|Careless Love is an example of a three chord song. The links above take you
to pages teaching you how to play the song on piano and guitar. This
arrangement of Careless Love for guitar is for a trio with lead guitar rhythm
guitar and bass. The lead guitar is a two string solo on the two top strings. Lead
on the top string is backed up by harmony notes on the second string. We are
playing from the second fret to the twelfth fret. The rhythm guitar plays bass
chord back up in first position. The bass plays the same notes as the rhythm
guitar in a lower octave, except for a bass run up to and down from the C chord.
The two guitar parts are on the Guitar Music page, but separately not together.
In this lesson, with it's linked pages, we do a lot with "Careless Love" on both
piano and guitar. The song will play once. To hear it again click on the play
arrow of the player below
There will be five pages in this lesson. This main music page like all the others, will
have links to the other main music pages. These are to the left. Like all the other music
pages if you want to get to the rest of the site you need to go to Music Home. In
addition, you will have links to switch between the different pages in this lesson. Those
are the links that you see at the top of the page. These links will also be at the bottom
of the page. When the information in a page is discussed in the text, there will there will
be text links to take you directly to that page.
The table below shows all the chords and notes in the chords for the most common keys.
I've even included the common flat keys even though we won't use them for quite a while.
Since the table is all text, in some places I've used sh for sharp and fl for flat. So B7th
abbreviated b-dsh-fsh-a would be b, d sharp, f sharp, a. And B flat7th abbreviated
bfl-d-f-afl would be b flat, d, f, a flat. You can see how a songs which might seem to be a
quite different break down to a simple formula. You can also see how the same song can
be transposed into many keys. This is what we will be doing with our example three chord
song "Careless Love" as we learn to play in many keys on the guitar and musical
The Three Chord Song
The are many types of chords used in music. We will study a lot of them. But we need
to start with the most basic. Review music9, "Harmony And Chords". The simplest of
songs in a major key use two chords. The chord based on the first note of the scale,
the tonic major, the I chord and the chord based on the fifth note of the scale, the
dominant 7th, the V7 chord. The next most common simple song uses, the
subdominant major, the IV chord. In this lesson we are going to study a simple three
chord song, the folk song "Careless Love" in some common piano and guitar keys.
For piano we will continue to work with C, G and F major. These are the easiest keys for
piano. The guitar is easiest with sharp keys. The key of G with one sharp is okay. The F
chord is hard and the B flat chord is even harder for beginners. That make the key of C
and even more so the key of F difficult on guitar. So for guitar we are going to explore, in
addition to G, the sharp keys of D, A and E major. For the key of D major we need to
sharp the f and the c to get our whole steps and half steps in the right place. For the key
of A major, we need to sharp f, c and g. For the key of E major, we need to sharp c,f,g
and d. Not only are these the keys that work best on guitar but they aren't that bad on
piano either. Using your standard right hand fingering for a major scale, you can play
any one of them because your thumb always ends up on a white key. Try them on your
musical keyboard. Start with your thumb on the key note. Use the major scale fingering
for the right hand, that I showed you earlier. Put in the required sharps and flats instead
of the natural notes. You will hear the familiar do, re, me, fa, so, la, ti, do.
A Ten Note Song
The main advantage of my teaching method is that you will not just play music you will
understand music. "Some Folks Do" was the simplest of songs using only the first five
notes of the major scale. "Skip To My Lou" used those five but also used one note below
do for a total of six notes. Tom Dooley is a five note song, but the notes it uses are
more spread out. It uses the pentatonic major. The notes are do, re, me, so, la. These
three songs are covered in detail with music12. Careless Love" is a wide range song. It
starts on me, the third note of the scale me and goes down to so. Then it goes back to
me, up to the octave so and one note higher to la. It drops back a bit to re and it's back
to me and up to la again. But in this run you have so followed by so sharped. Finally it's
back to me and down. The total range of this song is an octave from so to so, plus one
more note. That's a nine notes range. This is the first song that you would have to be
more careful with your key choice to make sure It's in your vocal range. The extra note is
the sharp accidental so for ten. There is one thing that all songs have in common no
matter what note they start with. They all end on the tonic note of the scale. Check
out the melody on "Careless Love" pictured below but don't waste to much time studying
it as we are going to be studying it in a lot more detail on the other pages of this lesson.
Eight Bar Songs
One of the most common patterns in music is the eight measure or eight bar verse.
All the songs we've looked at so far are eight bar songs. There is only one common
exception. That exception is the twelve bar blues pattern. We will be looking at that in
an upcoming lesson. But first let's look at one more eight bar song "Careless Love".
This is also our first three chord song. Now that we've learned some music basics, the
rest of our lessons are going to be intensive learning by doing. Click on "Piano" to get
to the first of two pages on playing the three chord song for musical keyboard.
©2004 - 2005
Using The Lessons
People that come to these pages through search engines enter on different pages. I
would recommend that to get the full benefit of these music lessons, especially if you are
a beginner, you visit every page at least once. This is a totally new approach to learning
music. The focus is on "How Music Works". There is a lot of motivating discussion and
explanation of why you need to learn certain things, with the goal of getting you to
become a real musician as quickly as possible. There's a lot of good pieces here but you
need the whole picture for maximum success.