I Heard It Through The Grapevine chords by Marvin Gaye


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I Heard It Through The Grapevine | Chords + Lyrics


Intro

||: Ebm7 (Ebm Gb6) | Ebm7 (Ebm Gb6 Fm7) :|| x5

Verse 1

| Ebm | Ebm | Bb Ab | Ab6 Ab |
I bet you’re wonderin’ how I knew, ’bout your plans to make me blue.
| Ebm | Ebm | Bb Ab | Ab7 |
With some other guy, you knew before, between the two of us guys you know I loved you more.

Bridge 1

| Cm | Ab5 |
It took me by surprise I must say (took me by surprise I must say).
| Ebm | Ab |
When I found out yesterday (when I found out yesterday).

Chorus 1

| Ebm | Ebm Ebm7 | Ab7 | Ab Ab7 |
Don’t you know that I heard it through the grapevine, not much longer would you be mine.
| Ebm | Ebm Ebm7 | Ab7 | Ab Ab7 |
Oh I heard it through the grapevine, oh I’m just about to lose my mind.
| Ebm7 (Ebm Gb6) | Ebm7 (Ebm Gb6 Fm7) | Ebm7 (Ebm Gb6) | Ebm7 (Ebm Gb6 Fm7) |
Honey, honey bell (I heard it through the grapevine not much longer would you be my baby).

Verse 2

| Ebm | Ebm | Bb Ab | Ab6 Ab |
I know a man ain’t supposed to cry, but these tears I can’t hold inside.
| Ebm | Ebm | Bb Ab | Ab7 |
Losin’ you would end my life you see, ’cause you mean that much to me.

Bridge 2

| Cm | Ab |
You could have told me yourself (you could have told, me yourself).
| Ebm | Ab |
That you loved someone else (that you loved, someone else).

Chorus 2

| Ebm | Ebm Ebm7 | Ab7 | Ab Ab7 |
Instead, I heard it through the grapevine, not much longer would you be mine.
| Ebm | Ebm Ebm7 | Ab7 | Ab Ab7 |
Oh, I heard it through the grapevine, and I’m just about to lose my mind.
| Ebm7 (Ebm Gb6) | Ebm7 (Ebm Gb6 Fm7) | Ebm7 (Ebm Gb6) | Ebm7 (Ebm Gb6 Fm7) |
Honey, honey bell (I heard it through the grapevine not much longer would you be my baby).

Instrumental

||: Ebm7 (Ebm Gb6) | Ebm7 (Ebm Gb6 Fm7) :||

Verse 3

| Ebm | Ebm | Bb Ab | Ab6 Ab |
People say: Believe half of what you see, son, and none of what you hear.
| Ebm | Ebm | Bb Ab | Ab7 |
But I can’t help but be confused, if it’s true please tell me, dear.

Bridge 3

| Cm | Ab |
Do you plan to let me go (do you plan to let me go).
| Ebm | Ab |
For the other guy, you loved before? (For the other guy you loved before?)

Chorus 3

| Ebm | Ebm Ebm7 | Ab7 | Ab Ab7 |
Don’t you know I heard it through the grapevine, not much longer would you be mine.
| Ebm | Ebm Ebm7 | Ab7 | Ab Ab7 |
Baby, I heard it through the grapevine, oh, just about to lose my mind. Honey, honey heh.

Outro

||: Ebm7 (Ebm Gb6) | Ebm7 (Ebm Gb6 Fm7) :||
(I heard it through the grapevine, not much longer would you be my baby yeah yeah yeah yeah).
Honey, honey I know that you let me go.
(I heard it through the grapevine, not much longer would you be my baby yeah yeah yeah yeah).
Said I hear it through the grapevine, Oh oh, I heard it through the grapevine.
(I heard it through the grapevine, not much longer would you be my baby).



I Heard It Through The Grapevine Chords: Learn the progressions


During I Heard It Through The Grapevine’s verse, the Ebm feels like the home chord of a blues.

Sure, the order and length of the chords are different from a standard blues, but the overall feel is there.

Here’s the chord progression for the verse:

| Ebm (Im) | Ebm | Bb (V) Ab (IV) | Ab6 Ab |
| Ebm | Ebm | Bb Ab | Ab7 |

However, if you compare the feeling of these chords to Ain’t No Sunshine or The Thrill Is Gone, you’ll notice that they feel very different. The reason for this is that those two tunes are at home around chord VI, Aeolian.

In the case of I Heard It Through The Grapevine, it’s as if we’re playing a major blues, but chord I is minor.

There is also the feeling of a II – V (EbmAb), making us feel as if we’re playing in Dorian, and that Bb is just a passing chord.

I’d go as far as arguing that this is the main feeling of the chord progression, but you’d need to play lots of tunes with the II – V movement to agree with this. For example Good Times, I Wish and Mad World.

The bridge is the genius section of this tune. Now we go to a Cm, which, had the Ebm been chord I, would have made complete sense as EbCm is the I – VI, a minor fall.

This change from Ebm to an imagined Eb creates an uplifting feel (minor to major), but also sad as going to chord VI is the ultimate sad movement, completely genius!

I genuinely mean this; To go from Ebm to Cm in this way is my favorite chord progression movement of all time.

The chorus chords are Ebm7Ab7, clearly the II – V progression, further adding fuel to the fire of my previous claim that it’s the II – V with Bb as a passing chord, not a blues in Eb or Ebm where the home chord is I or VI.

Anyway, here’s a chord chord. Check those intro chords out!

I Heard It Through The Grapevine chord chart.

I Heard It Through The Grapevine Chord Chart | PDF + iReal Pro


This is a great example of how if you’ve done your homework, the chord chart can serve as a great reminder. Let’s look at that intro.

It’s Ebm7Gb6, Not EbmG. Try it and you’ll see how the notes go from DbEb inside those two chords compared to EbDb if you use EbmGb.

Following this, I’m just outlining the different sections, not trying to explain the exact order, just follow the singer or (God forbid) memorise the arrangement!

Should you want to download this chart, here’s a PDFI Heard It Through The Grapevine Chord Chart PDF.

This chart was created using iRealPro, here’s a link to that file: I Heard It Through The Grapevine iReal Pro.

You can change the key using this and the iRealPro app, should the singer in your band request this last minute, which in the case of I Heard It Through The Grapevine is more common than not!


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I Heard It Through The Grapevine TAB | Course Preview


I Heard It Through The Grapevine 8 step by step guitar lessons

In the course, we practise I Heard It Through The Grapevine’s three chords of the verse in lots of different ways, all over the neck.

We do this so you can improvise your rhythm part, making it more fun to play it for decades to come.

You can try a preview of this as you use the playalong TAB loop of verse example 1 above.

Here’s the TAB for it as an image.

I Heard It Through The Grapevine chords and TAB, verse example 1

In the complete lesson, we look at four more examples like this, all with play-along TAB loops.

By being this thorough, we lay a foundation upon which you’ll be able to improvise your rhythm parts and licks, rather than memorize them.

Take this approach to play the guitar and you’ll be adjusting your parts to the band you’re playing with, rather than just playing your one memorized part (a great idea when playing in a Rock band to achieve power, not so much in a Soul band).

Make this a habit and you’ll also get great at writing parts for original songs as you’re always exploring the neck and therefore used to finding new ideas.

You should learn how to play I Heard It Through The Grapevine because it’s “a standard” for the working Soul guitarist, but also to experience soloing over these awesome changes.

In the course, we dive deep into all that this classic offers, including live band loops to practice with. In step 8, you’ll play the complete song with the band.

Here’s a link to the 8 step-by-step guitar lessonsI Heard It Through The Grapevine – Guitar Lessons with TAB.



Barrett came up with I Heard It Through The Grapevine’s lyrics from overhearing people in the street!

I Heard It Through The Grapevine is a single by Marvin Gaye from 1968 although it had already been a hit for Gladys Knight & The Pips in 1966. The Miracles (Smokey Robinson) also released a version before Marvin.

Still, when Marvin dropped his version as the third single from the album In The Groove (1968), he made it his own and this is the one all bands refer to when it’s called on stage last minute for sure.

One more version deserves a mention, the one by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Written by Barrett Strong and producer Norman Whitfield, it has become known as one of Motown’s signature songs.

The tune started with Barrett overhearing people use the expression “hearing it through the grapevine” as he was walking around the streets of Chicago. He thought that expression must have a song in it, so he teamed up with Norman and the rest is music history.

The lyrics are genuinely great and the chord progression (as discussed above) is genius. All that’s missing to complete the picture then is a great band (Funk Brothers) and a genuine vocal performance

In the playlist above, after my version, you’ll find the “original”, a backing track for you to play along with, as well as an isolated Marvin Gaye vocal.

Make sure you listen to the video of Marvin without the band, it is truly mindblowing.



I Heard It Through The Grapevine Chords | Related Pages


Intermediate Electric

There are many more intermediate electric tunes with chords like I Heard It Through The Grapevine.

The intermediate electric tunes will help you with learning the CAGED system all over the fretboard, both for chords and pentatonic scales.

Learn these Motown/Soul classics, and you’ll not just improve dramatically but also gain yourself a repertoire.


Five similar tunes with chords and lyrics

When you can play I Heard It Through The Grapevine's chords, try these five tunes from the songbook.


The Funk Brothers tunes

The Funk Brothers played on I Heard It Through The Grapevine.

Motown’s house band, The Funk Brothers was the most successful group of studio musicians of all time.

Their contributions can be heard on Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Dancing In The Street, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, My Girl, and My Guy.


The Funk Brothers on the web

Listen to The Funk Brothers on Spotify


Marvin Gaye tunes

Marvin Gaye wrote I Heard It Through The Grapevine.

Marvin Gaye helped shape the Motown sound as a drummer, session singer, writer, lead singer, and producer in the 60s and 70s.

Marvin’s hits include I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Can I Get A Witness, and politically fueled What’s Going On.


Marvin Gaye on the web

Listen to Marvin Gaye on Spotify.


Barrett Strong tunes

Barrett Strong wrote the lyrics for I Heard It Through The Grapevine.

Barrett Strong was the first artist on the Motown label to have a hit. The song was Money (That’s What I Want). Performed by Barrett, it was written by the president of the label and a sign of what was to come.

As well as his own solo career, Barrett also wrote many of Motown’s biggest hits.


Barrett Strong on the web

Listen to Barrett Strong on Spotify.


Motown & Soul

When you can play I Heard It Through The Grapevine, check out these Motown and Soul tunes as well.

Motown & Soul is the best place to start if you want to get better at playing the electric guitar. The harmony is simple and there is room for improvisation.

Learn tunes by The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, and many more.


About me | Dan Lundholm

Dan Lundholm wrote this guitar lesson on I Heard It Through The Grapevine's chords.

This was a guitar lesson about I Heard It Through The Grapevine chords, by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and learn guitar with Spytunes.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.


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