instrumental 5

||: Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 :||

Verse 5

||: Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 :||
You got a fast car, we go cruising to entertain ourselves.
You still ain’t got a job and I work in the market as a checkout girl.
I know things will get better, you’ll find work and I’ll get promoted.
We’ll move out of the shelter, buy a bigger house, and live in the suburbs.

Instrumental 6

||: Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 :||
So I remember when we were,

Chorus 2

| C | G |
driving, driving in your car, speed so fast it felt like I was drunk.
| Em | D5 D5/A |
City lights lay out before us and your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder,
| C Em | D5 D5/A |
and I, I had a feeling that I belonged.
| C Em | D5 D5/A | C D5 |
And I, I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone.

Instrumental 7

||: Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 :||

Verse 6

||: Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 :||
You got a fast car, I got a job that pays all our bills.
You stay out drinking till late at the bar, see more of your friends than you do your kids.
I’d always hoped for better but maybe together you and me’d find it.
If you got no plans and ain’t going nowhere, so take your fast car and keep on driving.

Instrumental 8

||: Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 :||
So I remember when we were,

Chorus 3

| C | G |
driving, driving in your car, speed so fast it felt like I was drunk.
| Em | D5 D5/A |
City lights lay out before us and your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder,
| C Em | D5 D5/A |
and I, I had a feeling that I belonged.
| C Em | D5 D5/A | C D5 |
And I, I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone.

Instrumental 9

||: Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 :||

Verse 7

||: Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 :||
You got a fast car but is it fast enough so you can fly away.
You gotta make a decision, you leave tonight or live and die this way.

Outro

||: Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 :|| x3
| Cmaj7 G5 |


Video blocked due to privacy settings

Change privacy settings


Fast Car’s chords and progressions (course preview)

Fast Car 8 step by step guitar lessons

Tracy Chapman‘s iconic Fast Car has simple chords, using only IV – I – VI – V on a loop for the seemingly never-ending verse.

Using a capo on fret 2, thinking in the key of G, with some extensions, the verse/instrumental sections spell:

||: Cmaj7 G5 | Em Dadd4 :||

The chorus chords have fewer extensions, my version adds the A in the bass for the D chord to compensate for the lack of a bass player when played on just one acoustic guitar.

Here are all of Fast Car’s chorus chords:

| C | G | Em | D5 D5/A |
| C Em | D5 D5/A |
| C Em | D5 D5/A | C D5 |

Just reading the chords like this (especially the verse) won’t work as Fast Car is more of a chord riff and you need TAB to get it right.

However, it’s not that simple, as you hear me speak about in the video above, just taking what Tracy plays won’t be enough.

Here’s the TAB for what she and her 2nd guitarist play on the original recording (2nd guitar is on top):

Fast Car original TAB for 2 guitars.

Even if you have a 2nd guitarist to help you out, I still don’t think you should play what you see above as these parts are created having bass and drums as well.

With all this in mind, I set out to build guitar parts you could use on just one guitar, here’s the TAB for example 1 (practice using the TAB loop in the playlist above):

Fast Car one guitar TAB, example 1.

In the preview lesson from the course, you only get this one example, during the full lesson, we next look at two more examples of how to play Fast Car’s verse.

In step 2, we look at three examples of how to play the chorus so we in step 3 can play the complete song with a singer.

For the remaining 5 steps, we use the CAGED system to identify Fast Car’s chords all over the neck and build a 2nd guitar that will work if it’s just two guitars (no bass and drums).

In the final step, you me, and the singer play Fast Car together, as an acoustic trio (you can hear what this sounds like at the top of this page, video 2 in the playlist).

Here’s a link to the complete lesson series (members only): Fast Car 8 step-by-step guitar lessons with TAB.

Become a member today and get unlimited access to all step-by-step guitar coursesTAB for the songbook, the Self-Eliminating Practice Routine, and the eBook Spytunes Method.

A Fast Car drove the acoustic guitar back into the charts!

Fast Car is another single from the hugely successful self-titled debut album Tracy Chapman (1988).

Following a performance at Nelson Mandela’s televised 70th Birthday Party, Fast Car reached #5 in the U.S. and #6 in the U.K. charts.

As well as worldwide success in sales, the album was nominated for three Grammy awards, taking home Best Female Pop Performance for Fast Car.

The lyrics in this now legendary tune might be some of the finest of the ’80s, possibly even comparable to Bob Dylan‘s work.

Tracy tells the story of the impossible task of getting somewhere in a modern America that seemed to have no other possibilities other than getting a job at the grocery store and watching your partner fall into drug and/or alcohol abuse.

The final twist of the song simply moves from “we gotta make a decision” to “you gotta make a decision, leave tonight or live and die this way”.

As this might seem like the only solution, the song delivered a bitter feeling that no matter what, there was no way out.

This type of lyrical content, paired with the feeling of hope in Talking About A Revolution and the more romantic Baby Can I Hold You provided gave the album depth.

As all three songs stood strong on their own, together they told the bitter tale of a modern America, clearly stating that if you had no money, you were a no one.

After a decade of outrageous hairspray stadium spandex rock, where sex drugs and rock n’ roll ruled, Tracy Chapman delivered what the Western world craved: Honesty, not fakery.

Only a few years later, when the big rock acts had unloaded their last Marshall stack, applied their final eyeliner and Nirvana had taken over, it was clear that someone must have started this revolution. I reckon it was Tracy.


Fast Car chords | Related pages


Intermediate Acoustic

Intermediate Acoustic Songs

Most intermediate acoustic tunes can’t 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, add licks, extend chords, and play vocal melodies. Most importantly, we’ll invent second guitar parts and play these songs together.


Five similar tunes with chords and lyrics

When you can play Fast Car's chords, try these five tunes from the song book.

Tracy Chapman

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

Amazingly, these three songs were on the debut’s A-side.


Tracy Chapman on the web

Listen to Tracy Chapman on Spotify.

Pop & Rock

Pop & Rock tunes

Whenever a tune doesn’t fit into a specific genre, it tends to end up here, in the Pop & Rock section.

Learn tunes from Tom Petty, Eagles, Toto, Oasis, Elvis, Clapton, John Mayer, Kings Of Leon, R.E.M., Radiohead, Bruno Mars, and more.