These three chords are the foundations to hundreds of songs, both old and recent. There are all sorts of ways to incorporate these three chords into grooves and arrangements. We’ll start with a few simple examples, then we’ll look at more rhythmically complex uses for these chords.
1) The First Cut Is The Deepest by Sheryl Crow Progressions are D – A – G and D – G – A. There are a couple of places where they hold the A chord. This Cat Stevens song has been recorded by several different people. The definitive version was by Rod Stewart.
2) Breakfast At Tiffany’s by Deep Blue Something Progressions are D – G – A and D – A – G. The chord structure of this song is nearly identical to First Cut.
Twist And Shout by The Beatles The progression is G – A – D – D. There’s a part where they hold the D chord. During that part, they spell out a D7 chord with their voices. (D – F# – A – C – D)
Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival The best way to learn this one is to listen to it a couple of times, and cue off of the vocals.
Midnight Special by Creedence Clearwater Revival This is a good example of an 8-bar blues. The chord progression is G – D – A – D.
Rock This Town by the Stray Cats This is a 16-bar progression. The chords in order are:
D – A – D – G – D – A – D
Good Lovin’ by The Rascals Learn this song first with open chords. Later, learn to play it with barre chords. If you’re arranging this song for two guitars, it’s good to have one playing open, and one playing barres.
Peaceful Easy Feeling by The Eagles This song has Em in a few places, but I’m including it here anyway.
Mr Tamborine Man by The Byrds